If you’ve made contact online and are meeting for the first time, is it a good idea to take flowers along? One of our members had that question for us and a member survey gave a clear indication of what people think about it.
“Dear Parship experts,
Please could you tell me whether it is appropriate, or maybe even advisable to take something like flowers with me on the first date with a woman I have met through your service. Many thanks in advance.” Roger (61), management consultant
If you make a gentlemanly impression on the first date, it can certainly score you points. Invite the lady to coffee … Help her on with her coat … But gifts are another matter: in a recent online survey of our members, more than half (55.2%) of respondents thought a gift unnecessary on the first date. Just 11.7% of men and women who responded to the survey thought that flowers for the lady were a good idea. Here are some more results:
13.6% thought that something personal - like a specially compiled CD - could make a good impression. 13.1% didn’t like the idea of gifts bought in advance, but thought that a rose bought in the course of the date (or just possibly swiped from a flowerbed in the park) made a nice gesture.
Parship’s psychologist, Sabine Wery von Limont, suggests leaving flowers and other gifts out of the picture on the first date. “They are something of a distraction,” she says. A bunch of flowers isn’t very practical if you are out and about. They will also draw attention to you and your situation, which might be embarrassing for your date. Definite no-no’s are presents which clearly cost a fair amount of money - such as a bunch of long-stem roses or, even more expensive, the first edition of a favourite book that the other person has mentioned: you hardly know each other and it is not yet time for gestures of this kind. “They also indicate expectations on the part of the person making the gift,” she continues: “He or she wants the other person to be happy and also wants to create a memorable impression.”
Leave things for later
When, then, is the time for gifts? … The answer is whenever you would like to make the gesture, once, having met the other person, you have felt a special connection. Choose a single flower, or a small posy or something like a fun little pen. The only exception to the policy of no gifts on a first date would be if you met in the other person’s home (which is in any case not recommended by Parship); in that situation a small gift would be appropriate. Generally, it is better to wait until the second date or later to make a gift to your new contact. If you’re not sure what kind of a gift to make, it is better to go for something modest - you want to make a good impression, but don’t want to overwhelm the other person with your surprise.