First dates are awkward. That’s the very nature of them. But they don’t have to be so daunting.
You have everything to learn about each other and essentially nothing to lose. But there’s no shortage of bad date ideas that make getting to know one another difficult or pack on the pressure for no good reason.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are just a few dates you should never plan and why.
Who in the world decided movies should be a staple first date move? That person probably died alone.
1. Dinner Dates
Going to dinner is like going on a job interview—except you don’t even get a job out of it. It’s a solid commitment. You’re dedicating two or more hours to forced interaction—where you’re likely sitting across from each other and can’t even touch. And, if conversation falls flat, you’ve got nothing to save you from the painful silence while you circle the food on your plate.
2. The Movies
Going to the movies is by far the best way to learn absolutely nothing about your date. Think about it: You’re going to sit in a dark room where you can’t even look at your date and you’re not allowed to speak. Plus there’s probably an awkward armrest separating you, so you can’t even comfortably snuggle. Who in the world decided this should be a staple first date move? That person probably died alone.
Weddings can be a lot of fun, and you might think it’s spontaneous to bring a first date as your plus-one, but weddings are about two people who love each other and invite everyone they love to be there, not randos. No one wants to feel like the rando in the room. Besides, you’re then required to entertain your date who will know no one at this wedding and she’ll probably wonder why you really didn’t have anybody else you could take.
4. Group Dates
How do you plan on getting to know someone personally when you’re with your buddies and she’s with her friends… who will be overanalyzing your every move and feeding her their very much warranted opinions? It’s like a performance review and also tells her that you feel so “meh” about the whole date thing that you can’t even leave the clown squad at home.
5. Your Place
Even if all you want out of this first date is sex, you can at least grant her, as another human being, a little respect and have the decency to put in just the smallest amount of effort. Namely, put on some pants and leave your house. If you can’t even do that, you’re saying that either you’re not interested in her enough that you care to plan something, or you are not interesting enough to plan anything. Pass.
6. Comedy Club
Comedy clubs are awesome and hilarious and way underrated. That said, they’re not for first dates. You’re typically in a crowded basement bar where you can’t really talk when the show starts and are usually seated with another couple, which makes asking each other questions kind of awkward. If the comedian picks up on the awkwardness, he or she will certainly call you out. And then, if you weren’t already, you’re toast.
7. A Party for You or Thrown by You
No woman wants to show up at a party to be with the guy everyone else came to the party to be with, too. Competing for your attention is not an ideal first date. If you can’t make it about her at least this first time, will you ever?
8. The Beach
What are you going to do at the beach on a first date? Roll around in the sand? Bury each other? Get pumbolized by waves? Unless you’re both into surfing, don’t plan a date to a place where people literally go to nap.
9. Fast Food
Good job skipping a sit-down dinner, but skimping on dinner isn’t any better. It’s so, so much worse. It just sends the message that you’re cheap—and fluorescent lights flatter no one, ever.