A first date sets the mood for the rest of the relationship. If the date goes well, then you’ll probably go on a second, third, maybe even fourth – who knows! But if it bombs… yeah, you can probably guess what happens after that: nothing. There are a slew of things that determine whether or not the date went well, but it all starts with one thing: the location.
Okay, that’s a lie – it’s really about whether or not the two of you are compatible. But if your guy picks Burger King for your first dinner date or chooses someplace that is blatantly awful, you can tell right away that he’s not the one for you. Sometimes it’s actually beneficial to have him ask you where you want to go, even if you don’t want the pressure of picking something you’ll both enjoy. In that moment, you might opt for a popular first date idea that you’ve seen in all sorts of movies, television shows, and books. You’ll assume it’s a safe option because it’s a common one, and you’d rather be safe than sorry.
You may want to avoid some, if not all, of the following date locations. Would these spots be good for later on in the relationship? Sure! But not on the first date, and there are several reasons they actually suck. Let’s go over them together!
Hanging At Someone's HouseNever have a first date at each other's place; it's an unspoken implication that the two of you are going to hook up. If you want to hook up with him, that’s fine – hell, I can’t think of a first date where I didn’t hook up with the guy. It's just that there’s always the risk that he’s actually a serial killer and plans on luring you down to his basement so he can lock you in a closet and feed you cigarette butts until you starve (safety > fun is always the motto to have on first dates.) But if you don’t have any interest in seeing him naked anytime soon and would rather play it safe than become the top story in tomorrow’s news, it’s best to pick a public place for your first outing. Source: iStock
Going To The MoviesFirst dates are about getting to know each other, and the best way to do that is by talking. Do you talk during the movies? No, so how much are you really getting to know him? There’s also the pressure of picking a movie that you both want to see, and if the movie ends up blowing fat chunks then you’re going to remember your date as “The time I paid $13.50 to see The Emoji Movie in theaters.” A good rule of thumb is to aim for activities where the two of you will be able to talk freely the entire time rather than sit in the dark in silence. Source: iStock
Restaurant DatesOk so this isn’t the WORST place to have a first date, but personally if I don’t know the guy I’m meeting very well then I don’t like eating in front of him. Full disclosure: I eat a LOT when I go out to eat; like I’ll clean my plate, his plate, and the three doggie bags that the people in the booth next to us grabbed to take home. You should be comfortable on your date, which means that if you get weird about eating in front of other people then maybe a dinner date isn’t the best choice. The other negative thing about going out to dinner is that it can feel too formal and can end up making you feel really nervous instead of comfortable. But to each their own I suppose – if you don’t care about pigging out in front of the guy, then by all means go ahead and book a rezzie at the hottest spot in town. Source: iStock
A PartyYour date texts you “Hey, my friend is having a party at his house on Saturday. You wanna come with me after our date?” Sounds fun, right? If your dude is a total gentleman then it probably will be – and by “total gentleman” I’m talking about the kind of guy who doesn’t abandon you once his friends are around; the kind of guy who introduces you to people you haven’t met yet instead of letting you stand there like a doofus while he talks and talks and talks and you don’t know a single person’s name. Unfortunately not all guys are this mindful, and chances are 50/50 that you’ll wind up feeling awkward and out of place if you don’t know anyone and aren’t a “Life of the Party” Sim. Source: iStock
A Group DateYour first date is about getting to know each other, so why would you invite other people along too? If you’re shy and looking to bring friends along so you feel more comfortable, fine – but try to force yourself out of your comfort zone. I’ve been on group dates where my friend was in that exact same scenario (too shy, wanted friends around during the date, etc.) and she didn’t get a second date. Why? Because the two of them barely talked; it was less of a “date” and more of a “group outing.” If you HAVE to do a group date for your first date, fine – but it’s healthy for people to push themselves out of their comfort zones every now and then. Source: iStock
HikingIt may be a new trend, but I’ve had a bunch of friends end up on hikes for their first dates in the past few months, and none of them went well. Maybe it’s because they’re stuck out in nature with these dudes for hours at a time, or maybe it’s because if the date starts to nosedive you don’t have an easy escape, but for whatever reason they never worked out. The only exception I’d give to this is if you’re both adventurous and outdoorsy people (none of my friends fall into this category, predictably) – but if you hate mud and the smell of fresh air gives you indigestion, don’t try and fake like you are. Avoid the mountains and keep to the concrete jungle, you city slicker you! Source: iStock
A Weekend GetawayWe all thought it was cool when Aziz Ansari took Rachel on a weekend getaway to Nashville for the first date on Master of None – but that was a scripted television show, not real life. In real life you might not get along with the guy once you’ve spent some time with him, which means if you’re hours away from home you don’t have an easy escape. What, you're gonna drive back by yourself without him or buy a plane ticket for one day earlier? I don’t think so. It may have been romantic on television, but in the real world it’s a recipe for disaster. Source: iStock