You'd like to think the success of a first date is all about chemistry, connection, good conversation…but sometimes, where you are and what you're doing can play a key role in whether things go well or not. So, if you want to start a potential relationship off on good footing, please, we beg you, listen to what our 2,000 survey respondents said, and don't take your love interest on the following dates.
81% of You Would Avoid...Family Functions
Your date will be nervous enough trying to impress you-don't make them audition for family and friends too. "Who needs that pressure?" says Wyatt, 32, from Lafayette, Colorado. "My family is so far from normal I wouldn't let a date near them."
34% of You Would Avoid...Dance Clubs
Loud music, pulsing lights, guys without shirts…need we say more? "Everyone's on the prowl. That would be very uncomfortable," explains Rosie, 31, from Modesto, California. We have to agree.
31% of You Would Avoid...Movies
You spend two lame hours staring at a screen, not getting to know each other…plus there's always a risk the flick will contain a sex scene or something even more awkward. John, 28, from Boston, recalls taking a date to a David Lynch film. "Her reaction was, 'Why did you take me to this?'" he says.
28% of You Would Avoid...Bars
Many people think alcohol is the perfect social lubricant for a first encounter, but it can lead to trouble. "No way," says Jim, 41, from Canton, Michigan. "I might say or do something foolish."
24% of You Would Avoid...Sporting Events
Any place that involves face paint, the wave, and angry drunk guys screaming at the referee is no venue for a soul mate connection. William, 23, from Upland, Indiana also points out they don't bring out the best in men: "Guys can seem a little too aggressive, and women might find that scary."
15% of You Would Avoid...The Beach
Just because you like strolling hand in hand seaside doesn't meet you should do it on your first meeting. Karen, 28, from Dallas, concurs. "It's hard enough to pick out a cute little black dress," she says. "How do you pick out a perfect bikini?"
15% of You Would Avoid...Comedy Shows
If the comic is bad, that lame vibe will extend to the entire evening. "Comedy is great when it's good. But horrid when it's bad," says Anne, 37, from Spokane, Washington.
13% of You Would Avoid …Mini-Golf
Trying to outsmart that little windmill is great fun-if you're ten years old. "If you're anything like me, you're clumsy when you're nervous...Bad idea for a first date!" says Angie, 28, from Lima, Ohio.
11% of You Would Avoid...Theme Restaurants
Never take a first date to a restaurant where your waiter is dressed like Chubby Checker, Fred Flintstone or Quasimodo. Beth, 32, from Brooklyn, New York, recalls her awful date at a medieval-themed restaurant. "You have to either pretend there aren't people in bloomers delivering your food, or keep making jokes like, 'I think I'll have the ye olde steak,'" she says.
9% of You Would Avoid...Museums
A first date is a time to kick back and relax, not solemnly contemplate the works of the great masters. "It's a little too much intellectual stimulation for a first date," says Amy, 27, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
9% of You Would Avoid...Coffee Houses
Many people think that meeting for coffee is an easy, breezy way to meet cute. But let's face it: It's hardly romantic. Or as Sandi, 40, from Tampa, Florida, put it: "Borrrrring!"
Sara Eckel writes for Glamour, Self, and Cosmopolitan-and actually wouldn't mind going mini-golfing on a first date.
Whether or not you like the person you're with, you want to end a first date in a way that signals your feelings about the person. You don't need to hold up a sign saying "Call Me" or "Get Lost." Instead, these first date tips provide several options for ending a first date that will allow you a smooth exit, no matter the situation.
By the time you make it to dinner, you should be past the first-date jitters. Beyond talking in low voices and looking at each other over a romantic dinner, there is nothing romantic about trying to decide how to split the bill on your first date. The very fact conjures up anything but romance and flowers.