First Date Tips and Ideas
The anticipation of that first date is usually a combination of excitement and anxiety, all rolled into one internal package. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. There are a few steps you can take to make sure your first meeting is as stress free as possible.
The location of your first date can play a huge role in helping that all-important first meeting to go smoothly. Dinner and a movie seem to be the staple, no-brainer idea when planning a date, but is this really the best possible scenario? First of all, during a movie, you aren’t getting to know the other person. Two people staring at a screen without speaking to each other for 90 minutes doesn’t sound like the ideal situation.
Instead, think fun. Your first date should be quiet enough to be able to talk, but fun and busy enough so that you two will have other things to focus on when those moments of awkward silence crop up.
Weather permitting; the local zoo is an excellent meeting place. It’s not usually overly crowded, there are benches on which to relax and talk, walking paths, plenty of animals to enjoy, and it’s not expensive.
How about the local arcade or putt-putt golf course? Many arcades have all of our old favorite video games inside the building, and go carts, batting cages, and even putt-putt golf outside. This can be the perfect, playful atmosphere for getting to know each other.
Do you both enjoy the same sporting events? Attending a hockey or baseball game will allow you to root for your favorite team together while having a bit of “getting to know each other” conversation time as well. You could even attend a little league sports complex, pack a cooler, and watch the little guys play. Enjoying silly, spontaneous things like these, in a relaxed atmosphere can really put some stress free fun into your date, while allowing both of you to be yourselves.
Sometimes two people get to know each other online, and over the phone, but don’t exchange photos, for whatever reason. You may have hit it off so well during your emails and other conversations that you are willing to move on to that first date, sight unseen. Basically, this is considered to be a blind date.
Blind dates are always exciting. You’ve envisioned this person and what they may look like, and now the moment of truth is just around the corner. Of course, with a blind date you two will need a plan so you can easily recognize each other. Make things lighthearted and fun--after all, you’re going to be somewhat nervous anyway, and laughter really is a highly attractive quality. Wear something easy to recognize, like your bright yellow shirt. You don’t want your date walking up to several complete strangers asking them if their name is “Holly” before you are finally found.
It’s best to meet in a public place, perhaps a park where you two could feed the ducks, sit on the swings, or grab a cappuccino. Many towns also have unique outdoor promenades, boardwalks, and art museums. All are ideal choices. If chilly weather forces the date indoors, an afternoon of bowling, a pottery or cooking class, or a few hours of ice skating can be a memorable experience.
Safety should be a serious consideration as well. Even though the voice on the other end of the phone sounds like citizen of the year, it’s always best to use safe practices. A weekend date during daylight hours is perfect. Arrange to arrive in separate vehicles until you feel more comfortable with this person.
Once the date has come to an end, keep this in mind: as long as the date went fairly well and there weren’t any obvious red flags, go ahead and plan for date number two. There aren’t always fireworks during that first meeting. Some people quickly end what could have been a wonderful and fulfilling relationship just because they were looking for that instant “click” or “inner knowing.” More often than not, true and lasting relationships develop over time. The first date has a certain level of anxiety involved, and it may take until the third or fourth meeting for each of you to feel relaxed enough to really let your guard down.
Whatever you decide, dating should be an enjoyable adventure. Good luck in your search for Mr. or Ms. Right, and have fun along the way.