There are various universally accepted ideas of a typical first date. The most common ones are listed below, but alternatives are provided in the fun section. Read the dating tips section for safety advice on your first date.

The Coffee Date

If you're knowledge of the person you are going on a date with is minimal then a simple 'let's go for a coffee at a local cafe' allows you the comfort of getting to know that person better, with the option that if it's not working, then it isn't a long date, so you're not wasting much time and can chalk it up to experience.

The Comedy Date

Attending a live comedy show is slightly different from the standards, but is both relatively cheap and provides an excellent way of forming a good impression of the other person. The comedians at these shows normally cover a whole heap of subjects, so from what he/she laughs at, you can begin to gain more insight into their personality. Plus, it's fun.

The Dinner Date

Another classic date idea. Decide on a restaurant, but make sure beforehand that you know the other person's food preferences. You wouldn't want to get in a situation of taking a Vegan to Harry's Hamburger joint.

The dinner may last an hour or two, so beforehand, think about some topics you might want to talk about. It's best to keep the conversation light in tone and avoid potentially tricky areas like past boyfriends, personal family details and so on.

Some accepted topics include work, sports, career, beliefs. If you've arranged the date via an online service you should have an idea of the other person's interests, so talk about them, and of course sticking to topics you know means less nerves. Ask questions, be interested and polite throughout.

The Movie Date

This is the safe 'cliche' choice. It isn't really a great way of getting to know somebody, but at least if you plan on going for a bite to eat afterwards it gives you something to discuss.

If you're going to do this, consider alternatives. Maybe you live in a city where they have foreign or limited-run films, or during the summer companies sometime run outdoor summer movies where it takes place in a more relaxed park setting, where you can bring along a small picnic hamper and have a more enjoyable time together.

Quick Ideas

Depending on your mutual interests, you might think of going on a date that involves an element of charity, maybe helping out one evening at a local shelter.


Have your own first date ideas? Please email them to and I'll add them to this page.