First dates just like first impressions are very important, when it comes to options for first dates, there are unlimited good and bad ones.

You should pick an activity that you both enjoy for your first date.

Planning activity dates could be great as you are not forced to talk to each other all the time; it will help you avoid awkward silence and creates a shared experience from the word ‘go’.

After all, it is not a job interview where people are starring at you, leaving you feel like a specimen under a microscope.

Instead of just giving you boring first dates, I will also give you what you can do instead. However, my advice would be to save these dates for the fourth, fifth…you get the picture.

Dinner Dates

I know, you probably thinking what? That is the ‘go-to’ idea for a first date, however it should not be. Cue the awkward silence, thinking about what she is thinking, reminding yourself to look at her eyes or anywhere but her rack.

Why it does not work: You are forced to interact is why it does no work, no matter how attracted you are to your date, there will be a moment of awkward silence that creeps in for every first date. Not only could it feel like a job interview but it’s much too soon.

What you should do: Anything, yes you read correctly- if you both love food (who does not) go to a more casual place like the Eastern Food Bazaar with its buzzing canteen-style eatery or the Neighbourgoods Market. The other alternative is to cook food together, which will give you both something to concentrate on and get to know each other.

Movies

Ok, I will admit I am guilty of going on first date and it was to go see a new movie that we were both interested in but honestly; it is the best way to learn nothing about your date…it is the opposite of the ‘dinner date’. If you want to get to know more about your date, stay away from the movies.

Why it does not work: You will be sitting in a dark room for two hours and although you feel the urge to mutter something to her, she might not hear causing other movie -goers to start hushing you up. If you do have something planned afterwards, sitting in the dark could kill the momentum that you worked so hard to get.

What you should do: Similar to dinner, the answer would be just about anything (not dinner though) so what can you do if both your date and you are movie lovers. Well, you could go look at famous shooting locations or you could choose a different activity that you enjoy and talk about the films that you into.

Doubling Your Family Dinner as Your First Date

Woah, slow down there buddy, you might not know it, but your date is probably freaking out about meeting your family on your first date- what to wear so that your Mom finds it beautiful yet appropriate. Inviting her to family dinner or your sister’s wedding as your first date is a no go.

Why it does not work: Ever heard someone crack a joke about somebody’s misfortune and that person uttered ‘too soon, bruh’- it’s exactly that! Way too soon, what if the roles were reversed -she invited you to a family gathering and said that you will be meeting her dad. Not only would it throw you off but put you on defence mode; you would have a valid reason to feel like that.

What you should do: Remember the general rule; just let it be you and her on the first date. You also do not want her thinking that you do not want to spend some one on one time with her but also doing it in a way that is suitable for two people wanting to get to know each other. Instead, wait for a weekend when you are free to go on a date.

Group Activities with Your Friends

Three words: High- Pressure Date…I have done this too as I am all for let’s chill with my friends, however not for a first date. As the guy always ends up feeling like it’s a ‘performance review’. Same goes for woman, so take notes men.

Why it does not work: it’s similar to introducing her to your family for the first date; let’s face it- friends are the family you get to pick. No matter how cool your friends might be, she will end up feeling judged. Most times, they probably are.

What you should do: there is plenty of time for her to meet your friends, a cool alternative for you if you feeling a bit nervous about being one on one; go to an art gallery (First Thursdays) or something that will break the one on one a bit.

House Call

C’mon, we all know that this is something that every guy has done at least once for a first date. The old “come over, to hang out’’, instead of making it a first date, but it is not a very good idea for a first date, especially if you out of high school.

Why it does not work: You might not think so, but it seems lazy like you not as interested in her, to actually think of something fun. Its shows the least amount of interest in a woman, it also shows a certain expectation early on even if you do not see it that way; she will.

What you should: A walk in the park, not only will it benefit your health but it costs nothing. It could be a great experience that gives you the opportunity to get to know each other, as walking side by side will prompt you to start a conversation. There is also something whimsical about a walk in the park at night which will appeal to your date.

Lets Hit the Mall

You might not have done it, but believe it or not- there are guys that took women to the mall for their first date. We all know what happens when you take a lady to the mall, so when she has somebody who is more than willing to fit the bill, the rest is history.

Why it does not work: Its obvious right? It’s not a very inspiring place for a first date. Malls are sterile, impersonal and crazy busy. Not the place to create a unique experience.

What you should do: Shopping dates might not always be a bad thing, surprised as I am? Here is why, going to a vintage bookstore especially if you both are bookworms; finding the books that you loved when you were toddlers or the very first book you bought and a book that you love today. It will instantly give you something to talk about and you will learn a lot about each other which could make for a killer date experience.

A good first date could be just about anything, however some situations and places should be avoided for a first date, it also depends on the type of person- if you and your date can end up laughing about a ‘bad’ first date and things flourish from there. She might just be a ‘keeper’.

Sources: Art of Charm

Alice Paulse