Online dating is becoming an increasingly popular with over 280,000 couples finding their match online (Online Dating Magazine, 2011). Online dating also has its own set of challenges, such as the awkward first date with someone you have never met and trying to keep up with everything you said about yourself online. Picking the perfect first date idea is critical in order to get to know the person you are dating without blowing your chances at a serious relationship.
Dinner and not a movie
Dinner may seem like a cliché date idea, but it is popular for a reason. Dinner dates are the perfect opportunity to explore a new menu item that you and your date have never tried and share conversation over a casual environment. I have recently went on a successful first dinner date with someone I met online and we ended up talking for four hours at a local craft brewery and restaurant. The date ended up with both of us being inseparable, which lead to a relationship. The dinner date is perfect because you can talk for hours and make a connection, which is the most important part of the first date. Think of the first date like an interview, where your date will be judging everything from how you interact with the wait staff, to your manners and conversation ideas. If you are someone that is good at conversation, the dinner date is perfect. The reason I mention a movie date as being a bad idea, is that, unlike the dinner date, the movie date does not promote conversation and can ruin your chances of a second date.
Go to a sporting event
Sporting events are a great idea for a first date for several reasons. The sports date promotes conversation, excitement and the ability to show your date you can get into something he may enjoy. Most guys love watching sports on TV and enjoy going to a live game even more. Surprise your date with tickets to the team he loves after getting this information by chatting online or on the phone. This showed him that you were paying attention. Even if you are not a sports fanatic, games are a lot of fun to go with your date since you can enjoy a common theme with food and beer. You will gain bonus points if you read up on some stats about his favorite team before going and knowing the players.
Explore your local beaches
I grew up on the beaches that boarder New Hampshire and Maine and they have always been one of my favorite date spots. The beach provides several great first date ideas ranging from the beach picnic at sunset to the stereotypical long walk across the shore. For a more adventurous date, check for local landmarks that may not be tourist destinations at the beach of your choice. One beach near where I live has several World War II bunkers that you can explore, which is fun an exciting with a picturesque backdrop. If you don’t live near the ocean, try to plan a date near your local lake or swimming hole. Keep in mind that stripping down to your bathing suit may not be appropriate for everyone, so try to plan based on your interaction with your date.
Wine tasting or brewery tour
Most guys enjoy a good drink, whether their poison is wine or beer, touring a winery or brewery is the perfect first date idea. In fact, if I was surprised with either I would be very impressed with the choice of venue. Wine tasting provides a casual atmosphere where you can dress in upscale casual and taste a variety of wines while being able to engage in conversation. Wine tasting is a group activity that promotes conversation and the possibility to pick up a bottle and finish off the night getting to know each other. Brewery dates are also a lot of fun from a guys perspective because not only do we enjoy beer, but we enjoy the science and art that goes into making a craft brew. Try a local craft brewery for a flavorful and exciting experience that promotes conversation. We like the wine tasting and brewery dates because we can get a big looser around alcohol, but remember not to get drunk, as that would be a turnoff on a first date.