If you are a persevering online dater, you are likely used to the awkward first hellos and one-liners of meeting a potential mate over the internet. Sometimes being the first to “like,” wink or say hello is frightening enough, not to mention if you hit it off and then have to plan a first date. Here are a some first date ideas if you are also meeting the other person for the first time. These meeting spots are sure to keep things light, friendly and fun.
Beer garden in the afternoon
An outdoor or indoor beer garden is the perfect spot to be meeting someone for the first time. There will be plenty of people watching opportunities to add to the conversation. Try getting a flight of beers and trying them together. This is an upgrade from your average “let’s get a coffee” date.
If you’re town has a bar or restaurant chock full of classic arcade games, take a first date there. Make a friendly wager at the pinball or Pac-Man machine. This is an easygoing atmosphere that would make for an ideal afternoon meetup.
If you live in an area known for it’s natural beauty and outdoor appeal, suggest meeting at a [well-trafficked] hiking trail. Or, if you happen to meet someone who lives an hour or so away, it can make for a good meeting spot. Pack water and some snacks to share at the peak.
A casual lunch
Sometimes the pressure of a first-date dinner can be overwhelming. Just picking a restaurants can be tricky because you don’t know much about the other person. Try a weekend or quick weekday lunch meetup. It will ensure a start and end time and is ideal if you don’t necessarily want alcohol included on the first meeting.
With the same reasons for planning a lunch, if the evening hours work best for a meetup, then try suggesting happy hour with appetizers. This will give you a chance to see if there’s dinner-worthy chemistry. Happy hour will also ensure a good end time if you don’t hit it off.
A sporting activity
If you seem to have a mutual love for sports and being active, ask your date to a nearby tennis court or driving range. If it’s in the summer, a lot of tennis clubs have round robins during the summer, so a doubles mini tournament could also be fun. This is the perfect early evening or afternoon date idea. Bring some drinks and snacks to share after or hit up a local bar for a couple hours to extend the date!