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First Dates ...

I may get moved for this and not sure where this belongs.

So ... a first date.
- Home cooked meal
- Dinner at a fancy restaurant
- An activity and dinner
- Or just coffee

There was a blog about coupon or not on a first date. I thought it was fine. I'm not opposed these days. Besides we could use the extra money to go out later and have fun. Impress on a first date. No, just be yourself and enjoy. Impressing too hard turns me off.

So the questions is ... what is a great first date?

For me a day out fishing and then going back to his place or mine and cooking a nice dinner with out catch of the day, a nice bottle of wine, maybe a movie a relaxing from the day.

Fancy dinner is a total turn off. A nice bike ride, sailing, and a cup of coffee, or visiting a festival or a winery is fun an not too much. A expensive dinner to me doesn't impress at all. Bowling and pizza would be fun. Not with a group, but just the two of you. Enjoy something you both do other than just eat.

Not just a fun first date it needs to involve food. A lunch or dinner picnic. What would you do to either impress your date or what would you want your date to do to impress you?

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  1. Farmers' Market: a great venue for a first date. We can impress each other with our discernment in choosing the best and tastiest of what is in season. A quick & easy way to my heart is a woman who knows how to choose a maitake mushroom or knows the best local strawberry variety. Then we can improvise cooking a meal from what we scored.

    Also good are hikes.

    Very bad: sailing. I'm not going to literally put my life in the hands of someone I just met. Not kidding. Once while I was raising the sails, she had a panic attack while she was supposed to be steering. Turns out she was afraid of water and the boat had begun to rock and lean a bit. Kind of her to not have warned me of this. I've sailed since age ten, been told I'm a good teacher. But now I carefully screen beforehand.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Leonardo

      Sorry about the sailing, I was raised on water, never a bad experience yet, but you never know. Love the farmers market, good idea and very sweet. Hikes I agree are great, nature trails or even kayaking is fun. Market is cool.
      Thx

      Better luck sailing...

      1. re: kchurchill5

        I agree that sailing is a great 1st date. I am biased b/c my not husband took me sailing for our 1st date. And we're about to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary (and our 6 year dating anniversary). We were on a little wildflower in a man made lake. No open waters or big puffs of wind!

      2. re: Leonardo

        Love Leonardo's Farmers's Market suggestion. But like Miss Needle below, I would caution against home cooking on the first date. So...? The market and a picnic. You learn a lot about someone shopping for vituals. Bring a basket, load up on mutually agreed upon picnic fare, then visit a city park for a tasteof the bounty. Low pressure, public, informative. And fun.

        Cay

        1. re: Leonardo

          >heart is a woman who knows how to choose a maitake mushroom ...
          >Very bad: sailing. I'm not going to literally put my life in the hands of
          >someone I just met ...
          >
          i guess that rules out mushroom foraging (or abalone diving).

        2. Home-cooked meal? A no in my book unless I knew him really well before we had our first date. FYI, just watched the Jeffery Dahmer movie on IFC last night.

          Dinner at a fancy restaurant? Not my first choice as I would be thinking that he's trying too hard to impress me. I love thoughtfulness. But people who do their best to impress are generally a turn-off for me. Makes me thing he's got self-esteem issues.

          Activity and dinner? Depends on the activity. I've never really understood the dinner and movie. I get the dinner, but why do I want to spend 2 hours in a dark theater not talking to him when the whole purpose of a first date is to try to get to know somebody a bit better. And if people feel like they need to go to a movie just so they have something to talk about at dinner, that's probably not a good omen for things to come. As an aside, do people actually have activity dates like they do on shows like Blind Date? Does anybody really go try on lingerie in front of each other on the first date?

          Coffee? Or I guess I should say tea or cocktails in a quiet bar/lounge in my case. I think that's a perfect way to get to know somebody. Low pressure. Low cost. If things don't go to well, you don't have to sit through a 2-hour dinner with your date. If things go well, you can ask him if he wants to grab some dinner.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            I'm totally with Miss Needle on pretty much all counts on this one. I want a first date in public, just in case it gets a little surreal. And I want to keep it casual and low cost to keep it low pressure.

            1. re: thinks too much

              Add me in to the "no home cooking on a first date" crowd. I get the cost factor, but IMHO that's a little too intimate for a first date. I also think fancy restos are too much pressure for a first date.

              Coffee dates are great, and I'm a big fan of afternoon ice cream/gelato/etc. dates too.

              1. re: Suzy Q

                I'll be counted among those that say no home cooked first date. Interesting how (I think) we're all women that answered that way! The question is irrelevant for me now anyway, but my first date with my now husband was for drinks at a quiet bar.

                1. re: irishnyc

                  I like the going to a quiet bar for a drink. But I'm also Irish, so that might be why. No to home cooking as it is too intimate and for safety reasons. But as far as fancy restuarant or casual dining, I think as long as he put some thought into it, It's a kind gesture either way.

                2. re: Suzy Q

                  I guess I don't really go out on a first date unless I know the person. So for me I am already somewhat comfortable with him. Afternoon dates I work, coffee NO. But again, I wouldn't just go out on a date unless I knew the guy fairly well.,

                  1. re: kchurchill5

                    With you I would share abalone but not baloney. I'm right up the road.

              2. re: Miss Needle

                I always love your responses. I am really with you on the home-cooked meal. I tend to attract the crazies, so going to a guy's house on the first date is a no go.

                I don't think an activity is bad. I don't like the movie thing either- what do you really learn about someone there? Some activities can be fun if they allow you to talk and get to know each other but don't put you in a No Escape type of situation. Leonardo's fear of sailing is a perfect example. What do you do there if it's clearly going badly? Leap out with your lifejacket on and try to swim to shore? No thanks!

                With any first date, I want to drive myself so I can leave at any time. I think coffee/tea/cocktails are a good option for someone you don't really know well at all, or you can pick up dinner at a place where you know you're in and out in an hour. I can't drink so I'd probably do the coffee/tea if there were some cute place to go, or I'd pick a restaurant where I know the meal wouldn't linger.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  Word. Going to one another's place is a nonstarter for a first date. Or for the first *several* dates depending on how you know each other. As Miss N says, the ideal date is drinks and the possibility of low-key dinner should the drinks go smashingly well.

                  Also out, along with sailing, mushroom foraging, and lingerie: motorcycles unless you're each on your own bike; extreme sports; family of origin.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Agreed. My first date with my husband was at a nice(er) chinese restaurant and then a pool hall after. Very fun.
                    I remember the first time he cooked for me, he actually showed up at my house with all of the groceries and I watched him cook dinner..that was probably the 5 or 6th date though.
                    Not a fan of the coffeehouse date; not really a fan of coffeehouses.
                    We save the fancy restaurant date for when we go away, but that's only about once a year.

                  2. I'm not a fan of coffee dates.....i'm nervous/excited enough that I don't need extra caffeine coursing through my veins. I do like the cocktail dates, with or without activity (stop snickering....I mean pool or something ;) )....and never, please, in a chain coffee shop....there is just something about those that shouts online dating or post-AA meeting gatherings to me...(really, i'm not a snob... )

                    i've come around to the idea of activity and dinner dates....always been a fan of the activity dates, but my old mantra was that if i felt comfortable enough eating a big meal in front of a guy, then i wasn't feeling butterflies....but I learned to get over it enough to be able to enjoy a meal, it was just a thing with me (albeit quite true on many occasions).

                    Unless it's someone i've known a long while pre-date, no to home-cooked meal.

                    I've never gotten the dislike people seem to have for movie dates, but to each their own. I love movie dates, and hello, I happen to like sharing a popcorn with a guy I like in a dark movie theatre. Besides, I love movies in general, why not find someone who loves them too ?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: im_nomad

                      The only problem I ever had with movie dates is because you don't get to talk much. For me, movies are fun with someone you've been seeing a while, not necessarily while you're still in the "getting to know you" stages.

                    2. cocktails, after dinner hour, on a weeknight. Not expensive, and it gives both parties ample oppritunity to bail if they want. Added benefit of booze of course!:-)

                      1. I like the idea of sharing an activity, though a long day of events may be pushing it. I thought I ould spend a few hours w/ anyone but once agreed to a dinner/boat cruise thing w/ what turned out to be a horribly pompous lawyer - i wantd to swim to shore! I always thought something like mini-golf and pizza was ideal. My first date w/ my husband wound up being a picnic at the NYCBallet (they summer in Saratoga.) But that was a last-minute thing - we were talking and had planned a date on the weekend, then my planned outing to the ballet fell through so he agreed to meet me. He brought drinks and I brought picnic supplies, and we wound up going out for a beer after the ballet. Our second date, which had been planned to be the first, was a sushi dinner and then a reggae show at a club. Both were great fun - but of course, as I later married him, it's hard to tell how much was the activity and how much was just him.

                        I'd be leery of your first-date set-up (too long, too intimate for me.) But it sounds like a great date for a little further down the relationship road.