Top 5 First Date Ideas

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Planning where you’ll meet for your first date can be challenging, especially early on in your online dating experiences. For me, early on I thought every date needed to be an all-out affair with a very nice dinner and some activity afterward.

As I started to have success and was going on multiple first dates a week, my bank account just couldn’t keep up with my dating life! Because of this, I began to suggest simpler dates, often just meeting for coffee. Alternately, I might suggest something fun (but still inexpensive) like mini-golf. Surprisingly, I found that these dates weren’t any less successful and my original ideas of what a first date “had” to be turned out to be wrong. Thankfully, I didn’t need to have tons of money for expensive first dates to have success!

With that in mind, the following graphic talks about good first date ideas. Hopefully this will give those of you struggling with where to meet a solid place to start. To provide some additional context/thoughts to the graphic below:

The Top 5…?

While this states these as the top five first date ideas, I don’t really believe there are a five “best” first dates. Articles named this way just apparently do better at actually getting read. Plus, you do have to draw the line somewhere when putting together an infographic like the one below!

So look at these ideas as sending you in the right direction, not necessarily the end-all be-all of first dates in their specific suggestions.

An Opportunity to Talk

What’s your goal of the first date? I hope it’s to get to know the person you’re meeting better. With that in mind, try to pick somewhere that you’d be able to talk. If you look at the five worst places for a first date below, you’ll see that loud places make the list. Or if you will be choosing a loud venue for part of the date, be sure to have some time before or after where you can talk and get to know one another.

Simple Can Work

As I’ve already touched on: guys, first dates don’t need to be expensive. However, showing generosity (such as in how you tip) can help. See the Do’s and Don’ts Guidelines below for more.

Don’t Make Things Harder than They Need to Be

Try not to overthink things. I went to a lot of effort early on for what often ended up being very unsuccessful first dates. All that stress and money invested for what? Meanwhile, I when I met the woman I would someday marry, it was just for coffee after asking her out in the first email I sent her. Not to say you should always do coffee, but sometimes we do more harm than good in obsessing on how we meet.

Alright, on to the graphic!

Top ideas for first dates

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About the Author:

Brad initially struggled with online dating but over time became quite successful using it. He met his wife using online dating and has been giving advice and helping people improve their results since 2007. He has written a Free Online Dating Guide to help others find success with online dating. You can learn more about his personal experience using online dating and running this website here.


  1. Alexis Taylor  October 27, 2013

    I agree that financial generosity could make me more interested on a first date, and make me feel well cared for. More important to me, however, is generosity of spirit. Make sure you ask your date questions, find out her opinion on things, be a good listener, and don’t try to steer the night in any one direction. The notion that the guy has to pay on dates is antiquated, but being a generous conversationalist will never go out of style.


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