The main purpose of a first date is to provide the opportunity for the two people involved to get to know one another without too many distractions. For this reason, only certain activities lend themselves well to be enjoyed at these times. In order of suitability, here are five key ones:
1. Walking. Going for a long walk with someone and making sure there is a pub or cafe where one can stop to have a drink or a bite to eat, as well, is the best first date. It is relaxing and can be as long or short as the people wish to make it. There is also the opportunity to have a quick getaway, if one is not enjoying the encounter. It also combines the chance to do other things like stopping along a riverbank to see the activities on the water, feeding the ducks, window shopping, if it is in a mall or just admiring the scenery while you talk. Above all, there would be no shortage of subjects to talk about along the way, with all the sights and fauna to be admired and shared. There are likely to be few distractions and, if it is a sunny day as well, one gets some welcome fresh air in the bargain! Above all, the date is most cost-effective, especially if it doesn't lead anywhere in the end.
2. Dinner/Lunch. This is a popular favourite but some people are not keen to fork out for a meal when they might not like the person, the date might not go well, or the restaurant/pub might not be all that appealing. However, if the couple do want that longer opportunity to get acquainted, a meal is excellent as, though it is very intimate and cosy, there is distance between the couple through the table between them, the atmosphere is likely to be more sociable and it usually takes longer than a walk might do, being nearer two hours than an hour. People tend to feel more comfortable with a meal, especially if it is their favourite food and it is at a time they would normally be eating. So this activity is excellent for a first date. The downside is that it can be pricey, depending on where one goes to eat!
3. Visit to a theme park. This would have lots of activities the dates could try and they are likely to break the ice much quicker than anything else. Furthermore, one is likely to be more relaxed when one is sharing daredevil rides, comparing enjoyment and fear factors, and seeing how each other behaves in such fun situations. As one is most likely to have to queue to get to the rides, the time waiting is excellent for getting to know each other. If the date is largely grumpy, prone to complaining, or a spoil sport, that's the time you would find out and it would say a lot! But it wouldn't be a cheap date overall, especially if one wants to be chivalrous and pay for the other person too. There is nothing to beat letting one's self go at these activity venues, just enjoying the moment while seeing how comfortable the other person feels as well. However they do take time and, if you don't really know the person too well, and you're not sure you would want to spend a longer time in their company, it might not be the best first date.
4. Reading excerpts/poems of favourite authors. For people who love books, this is excellent to share each other's passions, titles, quotes and poems. There would be so much to discuss around the books, which would, of course, include personal details of how one became aware of the authors/books, one's personal history, likes and dislikes. That is a very easy way of sharing a lot of personal information through the books and why they appeal rather than struggling for things or topics to say. Furthermore, one just needs a quiet area in a park or pub, plus some drinks, and that should be it. If both people enjoy this kind of actigity, the second date wouldn't come soon enough.
5. Galleries/museums. These are excellent venues to go to because there is so much to see and discuss. Usually, time goes so quickly in these places, but one can have a cultural feast while getting to know someone else at the same time, especially if the person likes such arty fare. The combination works very well, while providing a lot of enjoyment and education to those who are willing to make that extra effort to get to an artsy venue.
The main thing to remember is that the venue or activity is ALWAYS a backdrop to the date, the decoration rather than the substance. Thus anything at all can be fun on a first date, if you are with the right person, or with someone who is appealing to you! If the person isn't quite right on sight, or poor at communication, nothing will seem enjoyable, no matter how great it is!
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2011
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
"Respect and love begin with the self. If we have none, how can we give away any?"