You’ve met someone new and your first date is quickly approaching. You want to impress her with a fun experience, but your nerves are getting the best of you.
Where should you take her? What if she hates the venue and wants to bail? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Check out this list to find out what NOT to do on your first date.
1. The Movies
The key to a great relationship is communication. Movies are great for long-term couples, who are content to sit in silence with each other. When you’re still getting to know each other, movies are the worst! They stifle communication by forcing you to sit side by side in silence for hours. What a bore.
2. A Concert
Talk about sitting in silence. Your date will likely feel frustrated after attempting to make conversation over the noise…and a sweaty mosh pit most likely won’t inspire romance. Unless your date is a die-hard fan, avoid concerts for now. This applies for clubs as well.
3. A Protest
Maybe you and your date feel passionately about a particular cause. If that’s the case, by all means shout it out! If you’re not sure about your date’s political leanings, it’s best to meet on neutral ground. In fact, when it comes to the first date, it’s best to avoid controversial topics all together.
4. The Gym
Do you even lift, bro? Regardless, a date at the gym is a terrible way to start a relationship. Your date is bound to feel self conscience and there’s too much temptation for the date to turn into a competition. Until you get to know your date a little better, leave your workouts for your free time.
5. Manual Labor
Hey, your date likes the outdoors and you’ve been meaning to move that wood pile at the family cabin. Why not work together? Again, sweaty, self-conscience conversation is not ideal for a first date. Not to mention, it’s never a good idea to try risky activities on a first date…which brings us to our next point.
6. The ER
Nothing extinguishes the fireworks you might be feeling like a life threatening injury. You can bet that a first date that ends at the ER will not lead to lifelong romance. For this reason, you should plan to leave all of the extreme sports–skydiving, bungee jumping, etc.–for future dates.
7. A Family Reunion
A family reunion is a great way to kill your chances at a second date. Introducing your date to your family implies a level of commitment. Talk about pressure! Besides, your family knows you well enough to share your deepest secrets and embarrass you in front of your date. It’s best to leave the secrets and embarrassing moments for future dates.
8. A Class Reunion
Let’s just mark all reunions off the list. Reminiscing with friends and rehashing old memories might be fun for you, but it will cause your date to feel awkward and isolated. And she certainly won’t enjoy sitting by and watching you reminisce with your old flame.
9. Your Birthday Party
Nothing says, “I’m totally into me,” more than an inviting your new date to your birthday party. The whole night will be devoted to you. You will have to divide your time between family and friends and your date will likely feel ignored…and annoyed.
10. The Humane Society
As adorable as it may sound, adopting a pet is a huge commitment. It goes without saying that you should avoid long term commitments on your first date. If you’re both animal lovers, try volunteering together. It’s a great way to get to know your date and serve your community.
11. A Road Trip
A first date is a chance to test the waters with a new person. It should be short and sweet, just in case one or both of you needs to bail. Being confined for days inside a small space with a bad date just sounds like a nightmare. For your own sake, make sure you know your date well before you plan a long trip together.
You want to spend time with a new interest, but you have this project you have to finish at work. You’ll just invite her to hang out at the office. Why not? Besides being incredibly unprofessional, it will likely end with a frustrated date arranging a rescue via text while you type away at your computer. Not a great start.
13. A Conference
This idea could work in theory if you and your date have similar interests, but you likely won’t have much time to focus on each other amidst the packed conference schedule. Plus, it can leave you in an awkward position if you’re just not clicking with one another. Imagine having a failed first date and being forced to spend the rest of the weekend in close proximity. No thanks!
14. Boy’s Night
Please, please don’t invite a girl to hang out with your guy friends on the first date. Besides being the butt of lots of jokes, she will feel pressured to be “one of the guys.” If she’s not into sports, or gaming, or shooting she will likely feel very uncomfortable all night.
15. Your Amateur Concert/Stand Up Show/Poetry Reading
First of all, you should be available during your first date. Secondly, your tastes in poetry, comedy or music may not match those of your date. Last, and most importantly, inviting a new date to your show smacks of self importance. Try mentioning your performance on the first date instead, and see if she’s interested in attending a show.
16. A Fancy Dinner
Fancy dinners are for special celebrations, not for first dates. Your date will feel an expectation to look and act her best. She may not feel comfortable acting like herself while she is sipping expensive chardonnay. Besides, you don’t want to give the impression that you’re a big spender. This will create expectations for the next date…and likely leave you feeling bankrupt.
17. A Wedding
Talk about rushing the timeline! Not only does a wedding put enormous pressure on your date, it also forces her to make appearances to room full of strangers. Not to mention, it makes you look cheap. Fancy dinner for free? Great! …Except on a first date.
Many people assume the man is directing the first date, but that’s not always the case. Ladies, these next ones are for you…
18. Girl’s Night
Whether it’s a book club, cookie swap, or meal swap (or ANY kind of swap), your date is likely to feel overwhelmed by a room full of girls. Emotions run high, inside jokes and gossip dominate…It’s just not a comfortable environment for your date. Spare him and schedule your date for another day.
19. Ballroom Dancing
If your date is into it, great! If not, don’t force him to perform in front of a class full of other couples. No one wants to be in the spotlight when their nerves are already frayed.
Bonus Bad Date Idea: Shopping
Window shopping at the mall can be a fun date, especially on a rainy day, but whatever you do, don’t schedule your first date at the mall. Your date will feel pressured to spend big money, and you might come off as insecure. No one likes when a date fishes for compliments!
Chances are, even if your date venue is a dud, you will be able to laugh it off and chalk up the experience to memories made. After all, there’s no better start to a relationship than making memories together. So relax, avoid these terrible date ideas, and enjoy your time together. If you do these things, your date is sure to be a success!
How about you? What’s the worst first date you’ve experienced?