So you managed not to make a fool of yourself on a dating app, and you actually scored yourself a date. Congratulations, good sir!
Now that you’re done patting yourself on the back, you’ve got a first date to plan. You don’t want to mess this up and suggest she watch you play video games or give you accounting advice — unless you’re trying to get ghosted, that is.
Drinks or coffee are a lot of guys’ go-to options, and that’s fine. But if you want to stand out from the 45 other Tinder dates she’s been on, here are some first date ideas that’ll almost certainly help you score a second.
If you’re not Mr. Moneybags:
Despite what you’ve seen on The Bachelor, you actually don’t need to shop for jewelry, rappel out of a helicopter, or attend a private concert in a Medieval castle to woo your partner.
“Whether you are on a budget, or you are just cheap, there are plenty of date ideas that can be both engaging and affordable,” Brittney Smiejek, a matchmaker with the dating website Three Day Rule, previously told MensHealth.com.
The possibilities are endless, honestly: You could go to the beach, visit a local tourist attraction, or hit up a free night at the museum. If dinner is part of your plan, skip the restaurant and do a home-cooked meal instead. You could even head to the park and watch the sunset — just don’t spend the whole time Instagramming instead of getting to know each other.
For even more low-budget date ideas, click here.
If you’re a foodie:
Sure, you could go to a great restaurant. But if you’re looking for alternative food-centric first date ideas, read on.
If your date is during the day, head to your local farmer’s market, pick out your favorite fruit, cheese, and bread, and have a picnic in the park.
If it’s in the evening, try a cooking class or a food seminar, such as this goat cheese seminar at the French Cheese Board in NYC. It’ll be romantic, educational, and also highly delicious.
If you’re an animal lover:
This Redditor swears that a trip to the aquarium was the greatest first date of all time. In this case, the silly username does not discount from the legitimacy of the advice:
From TheyCallMeShitHead: “I took a girl to an aquarium about 2 months back and she fucking loved it. My friends said girls would think it was lame. We had a great time, though. We actually walked through the whole thing twice. I mean we also went to a nice dinner and a few other things, but the aquarium was the highlight of the evening.”
If you want to unleash your inner nerd:
Hit up a pub trivia night on a weekday. You might be delighted to learn you both have an encyclopedic knowledge of South American geography, summer hits of the ‘90s, or legendary sports commentators.
One Redditor says a book fair was one of the best first dates of her life: “He took me to a book fair in Miami that had many speakers and book signings and readings and food booths. We spent hours walking around, picking out books, and talking about shared interests and the big ideas.”
If you’re adventurous:
Head out on a day hike! Check out our list of the best hikes in America — and don’t forget your CamelBak, because dehydration is not sexy, my dudes.
If you’re creative:
Doing an art project is a great way to get to know someone, according to Scott Stanley, Ph.D., co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver and the author of The Power of Commitment.
“Being creative together reveals parts of the self — your values, dreams, fears,” Stanley previously told MensHealth.com. “And no one has to be interrogated or feel threatened or exposed. It comes out very organically in creative expression.”
Why not do a BYOB paint class? There’s no pressure: Even if your finished project isn’t Louvre-worthy, it’ll give the two of you something to laugh at. You could also try your hand at pottery, because take it from Ghost: pottery is hot AF.
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