The Best First Dates Are a 30-Minute Coffee, Matchmaker Says

  • Amy Nobile, a dating coach who charges $10,000 to work with her, swears by keeping first dates to 30 minutes max.
  • Nobile said grabbing a brief coffee allows you to screen your date and make sure you get along.
  • If you enjoy the 30-minute date, use body language to show your interest in meeting again.

New York City-based dating coach Amy Nobile wants singles to do less on their first dates.

Nobile told Insider a first date, which she also calls a “screener date,” should always be 30 minutes long and take place at a coffee shop, cafe, or juice bar.

That’s what Nobile, who charges a minimum of $10,000 for four months of her services, instructs all of her clients to do when they meet someone new. This way, they get a genuine feel for their date before investing time and energy on someone who they only know from a dating app.

“Instead of blowing out your hair and giving away a whole Saturday night to someone you’ve never met, the mini-date lowers the stakes, keeps you from wasting hours, and keeps the awkwardness at bay,” Nobile told Insider.

Start the date with a compliment and end with an ‘accidental touch’

When you arrive at your coffee date, compliment your date right away, according to Nobile.

She said picking out something about their physical appearance, whether it’s what they’re wearing or their eye color, will create a warm atmosphere.

If all goes well and you’re interested in spending more time together, don’t extend your first date’s duration, said Nobile.

Instead, Nobile suggests you end your 30-minute meet up with a strategy she calls the “accidental touch.”

To do it, Nobile said on your way back from the restroom or as you’re getting ready to leave, subtly touch your date on the forearm or knee, as if by accident. Then, Nobile suggests saying “Sorry,” or, “Oh my gosh, I thought there was something on your arm,” to acknowledge the touch.

The move, which could be too far out for some, can suggest you’re interested in connecting further on a second date, said Nobile.

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