Dear Rabbi,

On a first date, am I required to bring flowers or a corsage? Or can I just show up empty-handed?

-Confused Courter


Dear Confused,

It looks like you’re reentering the dating scene after some time, so best of luck on your new journey. Women today don’t expect any sort of gift on a first date. What they do expect is a man who is friendly, courteous, sensitive, considerate, confident, well groomed and put together — and most important of all, a mensch! If you’ve got those qualities covered, you’re an All Star and have nothing to worry about.

Having said that, I don’t know of a single woman who doesn’t love flowers — so if you really feel inspired, I’d suggest bringing a single rose or maybe a sunflower. Do not come to her door with a dozen long stem red roses! Keep it light. A single rose shows you’re romantic and open to new adventures. It’s playful, but not overbearing. A sunflower is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face, which is a great way to start a date.

Bottom Line: You don’t need to bring flowers or gifts on a first date. If you feel the overwhelming urge, don’t go overboard. Keep it light and playful.

Best of luck!


Rabbi Arnie Singer offers dating and relationship advice on both of his sites: and He is the author of From I to I Do: How to Meet, Date and Marry Your Mr. Right


  1. If this is a first Jdate, show up empty handed. A single flower can come off like one of those cheap lines a guy uses with every girl he meets. A bouquet is way too much and seems desperate.

    Your manner is far more important than gifts. Let her see how genuinely happy you are to see (meet) her. Take some effort to dress nicely and look as good as you can. Put some thought into planning the date. First impressions are more important than you can imagine.

    You are much more likely to get a warm response if she sees how important this date is to you, not the same old, same old, which is exactly what showing up with that flower will communicate. She’s unique, treat her that way.


  2. I never dated anyone after meeting my husband when I was 18. That was in 1974. Since my Jewish parents raised me to be in a convent, he is the only man I have had sex with. Don’t laugh. No was married for 34 years, with him for 38.
    Truth be said I know that whoever I meet will like me. I am being honest not narcissistic. It’s been my experience over the years.

    Well, what will these men expect of me? I am so nervous… I have my first date next week. Yikes!

  3. Barbara Kanegis

    When a man suggests meeting over dinner, how does a woman handle the check?
    Can I share?
    Lets split the bill?
    And does it matter if I really like this guy or don’t intend to see him again?
    If I like the guy, may I say”next time my treat”… that too aggressive.?
    Thanks in advance for your answers..

  4. When I was young and went on a formal date, it was understood that I (the man) would pay. The women usually would discreetly exit to the restroom around check time and would come back after the finances were taken are of.

    If you’re 30+, the way to go is to offer to split the check. If he’s a gentleman (and employed) he’ll appreciate your offer and thank you for it, but insist on paying (at least in the initial few dates). If he accepts your offer then fine, you paid your way and can leave with your head held high and a clear conscience.

    If he does pay, make sure you say thank you. The guy’s a mentch. And stop thinking so much!

  5. When I started dating my husband he always showed up with a red and a pink
    rose. There was never a time I didn’t have a flower on my table. Sometimes he arrived with a bottle of good french wine and of course the two roses. Later after we were together, he brought me a dozen roses home every week. Eventually I told him to slow up on the flowers. I was always cleaning vases or petals. Now since he passed away, when I hear a story like this I always think of him and the roses. Not many men will think of you like that. He nick named me the flower girl sometimes called me Zu Zu Petals. Romantic, it makes a nice memory.

  6. Dont bring flowers. Just be a good guy.

  7. It’s all about the delivery. If she wants to know how to recognize you, tell her you will be the individual with the Rose. It’s not about what you bring, it’s the message you want to deliver. If you found out during your communication that she likes a certain flower or candy, surprise her. She knows you were listening and I think the gesture is appreciated

  8. I love flowers!

    Every single boyfriend of mine has brought me flowers on one of our first five dates. It’s part of how I know he’s worth my time and energy.

    That being said, for a first JDAte, since you haven’t met yet, they probably are a bad idea. You don’t know until you see each other in person whether you will feel romantic chemistry, and it could create awkward expectations.

    For a second or third date, they are a great way to show that you are confident, you are definitely romantically interested, and you are just a thoughtful, great guy. Highly recommend it.

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