If you want to meet women but are shy, or don’t consider yourself a five-star conversationalist, date planning (or first dates in general) can be extra nightmarish. Particularly if you want to make a genuine connection, tickets to a movie and the resulting two hours of silence will not cut it. For couples who have hardly talked or never met in person, a conventional sit-down dinner or coffee date may be jarring or grow stifling for lack of shared experiences to discuss.
If you find yourself nodding as you read, and you want to impress a woman without doing cartwheels or looking desperate, keep reading for first date ideas.
If you read the word “dancing” and went to hit the back button in your browser, hold on for a moment. You do not need to be a good dancer already for this to go well—In fact, unless you are both well-practiced dancers in every style of social dance, your date would be geared toward people who cannot dance. And even for those who can dance, or when one partner is more of an experienced dancer than the other, there are so many styles to learn that starting from a level playing field is always possible. This is also a way of determining early on whether the two of you might have physical chemistry.
Easily paired with dinner, social dancing as a whole offers a variety of options, including group classes, pair classes (also called “individual” or “private classes”), and lesson-then-dance socials. Each option differs in price and changes between studios, but admission is generally cheapest at group classes or lesson-plus-socials. Some options, especially in large cities, require a reservation in advance—This is a way to impress her. If you show her that you can plan more than two days in advance, you will already have a leg up over many other men.
Finding the right option might require some research, but this research always pays off. If you are in your twenties, the blues scene may be ideal. If you have left your twenties behind, you may feel more comfortable in a swing dance class. The Latin dance styles, of which there are many, may draw slightly different ages. For anyone who is unsure which genre would appeal to them best, YouTube is a valuable resource.
Offered on a weekly basis in most cities, dance lessons are a valuable consideration for anyone looking to mix it up. If you don’t hit it off with the partner you came with, there is no need to worry, because partners rotate in social dance classes. Without much effort on your part, you can either stick together or drift apart without consequence. Both of you might find other people you enjoy dancing with more, and that is perfectly okay.
1) Unless you already know or are comfortable with this woman, steer clear of tango, which can feel anywhere from mildly sensual to downright invasive, depending on the studio and partners involved.
2) Hygiene is extra important on dance dates—Depending on your relative heights, your date (and all others present) may be nose-level with your armpit, or the smell of whatever you ate for dinner. Make sure to have recently showered, brush those teeth, and invest in some mouthwash. This is so important that some dance communities include this in weekly discussions as a sort of public service announcement. Your partner will retain a tactile memory of how your hands feel in hers, whether you’re wearing excessive cologne, how your breath smelled as it washed over your face when the two of you stumbled slightly and shared a quick laugh, and of course, whether your hair has been washed recently. You may even wish to clandestinely bring along a second shirt.
3) If you have absolutely no interest in the prospect of dancing, or even giving it a try, do not do it. Women are often able to tell when a man is dancing only to meet women.
4) Those who venture out onto the dance floor during late fall, winter and early spring may wish to bring hand sanitizer. During the hour or two when you are dancing, your hands will pass through many others’, and taking precautions may enable you to be back on the dance floor the following weekend when otherwise you might not be.
For anyone who wants to forego pretention and have an excellent time, the dessert tour may be the way to go. This option may require a little bit of planning on your part but will show her your charming qualities and your ability to plan in advance. (Women notice and appreciate this.)
Avoiding both the stagnation that can occur during a dinner date and the indecision that can occur after a meal has concluded, the dessert tour option keeps both parties engaged and moved. Find a number of venues that sell dessert within close distance of one another, and travel between them, sampling something from each. Figuring out how to end the dessert tour by making a circle back to where you started means extra points.
1) Make sure to consult the hours of operation when forming a list of venues.
2) Pick places like bakeries instead of sit-down establishments. Otherwise, the prices may stack quickly.
3) Include a path through the park for added ambiance.
4) Save some room for venues further down the list; order small items.
For the sake of her enjoyment, remember:
1) Avoid private or secluded areas on the first few dates, if you met online. This means no hiking dates in the woods. If your date is like most women, she has imagined at least once that out far enough into the woods; something could happen to her.
2) Go somewhere you two will be able to hear each other. If you’re trying to get to know each other, but you can’t hear over the riffraff in the patisserie-bar whether she said she likes kayaking or snacking, there are more obstacles between you than inherently necessary.