The whole point about any date — whether it‘s your first time or some way down the line, is that it ought to be fun. It’s an exploration and a getting-to-know-each-other process, and even if after the first data or two, either one or both of you feel that it isn’t worth pursuing any further- isn’t it worth knowing that in finding out, that you also had a good time along the way? It‘s part of that ‘no hard feelings’ process, and the more casual the date, the easier it is to take that on board.
Meeting for a drink or going out for supper is always a good option, because it gives you time to get to know each other while still surrounded by other people and a good ambience; nice in itself but also useful if the conversation threatens to dry up any time. Inviting someone to your place on a first date is not such a good idea however, as it is much more difficult to take things at a sensible pace when alone — and if you cook him a meal, he might just think that he doesn’t have to make any further effort in trying to please you or find somewhere special to take you on a date.
Men will often invite you to their place on a first date, ostensibly to prove their cooking skills to you — although in my experience that is usually limited to tuna pasta bake (no, I don’t know why, either … ) or something pretty straightforward based on mince and tinned tomatoes. Beware the temptation to think that you’ve just fallen upon a seriously good-looking, single man who appears to bear more than a passing resemblance to Gordon Ramsay. Even if that is the case, he will be well aware that it‘s a much easier stumble into his adjacent bedroom when you are already in the kitchen, than simultaneously trying to persuade you to come back to his place for a coffee while trying to hail a cab at midnight!
So, if a guy asks you where you’d like to go, and supper or a drink sounds just too ordinary, you could suggest a couple of the following options. These are all pretty cheap and cheerful ideas. Even if your date is loaded, it‘s pretty cold-bIooded to suggest a trip in a hot-air balloon or taking the Eurostar to Paris for the day. Lovely as these sound, suggestions like this should really come from him.
A picnic. Going to the beach, the river or even the local park and eating finger food and sipping chilled white wine in the sun, can be a fun way to get to know someone.
The movies. Although there isn’t an opportunity to talk during a movie, it’s good to have something to talk about over a coffee or other drink after the film has finished. Let him choose the movie, too. It’s quite revealing in the ‘how hard is he trying to impress you’ stakes. Maybe too hard with a Bridget Jones style girlie movie and definitely not quite hard enough with the latest Jackie Chan uttering. A light comedy or a not-too-chilling thriller are both pretty good attempts at trying to please you.
Ice-skating or roller-blading. It’s always fun and the rink’s a great place to bump into each other… literally! It’s also a good way of checking out whether he rushes to your side when you fall over for the nineteenth time, and indeed whether his macho pride gets bruised if he can‘t take the pace. A little vulnerability and an ability to laugh at yourselves, from both of you, are endearing qualities.
A theme park. If you’ve got the stomach for it, the roller coasters, dodgems and the ghost train are great icebreakers when getting to know each other.
Bowling. Competitive and fun. Another good way to check out lust how seriously he takes himself. And you get a great preview of his butt!
Lunch in a country pub. Less formal than dinner and gives you both the opportunity for a potentially romantic walk to work oft lunch. And it the weather’s not so good’? Stay a little longer by that fantastic open tire.