Where is the best place to take a woman for a first date?
First dates are not that hard to get right. It is difficult, however, to make them count—to ensure that the first date actually leads to a second date. Women are hard to read. She may have accepted your proposal to go out because she had nothing else to do that night; her acceptance may owe to her desire to try you on, so to speak, to see whether there can be any chemistry between you; or, her positive response may come down to the fact that she really likes you and has been waiting for you to ask her out since you first met. You must depend on your instincts in deciding which of the three comes closest to the truth.
If the girl you’re taking out is into you, if you can sense she wants to date you, then I am a firm believer in playing it safe. Dinner and a movie is the best choice, especially if she tends to be on the conservative side. Some girls like to be spoiled; they like a man who is willing to spend lavishly even on someone they barely know. Again, you’ll have to size up her character and background. If you can tell she is a bit posh, then fine dining at one of the better restaurants is okay. If she is shy and retiring, is perhaps not used to the elegance and expense of the five-star lifestyle, you should opt for a restaurant that is hip but not too high-end. Avoid your local; indeed, avoid anyplace you are likely to see your friends or hers. There is nothing more disruptive on a first date than bumping into someone you know.
If you can sense that the girl you’re taking out is unsure what she feels for you, be creative. Propose something that she may not expect. Rather than doing the date in the evening do it in the afternoon. Ask her to a bookstore on a weekend—either a chain bookstore with a café or an independent bookstore with the same amenities—to browse the shelves in search of interesting books; and then afterwards coffee, a chat, and a late afternoon lunch. When the two of you meet, do your best to keep her in sight. After a while, after you’ve picked out a few books, sit down with her for coffee. You can discuss why you chose the books you have or something else.
You may not buy all the books you picked, she may not either. That doesn’t matter; all that matters is that you spend time together getting to know each other’s tastes and interests (the books one reads says a lot about the kind of person one is). You should also buy one of the books for her as an act of kindness. Then go to some nice bistro to carry on the conversation.
This whole thing seems risky and may lead to awkwardness; but if proposed to the right kind of girl and handled properly it does work. I know. I’ve done it.
If you think that the girl is going out with you because she has nothing else to do, then you might want to just go out for drinks and see what happens. I would not invest too much time, energy, and money to take out a girl like that.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.