In an ideal world, it wouldn’t matter where you met your future partner – because chemistry and instant attraction will come into play and diffuse any awkward first date scenarios. Right?
Wrong. As we all know, location and setting can go a long way towards creating the perfect vibe.
And while a good first date location isn’t going to turn a frog into a prince, a really bad one can definitely quash any hopes you had of sparks flying between the pair of you.
Here are some locations you definitely won’t want to try on your first date…
It seems like a romantic setting to take your next potential partner – the vows, the dress, the free flowing champagne. But you’ll also have the pressure of prematurely meeting their friends or family, plus there’s the added pressure that s/he is already eyeing up the wedding band for ‘your’ special day before you’ve even scheduled date number two.
Maybe he wants you to know how brave he is and hopes you’ll be holding onto his hand all the way throughout the ride. What he doesn’t realize is that you ate a huge lunch, you’re scared of heights, and you tend to get sick on rollercoasters. Very sick.
Unless you both clicked over a shared love of spicy vindaloo, pick a restaurant that’s more neutral in flavour. Now is not a time for bravado, and choosing a dish from the menu two chillies hotter than you’ve ever tasted may mean you spend more time gazing longingly at the bathroom tiles than at your date.
As much as we commend original date ideas, trapping yourself in a room with a stranger, hunting for clues and using logic and teamwork to escape your (virtual) prison, is a recipe for dangerously high blood pressure and claustrophobia. And knowing that someone is watching you on CCTV throughout adds an extra creepy layer.
A Long Drive
Getting in a car with someone you don’t know can be strange and uncomfortable for a multitude of reasons – opening the door etiquette and playlist choices, to name but two. But a lengthy journey with a prospective love-interest is verging on insanity. And if the date goes badly, you still have to drive all the way back. In silence.
It doesn’t matter how much you like comedy, you’re not ready for this yet. If the quality of jokes are sub-par it’ll totally deflate your evening. But worse still, if you sit anywhere even vaguely near the front row, you will get picked on – because comedians smell first daters like dogs smell fear.
Even if you’re a real culture vulture, picking a museum or art gallery for your first date can come off like you’re trying too hard to impress. It will require you to nod appreciatively at objects for at least an hour as you desperately rack your brain for artsy small talk, like fun facts you learned about the Impressionists at school.
A couple of dates in and movie night is a great option – there are plenty of hand touching and kissing opportunities in the back row. But when you’ve only just met it’s basically two hours of not talking in a dark room. Plus sex scenes when you haven’t seen each other naked yet… beyond awkward.
$2 Beer Nights at a Bar
No one is expecting date number one to be a la carte dining at a Michelin spot, but choosing somewhere on $2 beer night or a student dive bar for cheap shots is probably shooting a little low. It might also seem like you’ve made an early assumption that you’ll have nothing to talk about, hence the need for copious amounts of Sambuca.
A Double Date… Anywhere
Perhaps a friend who set you up wanted to provide moral support on your first date. Good intentions or not, it’s doomed to fail. You can’t help but compare yourself to the other couple, and if they’re people you know, how can you relax and flirt knowing they’ll be reminding you of your come-to-bed-eyes late?