Dating can be scary, nerve wracking and one bad experience can be enough to put you off for life. However, going on a first date with somebody should be fun and exciting.
The classic mistake that a lot of people make when organising a first date is choosing an activity which doesn’t allow much scope for conversation; the cinema for example.
Previously when I have spoken to friends about going to the cinema on a first date, the one thing that they all have in common is that they think watching a movie is a great buffer against awkwardness.
Most real-life first dates aren’t like what we see in films, love at first sight doesn’t happen for most of us, and so communication is the key to getting to know each other which in turn dissolves any uncomfortable silences.
So here are my ideas for places you can go on a first date where you can get to know each other and have fun!
1. A Picnic
Planning a picnic is incredibly romantic! Sitting side by side on a blanket underneath the warm sun, enjoying lovely food and conversation, a picnic is a great first date activity.
As you can plan the entire thing in advance and prepare all the food yourself, a picnic also allows you to set the budget meaning that you’re not spending your entire months’ salary on one date.
Alternatively, you can start the date by going food shopping together. This way, you can make sure you have food that both of you enjoy. It also gives you a focus in case conversation is lacking, and if you’re feeling really nervous you can nip off to the bread isle to calm yourself!
A picnic is the ultimate romantic gesture and you’ll be sure to impress your date. And don’t worry if the weather isn’t on your side – clear a space on your floor and have an indoor picnic!
2. Theme Park
If you don’t mind spending a bit more money on your first date, visiting a theme park for the day can be a really exciting activity – just make sure that your date isn’t afraid of rides or suffer with motion sickness first!
As the majority of rides have two person carriages the close physical contact is a fantastic way to connect, plus the thrill of the rides will be sure to get your adrenaline pumping. Plus holding hands as the roller-coaster tips forwards just before the descent is a great excuse to get close to one another!
Furthermore, visiting a theme park often tends to be an all-day activity, and with the time you’ll spend queuing, you will have plenty of time to learn a lot about your date and vice versa.
3. Cook Together
Cooking together is a brilliant bonding activity because you’re forced to work as a team.
You could organise it so that one person does the chopping whilst another takes care of the pans, for example. Eating something that you have created together brings about a real sense of accomplishment and joy, plus cooking can be a therapeutic, so you should be relaxed and comfortable.
Besides, if it all goes horribly wrong and tastes awful it will give you both something to laugh about whilst you phone the local takeaway!
4. Go for a walk or drive together
Simple yet brilliant, a walk allows for ultimate communication time because you can fully focus on one other with minimal distractions.
The same goes for a drive together, being in a confined space for a long period of time doesn’t have to be daunting, just relax and enjoy the time you’re spending with this fun, new person in your life.
5. Go to a bar
Going to a bar may seem like a typical first date, but the reason that so many people do it is because it just works.
Meeting at a mutual place can be a good idea if you’re nervous, as you can choose how long you want to stay. Also, a bar (not a club!) is often a relaxed environment with soft mood lighting and music – factors which make it easier to unwind and have fun with your date.
Plus going to a bar doesn’t mean you have to drink – but if you do, make sure that you don’t overdo it and make a poor impression!
Caipirinhas – Brazils national treasure are our cocktail of choice – £4.50 all day – open from 12pm pic.twitter.com/cXtpUXWoxP
— Hold Fast NQ (@holdfastbar) January 10, 2015
6. Watch a movie at home
Unlike going to the cinema where social etiquette maintains that you must sit in silence, watching a movie at home means you can sit on a comfy sofa and talk about the film as you watch.
I recommend choosing a really terrible film as that way, you can laugh with each other and make fun of how terrible it is all the way through. Plus who wants to sit through something depressing on a first date? Keep it light!
7. Visit the zoo
If you don’t live too far from a zoo or aquarium, visiting this type of attraction can be really fun.
Choose a weekday if at all possible as you’ll be less likely to encounter large crowds and some zoos/wildlife parks will even let you feed certain animals. Hardly anybody can resist smiling at the adorable penguins or the mischievous monkeys so you’re sure to be onto a winner here.
Plus laughing and chatting about the animals together is a terrific way to hit it off – just remember to watch where you tread if there are free roaming animals!
8. Go to Dinner
If the thought of cooking for your date leaves you in a cold sweat, going out to eat is a great alternative.
The only planning you’ll really need to do is book a reservation and decide on what you’re going to wear.
There aren’t any rules that say you have to book a fancy restaurant either, set yourself a rough budget and choose a place which caters to that – the person you’ll be with will be more focused on you than the food anyway!
Header image courtesy of aprilbeyer.com