Every relationship starts with a first date.
Those fortunate enough to develop into long-term relationships attest to how important it is to make the right first impression.
You don’t want to look too boring or too needy; you don’t want to look sloppy or too fancy; you don’t want to cross the line between interested and overly creepy.
While it’s not the end all and be all of all relationships, it does help you and the other person decide whether or not you are a good match for each other.
First dates signal a lot about you as a person and is enough to determine whether you should continue to hanging out together or not.
Arranging a first date is a lot like baking. You need the right amount of ingredients to get a cake that is just right.
We have come up with what we think to be the 8 best first date ideas of all time.
What’s more, they are affordable, accessible, and universally enjoyable for most personality types.
But First: What Makes A Great First Date?
Novelty: Chances are you have been to hundreds of coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and movie houses with so many people in your life. That means your date has been, too.
If you want to stand out, plan activities that you normally wouldn’t be doing with your friends and family. Choosing an interesting location such as a butterfly garden or a planetarium forces you to leave your comfort zone and channel your more adventurous spirit.
Lively Conversation: First dates are pretty much a compatibility test. If you thought finding attractive faces to swipe on was the hard part, wait until you actually have to talk to each other.
A great face and body are not the only things that make a person. Having the opportunity to get to know each other and converse helps the both of you gauge compatibility and attraction.
For your first date remember that lively conversation is key. Select a place that will allow the two of you to talk uninterrupted. This means no noisy stadiums, bars, and other public spaces.
It’s better to pick activities that encourage you to interact face-to-face, which promotes attraction and intimacy, as opposed to sitting beside each other the entire time.
Appropriateness: First dates don’t have to involve a different continent to be considered novel. They don’t have to involve a billion dollars or a glamorous yacht trip.
The key to a successful first date is value. You want a mix between casual and intimate, planned and spontaneous.
Find the balance between what you’re willing to spend and the experience you want to create.
What you plan on your first meeting will set the tone for your future dates, and pretty much says a lot about you as a person. Be warned: you will be evaluated based on one date alone.
A Dynamic Setting: No matter how interesting you are or how engaging your date is, awkward lulls in the conversation will become inevitable.
There’s only so much you can talk about and the reality of first dates is that no one wants to extend conversations beyond what is necessary.
You will run out of things to talk about but that doesn’t mean things have to end there.
To keep the conversation going, choose a setting you can interact with. A zoo, for example, offers a lot of opportunity to talk. Ideally you’ll have a background that presents unlimited opportunities for conversation, which will make your first date all the more enjoyable.
Here’s how you can take these elements to create the perfect first date:
1) Go To An Amusement Park
Amusement parks are always a great first date option. It’s inexpensive and provides plenty of opportunities to get up and close with your date.
From riding roller coasters to winning arcade prizes, amusement parks give you plenty of opportunity to impress your date. All the laughing and screaming you’ll be doing should make for a memorable experience.
2) Spend Time Drinking Coffee Or Tea
Skip the bar and head straight to a coffee shop.
What better way to get to know someone better than by actually listening to their stories?
Having a nice ambiance in the backdrop is sure to make the day more romantic without crossing over to cheesy.
It’s a step down from a fancy restaurant but still cozy enough to encourage a more intimate conversation between you and your date.
3) Arrange A Picnic
When we think of dates, we usually think of hitting cool restaurants downtown or going to a cool speakeasy bar, while picnics are typically left for family and platonic affairs.
In reality, picnics have their own charm to them that make them a great first-date candidate: they’re inexpensive, incredibly thoughtful, and very comfortable.
The laid-back quality of picnics should certainly appeal to some people, plus being around nature is always a nice option.
5) Attend A Minor League Sports Game
Some would think that doing anything sports-related on the first date is a complete bust, unless of course your date is an athlete.
This is mostly true for big league games where there are hundreds and thousands of fans screaming at the top of their lungs, which is exactly the last thing you want when you’re in the getting-to-know-you phase.
But in minor league games, the environment is relatively more relaxed, giving you enough space to talk. It’s a great way to bond and connect, especially if you’re betting on the same team.
5) Take A Museum Tour
Forget what you know about lousy and boring museum tours. Novelty places like art galleries, museums, and even zoos provide lots of things to talk about.
You are guaranteed to never run out of conversation fodder.
Being in a place like this allows you to talk about your interests in culture, film, the arts, and nature, all of which are great conversation points for any first date.
6) Mini Golf
Mini golf is the go-to first date setting of Hollywood romcoms, and for good reason. There is something about mini golf that is romantic and casual and amusing at the same time.
It showcases your fun personality and gives you a chance to show off your ‘athletic skills’. It is laid-back, casual, and entertaining, which is exactly what a first-date should be.
If you’re not the type who is keen on keeping conversations flowing, the prospect of shooting holes all night should be a welcome change.
7) Trivia Night
Drinks and nerding around the same stuff might just be the perfect combination for a happily ever after.
Awkwardness is easier to navigate around with and the spirit of competition creates a certain bond between the two of you.
Just make sure you know your stuff and the evening should go smoothly.
8) DIY Bars
There are many ways to commemorate your first time together, and creating something with your own hands is definitely one of them. With all the workshop-bar hybrids popping up everywhere, there are plenty of options to choose from if you want to get crafty and chatty.
Whether you’re making pottery or sipping wine and painting, DIY bars helps you bring out your playful and creative side, which should make you more attractive in your date’s eyes.
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