I've been on more first dates than anyone I know, and that's definitely not something to brag about.
But BECAUSE of my expertise, I do know what makes a great first date — and how it can potentially lead to a second one.
For instance, I know that there are huge differences between a simple coffee date and an activity date. Personally, I happen to hate the former and love the latter.
Why? Let me break it down for you with a pros and cons list of each type of first date:
Coffee Date: Pros
This is a low-pressure and low-commitment way to meet up with someone.
If you don't like the guy, you can easily finish your coffee and say goodbye. It didn't waste much of your day, and you can move on with your life.
But, if you do like him, you can extend the date by getting an actual meal of food or going for a walk.
Chill dates like these are also a good way to get to know someone since you can ask your typical ice-breaker, "OK, so who are you?" questions and not be distracted by anything else going on.
Coffee Date: Cons
Ahem, it's BARELY even a real date. It's like a pre-date to see if you actually want to go on a real date.
Honestly, I would rather stay home and eat Hot Cheetos in my underwear than dress up for a lame non-date with a dude I'm not sure is even worth the time and effort.
I would rather stay home and eat Hot Cheetos in my underwear than go on a lame non-date.
Maybe it's because I'm lucky enough to have never been on a date where I've immediately wanted my friends to fake an emergency call. Or, maybe I'm just a masochist.
Regardless, coffee dates are boring, dinner dates are awkward and, hell no, I'm not drinking with a guy I barely know.
When you're on a coffee or dinner date, all you're doing is sitting across from a person, thinking of the next topic to bring up and hoping there are no long, awkward silences.
In those situations, tensions are high, and it's impossible to be yourself in that kind of nerve-racking environment.
Activity Date: Cons
Sometimes, activity dates can be too overwhelming. If you go to a club on your first date, you won't be able to hear each other.
And if you do something like a scavenger hunt, it really doesn't give you the chance for some uninterrupted conversation.
Plus, your date might end up being super competitive, which might turn an otherwise fun time playing mini golf or arcade games into a nightmare.
Activity Date: Pros
It makes a good first impression, because it shows you GIVE a damn.
The dates I've enjoyed the most are the ones where it's clear the guy has put a little bit of thought into the planning.
It doesn't necessarily have to be something super expensive or extravagant, either. A walk around your favorite neighborhood counts, or even taking them to see your favorite street art or free museum exhibit. Just pretend you're at least somewhat interesting and interested in this date.
The best first date I ever went on was at a pool hall.
Even though he had a long day at work, he still made sure to look up places that were easy for me to take a train to, and he called ahead to reserve a table (and make sure I could get in, since I was underage at the time).
You don't have to pretend you DGAF all the time. In fact, going above and beyond is hot.
I didn't appreciate it as much at the time, but now, I realize guys don't normally do that kind of thing — ever. You don't have to pretend you DGAF all the time. In fact, going above and beyond is hot.
Also, activity dates allow you to test your sexual chemistry.
Because we were playing pool, I totally got to pull the "I suck at this! Please get behind me and teach me how to strike the ball" card.
Yep, I was that girl. But whatever, guys, it was cute. And it was the perfect chance to test our physical chemistry and build up some sexual tension.
I would highly suggest a round of pool, but there are other things you can do that have the same effect: bowling, dancing, mini golfing or playing a sport.
Dates are supposed to be fun, not like some high-pressure job interview (even though you're technically seeing if this candidate is a good match for your love life).
When I go on a date, I want to do things I don't normally do — things I would rather do with a guy than with a friend.
I want to be myself with a person and look back on an experience where I won't just think, "Hey, remember that time we drank coffee at the place you took 12 other people?"
Making real, fun plans for a date shows you care, and that it's not just a numbers game to you.
The effort, sexual chemistry and fun, memorable moments you've shared on that first date will leave you wanting more — which means you'll be that much more likely to plan a second date.