Last Friday Mr Zloty Baby and I went to see a comedy show by Robby Collins (anyone in SA reading it? Really recommended!). During the warm-up act a comedian spotted a couple in the first row (rookie mistake!). He quickly figured out that they were on their first date and that they met on Tinder. Of course, he kept making jokes about them. The lady was quite chilled but they guy seemed stiff, perhaps because he was the one who shared some details you should NEVER share on your first date when it’s time to put your best foot forward.
When the actual comedian came on the stage (he was absent during the warm up act) guess who he chose to drill again? The woman was rolling her eyes at her date’s answers towards the end of it. A comedy show, Dear Rinsers, is definitely not the best place to go on your first date. But where should you go? Here are some suggestions:
1. A Bar
Yes, a bar. A bar can be problematic, if you’re dating while sober but most people drink alcohol. A bar is a perfect place to meet because you can scan your date for many things: how much they drink, what they say after a drink or two (some people will only tell you what they really think then) and how they treat staff. If someone doesn’t drink, you also learn that immediately and you can decide whether it’s something you’re okay with.
A bar also allows you to have a long conversation without being bothered too often by a waiter. You don’t have to worry what food item to choose so that you don’t kill the mood stuffing your face with it.
Last but not least, paying becomes less of a problem – I never liked anyone paying for my dinner unless we were already in a relationship and it was a treat but a drink seemed fine. When you do halfsies a drink or two won’t break a bank for anyone either.
2. A Hike or a Walk
It may be because I’m based in Cape Town but a hike or a walk seems like a perfect first date as long as you keep your safety in mind. I’m definitely not telling you to go walking to some dark forest with a stranger. A walk on a promenade, in a park or on a busy hiking trail during the day is just perfect in terms of safety and in terms of an opportunity to talk.
It’s also a good test of how much of a couch potato/fitness enthusiast your date is. From my experience with dating a man who shouted at me in front of my mother that I LIED to him telling him that we’re going for a walk, while it was a hike (it was like 30% uphill, Rinsers…), I can tell you that even if you’re not that fit and healthy it’s nice to date someone better in this department than you are. It’s good to have a partner who encourages you to be better and do active things rather than someone who’ll lure you into watching series all day and eat speckled eggs and sandwiches with potato crisps as filling (true story!).
3. A Food Market
A market is a nice place to go to because you can see how your date reacts to things. Yes, you can really tell from a visit to the market whether someone is a total hater. For instance, if you’re walking around for an hour already and the other person keeps turning their nose at everything, you may be dealing with Mr or Mrs Fussy Pants. Another thing that is easy to suss out is what someone thinks about vegetarianism/veganism – oh yeah, some people will rage about the fact that such options are even available. Are you dating as a vegan btw?
Just like with a bar you can see how they behave when alcohol is involved. The only problem with a food market is that… eating food is involved. If you don’t find eating with strangers you’re trying to impress awkward, it’s not a big issue, though!
4. A Bike Ride
Another more adventurous somewhat active bar alternative (I won’t lie, a bar is a definite winner) is a bike ride. Just like a walk or a hike it allows you to have a conversation and at the same time check someone’s fitness level.
It’s also quite a nice thing to do in general, so the big plus of this date idea is that at least you’ll have something out of the date, if the romantic aspect of it turns out to be a bitter disappointment. Roller skating is something you could do too.
5. An Amusement Park
This is my American movie date idea that I, unfortunately, never had an opportunity to have in real life. Actually, it’s a perfect date idea for people who have not seen Us.
You can have a stroll and talk, eat some first date friendly food such as candy floss and popcorn to prevent you from starving and have some actual fun. You can also look at how your date reacts to failure and how adventurous they are.
Here you go, Rinsers! First date ideas for you, if you’re on a lookout but tired of going to the same place over and over again. Or concerned that the waiters resognize you and you’re just waiting for them to start saying to you “No luck, again, huh?”. I’ve been there!
For the record, cinema isn’t the best first date place unless you’re just looking to make out or for a free movie ticket. For some ideas about what movie not to choose for date 5 or 6, read my list of the worst movie choices here.
What was your best first date ever? What’s the craziest one you’ve ever had? Tell me, please!