Alright guys, listen up. First of all, let's get something straight: chivalry is not dead. Trust me when I say that holding doors open for other people, especially girls, catches their attention. Vin Diesel hits the nail on the head when he said, "Being male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of age. But being a gentleman is a matter of choice."
Second, I know how hard it is to come up with a great first date idea to impress your lady. I feel your pain. So that's why I want to give you a few pointers on how to go about picking out which date idea you should go with for the most important date of all.
I picked out these ideas, and then ranked them based on how much communication each activity allows for.
One: Very low risk
Two: Low risk
Three: Somewhat risky
Four: Pretty risky
Let's get started!
Level 1: Very Low Risk Dates
#1: Skype date.
I put this under level one because let's face it: technology makes conversations less awkward, no matter if it's over the phone, over text, or over FaceTime or Skype. Plus, the conversation is limitless, as long as you both don't have time constraints. Try to schedule a time when you're both free and don't have to be distracted or leave in the middle of conversation. Block out a time to talk, just like you would for any other date. Also if you need to, you can cheat a little and have a list of questions off-screen to ask should conversation die down. I’ve heard of Skype dates lasting anywhere between five minutes and five hours, so talk your heart out.
#2: Park date.
Parks are peaceful, and a great place to spark conversation with your date. You can stop and take breaks on benches whenever you like, and walk as much as you want. Unless the park is super crowded, you should have a lot of privacy between you two with little chance of being overheard. So if that is one of your worries, then the park is your place.
Level Two: Low Risk Dates
#1: Lunch date.
This date not only allows you to feed yourself, but it also shows your lady that you are willing to spend a little extra dough on her (always insist on paying for the first date, but not necessarily every date after. Women also like independence.). I put this under level two because there's always that chance that your date doesn't like the food (talk about it beforehand) and conversation tends to die down when the food arrives. But that also allows for you to think of new conversation topics.
#2: Ice cream date.
Because who doesn't love ice cream, right? This date lies right between a lunch date and a coffee date, since most ice cream places are set up like coffee shops rather than restaurants. Regardless, conversation may get slow while eating, so store up your arsenal of questions beforehand. Also, make sure it's warm outside, that's key.
#3: Coffee date.
This is more commonly a college-aged or older date, but going to a local coffee shop can be fun! The atmosphere is light, and they're usually small places for those fearing large public areas to meet for a first date. Even if you or your date is not a coffee drinker, coffee shops have more options, so that would be the only risk. Drinks are easier to talk over than food, so this is a good option.
#4: Study date.
My first unofficial date was a study date, and we ended up talking more about random things than studying. That's why it's listed under level Two, but study dates can definitely lead to some interesting conversations. Heck, you can even bond over how much you like or dislike the class you're studying for!
#5: Museum date.
These dates can be hit or miss, depending on the museum. This is definitely one of those dates that you should talk about before going on. While museums can be really awesome and interesting, they can get boring or uninteresting just as quickly. Museums are also good conversation starting places (mostly deep and theoretical, in my experience), but just don't disturb the other patrons.
Level Three: Somewhat Risky Dates
#1: Driving date.
If you've ever heard of the "Penny Date" idea, this is pretty similar. Basically, you have a penny (or other coin variation) and flip it when you come to a main intersection. Decide how many times you flip, and when you flip and make the final turn, you have to make a date out of wherever you are. You may already see the risks involved in this: you're driving for the whole first half of the date, which distracts the driver and doesn't allow for much in-depth conversation. Plus, you may end up at your local florist, and it's hard to make a date out of flowers (even though they're a wonderful gift idea). Flexibility in the game rules helps with this one, and this can also end up being really fun and memorable.
#2: Mini golf date.
Why is this level three? Everyone loves mini golf, right? Well, maybe not everyone. It may not be your or your date's cup of tea (see level two, #3). Plus, if it's crowded, some of you guys (or gals) might be intimidated about talking about yourself when a family of 6 awaits your next hit. It all depends on comfort levels, and should definitely be talked about beforehand.
#3: Bowling date.
Pretty similar to mini golf. Except bowling might be a better first date idea than mini golf, given that not many people (unless you're on the bowling team) are great at bowling, so this could be a real bumper-bonding experience.
Level Four: Pretty Risky Dates
#1: Double dates.
You might be wondering, "What's wrong with double dates?" The answer is: nothing! But as a first date? No way. Avoid this at all costs. A double date as a first date is basically another way of saying, "I don't want to have to be with her one-on-one and do a lot of talking." Having another couple there distracts from finding out about your date and while it can be fun, should be avoided for the first go around.
Never has there been a more common first date mistake than going to see a movie. I mean, come on, how much can you actually find out about a person by sitting in a quiet, dark room separated by an arm rest? It's a conversation avoidance tactic that's been used for years that needs to stop. First dates are meant to find out more about a person, beyond their movie tastes. And please, don't be that awkward couple that talks through an entire movie. Definitely avoid this one for a first date.
#3: Family functions.
You may have met someone and asked them out, and before even going on a date, you may have already told your family about them. And what do they say? "Oh, I can't wait to meet them! They sound so nice." This is not, I repeat, not an open invitation to invite them over to a family function for a first date. It's awkward, and usually the parents end up asking all the questions and you're left sitting there ingesting all of it (and ingesting food, more than likely). At least go on one date alone before introducing them to your family, so you have something to introduce about them.
So there you have it. 10 do's and three don'ts of first dates. Hopefully you can use one of these ideas, or even use them to come up with a list of your own. Think outside the box and try to impress her (especially with your chivalry). Good luck, and happy dating!