4 Bad Ideas for Your First Date After Coronavirus (And One Great One!)

worst date

While we’re all trapped at home amid the Coronavirus panic, now is a good time to think up great ideas for first dates with Mr. or Miss Right. Then, when the government allows us to actually meet people in person again, rather than in virtual situations like FaceTime or Zoom, we’ll be ready.

It’s also a great time to sharpen your dating skills by learning some of the things you should NOT try doing on a first date.

Since I’m an expert on dating disasters, I’ve got a few warnings to offer.

Hit a buffet


Going to dinner on a first date is perhaps the most clichéd idea one can think of, but you always run the risk of it turning into an interview for the job of boyfriend or girlfriend. Relating the same five of your favorite stories to an endless array of prospective suitors is a recipe for either boredom or madness.

But things can definitely get worse if you opt to go to the equivalent of a human trough and succumb to the temptation of trying half the delicacies on offer at your dinner date location of choice.

Nothing says romance like loading your own plate! Now that we’re living in a world where we’re afraid to get too close to strangers, the appeal of following countless other people as you all use the same serving tongs or risk missing the sneeze-guard makes this an even worse idea.

Go bowling


This pseudo-sport has somehow managed to be a go-to dating activity for decades, but that’s likely to change in a post-pandemic world. With memories of social distancing likely lingering in the minds of everyone for a long time to come, how many people are gonna want to stick their fingers into the same balls as countless other strangers, much less wear the same shoes?

See a movie

watching movie

Want the perfect reason to not talk to that person you met via online dating for at least two hours? A movie is the place to do it. Only go to one if you’ve decided on a spur-of-the-moment, emergency basis that the person you’re with is someone you can’t stand listening to any longer but still need to make the outing have a respectable length.

Just be careful to check the film’s running time, so you’re not stuck sitting through a 3.5 hour flick like “The Irishman.”

See a live band

live acoustic

Sure, this may sound fun, but even if you like the person you’re with, it’s next to impossible to have a conversation over sound waves that throttle the eardrums at 115 decibels. I once took a first date to see a twenty-four piece big band in one of Chicago’s classiest nightclubs.

Sounded like a great idea, but I lost the brownie points I scored for a classy venue when we wound up shouting over our beers just to be heard. She begged to leave after ten minutes rather than risking permanent tinnitus. That made for a ninety minute date that still carried a hefty cover-and-drinks price tag.

Go to a wedding


The chance to dress up fancy and score a tasty free meal at a romantic event might seem perfect, but you’ll both be peppered with questions about how you met and when you two are going to get engaged. Talk about a high-pressure experience! Plus, if your date turns out to have bad manners or a terrible attitude, you wind up having your friends and family question your sanity and make sarcastic digs at you while recounting the story for years to come.

See live comedy

live comedy

Running out of options for that first date after I’ve talked about what not to do? Never fear. I’ll leave you with one great idea for your first date! Who doesn’t enjoy the good feelings that come with laughter? It’s a natural endorphin rush, helps loosen you both up socially, and gives you plenty to talk about as you talk about the comics and their topics after.

For those worried about a comedy show being too risqué, most big cities offer clean comedy alternatives like ComedySportz improv shows. It’s easy to Google your way to the kind of laughter you crave!