A dinner and a movie is no longer the default date scenario it once was. Frankly, when it comes to having first dates with people you meet online, there are a few more factors you need to consider.
You want your date to be somewhere public and safe (and is a dark cinema the best place for it?), you want to be able to speak to each other comfortably so you can get to know each other and, let’s not forget this, you want to be able to bail if the going gets dull. The net is full of overly creative ideas for first dates to amaze and wow you, but what’s good for a romantic second date with someone you’ve already established you fancy may be well over the top for a casual meeting with someone you may find incredibly not for you. In my opinion, you want the setting to be pleasant, but not to take centre stage. What you really want is something that will serve as a comfortable background, allowing you to interact effectively.
So here are some realistic suggestions for first dates with people you’ve met online.
- A bar or a pub after work
- A coffee in the afternoon
- A quick lunch
- A gallery or a museum
- A market
In the UK, this is probably the most common first date. I realise that in the USA, inviting someone out drinking may make you look like an alcoholic to the vast majority of people, but in the UK and Europe bars and pubs are like cafes and restaurants – no big deal. The “after work” part is handy if you’re in the same town, not so handy if you live hundreds of miles apart and need to drive out to see each other. It does make it more casual and means you can excuse yourself should things get boring. Just replace “pub” with “cafe” or “diner” as appropriate. Choose somewhere comfortable where drinks are within your price range and there are enough corners where you could sit and have a quiet conversation. If you want a place with music, make sure it’s played at a conversational volume so you don’t have to scream to be heard.
Nothing says “casual” like the afternoon. This is a good option even if you live far away from each other. You just head out, meet in the day time and then head back. If you really want to, you have the freedom to continue the date into the evening and night as well, but if you don’t you can leave and you’ll still have your night free to go out with less boring people.
If you live in the same city or work in the same area this is a great option. It’s casual and it already has set times that are not even defined by you. If your date is dull you have the perfect
excuse to leave and if it’s great then you can arrange to meet in more romantic circumstances later. If you leave further away from each other, you can move the lunch to the weekend in much the same way as the afternoon coffee option.
If you’re into this sort of thing, then this is a great option for a date. You’ll get plenty of time to talk and learn about each other’s character. Unlike films, lectures, concerts and other loud, passive date locations, a gallery is quiet and invites instant debate. Don’t go if the concept bores you to death, though.
Be it a food market, an antique market or just a general market, taking a stroll through one with your date can be a fun and varied first date. While here you can stop for some food or a coffee or even a few drinks in a pub if you’re in the UK. There are plenty of opportunities to talk and get to know each other when you’re checking out some stalls.