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Best First Date Ideas for Any Couple

First dates can be a lot of fun and exciting, but also a little scary. The anxiety of making a good impression gradually turns into the desire to know more about the other person, to see if the two of you are a natural fit.

A great first date is a complete experience that allows people to open up and get to know one another in a lively, interesting setting. Cities have gone a long way in the past years in changing the dating scenery from the conventional meeting spots to unique, engaging activities. And some of these could be recreated at home and are thus accessible even to remote partners who met online.

Still, planning the perfect first date can be quite the challenge. There are so many options out there besides the dinner and movie clichés, for both in-person and virtual first dates. Ahead, 25 of the best first date ideas that might give you a vibrant start.

Sometimes, first dates via a screen could be uncomfortable. However, certain activities, such as cooking together, watching a live performance or playing a game can make your virtual date more enjoyable. Why should online dating be any less fun than IRL romantic encounters? 

To begin with, here’s 10 ideas for an unforgettable first virtual date.

  1. Take the pressure off on a Happy Hour date

Keeping it simple is truly effective when it comes to online dating. The purpose of a happy hour date is to maintain a light and pleasant environment and get the conversation going. Try to avoid delicate topics and focus on funny stories or cheerful memories for a delightful and captivating date.

  1. Be Master chefs for one night 

Slightly unusual for a first date, cooking together while being apart is entertaining and an easy ice breaker at the same time. You can decide beforehand what meal you will both cook in your own homes or get creative and prepare something with whatever ingredients you may find around. Either way, you will have a great time and a lot to talk about.

  1. Attend a virtual event together 

There are various events available on digital platforms perfectly suitable for a first date. Whether it's an opera act, an online dance class or a DIY workshop you can’t go wrong choosing an exciting, stimulating activity to spend the evening. It also allows partners to find out shared interests and it can help take down the anxiety. 

  1. Take part in a Q&A session

Communication is one of the basis of any relationship and private questions are a good way to initiate conversations on dates. To relieve the stress of coming up with interesting, yet appropriate talking points, you can use online games or a random question generator. This can be a fun and efficient way for people to learn more about each other on their first date.

  1. Take personality quizzes

Personality quizzes are amongst the best first date ideas for scheduled Zoom or Facetime calls. These tests allow participants to discover each other step by step, without getting too personal, too soon. In addition, taking the time to complete the quizzes keeps partners busy throughout their date and their conversation flowing.

  1. Have fun playing games online

Even if you are not a dedicated gamer, this could end up being a fun and refreshing first date. Playing a video game or solving an online crossword puzzle is a great opportunity to lighten up the mood, relax and just enjoy the company of your date. 

  1. Enjoy a virtual seminar 

Nowadays, many cultural institutions and notable bookstores host virtual forums and readings with prominent authors from different fields. Why not take advantage of that and suggest an inspiring first date? You will have plenty to discuss afterwards or perhaps even on a second date, should you connect.

  1. Treat yourselves with a Paint And Sip Night

You can both sign up for an online art class and enjoy a quiet, chill evening in front of a canvas and a glass of good wine. Focusing on your work allows you to pause the conversation from time to time, without making it awkward. Painting together is a stimulating, creative date and a wonderful way to discover each other’s artistic side!

  1. Build a puzzle together

If that is something you are both into, select a challenging puzzle and spend the entire date putting it together. You can both work on the puzzle at the same time, each from your computer or you can compete and see who finishes it first. This is an entertaining activity that can easily connect people who barely know each other.

  1. Try a hobby swap

If you plan a romantic first date, a hobby swap might be your solution. You get to learn so much about another person by doing what they like to do. And it is an amazing idea for online dating, as it can also be successful via a video call. 

If you’re trying to plan an ideal in-person first date, then here’s 10 more ideas for IRL.

  1. Go on a ferry ride 

The romantic setting of a ferry trip makes it one of the most inspired, original ideas for a first date. Its short length, usually around 30 minutes, is enough to determine whether you want to continue the date, over dinner or drinks. 

  1. Relish culinary delicacies at a food festival

Seasonal street food festivals are wonderful opportunities to sample delicious treats while you get to know the person that caught your interest. All the different cultures and food options will give you something to talk about. And as a bonus, you might discover new locations for a future dinner date.

  1. Go out for dessert

You don’t need to go all out for a successful first date. If you have a sweet tooth, just skip the dinner and drinks part and get together for dessert. Thus, you can enjoy a casual evening with a nice conversation and tasty sweets.

  1. Walk your dogs together

Scheduling a date during one of your daily routines could be really stress-free and fun. If one of you doesn’t have a dog, you can always turn to neighbors, friends and even shelters.

The way a potential partner behaves around animals can be representative for the kind of person they are. And everybody knows dogs are excellent judges of character, so this might make it easier to determine the fate of date number two.

  1. Volunteer together

You can hit two stones with this surprising first date activity. On one hand, you can find out pretty quickly what the other person is passionate about. On the other hand, you get to do a good deed and help your community.

  1. Browse around a library or bookstore

Modern bookstores have become a trendy meeting spot lately, where you can hang out, sip a fashionable beverage and discuss favorite authors or publications. And that is exactly what a great first date should be about. Moreover, you could pick out books for one another and make sure you will meet again.

  1. Enjoy an artistic performance 

Whether it’s a poetry reading or the local theater’s last play, a live show is a fine first date idea. Mainly because it doesn’t require constant interaction and uninterrupted conversation between people who just met.

  1. Engage in a sports activity

The adrenaline of physical activity will get you both in a good mood and you will be able to enjoy shared hobbies. So go hiking, skating or bowling and show the other person what you are capable of. 

  1. Watch a movie outdoors

This is as romantic as it sounds, since it gives you the chance to get close and cozy pretty fast. As for the dating spot, you can choose between a traditional drive-in, a screening in the park or the comfort of your backyard.

  1.  Plan a beach day

Who doesn’t like long walks on the beach and magical sunsets over the ocean? If you love spending time on the shore, use your first date to show your potential partner a glimpse of your world. Perhaps in time, the beach could be witness to several milestones of your relationship.

Last, but not least, you could check out the next ideas, classic activities you can share, either in real life or through a screen.

  1. Try something new together

For your first date, plan an activity you are both curious about, but have never done it before. Observing someone out of their comfort zone is a good way to get to know them. 

  1. Go for a walk

As simple as that. Let the beautiful nature surround you and bring a good vibe to your date. It works like a charm even for virtual dates, since you can easily walk and chat at the same time.

  1. Opt for the timeless “Dinner and drinks”

This is THE textbook first date and it is a top choice in real life, as well as over video calls. It gives people plenty of time to talk, laugh and, why not, flirt.

  1. Meet at a coffee shop

Coffee dates are casual and take place in a familiar setting. Partners can enjoy their energy doze while having a light conversation, trying to see if they’re a good fit. 

  1. Visit an interesting place

Museums, art galleries, botanical gardens or zoos are a few examples of fascinating destinations for a first date and many of them offer virtual tours, too.

Always something to talk about.

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