Best and Worst Places for 1st Dates

best worst 1st dates

Contrary to popular belief modest first dates are better than extravagant first dates for several reasons.

The most extravagant first date I ever went on was to a lounge in Chicago.  I ordered a drink that came with a Bunsen Burner contraption.  My date ordered a drink that came in a plastic air filled pillow.  He had to pop the pillow which was filled with lavender aroma to get to the drink.  It was an experience to say the least.  Afterwards, we went to a jazz lounge to hear live music.  The night was spectacular and I went home smitten.  So why would I discourage extravagant first dates?  Here’s why:

5 Reasons Why Extravagant 1st Dates are ill-advised

frugal dating - 1st dates#1 It’s too much money to spend on someone you barely know

Fellas:  I’ve heard my male friends say a million times, “I spent so much money on the first date and the woman doesn’t even agree to a second date.”   First dates are a meet and greet, an inquiry.  You shouldn’t spend a car note on a woman you don’t even know that you really like yet.

#2 It’s a Distraction from the True Purpose of the Date

Ladies: When the date is too impressive and extravagant it’s difficult to focus on the man himself.    While you want to enjoy the date and have fun you also are there to ask questions and get to know the man.  An extravagant first date may be too impressive causing you to think you like the guy more than you should.  It’s too easy to fall too hard too fast for the wrong reasons.

Fellas: You want a woman who will stick by you for richer or poorer.  You want a woman who loves you for you.  If the first date is too expensive and extravagant you can’t be sure the woman really likes you and not just the lifestyle/package you are presenting.

1st dates - sexpectations#3 It may send the wrong message

Fellas: Beware that some (not all) women may interpret your elaborate first date arrangements as a quick attempt to impress for ulterior motives, i.e. sex

Ladies: Beware that some (not all) men may in fact be trying to impress you quickly because they do have ulterior motives.  Again it’s easy to be impressed by extravagant settings and fall too hard too fast without really knowing your suitor.

#4 It may create future disappointment

Fellas: If you spend too much or things are too extravagant a woman may expect that all future dates are equally extravagant.  You’ve got little room to improve and impress after the first date.

Ladies:  If the first date is too fancy, you may subconsciously expect all future dates to maintain this standard.  It may be disappointing when the second date isn’t.

#5 It may create disconnect or inability to relate to one another

A date that’s too elaborate can create unnecessary disconnects.  Chances are both people don’t frequent super fancy places on the regular.  But when I went on my extravagant first date I assumed the guy was of different means and always hung out in extravagant places.  As a result, it made it more difficult to view him as down to earth and relate-able.  I found it difficult to discuss certain things with him and really connect.

So what is suggested for a great first date?  Here are a few ideas:

ideas for Great 1st Dates:

1st dates - breakfast#1 Breakfast

Ladies: There is no chance the guy is hoping the first date turns into sex when he ask you out to breakfast.

Fellas: Choosing a place without alcoholic drinks guarantees a modest bill.  Remember you don’t want or need to break the bank when you are just meeting.

Also if breakfast goes really well you have the option to extend the date into the day.  Just don’t spend all day together.  Leave something to be desired.

1st dates - dessert#2 Pie and Coffee

Find the best mom and pop owned neighborhood pie shop and meet up for coffee and pie.  This makes for a cheap but interesting type of date.  It’s perfect for sitting and chatting for a few hours.  If the weather is nice, follow up the date with a neighborhood stroll.

1st dates - BYOB#3 BYOB Restaurants

Fellas: An eclectic $8-$12 BYOB restaurant is a great option.  Even if you are ballin’, trust me, modesty is better.  Remember, you don’t want the distraction of too much pomp and circumstance.

1st dates museum#4 Museums

Museums make for great first dates because they provide an opportunity to talk while also having a cultural experience.  Museum dates trigger great conversation that helps both people learn more about the other person’s interest.

1st Dates to Avoid

#1 The Movies or place with Loud Music (night club, jazz lounge, etc.) – There’s no opportunity to talk and get to know each other.

#2  Chain Restaurants (Fridays, Applebees, Red Lobster) – These places just aren’t that interesting and it kind of feels like a high school date.  While expensive isn’t always better, eclectic is always more interesting.  Explore something new, have an experience.

#3 Bar or any places that focus on alcohol only –  It’s harder to maintain your faculties and be a clear evaluator of your companion when you are drinking all night.

What are your thoughts?  What are your best and worst first date locations?  Do you have any suggestions for great first dates?

2 thoughts on “Best and Worst Places for 1st Dates

  1. Alexis says:

    I think there is a sub culture of dating that isn’t addressed in your article. Prior to a majority of first dates there is an initial meetup. You meet someone online, social media or a dating app and have talked to the person to some extent prior to a face to face introduction. Except Tinder and Grinder. With those meetups you know what you’re getting! With those exceptions, the meet and greet is usually to explore if you’re attracted to the person, chemistry, compatibility, etc. Personally, some of my best meet and greets have been at loud places with interactive things for us to do i.e. comedy club, rooftop bar with oversized games, retro arcade bar, billards, bowling, batting cages, dueling piano bar, etc. It gives you something to do in case you don’t view the person as a good suitor but more as a friend. Plus you can enjoy the rest of the get together without being bored. However, if it goes well and you decide to meet again then that is considered the first date where the date should be somewhere less noisy and with some thought put into it.

    • Nora Nur says:

      Good point. I think a comedy club is kind of like the movies, hard to talk and interact, but I agree that interactive loud places can be fun and informative. A trip to the batting cage or arcade can be fun despite the loud noise levels. And your right, you may have already had substantial getting to know you conversation with the person, in which case an interactive date measures something different. It’s an opportunity to see how compatible you are with the person and if you simply have fun together. Having fun matters! Thanks for sharing!

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