A lot of consideration is given to where to go on a first date. This is especially true if it is a first date coming out of an online conversation from a dating site. However, sometimes it is a good idea to also think about where not to take someone on a first date. Omission makes for perfection, so to speak.
Look at it this way, choosing a poor location for a first date is going to cement a bad impression. Remember what they always say, you only get one chance at making a first impression. This is why you should invest time in thinking about sites that you should avoid when you go out on that all-important first date.
Ever concerned about our readers’ dating cred, here are six places to avoid on a first date.
1. A Family Affair
We all want to appear that we are close to our families, but you never want to bring somebody to a family function as part of your first date. Family functions are very intimate and lopsided in your favor. Bringing somebody that you are just about to meet in person for the first time to such an event is going to create awkwardness and make the other person feel insecure. Also, you will not have any time to privately engage in conversation.
In other words, you’re going to freak your partner out, you’re not going to learn anything about each other, and more than likely there will not be a second date. Besides, do you really want your great aunt, Mildred, telling your date stories about how you once pooped your pants inside a K-Mart when you were three?
2. Political or Religious Functions
Even though the both of you may have similar views regarding faith and political ideology, it is not wise to attend a religious or political event as part of your first date. Such events tend to be filled with fervor and passion. While that is not a bad thing, during a first date you want all that passion and fervor to be focused on each other, not on any outside force. Even if you met on an online dating site focused on faith-based matchups, keep your first date secular and political-free.
3. Loud Events
The ideal venue for a first date should allow for ease of conversation. This means that you want to select a spot in which you can have a sustained conversation in a normal voice. You want to avoid places like loud restaurants, nightclubs, concerts, or even local bars with live music. You don’t want to have to yell to communicate with each other.
You also want to minimize the potential for answers being misunderstood. Loud background noise offers an excuse to stall the conversation. It is difficult to get a conversational rhythm going in situations such as that.
During a first date, the conversation is gold — the more it flows, the better chance you will have to know where you stand. If your conversation is constantly being truncated by other sounds you will end the date not knowing that much more about each other than when you started.
4. Overly Romantic Settings
Mind you, we are not suggesting that you toss romance out the window on the first date. What we are saying, however, is that you should avoid having a first date in a setting that is taking the romantic mood to an extreme. For example, planning a dinner for two in the private dining room of an exclusive restaurant with a string quartet timed to arrive during the serving of aperitifs is really overdoing it. You will appear to be desperate. You will do much better choosing a setting that is elegant-casual or even just plain old casual.
Displaying affection and appreciation for a first date can be expressed in a less presumptuous fashion. Presenting your date with flowers or purchasing a small token gift during the date is fine. This really depends on both of your personalities. Just keep in mind that it is the first date, by nature it is meant to be exploratory, it is not the scene of your 25th wedding anniversary dinner.
5. Places That Are Highly Exclusive or Elitist
While there is nothing wrong with being proud of your success, in a first date situation you want to keep things as mellow as possible. Yes, select as nice a setting as you can afford. However, even if you can afford an exclusive country club or another highly gentrified setting, make sure that you do not come off as pompous or arrogant.
While taking your date to an exclusive setting to attend a formally scheduled event, perhaps a charity polo tournament (yes, we just saw “Pretty Woman” again, sue us) will have a more natural flow and will be more likely to impress your date — taking your date to an exclusive setting just for the sake of doing so might create awkward situations and negatively impact the process of getting to know each other. When in doubt, go for the “middle of the road” setting.
6. Far or Secluded Settings
Going to a cabin in the woods can be very romantic when there is full trust between both partners. During a first date, you know next to nothing about each other. Selecting a secluded location is only going to generate suspicion and fear. So much so that your date may decide to cancel and rightfully so.
Avoid any location that is not in a public and open space. You want your date to be at ease so you can know them better. Nobody will interact normally if you place them in a stressful situation. Also, while you know that you are not some crazed ax murderer, you really don’t know your first date partner — they could be. A public space is also for your own safety.
In case there was any doubt, dinner at your place as a first date is a no-no.
— Now You Know —
Hopefully, these few tips regarding where NOT to take a first date will help to open your eyes on the subject. It should minimize the time and effort that you need to put into finding the right place.