Let’s talk about where to go on a first date. You want to leave a good first impression, and the venue you choose sets the stage for the rest of the evening. I’m going to share a few guidelines I always used whenever I was trying to decide where to take her on a first date, then I’m going to give you my personal favorite places to go on a date.
First, how well you know her influences what locations make for good first dates. That is…
…if you’re meeting her from online
Say, for example, you’re meeting her from an online dating website such as OKCupid or Plenty of Fish. In this case, it’s customary for the first meeting to be over coffee. While coffee is typically not the best place to go on a first date in any other case (I’ll explain why later), if you’re meeting her from an online dating website then you can’t go wrong with a coffee date.
Why’s that? If you’re meeting someone from online, chances are you’ve never seen her in person before. Does she actually look like her profile photo? Is her real-life personality the same as her online one? Is she really a woman, or just a man pretending to be female??
Thus, if you meet her in person and you’re immediately put off by who she is in real life, then you can easily cut a coffee date short after 10-15 minutes. Just chug your drink down and then bid her adieu! On the other hand, if the two of you are really hitting it off then you can easily just stay at the coffee house for as long as you like. You can even transition the date into other activities, if you so desire.
Now, even though coffee dates are what I’d generally recommend for a first online date, there have been a few times where I was really clicking with a woman through our online messages and we went on a first date that wasn’t at a coffee house. If you’re really getting along with her even before you meet her for the first time, then it might be okay to try some of the other options from below. Otherwise, coffee dates are your safest bet when meeting someone for the first time from an online dating website.
…if you’re asking out a friend or acquaintance
In this case, don’t do coffee! Friends, acquaintances, and even co-workers can get coffee platonically. Since you already know her to some degree, it’s important to go somewhere that unambiguously says “this is a date”.
That means doing something on a one-on-one basis that you haven’t already been doing with her platonically. For example, you can totally ask her out to dinner…as long as you haven’t already been doing that as friends. You can ask her out to the movies…if you don’t typically see movies with her. Or, you can ask her out to do some fun activity together…that you wouldn’t usually do together as friends.
Get the picture?
…if you’re asking out someone you’ve met in person but don’t know too well yet
This might happen if you successfully pulled off a cold approach with someone you’ve never met before. In this case, there’s a bit more freedom on where to go on the first date. You could ask her to get dinner with you, which is a standard first date. Just make sure to research the restaurant beforehand and check that it’s a good place to eat first! Similarly, you could ask her out to a movie, which is also a standard date idea. Again, make sure it’s a good movie before taking her there.
There’s nothing wrong with the standard date venues, but you can also try getting creative. Based on her personality and what you’ve been talking to her about, try doing something unconventional or coming up with a fun activity that the two of you can do together.
My personal recommendations
When it comes to dating, I always liked to try and pick a fun activity for us to do together. This leads to more interactivity than a movie date, and I often found it more interesting than going on a dinner date.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of mini-golf. I’m not good at it. But neither is anyone else, which makes it fun. Mini-golf is a really casual activity that’s not meant to be taken seriously or competitively, and it helps break the ice watching each other screw up. Similarly, bowling is also a great casual sport to play if you don’t feel like going outside.
If it’s too cold to play mini-golf, then going ice-skating together gives you a great excuse to hold hands. Just saying. *wink wink nudge nudge*
Even if it’s just a coffee date, I always liked to make it more interactive by loading a few simple games on my smartphone or tablet and then challenging her to a few rounds. Think along the lines of Fruit Ninja. If you check the App Store, you should be able to find a couple of free app games pretty quickly.
Show her a great first date and she just might agree to go on a second one!