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Great first dates

On a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother, Robin and her new boyfriend agree to every date the other suggests. The audience, however, hears their own inner dialogue and learns that neither one wants to spend their time partaking in the suggested outing. They do, though, want to appear as though they are down for anything.

Couple on first date -- A picnic in a part

A first date with a potential suitor is just as new and important as a second, third and fourth. As you get to know one another, what you do and the places you go are imprints of your first and lasting impressions. The proposals of what to do on a date are scrutinized, as you each have your own inner dialogue: “Ugh, I can’t believe he just suggested I go listen to a jazz band. Borrrrrring!”

Our suggestion? Keep it neutral. Here’s a list of great first, second, third and fourth date ideas that keep it simple so you can continue to learn about one another without finding yourselves in an uncomfortable situation. If, during the initial dates, you find out you’re both extremely adventurous, you can plan your bungee jumping adventure for date number five.


This is a casual and conventional date idea that gives way for a little friendly competition and opens to the door to flirtation. The environment is fun and low-stress so you both can be at ease… and have a beer!

A park

The natural beauty of a great park is calming and viscerally appealing. Stroll through the gardens together, bring a board game, pack a light lunch for a picnic and expect some handholding and other types of canoodling. Don’t forget the pleasures of people-watching, a favorite pastime for most.

Comedy club

If your beau isn’t interested in laughing, you probably shouldn’t be interested in him. Try to get seats close to the stage and hope that the comedian heckles you so there’s a third party to break the first-date barrier between you two. Either way, when you leave the show, there will be plenty to talk about and reflect on!


Go get wild! Filled with exotic animals, the zoo is a great place to admire and learn about all different types of wildlife. Not only can you walk around and marvel at these creatures, but there’s also usually a bunch of activities happening there as well. There are places to eat, films to watch and Japanese gardens to walk through – there’s never that worry that your date will get boring.


Not everyone loves to cook, but everyone loves to eat! Going out to dinner is as simple and neutral as dates come. Instead of going with something extremely cultural like Indian or Lebanese, consider going out for Italian – an all-around favorite. Good food and good wine leads to good conversation. How else can you find out if your date would ever bungee jump?

More first date advice

Date ideas for any occasion
How to prepare for a first date
4 Things men want on a first date

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