You should get two things out of a first date: a strong enough vibe that you connect with this human and can stand each other’s company, perhaps even enjoy it, and clarity that you are, indeed, physically attracted to them and can foresee things moving beyond the friend-zone. We’ve already given you a slew of first dates that will provide you none of the above, so some of you asked for first dates that will. Take your date out with one of these ideas and if she still doesn’t like you, get a new haircut or onto the next one. Haters gon’ hate.
1. Wander a street fair. You’re able to talk as much or little as you want because, when the conversation dulls, you can just pretend like you’re super interested in all the tchotchkes around you. You’ll also be able to grab a bite to eat or a beer. Just don’t forget cash.
2. Play tourist. We all take our own cities for granted and don’t explore them as much as we should. Pick a spot—a museum, a famous ice cream joint or even a neighborhood—to which neither of you have been and check it out together. If the date ends poorly, at least you did something you’ve been meaning to do since you moved there a decade ago.
3. Taste wine. You don’t have to plan anything or fill silence with conversation about how you rescued your partially blind puppy. Just shush, drink the wine, drop some fancy jargon and let the actual expert do most of the talking. After you’ve had a glass or two, then you can both sit down and chat yourselves.
4. Ride bikes. Bike riding on a first date is so underrated. If you go for a leisure ride, you can chat along the way and learn about each other. Plus, it’s an active, fun time in the great outdoors that won’t cost you a dime.
5. Hike. Likewise, hiking won’t cost you anything. If she’s into it—like genuinely into it and not texting her group thread begging someone to lend her lululemon—hiking could be a great time. You can chat, it’s sort of private and romantic and you can show off those Boy Scout skills you’ve been itching to use your whole adult life.
6. Gallery hop. Whether or not she’s into art, or you’re into art, gallery openings usually have snacks and wine. If you’re in a neighborhood where there happen to be a lot of galleries, you can hop around, schmooze with some hipsters gazing at some splattered paint and sip the fancy stuff. Attempts at art also make for easy conversation pieces.
7. Picnic. Going to the park without a plan is creepy. Don’t do it. That said, if you actually bring a blanket, some beers and snacks, it’s actually quite romantic and adorable. Do it. Bonus points if you make something yourself and maybe have a backup plan if it gets boring.
8. Get a drink. When in doubt, just go get a drink. Actually, you should probably honestly skip all of the above and just go get a drink. Assuming your date is of age. And if she isn’t, well, you should probably skip the date and just turn yourself over to the authorities already.
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