Dating is hard. No one disputes that. Most people would rather stay in an unsatisfying relationship than venture out into the dating pool again. It’s a scary place! And picking the perfect first date is probably at the top of everyone’s list of impossible things to do. But how do you sort through good and bad first date ideas?
A successful first date should be something that you both enjoy. You should be able to get to know each other without any awkward silences. However, some first date ideas are so bad you should avoid them at all costs. We’ve put together a list of the top 5 worst first ideas you should stay clear of.
5.) Staying In
Staying in and cooking your date a lovely meal may seem like a romantic notion, but this is a first date idea that should be done later on in the relationship. You still don’t know each other or feel comfortable around another, which could make a date feel awkward.
Renting movies or making dinner at home screams unimaginative. Your date may even leave thinking, “could you not think of something more fun for us to do together?” It also lets your date know where you live. Are you ready for that? Inviting someone you don’t know to your home is a bad idea and may not be safe.
Not only that, but there will probably be a few other details that you might want to keep quiet. Like embarrassing pictures of relatives, your eight cats (watch out, crazy cat lady alert) or those items you’ve hidden in your medicine cabinet. These are things you don’t need to show off when you’re trying to make a good impression. Leave it until at least date four or five or when the background check comes back clear.
What to Do Instead
Take your date out for a nice dinner. Before you reserve a table anywhere, ask your date what type of cuisine they like and if they have a favorite restaurant. Show that you are interested in them and their likes and needs.
While dinner isn’t exactly a spectacular or creative first date idea, if it’s in a restaurant, it’s less likely to backfire than bringing your date to your home. It’s also less creepy.
4.) Bar or Club
Everybody loves a good night out in a bar or club once in a while, but is it a good idea for a first date? Let’s go get to know each other in a loud, crowded dimly lit venue where we have access to copious amounts of alcohol — said no one ever.
A bar or club may seem like an ideal spot for a first date because it is neutral territory full of witnesses. However, this isn’t the best idea for a first date. Sure, a bit of extra courage wouldn’t go amiss when first meeting your possible future significant other, but mixing a first date with alcohol is not always the best move. Drinking alcohol affects your inhibitions, which can cause you to act without thinking about your actions. It’s best to avoid drinking too much on a first date to stop any possible embarrassing situations.
Bars and clubs are also too loud for a proper conversation. How are you going to get to know your date when you can’t hear a word they are saying? There is also a lot of competition in a bar that might distract your date. Yes, you are hot in your own right, but don’t take the focus off yourself.
What to Do Instead
Avoid the loud distractions of bars and clubs by taking your date to a coffee shop. Watch the conversation flow over a mug of warm coffee. Time will fly, and before you know it, you could have spent hours chatting and getting to know each other. An ideal first date!
3.) Family Functions
Taking your date to a family gathering for a first date is just too much pressure. They won’t know anyone (they barely know you), and they will feel they have to impress everyone in your life. Your date needs to feel relaxed and not threatened to let their guard down long enough for you to get to know each other.
You know your family, right? Do you think they’ll allow you the space to get to know your date? A family function, whether it’s a wedding, a reunion or a casual dinner, does not equal relaxation for a stranger.
Dates involving groups of friends can be included in this as well. Unless you share the same group of friends and don’t mind spending the night not getting to know each other better, group dates are as bad as family functions. Your date will spend the whole time feeling that they have to put on the performance of a lifetime in order for everyone to like them. You date might feel judged, especially because your family and friends probably are judging your date to see if they are a good fit for you.
Save the group dates and introducing them to the family for later on in the relationship.
What to Do Instead
If you are after a first date idea that is fun, exciting and a little bit different, try bowling. Bowling in a relaxed, sociable environment will allow you and your date to lose up and get to know each other more. Plus, a bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone. Bowling not your thing? Consider other fun active date ideas.
2.) The Theater
What’s wrong with a movie, a play or the opera? Let’s think about that for a minute. You and your date would be sitting for at least an hour, more likely two hours, in complete silence, in the dark. How does that sound at all like getting to know each other?
First dates should allow for at least some conversation. Without the chance of being able to talk to each other, how will you know if there is a spark? Or if they make you laugh? Not only that, but you won’t be able to fully enjoy the performance as you’ll have so many thoughts running through your mind. What are they thinking? Do they like me? Before you know it, you’ve missed the crucial part of the performance. Keep your fingers crossed that scene doesn’t come up in the conversation afterward.
Save going to the movies and other theater activities for after you’ve dated for at least a month or two. This is when you’ll both appreciate not hearing each other’s thoughts and feelings for a while and feel a lot more confirmable just sitting in silence.
What to Do Instead
Visit an art gallery or museum as this will give you and your date plenty of time to talk and admire the exhibitions. You can discuss what you like and don’t like about the art or even if you think it’s funny.
If you want to impress your date, look up what’s on at the gallery before you go. You’ll be able to wow your date with your in-depth knowledge of the art.
1.) An Overnight Getaway
Sure, the romance novels are full of jet-setting Romeos who whisk their ladies away on overnight dates to seal the deal, but in the real world, overnight first dates are disturbing and scary. Spending the night away from everyone and everything you know, or even holed up in some motel room or mountain lodge near your home, with a person you barely know is dangerous. You may feel like you know them, but no matter how long you’ve been messaging online or speak to them on the phone, you are still strangers.
If you do agree to such a first date, you might want to stock up on mace. Let people know where you are, and keep in contact with friends to let them know you are ok.
What to Do Instead
Why not take a day trip? That way there is no scary overnight stay with someone you barely know. Go to the zoo for the day. The zoo is a great first date idea as it’s a casual, stress-free date. You can spend some quality time getting to know each other while looking at cute animals. What’s not love?
Good First Date Ideas
Luckily, good first date ideas are still out there! Consider these winter date ideas, or ask your friends what they have tried. You’ll be able to find great ideas to wow your crush when you’ve finally worked up the courage to ask them out. Need a place to find someone to ask on that first date? Try one of the best online dating sites!
What is the worst first idea you can come up with? When you next get together with friends, share your bad date stories. That way, you’ll be sure not to make the same mistakes in the future.