It’s always exciting to be asked out on a date after a long stint of loneliness, but it’s important not to let loneliness cloud your judgment. It’s perfectly fine to set a standard when it comes to acceptable first date ideas, and if he suggests any of the following for your first outing, just say no.
- Netflix and chill Umm, let’s not. First of all, is it 2016 or what? How is this even a real suggestion? There’s absolutely no reason for your first official date with a guy to take place in either of your living rooms. It’s not a date—not even close. If I meet a guy and he asks me over to his place before asking me out, I’d see it as a huge red flag, so I try to make things clear up front. I’m not looking for a hookup, I’m just trying to get to know him. If he can’t understand that, he’s not the one for me.
- Going to a movie I’ll pass. It’s just not the best idea for the first date. Yes, couples go to the movies all the time, but those couples have already taken steps to get to know each other. When I first meet someone, I want to interact with him and pick his brain a bit. You can’t do that at the movie theater. It’s just not the most appropriate setting to have a decent first date conversation. If a guy asks to take me to the movies, I’d suggest dinner first instead. If we find there’s chemistry, a movie can be next on the list.
- Hitting up his family reunion Yikes. This is too much too soon. While it may initially seem sweet that this guy wants you to meet his family, it’s actually kind of weird. If you’ve never gone on a date with him, why would you ever agree to meet and interact with his family? There’s no doubt there are benefits to knowing where someone comes from, but a first date would be way too early in my book.
- Being his plus-one to a work event Nope, not even interested. This is similar to meeting the family too soon. If I’ve never been out in public with a guy, I’d be nervous about being around his friends and coworkers. Plus, I’d wonder why he’d be comfortable with a woman he barely knows. So much could go wrong. In the end, it puts too much pressure on you to impress.
- Going out of town for the weekend Your first date shouldn’t be more than a few miles away from your house. There’s an exception if you two live in separate cities and you’re meeting at a neutral spot, but traveling together and staying in a hotel room together for the first time is a big deal. Why would you do this with someone you don’t even know?
- Going somewhere he used to take his ex Really? This actually happened to me once but he didn’t let me in on the secret until after we’d arrived at the location… after he snapped a photo of me standing in the exact place where his ex once posed. Let’s just say I was extremely turned off once I learned the inspiration behind our date. As it turns out, he was just trying to reignite a feeling he once shared with her. The problem? I wasn’t her. A word to the wise: if he mentions anything about an ex when talking about your first date, be sure to get the details before agreeing.
- Seeing a band you love in concert I love live music but again, concerts don’t provide the appropriate atmosphere when you’re trying to have a conversation. And if you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t want your “concert self” to make that first impression. I tend to become a different person when I see my favorite artist on stage and it’s not pretty.
- Hitting the club First of all, do people still go to clubs these days? Maybe I’m a bit older and out of touch, but even if clubbing is still your thing, it shouldn’t be a first date. Dancing is fun when you’re in a relationship but I’d prefer to get to know someone first.
- Leaving it up to you I used to hate this question until I realized just how particular I was about going out with someone for the first time. If this is a result of laziness, it’s a no-go. Otherwise, it’s not so bad. While I used to reject it, I now embrace it. There’s really nothing wrong with any of the above-mentioned ideas. They just don’t work for the first date. My advice? Always suggest a place where a decent conversation can take place. Once our chemistry is apparent, we can do whatever.