Top 5 First Date Strategies

Top 5 First Date Strategies

This is a guest post by SINgleGIRL. Follow her on twitter.

We’ve all heard the old adage, “you only have one chance to make a first impression”.  Well, nowhere is that more true than in dating.  Sure, there are people who have disastrous first dates but then somehow turn things around.  But, in general, a disastrous first date means that your chances with that person is over.

I wish I could give you step by step guidelines on where to go and what to say so that you’d be guaranteed to have a good first date, each and every time.  I can’t.  It’s just not possible. Bad dates are unavoidable, kind of like death and taxes.  But with the right planning you can be sure to have a lot fewer of them.

Key to planning your first date is realizing that your goal for the date should be pretty simple: you want to get to know each other just a little bit better and decide if you’d like to have another date.  Note – I didn’t say, to get laid.  That could happen, sure.  But I firmly believe that if you go into your date with that as your goal then your head is in the wrong place.  And, needless to say, if that’s your goal, these suggestions probably aren’t for you.

Let’s be honest, it really doesn’t take that much time to figure out if you’d like to get to know someone better.  Plus, a smart dater realizes that it takes a lot of first dates to meet a person you’d like to have a relationship with. Therefore, it makes sense to plan a short date, one that could be over in as little as 30 minutes if the two of you aren’t hitting it off.

Below are my Top 5 First Date Ideas

  1. Meet for coffee or some other hot beverage. Try, if at all possible, to avoid the major chains unless you really do stop by Starbucks on a regular basis.
  2. Go for a walk. I do this a lot during the summer.  Some of my best first dates have been for leisurely walks in the park.
  3. Go out for ice cream/gelato. There’s a place I love to go that has indoor seating and another that’s walking distance from some pleasant park benches.  Sure this sounds old-fashioned, but I love ice cream and on a warm summer night this is pretty much my ideal date.
  4. Go sightseeing in your own town. I’ve lived in NYC for most of my life but there are dozens of touristy things I’ve never done or haven’t done since I was a kid.  Depending on the season and my date’s interests I might suggest something random; for example, “riding the Staten Island Ferry, going to the San Gennaro Festival, visiting the Intrepid.
  5. You can always just meet for a drink. Find a bar, lounge, pub or club that you like and that you feel comfortable in.  Make sure it’s not so crowded and/or loud that you can’t hear your date and vice versa.

Each of these ideas can be expanded on so that your date can be as long as you’d like it to be.  If you’re enjoying your walk, you can suggest stopping in somewhere for a drink or a bit to eat.  If you’ve met for coffee you can follow it up with a walk or a meal.  Drinks can easily turn into dinner.  Planning a short date doesn’t restrict you to a 30 minute window, but it does protect you against having to spend long periods of time with someone you don’t actually like.

SINgleGIRL writes on her site, Sex, Lies, and Dating in the City, which is a no holds barred, everything revealed, personal as you get, look at this anonymous woman.

Posted by in Relationships | March 4, 2009 | Digg | | Stumble | Print | 12 comments

  • Alex Shalman

    Nice one SingleGirl.

    I guess some first date ideas you don’t recommend would be:
    1. Kayaking
    2. Bungee Jumping
    3. Sky Diving
    4. Road Trip
    5. Meet the Parents


  • Adam

    Here are a few of my first dates:
    Mt Biking
    shopping for clothes

  • Glen Allsopp

    What’s wrong with meeting the parents? Oh sh*t, maybe that’s where I’ve been going wrong 😉

    Haha, seriously though, nice to see a guest post from a different perspective, good job you two!


  • Alex Shalman

    @Adam – Perfect. I think the best date is where you do something you’re into. On the other hand, the date may be very much compatible with you, but not into that activity, which is something that you’ll hopefully recognize.

    @Glen – LOL. Learned something new today did you? Yes, I read SingleGirls blog like it’s crack. It’s like a romance novel that I can’t put down.

  • Mark Foo |

    Good one. I’d usually bring the girl for coffee or a drink at a lounge. But I once had a first date going to the beach. Just the two of us. Ok, no skinny dipping, just normal beaching. Beach on the first date was pretty unusual for me but it was good! 🙂



  • Eathan

    I always enjoy a coffee shop for a 1st date or if the weather is good ice cream. I’m usually flexible and keep it very relaxed. This is a great list for some basic pointers.

  • Lance

    Love the simplicity here, I agree with all of them. First dates are about generating attraction and first impressions, so I say keep it simple. I usually just meet for a drink, but have occasionally done coffee.

  • Steve

    Great post! The coffee date worked for me, because that’s how my relationship with my wife got started! Of course, I first met her playing broomball on the ice, she had a mean swing!

  • Jesce

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  • Louche

    This is fantastic, lol. I have never actually been on a date, but whenever I think about asking someone on a date, I’m like, what if it’s extremely awkward and I run out of things to say after 10 minutes?!

  • marijka

    My favorite first date is a baseball game: there’s something to watch, but unlike a movie, you can talk at the same time. Have some snacks, relax, enjoy a beautiful summer day or evening!