13 Easy First Date Ideas You Can Try Now

Man and woman on first date

Are you looking for first date ideas? A first date can evoke a wide range of emotions, from excitement to nervousness to happiness to a sense of possibilities and optimism for the future, whether it’s a beautiful romance or simply a funny story to tell your friends over drinks.

Love in the twenty-first century is more complicated, from meeting someone new on an online dating site to building a relationship or simply being able to hang out with the least amount of awkwardness and the most safety. The first date is the most difficult to plan for. Should you go with the traditional coffee or drinks meet-up, or do you want to stand out by doing something different?

You want your first date to go well so that if there is a romantic connection, more dates will follow. It’s a lot of pressure, which is why we’re here to help with these easy first date ideas you can try right now!

1. Dinner

A dinner date has stood the test of time for good reason. A potential new partner can get to know you better over a delicious meal with few distractions.

2. Take a Walk

Some of the best date ideas may be the simplest. The dating website Zoosk discovered that, after dinner and coffee, walks were the third most popular date option for women in their 30s, 50s, and 60s. It finished fourth in the group of 20-something females. And it’s one of the simplest ways to strike up a conversation on a first date.

3. Cocktails

Meeting up for drinks is one of the simplest first date ideas. It’s low-key, and if you’re nervous about your first date, an alcoholic beverage may help!

4. Get Caffeinated

Coffee dates are popular for a number of reasons, including:

There are numerous coffee shops in every city and suburb, so you will have plenty of options! Plus, it’s the quickest date option available after grabbing cocktails, so if things are not going well, you don’t have to stay long.

5. People-Watching

This one might sound a little creepy at first, but bear with us as we explain. People-watching is an entertaining pastime that also serves as a good indicator of your date’s personality. People-watching is an excellent way to study human nature. Listening to your date talk about other people can help you determine whether they are judgmental, witty, or cruel.

Instead of just saying something mean about how someone looks, look for someone who has something funny to say about how a person is with their dog.

Furthermore, simply being around other people is a natural conversation starter, whereas sitting opposite one another at a table eating may leave you feeling as if you have to conjure up topics for conversation from the depths of your soul.

6. Bowling or Miniature Golf

Participating in a physical activity will reduce awkward pauses in conversation and allow you to see what your date is like in a competitive light–are they fun when they play a game or are they too competitive and laser-focused on winning at all costs? You want to converse with your date, and this setting is ideal for getting to know someone and evaluating their sportsmanship.

7. Bookstore

If you enjoy romantic comedies, taking your date to a bookstore will make you feel like you’ve stepped into one. It’s possible to strike up a deep and meaningful conversation simply by wandering the aisles of topics you’re both interested in but wouldn’t think to bring up otherwise.

You can also find out if they are pretentious in their reading tastes and if they are dismissive of a genre you enjoy. If the first date goes well and you want to see each other again, you could prepare for your next meeting by exchanging books.

It’s a sweet romantic comedy with a literary twist!

8. Comedy Show

A comedy show is one of our favorite ways to narrow the field if you’re looking for a partner with whom you share a sense of humor. A second date is unlikely to be successful if you don’t find the same jokes amusing.

People’s reactions to questionable humor can reveal a lot about their values. There won’t be much time to talk during the event, so plan something to do afterward where you can talk about the comedy show and get to know each other.

9. Brunch

Brunch is less formal than a dinner date. Still, it allows you to observe the date’s interaction with the service staff, and it’s easier to talk at brunch than at dinner when mimosas are involved. You’ll also get to see if they offer to get the bill and their tipping habits.

Brunch dates are ideal because they take place during the day, are enjoyable, and allow you and your date plenty of time to talk and get to know each other. Just take it easy on the bottomless mimosas, so you don’t forget the date.

Two people having brunch for their first date

10. Cook Together

Some people’s true colors emerge only in the kitchen. Cooking a meal together, like doing a group activity or playing mini-golf, is a great way to demonstrate teamwork.

The kitchen is a great place to see someone’s attention to detail, communication skills, and cleanliness (bonus points if they can do all these things in a small space). There’s also plenty of time for in-depth conversation while the food cooks and later at the table as you eat the fruits of your labor!

Obviously, one of you will have to go to the other’s house, so only do it if you feel comfortable doing so.

11. Go to a Museum

A trip to a museum is one of the best first date ideas. 

Many museums either do not charge admission or only ask for donations. This allows the couple to engage in light conversation and learn more about each other through the shared experience of art.

It’s also a foolproof way to avoid awkward silences because you’ll never be short of interesting topics to discuss. If everything goes well, you can extend the date by getting some food at the museum’s cafe!

12. Trivia Night

This is more interesting than the usual conversation over drinks. You can put your knowledge of everything from current events to historical figures to the test at one of the many bars and clubs that host themed trivia nights.

13. Visit an Animal Shelter

You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat animals, so going to an animal shelter on a first date can be educational as well as beneficial to the animals you interact with. 

Many shelters will allow people to walk the dogs or play with them in confined areas–who knows, you might end up not only hitting it off with your date but also adopting and taking home a pet!

How a potential pet owner treats animals often reflects their level of affection, so pay attention to how your date interacts with the shelter pups and cats.

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