When planning a first date, keep one thing as your main focus: getting to know your date.
The following ideas often miss the mark — and can get in the way of your date saying yes to Date #2.
Here are 7 bad first-date ideas.
1. Going to the movies.
There’s nothing wrong with going to the movies on a date. There is something wrong with staring at a screen in a dark theatre for two hours on a first date. Save the blockbusters for later dates and choose, instead, a meal or activity that lets you talk and better get to know one another.
2. Rocking out.
For the same reason as #1, rock concerts (and other “loud” events) aren’t first-date material. In the rare occasion when you and your crush share the same favourite band (that happens to be in town this week only), make sure you tack on dinner or drinks before or after the show to ensure you still get some quality one-on-one time.
3. Staying in.
Choose a neutral space for a first date. Cooking dinner at your place might seem like a romantic idea — and it is, a few dates from now — but it can also be awkward when you and your date don’t yet have a comfort and trust level with each other. A dinner at a restaurant has a defined ending, a dinner at your house doesn’t. Make it easy on your date and keep things public for now.
4. The overnight getaway.
Maybe you’re long-distance and it seems easiest to meet in a central location that would require you both staying in a hotel. Maybe you both have serious cases of wanderlust and like the romantic notion of having a first date at an exotic locale. Overnight dates too early in a relationship pose two risks: one or both of you might feel trapped if the getaway doesn’t turn out well, or one or both of you might fall victim to “vacation goggles” and get too emotionally caught up in the relationship too soon — until you get home and reality crashes down.
If you must both travel to meet each other, stay at separate hotels, let friends back home know your itinerary, and establish careful boundaries to ensure your relationship has the best start possible.
5. The more the merrier.
Make your first date feel like a date: don’t invite other people. Whether the two of you already have plenty of mutual friends, or you just want to introduce your date to your closest friends, keep group dates for a later occasion. Group dates can be overwhelming and confusing: “Why doesn’t he want to spend time with me? Doesn’t he like me? Is this a test?” You’ll have plenty of time to merge social circles. For now, focus on getting to know one another.
6. Meeting mom.
It doesn’t matter that your mom owns the best restaurant in town, keep your date away from her— for now. There’s a lot of pressure and stress associated with “meeting the parents.” Doing so before you’re even established as a couple will only overwhelm your date. Wait until you’re dating exclusively before you consider stopping by dad’s store or dropping off your grandfather’s dry-cleaning together.
7. Work parties.
Sure, it’s great having a date for the holiday office party, but it’s no place for Date #1. All eyes will be on you and your mystery date, and you’ll be stuck doing introduction after introduction all night. Go to the work party solo and plan a quiet, romantic date for the object of your affection.