We've come to the conclusion that there's entirely too much advice on the Internet about how to do things right on a first date - best first date ideas, how to look your best on a first date, gifts for a first date, foods to die for on a first date, how to wear first date makeup, what to say on your first date... you get the idea.
That's why we decided to go the opposite way and tell you WHAT YOU MUSTN'T DO on a first date. Specifically, the 50 Worst First Date Ideas to have ever (dis)graced the human imagination.
Are you ready for a roller-coaster ride? And please, you're welcome to cringe if you've ever done any of these. After all, if these ideas aren't cringeworthy, then what is?
Before you begin...Explore the Friendship Lamps: The Best Way to Stay Connected to Your Loved Ones Across the Miles
#1: A Poetry Reading
What? Wait. No! You're thinking of taking him to a poetry reading? Why not bring along some pillows and eyemasks while you're at it. First of all, you're hardly going to get any talking done. Second of all, poetry? An art museum perhaps, but not poetry. Don't get us wrong. There's absolutely nothing we don't love about poetry. But it has its place. On the topmost shelf where you can't reach it.
#2: A Video Game-athon - with Your Friends
Hmm, a snoozefest for her and a fun night for you. How boring! Unless you're dating one of your friends' sisters, this is a very bad idea. Why? Well, you're a gamer, right? Figure it out! How would you like to be taken to a Lamaze class on your first date? There you go, now you understand.
What, you're going to ask her to wear her most tattered jeans for her first date with you? Get real. Paintball might work in the movies (10 Things I Hate About You, for example) or on TV (Nope, didn't work in the Big Bang Theory) but in real life, a girl likes to be made to feel special, not made a target! It's like telling a girl: "Hey, I like you. You run and hide and I'll try and shoot you." Bad idea, no? Besides, they hurt, man.
#4: Tailgate Party
Yikes! If you're in college, this might be fun. Might. But it might not. No girl wants to be taken on a cheap date with a dozen other sweaty guys just to guzzle warm beer and "admire the stars", as you put it. Go on, break out that $50 you've been hiding in your wallet and splurge some. Maybe dinner?
That is wrong on so many levels, it's hard to even explain why this is a bad first date idea. If you can't see that, by all means take her to an isolated spot with no cell service and a chance to get mauled. By a bear, of course - what did you think we were talking about?
#6: Let's Take a Stroll (In Sub-zero Weather)
Yes, 'coz it's nice and balmy out. No, it isn't. The fact that you only decided to take that walk because the ice on your windshield was too darn thick should have kinda sorta given you a clue, bub.
#7: Yay, Let's Go to the Mall!
What are you, 14? Taking a girl to the mall isn't even cool for 14-year-olds these days. It's 1985 calling... they want you back. For crying out loud, not the mall. You're better off taking her to the park and feeding the ducks... speaking of which.
#8: A Hotdog Date
This is when you buy a couple of hotdogs (don't bother holding the relish, by the way) and walk down whatever avenue has the most expensive shops. But since you've got your hotdogs in hand, you don't actually go in and buy anything. Clever, huh? Well, NO IT'S NOT! The only time to take a date window shopping is... NEVER. It's okay to walk her home after dinner, but that shouldn't be the entire date, you cheapo!
#9: A Zumba Class
Ooh, very classy... NOT. Why would you think that jumping around and sweating would be an appealing first date idea? Don't get us wrong, we have nothing against Zumba. Well, we lie, too, but don't hate us.
#10: Car Shopping
So you want to impress her. We get that. But taking her to the local Lexus dealership for a test drive isn't going to hack it. At best, you'll come off as a pompous ass showing off his well... ignorange of dating etiquette. At worst, you're this weird date who becomes the main character in a joke she and her friends will be laughing about for years to come.
#11: A Visit With Your Parents
No, you're not parading her as a possible DIL! This is a first date, not 'Meet the Fockers' sequel. It's nice to drop in on your parents once in a while and we highly recommend that - just not with your first date in tow.
#12: A McDonald's Restaurant
Fast food is a great idea if your date is one of these things:
- Just immigrated from a remote Polynesian island
- Hellen Keller with no sense of taste
- 12 years old, in which case you'll also need a chaperone and be no older than 13 yourself
#13: A Nightclub
A night of 'thump, thump, thump' at the sound level of a jet engine is not exactly conducive to romance - or even conversation. You may as well take her to lunch at a construction site where they're using dynamite and jackhammers - at the same time.
#14: An Amateur Performance - Featuring YOU
Why would you put her through that pain... especially if you might actually suck at standup comedy or whatever you're trying your hand at. This is an event to invite your closest confidantes to, not a girl you barely know. On the other hand, it's a gamble. If you're great at it, she might just be impressed. But do you really want to take that risk?
#15: An Open Mic Night... or Worse... Karaoke!
An open mic night is just an excuse for really bad artists to have an audience of some kind. But picking a Karaoke bar for your first date is a whole new level of low. It's okay if you're actually a fantastic singer in disguise and you just want to blow everyone out of the water. But are you?
#16: A Blood Donation Drive
Why don't you just come out and tell her your Dracula just before taking her to the Give Blood donation drive happening in town? It'll spice things up a bit if you wear your fake fangs, too.
[This is a (badly) Photoshopped image for illustration (and, hopefully, a little humor and entertainment) purposes only. All copyrights belong to the copyright owners (obviously) and we claim no ownership or license to use!]
#17: Beach Cleaning... or Trash Picking at the Park
You might be the most environmentally conscious person you know, but don't force that on others, please. Just let everyone do it in their own little ways. No need to run out and become a Greenpeacer, and there's really no need to rope her into it. Well, unless that's what she was going to do over the weekend anyway. In that case, here... you missed a spot.
#18: A Kid's Birthday Party
So you had a date the same day as your nephew's 5th birthday, but why inflict that on her? The cake might just save you but the kiddie games can be embarrassing for a fully grown adult - and a couple of them on their first date, no less. It could be fun, though, but definitely not something you plan to do.
#19: Pick Mushrooms for Dinner
What are you planning to do? Accidentally poison her by feeding her the wrong ones? This sort of thing is only acceptable if you live in a log cabin, wear overalls, carry a rifle, chew tobacco, drive a beaten-up old truck, and have a dog named Sawyer. Common, you only got the "date" with her because you kidnapped her from the woods and are hiding her in the old wood shack behind the cabin. Even so, poor taste Jebediah.
#20: Meet up at 4 am to Watch the Sunrise
Unless you're in Cyprus in June, you're going to have a long wait in the dark. What time did you think the sun rose? Besides, if that's the only time you're free for a date, stop dating and take up yoga instead.
#21: Do an Escape Room Night
This is alright for a second or third date, but the problem with doing it on a first date is that you won't know how she'll react. You really don't want to turn Escape Room into Panic Room and then never see her again (because of the court order and all that.)
#22: Go to an Adult Store or Museum
Really? You wanna go there? Why not? Because it's a little risky and more than a little risqué! Trying to turn her on might just turn her off. Do this only if you're absolutely sure it is going to happen on the first date.
#23: Take Her to the Dog Park (But You Don't Have a Dog!)
Going to the dog park without a dog makes you a bit of a weirdo. And if you're taking a date, others are going to come up and ask you which one's yours. At the very least, it's going to be a little uncomfortable. But if you're going to do it anyway, DO NOT approach any of the dogs there. They've come to play with other dogs, not strange humans. It's frowned up, in case you weren't aware.
#24: Take Her Camping
Really? You want to do the whole bug-spray-in-my-eyes-legs-badly-scratched-up-tent-broke-ended-up-getting-drenched-in-the-rain thing? Go for it, but don't expect her to pick up the phone for a second date. As it is, she's going to have to go to therapy just to get right of the nighmares about bears and scorpions.
#25: Have a Spa Day
Ah, an entire day of not looking at each other because you're prone on the massage table, have cucumber slices over your eyes, or are in a mud bath? Are you taking your ex (the one you can't stand) on a once-more first date, perchance? What are the chances that you can even have a private moment alone to talk?
#26: The Fair
Oh, yes, Definitely a fantastic date idea - if your date loves popcorn, cotton candy, and cheap stuffed animals, that is. No woman is going to be thrilled about waiting in line to go on a ride that might make her hurl. If she is, it might not be a super-mature relationship to begin with.
#27: Disco Night at the Local Nightclub
This might be fun if she's in her 40s and knows what Disco is! Otherwise, steer clear of the sequins, the flare pants, and the badass collars, Travolta!
#28: Run a Marathon (Or Half-marathon if You're Only Half-crazy)
Are you kidding me? A sweaty date with hundreds of people all around you? You may as well take her fully clothed into a sauna and ask her if it's "hot enough for you?" after about an hour or so. Get serious, even a health buff wouldn't tolerate a first date marathon. Admit it, you were hoping to get to shower together later on, weren't you?
#29: A Beach Picnic
Unless you're an expert at keeping sand out of everything, a trip to be beach is can turn out to be a real beach. On the other hand, if you have a beachhouse, it's not a bad idea - at least, you won't have to drive back in bumper to bumper traffic just to get her home.
#30: A Vegan Meal
Assuming she's a card-carrying carnivore, this is going to be a disaster from the moment you walk in to the restaurant. If you're vegan, that's fine. Do it on your own time. Don't subject a perfectly healthy meat-eater to your culinary vagaries and fads. We beg you. And could you please pass the steak knife?
#31: Take her to the Taxidermist
If you're asking 'human or animal', you're definitely on the wrong track. 'Neither' is the right answer. She doesn't need to see dead Fifi or Fido, nor should she be subjected to a stuffed grandpa head!
[Not real, obviously]
#32: An Intimate Dinner in a Private Booth
Not a great idea for a first date because it might put her on the spot. If neither of you are great conversationalists, this could turn out to be a disaster. Too much ambient romance on a first date can kill any chance of a second one.
#33: A Movie Date
Taking a girl out for an intimate dinner for a first date might be too personal and up-close, but this is exactly the opposite. You won't get a chance to talk, except when you're waiting in the line outside or walking back to your cars. What's the point, really?
#34: A Family Gathering
This only works in the movies because she's so charming and you have the perfect family. Unfortunately, that's not real life. Do you really want your all-hands-when-he's-drunk uncle cornering your date in the kitchen? Should she put up with the incessant chatter of your aunt who is entirely too critical of your growing-up years? Will she get stuck with the deaf grandmother who thinks your date is actually your ex-girlfriend and keeps calling her Betty? It's no better than inviting a girl to an Addams Family party.
#35: Road Trip with Your Buddies
Squished into the backseat of a car with three guys for 200 miles? Not fun at all. Go roadtripping by all means, but not for a first date experience. And if your friends are cute, you're probably not getting that second date, anyway.
Hop in - plenty of room in the back!
#36: Hang Out at Your Place
This sends the message that you're willing to do absolutely zero to impress her on the first date. It reeks of disinterest, and she might feel like she's the one making all the effort, especially if you don't even get dressed up. But then, why would you?
#37: Strip Club
Wow, you're a master of bad taste, aren't you? Are you trying to win the Pervs Trying to Act All Cool award this year? You might just get it with this idea. No, it's not cool to take a girl to a strip club on your first date. Why not? Because strip clubs are the epitome of treating a woman like a piece of flesh, and you're asking your date to be the guest of honor at an event that demeans her entire half of the human species. That's why not, among other things, you insensitive beast.
#38: Firing Range
You should be in her line of fire just for coming up with this idea, to be honest. This is one of the worst places to take a date unless you're both at the police academy or training at Quantico! Even then, it's like talking shop on a date. Bad etiquette, to say the least.
#39: Finger Food Dinner
No, that Indian restaurant that's just opened up isn't the best idea. Gravied hands, clothes all ruined from the chutney, the runs the next morning, and an entirely undelightful experience are what you'll be leaving her with.
#40: Splitting the Bill
If there are egos involved, you can always agree before hand to going Dutch. But don't give the waiter your orders and surprise her by telling him to bring "separate bills." Worse, don't suggest that you split the bill when it arrives. No matter how good the food was, it's going to leave a bad taste in her mouth.
#41: Your Uncle's Funeral
Umm, is your date's name Morticia? Then don't take her there for the love of Baby Jesus in his warm swaddling cloth! A funeral is no place for a first date. And we don't care if that was your Uncle's last wish. Go hire someone to play that part if you have to. Girls, if a guy asks you to wear black on your first date, beware.
#42: A Prison Visit
Aw, that's so sweet. No it's not. If you're going to scare the pants off her, take her to see a horror film or a scary wax museum. Don't take her to visit your brother at the maximum security facility downtown. If you need to be told that this is a bad idea then... well, we're so sorry that your brother got a bad rap but it's probably your turn next.
#43: Thrift Shopping
If you're a thrifter, you're probably thinking, "Hey, what a fantastic first date idea!" Well, it's really not. We love the occasional treasure-hunt at the local thrift store as much as anyone else, but it's not really the best first date idea. Some people tend to project their own interests on to other people, and that's what this is.
#44: The Laundromat
Get your whites even whiter. We love whites. But taking her to watch your clothes tumbling around? We don't love whites that much! A laundromat is a great place to meet single women, but taking a single woman there on purpose? Not a great idea.
#45: A Marathon Binge
Two hours of Two and a Half Men? We don't think so. Don't get us wrong. Who doesn't love Ashton Kutcher? But not for a first date. For a bunch of friends on a pizza and beer night, maybe. Not a date. Never. No. Bad dog. Down boy.
Noooo. Not even if you're Stan Lee's relative. An extravaganza featuring your favorite superheros and nerds in their 50s pretending they're 12? Absolutely not!
#47: A Quick Trip to Jiffy Lube
"Wanna rotate my tires?" was never a great pickup line anyway but you're taking this too literally. No, she does not want to rotate your tires or even watch your tires being rotated. Oil change? Yeah, sure. Why not ask her to come in coveralls? You're better off taking her to a greasy spoon diner where the chef never washes his hands - and damn proud of it, too.
#48: The Airport to Watch Planes Land and Take Off
If you're that cheap, we have some great ideas for you. Sneak into a movie theater by tipping the janitor two bucks. Go to the local landfill and hunt for hidden treasures. Go dumpster diving. Take her to a fancy... park, for a day of feeding the ducks. Invite her to your 12th suicide attempt.
#49: Take her Babysitting
What? Yup, you need that $14 an hour to get by and she needs something to do, right? Why not team up and babysit the local kids? You can make a thing of it. Not that she'll want to ever date you again; but then, you may have just found the perfect business partner for your brand: We Sit on Babies!
#50: An Exercise Date at your Local Gym
Strain, sweat, repeat. This type of dating idea is exactly the reason why you're still single! We get it, you're health-conscious and you're looking for a woman who's equally dedicated to her physical well-being. So what? Go girlfriend-hunting at the local vegan joint. Why torture a poor soul with an hour of gut-wrenching clean and jerks? You jerk!
And there we have it; 50 nightmarishly poor choices for your first date with that lovely girl in accounting. Do you want her to switch jobs and move to another country? Leave her alone, damn it!