As most of you have probably figured out by now, a bar or club can be a pretty good place to meet a woman. It’s not, however, the best place to connect and get to know her. You’ve got to contend with the risk of drinking too much, competing with a ton of noise and the possibility of some other dude sweeping in and salting up your game. Making a super second first impression means you need to raise it up a notch.
So take her on an actual date.
Seriously. Need another reason? It sets the tone for the rest of your relationship. When you take her on a date, you’re saying, “I’m not a little boy who wants to hang out and play Xbox.” Being smart about what you do your first time together allows something casual to gather the potential for something more. The right venue can go a long way toward impressing a girl—or turning her off—so you’ve got to knock it out of the park.
Now, we get that the economy isn’t stellar, and you want to win her over without losing all your dough. We feel your pain. So here are eight great, nicely priced options for a first date she won’t soon forget.
1. Arts Night
Nearly every city has an arts nights these days. If you both happen to appreciate quality art, you can do that. If you don’t, take some time to, uh, “appreciate” the hipster art that often populates an arts night. It’s a cool way to hang out without pressure to be the center of attention or do all the talking. Of course, if you’re both hardcore art nerds, you can bite the bullet and go to a museum or gallery. Estimated cost: free
For the active guy, hiking is another solid first date maneuver. You two can enjoy the day together sweating it out in the beauty of nature. There’s always plenty to look at and discuss, and if you feel like shutting up and taking in the scenery, you can do that, too. Plus, with the seclusion of the woods, should the mood strike and things get a little hot and heavy, no one will be the wiser. Estimated cost: free
One thing is for sure: the food will come out better than his taste in pants.
There’s something about two people working toward a common goal that brings them together. Plus, you’ll win points by showing her you can cook even the simplest of meals. While this is also true of dancing, you don’t have to worry about some Jacko wannabe swooping in and taking your girl in your kitchen like you do on the dance floor. Estimated cost: $15 to $25
4. Sporting Events
Sporting events can be fun even for people who don’t like sports, but if we’re going to recommend one sport in particular, it’s baseball. The slow, lazy pace of the game provides a lot of down time for chatting and/or drinking—though as a general rule, don’t drink more than she does. You don’t have to go pro—your local minor league team offers amusing action at much less than A-Rod’s per game salary. Estimated cost: $40