So you’ve gone and bagged yourself a date, congratulations! Now you’re looking for some first date ideas to impress your date. Well you’ve dropped on to the right article. Not only will I explain the best first date ideas, I’ll also explain why they’re good and where you shouldn’t go on a first date.
Not all first dates are with people you’ve never met before or know very little about. This article is more for those men who are going on a first date with a woman they’ve never met or know little about.
Before we begin it’s important to start with where NOT to go on a first date. I’m about to kill some traditional locations that should never have made any first date ideas list.
Where NOT to go on a first date
The pictures / cinema: why did anyone ever think this was a good idea? You take your date to a dark room, face away from each other and watch a film in silence. How are you going to get to know each other if you can’t speak or look at each other? The cinema is not for the first date.
A meal: you tend to know if you like your date, or if they like you very quickly. There’s nothing more awkward than finishing your starters and knowing neither of you want to be there. Now you’ve got to make it through your main meal and desert. Talk about awkward. Not to mention, it’s expensive if you’re going on many dates looking for your future partner.
Bowling: this depends very much on who your date is and the type of woman you find attractive. My reason for saying bowling isn’t a great first date activity, is because most women don’t want to put on a sweaty pair of silly looking bowling shoes on their first date. Let’s be honest, do you?
Somewhere fancy like an expensive restaurant or a trip to Paris: you’re coming across as desperate, attracting gold diggers and setting the bar too high. What are you going to do on your second date? No one wants to see the end of the movie at the beginning of he movie. People want a build up. Keep it simple.
A bar or nightclub: it’s very hard to have a conversation in a bar as they get so noisy.
The pub: I’m assuming I don’t need to explain why this is a bad idea.
Basically, any activity or location where you can’t talk and get to know your date is a bad idea. Don’t do it.
So where are good places for a first date? Before I give you a list of first date ideas I’m about to hit you with something out of left field. Before a first date you SHOULD be going on a predate. “What the hell is a predate?", I hear you ask.
If you’re looking for someone to settle down with you should be going on as many dates as possible. This isn’t cheating or immoral. I am 100 percent against cheating. However, in the dating stage you need to be going on many dates. How are you going to know what you want and don’t want in a partner if you only go on one date with one person? Would you buy your first car without viewing and test driving other cars? Would you buy the first house you visited? No you wouldn’t, so why would you potentially settle down with someone when you’ve not explored your options.
Before anyone accuses me of seeing women like an object, that’s not the case. I think women should also be doing the same to men. It benefits both men and women. Getting into a relationship with each other only to find you’re not on the same wavelength is just heartbreaking and a waste of time for everyone. You have to be ruthless with your dating standards and process. It works better for everyone in the long run. You also need the practise that you get from going on many dates. This is so when you do meet the person you want to settle down with, you won’t mess it up. Yes, dating is a skill that can be learnt and perfected.
Back on track, a predate is a quick meeting before the first date and it should be no longer than an hour. A coffee shop is a good idea for a predate. Imagine you have two dates a week for a month and each date is a three course meal with alcohol. You’re going to be out of pocket and feeling terrible well before your last date.
A predate helps you quickly and efficiently filter through people you want to see again. However, it also stops any women who are just looking for a free meal or who just want to be wined and dined. I’m sorry to say, but these people do exist. The predate filters the women who actually like you and those who don’t.
How do you arrange a predate? You ask the woman for a date by telling her you would like to take her out, for example for dinner. If she says “Yes”, reply: “Great, before we go for dinner, it’s so much better to have a quick coffee together first. There’s a really nice coffee shop at X, when are you free for a quick hour?”
This actually makes her feel better. She’s probably been on many dates and will know how awkward a first date is, especially when it’s over dinner. A quick coffee means she knows it’s only an hour and it’s in a safe environment.
If she originally said “Yes” to dinner, but ignores you after the coffee meeting suggestion, well done! You’ve just saved yourself time and money. It doesn’t matter how attracted you are to this woman, do not ask her again. Never chase, if she wants to see you she’ll reply.
Pick a nice independent coffee shop and one that you’ve been in before. It’s a quick meeting, but she’ll still be assessing you, so you want to show her you’ve thought this through. Starbucks or Costa isn’t going to cut it.
Arrive early to get comfortable and take a book, so you’re not sitting there like a lemon. After the hour ends, end the meeting. Even if it’s going fantastic, end it. Don’t worry, it’s not rude. If you’ve told her you only have an hour before the meeting, because you have somewhere else to go she’ll respect that. She’ll also know you’re a busy man with places to go and people to see. If the meeting was going well, and you have more to talk about she’ll want to see you again.
If neither of you don’t want to see each other again you’ve saved yourself time and money.
And that’s the predate. Everybody wins.
Now I mentioned dinner in this section, but I also said a meal is a bad idea for a first date in an earlier section. A meal is a terrible idea on a first encounter, but if the predate has gone well, a meal is fine.
First date ideas
I’m writing this list with the predate in mind. The predate changes the circumstances meaning some of the options I originally said are not good for a first date are now good options.
A fairground - they’re fun, they have a little sense of danger, there is variety of activities and you can talk. Just be a little considerate with her hair and outfit if she’s made a big effort to look good. However, usually people get caught up in the moment and try every ride regardless.
Crazy golf / adult golf - crazy golf is very much similar mini golf but with a bar and is much more quirky. I wouldn’t recommend mini golf as a first date, but crazy golf is good fun
A meal - as I said before, a meal is fine once you’ve done a predate. Pick somewhere that you’ve been before that’s nice, but not over the top. Also ask her what food she likes first. I prefer tapas over a three course meal. Sharing creates a bond and you can finish at the same time. It's a weird situation when your date finishes her meal first and just stares at you eating.
First date ideas without a predate
You might be reading this and it’s too late for a predate, so here are some ideas for you:
A coffee shop - Did you see what I did here? Yes, a coffee shop is a great first date location. Pick one that is quirky and cool. Don't go to a big chain.
A coffee walk - Grab a coffee and go for a walk, make sure you lead the direction of the walk and check the weather in advance.
Museum - A walk around the museum is a good idea as you can walk and talk. It’s a good alternative if it's raining.
Crazy golf / mini golf - For the same reasons stated earlier.
A fairground - For the same reasons stated earlier.
I know what you're thinking, and that is these suggestions all look very basic, and that’s because they are. The idea of the first date is to get to know each other, not to over complicate things. It's all good fun booking a date at a F1 race course where you can drive around the track. You'll both have fun, but you'll not be learning about each other. Leave the more adventurous ideas for later dates when you’re both comfortable.
Drop a comment below if this article helped you, or if you think I should add some other first date ideas.