First dates can make or break a potential relationship. There is often a lot of pressure surrounding the first date, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or cost a lot of money. Some of the best date ideas are free, and give you a great opportunity to talk and get to know each other. Here are some tips for planning the perfect first date.
Leave your phone at home
A first date should include one very important thing: leave cell phones and other technological gadgets at home or inside your bag. It should be agreed upon that only urgent calls or texts should be made. Leaving the mobile devices at home sounds weird in this day and age, yet it ensures that you won’t be tempted to post something to a social networking site or worry about your date texting their friends about you. On a date, the last thing you need to do is multitask and essentially ignore your date. Cell phones set aside, the first date should reflect who you are as well as reflect who your date is.
Ask some questions before the date so you don’t end up in a car or at the subway station saying “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” Once you know what the other person enjoys, go ahead and take charge of planning the date.
Research interesting things to do
Stay away from the standard dinner and a movie date idea. If you want to get to know someone, it’s better to wait for dinner and a movie for subsequent dates. Instead, research different things to do. If you are in a large city or town, there will be art walks, galleries, coffee houses, lectures, and other options. Coffee and a dessert are even more acceptable than dinner and a movie because you are able to talk. You will have to be a little more creative if you are in a small town, as your options may be a little limited.
Go out in the afternoon
If you want to be creative, try a Saturday afternoon date. Plan a picnic, weather permitting, or go for a walk. This way, you will be far away from any bar scene or typical awkward first date scenarios. The more public the place the better; you often want the comfort of other people around.
A large open park in the center of town or the zoo can make a great meeting place. Bring a variety of snacks or a light lunch packed from your local bistro along with bottled water. Bring two disposable cameras, or two digital cameras if you have more than one. Then you can take pictures of nature or interesting things that you see.
Keep it light
You want your first date to be open and light, without too much pressure. Sure if you have the money, go all out, rent that helicopter and visit a winery. Yet if you are the average working Joe or Jane, you can still have a sweet time doing something slightly out of the norm while getting to know your date rather than worrying about spilling spaghetti sauce all over your shirt or choosing a boring movie.