If you’re planning on asking her on a second date, dodge these ideas for your first.
Dinner and a movie
Great if you want to show her that you’ve put in no original thought and don’t fancy talking to her for two hours. Otherwise, terrible. You’ve moved past your pimply teenage years of squirming in your seat to clumsily wrap your arm over her unsuspecting shoulder — a classy bar, a day at the beach or the park, something like a class or a museum to spark conversation, or a left-field activity like rock climbing or a pub trivia night are all better options.
Open mic night
You might think you’re pretty good at guitar/stand-up/poetry/whatever but it’s a crazy gamble to expect her to share your optimism. This is a recipe for toe-curling awkwardness more at home in the blooper reel of There’s Something About Mary than on your dating resume. And it’s still not great even if you don’t perform — not many relationships start on the solid foundation of cringing at strangers.
Something with your mates
It’s tempting to ask her on a group activity but talk about pressure — how will she feel walking into a room of eyeballs judging her every move? The first date is about striking up a connection with the individual rather than throwing them in the deep end for your friends like a wannabe pop star in front of Simon Cowell. Save group stuff for later dates, when it’s important to see how she fits into your social circles.
You wouldn’t take her to a construction site and try to make conversation a metre away from a jackhammer so don’t take her to a club pumping tunes just as loud. And no one wants to queue up for a drink for half an hour behind 30 blokes in white leather shoes who look like they’ve just stumbled off the set of Jersey Shore.
Zero effort? Check. No plan? Check? Arousing her suspicion that you’re desperate to dive into ‘Netflix and chill’ straightaway? Check. It’s intimidating for someone you’ve hardly met to step into your domain so meeting in public will help her feel more comfortable — and if things go well, that’s when your place can come into the equation.