Top 10 Worst First Date Ideas That Men Should Avoid

Couple eating popcorn inside a theater Don’t make the mistake of doing any of the worst first date ideas. Want to tip the odds in your favor? Plan accordingly.

First dates can be stressful. Not only do we feel jitters, but we’re also stuck thinking of plans and locations. Thanks to the stress, date ideas come in short supply, leading us to settle for simple meetups. Although they aren’t bad per se, they’re not quite the best ways to get to know someone.

Since there’s plenty of advice on getting first dates right, we thought of shifting gears for this entry. We’ll share our list of worst first date ideas to help you have better ones.

Why Are First Dates Important Anyway?

First dates present a rollercoaster of emotions. Imagine being excited and nervous at the same time. Even the most experienced daters get butterflies every now and then! So no, you’re not alone.

The good news is that feeling those two emotions simultaneously is pretty normal; it’s a good sign! Psychotherapist Lauren Freier agrees, saying that it shows that these dates matter to a person. She adds:

If the stakes were so low that you have no nerves at all, you probably wouldn’t be interested in going on the date in the first place. [However,] if your nerves are getting in the way of putting your best self forward, you can absolutely work through that anxiety with helpful tools and support.

With that said, why do first dates matter?

The answer: first dates are important because they indicate where a potential relationship is going. Since they’re typically in person, daters get to know each other better and gauge if there’s enough magic for second dates.

Think of first dates as first impressions: if they like what they see from and feel for you, they’ll give whatever you have another go. Do you want an indication? You’ll know things are going great when neither of you wants to leave and end the date.

10 Bad Date Ideas to Avoid on Your First Outing

Couple in a pub. Bad date ideas spell trouble for blossoming relationships.

Life naturally goes from good to great when you’re with the right person. However, first dates aren’t the best settings to get immediately comfortable because comfort levels need time to grow. Spare yourself from awkward and miserable times by putting our list of top 10 worst first date ideas into consideration:

1. Movie dates

This date idea is a classic. Movie dates are a quick fix when you’re short on settings. However, there’s a reason we included this on our list of worst first date ideas.

Sure, it’s nice to watch engaging and entertaining content for a couple of hours. However, you can’t get anything meaningful out of your date when you’re focused on a screen. Talking in the theater isn’t ideal behavior either, so you’re left to sit in (awkward) silence.

2. Fast food meals

There’s nothing wrong with fast food! Who doesn’t like it every now and then?

Quick bites are great, but fast food joints are one of the worst first date locations. Why? First, these establishments tend to have packed and loud crowds — not quite the romantic picture you want to paint, no? Here’s an interesting fact: in a dating survey by a British bingo website, 13% of respondents said that a specific fast food establishment is a bad first date setting.

Second, it’s just a bad look on a person, making daters believe that their matches don’t care about the date and its outcome. You don’t want to come off as a low-effort person.

3. Bar/pub crawls

Alcohol and dates aren’t an unfamiliar combination. Some drink a bottle or down a shot to gain some (liquid) courage and calm their nerves.

Bars and pubs are popular dating spots too. The crowds, lighting, music, and easy access to drinks create a vibrant and tempting atmosphere. Also, asking someone to grab a drink with you sounds effortlessly smooth because of the way it rolls off one’s tongue.

The thing is, getting hammered on the first date is just a recipe for disaster. Not only does it look and feel unpleasant, but it can be potentially dangerous too. Getting intoxicated can hinder anyone from giving consent, which makes for bigger troubles.

4. House visits

Couple staring at each other House visits may seem harmless, but they're not the most appropriate venues for first dates.

Visiting someone’s place is one thing. But for first dates, we recommend that you avoid them. Your match shouldn’t take or bring that suggestion either.

We have reasons for this inclusion. One, the thought of strangers knowing where you live is scary. Two, being alone with that said stranger is also creepy. Even if they won’t harm a fly, that’s just not an ideal situation to be in.

And three, this idea is lazy. It’ll just make you look nonchalant and disinterested.

5. Games/sporting events

Having dates in games and other sporting events plays out (no pun intended) similarly to movie dates. They demand your focus on the sight in front of you. Why risk missing the action by talking, right?

And unlike games, there are, unfortunately, no victors here — only losers. The lack of conversation and communication is a waste of a good opportunity to get to know each other better.

6. Group dates

First dates are supposed to be private affairs. Tagging other people along is a poor choice. You’re only meeting your match for the first time and you barely even know them, so why bring more people into the picture?

There’s a reason people remind us that there’s a time and place for everything. First dates aren’t the best place for your friend group.

7. Long drives

Driving around with an attractive person may seem romantic, but we’re more inclined to believe that it’s awkward and a little creepy. Unless you know each other prior to your date, you can bet that the majority (if not, the entirety) of the drive will be a silent one.

Rides like this can get dangerous too, especially if the stranger you’re with isn’t the person you expected them to be. Locked doors and seemingly unending roads are scary!

8. Parking lot dates

We won’t deny that there’s an allure to car dates. Not only are they romantic, but they’re budget-friendly too.

However, dates in a parking lot can come off as a low-effort first date idea. They may lead your match to assume that you’ll exert the same energy into a relationship. We recommend saving this idea for future dates instead.

9. Adventurous/extreme sports

Does your idea of a fun first date involve bungee jumps and other adrenaline-rushing activities? If so, you may want to go back to the drawing board!

Jumping off heights (along with other extreme sports) isn’t the most romantic way to kick off a blossoming relationship. You didn’t wear your best outfit just to do something adventurous and potentially dangerous! Tempting danger is not a bet you want to wager.

10. Family events

We’ll keep this last one short: meeting families is a huge moment! You’re only on your first date, and you don’t want to scare the poor person off by introducing them to your folks and other relatives. You don’t need the extra eyes to witness your actions.

The worst first date ideas don’t stop at our list. There are many more unsavory suggestions out there, so don’t add them to your date idea hive if you don’t want to ruin a blossoming romance. Why go for bad ideas when there are much better ones?

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