Ah, the nerve-wrecking, palm sweat inducing event that gives merit to seven wardrobe changes.
You’ve asked her out, and she said yes. Now comes the first date.
How do you choose where to go?
First, forgo the typical movies and dinner. Pa-leeez.
Well, there are obvious flaws in this traditional first date.
For the first two hours, you can’t talk.
For the next two hours, you have to talk.
The secret to choosing a great activity for a first date is following these guidelines:
1. Don’t choose an activity where you can’t easily talk because it’s taboo (movies) or too loud (hockey game, salsa club). The whole point is to get to know the person. Think more on the terms of an activity that involves you both “doing” instead of “watching and viewing.” (musicals, plays, concerts)
2. But choose an activity that distracts from talking (putt-putt) so that you don’t have the pressure of talking the entire time. Having dinner on a first date gives you the opportunity to talk without noise or being in a taboo environment, but dinner with weird silences makes things uncomfortable. Dinner puts too much pressure on talking, and it’s exacerbated by it’s formality. Compare that to talking, playing pool, and shooting darts at a bar. If nobody is talking, it’s not obvious because you’re both also concentrating on the act of playing a game. This frees you up to ask questions at random without pressure, and you’re able to talk on and off.
3. Don’t choose an activity where your date is forced to have physical contact with you. (Salsa dancing) You have to build up to the physical contact! You don’t want your date to feel like she has to be touching you sooner than when she’s ready. Save those kinds of dates for later.
4. Don’t choose an activity where you’re both going to be sweating profusely. (hiking, salsa dancing) This is up in the air, but I know most women want to look their best on a first date and not have to worry about sweating a lot and having to change later in the date, reapplying makeup, freshening up, etc. Let’s be nice to the ladies. They put in a great deal of effort to look and smell nice for you on a first date.
5. Forgo formal activities. Save the ballet, opera, museum and four star dinner for later on. The more formal the event is, the more uptight you both will feel. You’re already both a bundle of nerves, why make it more difficult by placing yourself in a formal environment? You both want to loosen up, relax and be comfortable. You don’t want to worry about a dress code and proper etiquette on a first date. The key to great first dates is laughter and flirting, and you want to do an activity or be in a place that doesn’t discourage that. I’d rather go to Bingo than an upscale restaurant on a first date! At least with Bingo you have the entertainment of watching old people who are deathly serious about a game. It’s hilarious! If you’re thinking, “But I want to impress her with these classy, expensive outings,” remember, you want someone that’s impressed with you, not what your money can buy.
6. Choose something that involves physical exertion. Again, we’re not talking about anything that involves sweating profusely, but something with some physical activity is good for both of you to exert nervous energy into.
7. Don’t choose an activity where you’re not going to be in the public eye. It’s too soon to be completely alone. For example, hiking in the wilderness would probably freak her out since she’d be out of the public eye. Regardless of how safe she feels around you or how attracted she is to you, she doesn’t know you well enough to be in that kind of position where she doesn’t have an out. Men and women are different and we have different concerns. Think about what would possibly concern her on the date.
Alright guys, with all that in mind, here are ideas of dates that follow most of these guidelines:
1. Putt-putt golf and then browsing through a local chocolatier shop.
2. Going to a carnival or state fair. You can win her a stuffed toy!
3. Playing pool and darts at a bar and eating burgers.
4. Going bowling and getting pizza
5. Playing frisbee at the park and having a bottle of wine on a blanket on the grass
6. Playing a two person board game or cards and eating wings at a public clubhouse
7. Cooking a meal together to give away at a nursing home or shelter. (if this works out, suggest using her place so she feels safer) (a girl loves a humanitarian man who knows how to cook!)
8. Grabbing a coffee and browsing through the humor section of a bookstore. Find a spot on the floor and read jokes together. (Another great date book is Would You Rather.)
9. Picking up some healthful snacks at a specialty health food store and going to a petting zoo and feeding the animals. Bring the snacks for the two of you. Don’t forget hand sanitizer!
10. Rollerblading through a park and getting ice cream.
11. Going to a shooting range and then grabbing some tacos on the way home.
12. Walking through your town’s downtown cobblestone paved mainstreet and checking out local shops.
13. Going on a bike tour of your city and grabbing some sandwiches after.
14. Any local festival that your city sponsors that is outdoors and has music, food and/or games- (Wine festival, Greek festival, Strawberry festival, Art festival, Fall Festival)
15. Go to an arcade, order some burgers, and be a kid again!
Thanks to my friend, Heather Mae, for her input on this topic!