11 First Dates to Avoid

Coffee Date - Young Woman Looking Bored - Man Looking Disinterested

If you are planning on taking someone out on a date in the near future and you are the one who is making plans, please keep reading! What we have to say is just for you!

These are 11 first-date ideas that you should scrap immediately if you want to be successful on your first meetup! The entire point of a first date is to have some quality one-on-one time, get a good conversation going, and connect with one another as much as humanly possible.

Believe it or not, a lot of the common first date ideas that you see done on TV or suggested by your friends or family could actually be working against you and your success in meeting someone special!

Find out what the top 11 first dates to avoid are, quit using these ideas, and begin forming better connections with your date partner the first time you take them out!

#1: Going to the Movies

Movies can be a great first date if you want some of the attention taken off of yourself, but they are a terrible first date for relationship-building or getting to know your date. When you watch a movie, you are not going to get much of a chance to talk with your date or really find out anything about them. A lot of the valuable time you have is tied up in watching the movie and not getting to know one another!

Movie dates aren’t really bad dates, but they just aren’t ideal if you are looking to establish rapport.

Now, if you do something after the movie, like take a walk or get a bite to eat, that can turn into a first date that could really work. You can take some time initially to discuss the movie you just watched, but then you will eventually want to turn the conversation toward them!

#2: Anything in a Large Group

To be clear on this point, it is large groups that are not really conducive to a good first date. Smaller groups are generally fine. We know plenty of people who have had great success going out on double dates in the beginning and then later forming a strong connection where the romance was blossoming! But ideally, you want to spend one-on-one time with your date in order to build that relationship and dedicate your focus solely to them.

Date with a Group of Friends

The bad first-date idea we are talking about is hanging out with a large group of people. The entire goal of the date is to spend time with the person you are interested in and get to know who they are! It’s not impossible to do this in a large group, but it can be a daunting task. Your attention is going to be drawn in different directions in a large group. While large groups are fun, you are not going to learn as much about your date as you could if you two were alone.

#3: Night Clubs

This might be one of the worst places to bring a first date. For one thing, there are a lot of people who prowl nightclubs looking for someone to take home. Your date could possibly be their next target! Not only do you have to deal with that competition, but then you are in a place that is generally filled with a lot of attractive young people who could be taking the attention away from you.

There is also the noise aspect. This will make it difficult to have a conversation with your date or get to know them. We feel that it is always best to do the first date in a place where you don’t have to shout or raise your voice in order to be heard! 

Between the competition, the noise, and other distractions, nightclubs are one of the top first date locations to avoid.

#4: Playing Sports

Like going to the movies, playing sports on the first date is not really a bad one, but it is not ideal. Playing sports can be a great second, third, or fourth date if things go well with the person you are interested in and they like playing certain sports, but it is not the best strategy for a first date.

Playing sports is not something that is super romantic, and your date could get the impression that you two are more suited to be friends or pals who play sports with one another. As we mentioned earlier, this is better for a second date if there is some romantic interest that is established during the first date (and providing that your date likes to play sports).

And it might not be the greatest look on the first date to have sweat running down your forehead or have some major pit stains going!

#5: Going Out for Coffee

This is a classic first-date idea that has been done to death. In fact, it has been done like it’s going out of style. Taking your date out for coffee on your first meetup is super generic and can set you up as basic or uninteresting in the eyes of your date partner.

How long does it usually take you to finish a cup of coffee? Not long, right? What about two cups?

The other big thing that goes against the coffee date is how quickly it can go by! There is a real possibility that you could be wrapping up your first date in under an hour if you go with the coffee shop idea!

Once the coffee is drunk, you and your date are kind of sitting there awkwardly, wondering what comes next. Now, a coffee shop date is not so bad if you have already planned to have your first date broken into two segments and you move on to part two after the coffee. But the coffee shop for the first date as a standalone is not all that great!

#6: Restaurants That Serve Weird Food

When we say this, we are talking about restaurants that feature a specific, out-of-the-ordinary cuisine. We are referring to places like Mongolian BBQ or an oyster bar, basically, restaurants that are super niche. Your best course of action is to choose an eatery that has a wider appeal, a place where you can get a burger, a steak, chicken, or a salad. You want to choose something that is not a greasy spoon or mom-and-pop diner, but you also do not want to take your date to Ruth’s Chris Steak House either.

You are taking a huge gamble if you choose a restaurant that features a unique cuisine. You are risking that your date might not like it. In your attempts to show off your refined palate, you could be sabotaging the first date! Choose something neutral to eat for a first date, and if you find out later that they like international foods, feel free to take them out for something a little different at a later date.

#7: Dinner at a Five-Star Restaurant

You do not want to be the person who goes too hard and too fast on planning out the first date. The first date should be at a venue where your date partner feels comfortable and is willing to open up about who they are and what their life is like. The first date gives both of you the opportunity to connect, know one another, and have each other’s full attention.

Extravagant first date ideas can possibly overwhelm your date partner or leave them feeling nonplussed. You take your date to dinner at a five-star restaurant, and they could be thinking, “this is too much,” or “why are they going all out this early on?

A fancy or upscale restaurant could make it look as if you are trying too hard to impress your date or a sign that you are going off of what you have seen in the movies.

#8: Concerts

This is another one of those first date suggestions that fall into the same category as a movie; not a terrible first date idea but definitely not one that is ideal! You cannot talk as much at a concert, and this can hinder your ability to build a rapport with your date or get to know them. Concerts are also like nightclubs. There is a lot of noise! This is another first date idea where you might have to shout in order for your date to hear what you are saying.

The idea of going to a concert is not a bad idea for a date in general. You can pick a performer or group that your date loves, and that can show your thoughtfulness. Concerts can be expensive, so you won’t come out looking like a cheapskate. And if you are far enough away from the venue, you can spend that time getting to know your date better on the road. We just would not recommend this one as a first date. It is definitely better for a second or third date once you have built up that relationship a bit more.

#9: Secluded Parks or Bike Trails

We like the idea of taking a walk on the first date. It can show your date that you are active and energetic. You can showcase your appreciation for nature and the great outdoors. But you need to be careful when you pick out your location. You and your date might not know each other all that well, and it would be a bad look to take them out for a walk in a secluded place. For all they know, you could be taking them out to some remote location where no one will hear their screams!

If you want to take your date out for a walk on the first meetup, we suggest going to a busy public park where there are plenty of people around.

This will allow your date to have a good time and feel much more comfortable! Yeah, there might be a place deep in the woods where you go to do all your introspective thinking, and you think it is the most beautiful place on God’s green earth. Trust us. It’s not a great location for the first date.

#10: Walking Around a Mall

This is a first-date idea for middle schoolers. Let’s be real. You don’t have a car, and your parents drop you off to meet up with someone that you like from your history class. This is not the place to take someone on a first date if you are a full-grown adult!

The date to the mall screams cheap. The food at the mall food court is just a slight bump above fast food. And while there is the potential to drop some cash at the mall, things could also go the other way with you and your date walking around window shopping. It’s not thoughtful or romantic. It is something you would do with your friends on a slow Tuesday night.

#11: Having Them Over to Your Place

We could go on and on about why this is a bad idea for a first date. But we will just say that it is not going to be a situation where your date is going to feel safe and comfortable. It is not neutral territory. If the two of you do not know each other well, it could even feel frightening for your date to enter your casa.

For the first date, you need to pick a public place EVERY TIME.

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