If you've been chatting to someone online for a while, it could be time to meet them on person and go on a first date. No matter how well you think you know them or how long you have been talking to them, first dates are nerve-wracking.
You want to be sure you are doing something you'll both enjoy but that will also allow you to talk to each other. However, your whole date shouldn't be about talking, as this can make for some very awkward moments.
Here are five of the worst first date ideas, although they are good ideas for going out together later on.
This tends to be a standby date idea for many people, but for a first date it isn't ideal. Simply going to the cinema essentially means you'll be sat next to your date in silence for a few hours.
You won't be able to get to know your date or have fun and there is no guarantee that they'll enjoy the film. These factors could make for a very bad first impression and fail to lead onto a second date.
Rather than simply meeting at your local cinema, arrange to have a coffee or a drink beforehand so you can break the ice and have a chat. That way you are both more comfortable and won't feel so awkward during the film.
Choose a fairly early showing so you can also get some food afterwards; this will allow you to talk about the film so the date ends on a more comfortable note. Ensuring you have more time to chat will increase the likelihood of them agreeing to see you again.
While you may enjoy heading to the pub with friends and drinking your way around the town, this isn't the best way to get to know someone on a first date. You want your date to get to know the real you, not the drunken you who will undoubtedly end up making a fool of themselves with their friends.
Going for a quiet drink can be a good idea for a first date, but surrounding your date with your friends and simply going to bars for the purpose of excessive drinking can make them very uncomfortable and will probably not be as much fun for them.
You also want your first date to be about you and them, so bringing friends along who can overpower the conversation is a bad idea. Instead, go to a quiet pub somewhere and just enjoy each other's company without drinking too much.
Taking your date paintballing on your first date, or partaking in another very active pursuit, is a bad idea. For starters, you won't get to know them or get to talk beyond shouting instructions.
However, they could also get hurt, which is never the best way to make a good impression. You want to leave active pursuits until you've gotten to know them a bit better, that way you can be sure they'll enjoy themselves.
Instead, why not simply go for a walk or do something quiet and casual that doesn't involve overalls? They'll feel a lot more at ease, there is little to no risk of injury, and you'll actually be able to talk.
Dinner at home
You might think that preparing a meal at home for your date is a romantic idea, and it is – for a second or third date. Inviting someone to your house on the first date can make them feel a bit nervous, especially if you have only spoken online.
It is much more comfortable, as well as safer, to meet somewhere public for your first ever face to face date. You'll both feel a lot more at ease and it will lead to fewer awkward moments as the date progresses.
Another practical point is that you won't know what types of food they like, while your nerves could also get the best of your cooking ability. Put this idea on the back burner and see how the first date goes before suggesting it.
If you're both fans of classical music, attending a concert together and then having a meal could be a great choice for a first date. However, heading to a gig featuring heavier music is likely to go badly.
For starters, it is hard to know what band you should go and see and where you should see them. Beyond this, the fact of the matter is you'll end up stuck in a crowded venue, unable to talk to each other, while also being highly likely to get separated.
Your first date should be about getting to know each other, so make sure what you choose and where you go allows you to do this. After all, you want to increase your chances of getting date number two.