Image via faezrasyad/Flickr.
For as much as everyone wants to fall in love (and get laid), first dates have a pretty bad rap. Probably because they're such a high-risk, high-reward proposition; they have the potential to either fill your life with magic or make you regret ever leaving the house. There's no way to guarantee chemistry (or even basic human courtesy) between you and your first date, but you can at least plan a good location to find out if you hate each other.
Reddit user matts41 posted a jokey list in /r/funny of first date locations, since making charts is kind of his thing, then added the pros and cons of each. A restaurant's pro is "very classy," but the con is "very pricey." You can invite your date to your place, with the pro being "you might have sex," but the obvious con is that "there's no way they're coming to your place." Very funny and very true, but it's not helping anyone pick an actual first date location! Luckily, the commenters stepped in with some real advice for hopeful lovers, which are creative enough to take you beyond the some tedious step-and-repeat of "meeting up for drinks."
One of the best and most difficult to apply pieces of advice comes from /u/BearBryantAndJesus, who suggests that everyone get some killer hobbies, then find a way to include their date in them. Um, are you suggesting I work on myself as a person? No way.
The best advice I've ever seen for this situation is 'take them to go do the cool shit you'd be doing anyway.'
But I'm not doing cool shit.
"start doing cool shit."
/u/KXNG_AC thinks the driving range is the perfect place to try and get a hole in one. The one is your date's heart:
A friend of mine once suggested the perfect place for a date.
A driving range.If you both suck at golf you can just hit balls and laugh. If you know what you're doing and your date doesn't you can help them with their swing by getting nice and close innocently, yet suggestively. If your date doesn't come then you have a big club to angrily smash balls around
Then there's looking at animals in cages, a guaranteed aphrodisiac, according to /u/Cosmo_Hill:
This is why the zoo is the best. You can walk around at your own pace, you can talk about anything and it happens during the day so you can still go out for a drink anyway.
/u/Lirkmor thinks going to a museum is a nice way to get to know if someone is really into biology. They also seem to have heard of some exhibits I haven't seen advertised in the New York Times:
A museum of some kind is also good: science/natural history to get excited; art if you'd prefer comfortable silence; or some weird-arse specialist collection if you know they're into that. Maybe the penis museum if you're feeling really bold.
Now, /u/ThisIsTheMilos switches it up on dates depending on the vibe they get from their future Tinder soulmate. If you want sex, you get alcohol, if you want a ring, you get caffeine:
When it comes to Tinder I go for drinks if I think she is in to hooking up or coffee if I think she is looking for someone to date. Either way, I can bail quickly if needed and am not locked in to a spending money or having awkward conversation.
Then there are very practical dates, that combine chores with romance; /u/trjones1 has gotten at least one date to sit through a wash and dry cycle with them:
Living in NYC for a while, I once went on a first date at a laundromat.
Pro: get your laundry done
Con: she was very self-conscious about letting me see her dirty panties
Pro: that didn't last long
We also have /u/lukin187250, who put huge emphasis on what you can learn about someone in the bowling lanes:
Bowling is a fantastic first date. You can find out sooooo much about someone when you go bowling.
...It's also a fairly cheap date and it's fun. Bowling is a top notch first date.
The full analysis of bowling's many benefits is extremely long, but to summarize their full comment, you basically find out what their butt looks like, their willingness to show it to you, and an intense psychological profile based on shoe choice.
Don't forget the classic "sitting silently in a dark room" because /u/mattgrum didn't:
con: You can't talk to them the whole time
pro: You can't talk to them the whole time
Or you could try showing off at bar trivia, according to /u/InstagramLincoln, though that presumes you're good at bar trivia:
Bar trivia is the way to go. You have something to do besides just drink and there's always an easy topic of conversation.
If you've got any genius, go-to first date ideas up your sleeve, put 'em in the comments and compare notes.