Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 01-29-2019 Comments: 0
Let’s be honest: there’s a lot riding on a first date. It’s your best chance to make a good impression on someone you find attractive. (No pressure!) Most dating app users are messaging several people at once, so when you score a first date, there’s even more pressure to get it right and stand out from the crowd. So what can you do to ensure success? What can you do to get a second date?
Dating apps have made things a little more complicated, because they offer distraction.
It’s easy to disengage on a first date if the two of you are at a bar doing an awkward question and answer session. It feels like an interview, and it’s hard to build a connection. Think about your typical first date. How many times has your mind wandered back to your dating app to see who else is out there, especially if you’re bored? And be honest: how many of you have pulled out your phone and started swiping when your date goes to the restroom or puts more money in the meter?
So what can you do to ensure boredom doesn’t set in?
For starters, the best first date is to pick an activity that you can do together (which also takes your mind off swiping on a dating app). There’s not so much pressure to make witty conversation, and you definitely won’t feel like it’s an interview. Plus, if you look forward to what you’re doing, it brings positive energy to the date, which makes for a better time for both of you.
The next question is – what is the best first date activity to get a second date?
Here are some ideas we brainstormed to help you get started. Of course, these are suggestions. Get creative and think about what you really enjoy, and plan ahead!
Sometimes if the weather is bad it’s hard to coax people out of their homes to meet in person. But what about inviting your date to an escape room? These are fun, interactive games (indoors!), where the two of you are given a timeframe to solve a mystery with clues you get along the way. It’s a great way to engage with your date and work together toward a common goal (a great tool for building attraction). There are many different themes and locations, so check your local listings and see what looks enticing.
Hiking or walking dogs together.
One of the best (and cheapest) ways to get to know your date is to do something outdoors. Hiking is a great, low-pressure activity. When you’re hiking, it’s okay to pause conversation to enjoy the scenery, so you don’t feel forced to be witty or ask questions every minute. Plus, it’s a good workout and a nice way to spend an afternoon. If you’re feeling good, invite your date for a bite to eat after. If you don’t live near a good hiking area, try visiting an arboretum or nature preserve, or take your dogs for a walk at a local park.
Trivia night at a pub.
Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Do you know everything there is to know about football? If you’re not up for spending money on an escape room experience but like the idea of a game, trivia night at your local pub is a great first date. (Plus, you get to be creative in coming up with a good team name.) It’s a great way to break the ice, and lets you get to know each other in a fun, low-stress way.
Gallery opening/ art exhibit.
Are you not a game person? That’s okay. Art galleries and exhibits are great for first dates, because they provide an interesting backdrop and give you a starting point for conversation. Check your local listings for something outside of a museum if possible, like an indie gallery show, photography exhibit, or maybe an art walk. It’s more interesting to go to an event that promotes local talent, and you can explore the neighborhood, too.
These are a few suggestions to get you started – but the main idea is to choose something fun and interactive on the first date and avoid just grabbing drinks. Activities are the best way to increase your chances of success.
Kelly Seal is a freelance writer, dating expert, and author of the book “Date Expectations: A Guide to Changing Your Dating Life and Finding Real Love.” She got her start in the dating industry by hosting speed dating events around southern California and offering advice and encouragement to attendees. She now lives in L.A. and spends her free time hiking in the Santa Monica mountains and blogging at www.kellyseal.com.