Dinner and a movie? That’s one of the classic first date ideas people think of when they’re looking for love. But there are many more options to help you find out if you’re compatible on that all-important first date. In fact, dinner and a movie isn’t always the best choice, because at least half of your evening will be spent not talking to each other. And the whole point of going out is getting to know each other by hearing the other person’s voice.
No matter which one of you is planning the date, many factors come into play . . . stress, nervousness, expense, location, expectations. Not everyone will get it right the first time, but understanding what works and what doesn’t can increase your odds. Notes www.LoveToKnow.com, “Most people are naturally stressed when dating someone for the first time, even if they have known each other for years. Therefore, first dates should not be an activity that puts the spotlight on one person or the other.“
Remember, too, that you might be making memories for the future. If your relationship progresses, wouldn’t it be nice to look back on your first date as something that meant a lot to both of you?
Successful first date ideas are limited only by your imagination and your budget. Special, memorable moments don’t have to be expensive if you don’t have a lot of money. If you do, you’ll have to decide just how much you want to spend. Look for activities that you think you’ll both be comfortable with based on what you know about the other person’s character, personality and interests.
If you’re thinking about a simple initial outing, here are some tried and true ideas that offer lots of opportunity to connect:
• Go for a walk or run at a park or beach. If you live in a colder climate, head to the ice rink and lace up.
• Visit a local tourist attraction like a museum, fair or amusement park.
• Go to a pottery shop to create your own pieces.
• Take a trip to the driving range or batting cage if you share an interest in sports.
• Just do lunch or coffee. Shorter dates mean you probably won’t run out of things to say to each other. If you’re connecting, you’ll be building anticipation about seeing each other again soon.
• Spend a day at the zoo.
• Pack up a picnic lunch. (But head for a spot where there are bathrooms . . . no date wants to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with nowhere to go!)
If you’re looking for more detailed first date ideas, consider some of these options:
• Rent a limo to ride around town.
• Go to a unique location like a revolving or rooftop restaurant.
• Rent a convertible and go for a scenic drive.
• Take a cheese, wine or chocolate tasting tour.
• Experience a lesson together, like yoga, cooking, art or dancing.
• Go for a horse-drawn carriage ride.
• Enjoy a spa day.
Whether you’re planning a simple or more detailed date, experts say the following scenarios don’t work so well:
- Group dates – There will be lots of time in the future to hang out with friends if you connect. Save the first date for just the two of you.
- Meeting your family – This can be a direct path to discomfort for your date. Your family knows you way better than your date and they probably have firm notions about who’s a good match for you and who isn’t. Don’t subject someone you think you like to your family’s opinion at this early stage.
- Super private locations – For safety and comfort’s sake, first dates should happen in reasonably public locations unless you already know each other.
- Uncomfortable activities - Unless you’re both really into bungee jumping, skydiving or extreme sports, things like this aren’t the best first date ideas. Any activity that breeds discomfort can destroy the opportunity for romance to blossom.
Embrace first date ideas that create a scenario where you can talk freely and get to know each other with as little stress as possible.
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