11 popular first date idea pros and cons

Couple on a date image by Shutterstock

One of the hardest parts about a first date is coming up with something to do. You don’t want it to be too sappy, but you don’t want it to feel like a job interview either. You don’t want to look too cheap, but you don’t want to blow next month’s rent either. And on and on it goes. Well thankfully for you, we here at Guyism have decided to take a look at a few of the most popular first date ideas and lay out both the pros and cons of each one. Now we’re not guaranteeing that following our advice will get you the sweet, sweet lovin’ but at the very least you should be able to avoid a restraining order. And that’s something, right? Right. And so with that in mind, here are the pros and cons of 11 popular first date ideas.

Photo credit: Couple on a date image by Shutterstock

11 Movie

Movie date image by Shutterstock


– It’s a prefabricated date. You have a set time frame and something guaranteed to keep you occupied during that time frame.

– It’s relatively inexpensive.

– The seating means you’re automatically close and proximity usually isn’t a bad thing.

– It will give you something to talk about after.


– You can’t actually talk during. (Admittedly for some of you, this might be a pro.)

– It’s incredibly clichéd and she might think you’re boring and/or unoriginal.

– Come on, you’re not 16 years old, are you?

– You will likely be tempted to do something stupid on account of the proximity and if you get all handsy without an invite you could end up getting pepper-sprayed and/or led from the theater in handcuffs with a popcorn bucket strapped to your dong and no one needs that.

Photo credit: Movie date image by Shutterstock

10 Sporting Event

Baseball game by Aspen Photo/Shutterstock


– Again, it’s a prefabricated date with a set time frame and something to keep you occupied.

– You can chat during the game and watch at the same time, especially if it’s something slow like baseball.

– If the date sucks, hey… sports!


– There is always the chance that you will get too into the game, ignore her and end up looking like a huge jackass.

– Have you ever seen how you behave while watching a game? It’s not a good look.

– There is at least a small chance that you will end up being mocked on national TV after shoving your date out of the way to go after a foul ball.

– If she doesn’t like sports then she will be bored senseless and you will be left to play a doubleheader with your hand for yet another night.

Photo credit: Baseball game by Aspen Photo/Shutterstock

9 Dinner at a Nice Restaurant

Dinner date image by Shutterstock


– It gives you a chance to look classy and elegant, which helps because she doesn’t need to know yet that you actually live like a Hun on a perpetual tequila bender.

– It’s a natural setting for easy conversation.

– If all else fails, at least you get a decent meal.


– It will possibly be expensive and will force you to make the harrowing choice between a shot at love and many, many shots of Patron and all that other fun stuff that costs money.

– If the date sucks, let’s face it, you’re trapped. Plus, you’re out a pile of money.

– A little too clichéd and she’ll probably think you’re boring.

– Probably a little too stuffy and while you may think you look classy and elegant, she might think you just have a stick up your ass and/or are trying way too hard to impress, which is really, really not a good look on a first date.

Photo credit: Dinner date image by Shutterstock

8 Cook Her Dinner

Man cooking meal image by Shutterstock


– What woman doesn’t love a man who can cook?

– It’s a more intimate setting than a restaurant and, well, intimate is good.

– Fairly inexpensive depending on your grocery situation.

– You are already literally within feet of the bedroom.


– Women love a man who can cook, but not so much if all you can cook is Ramen and shitty macaroni and cheese.

– Intimate is good, but for a first date, intimate might actually = scary for her.

– Kinda makes you look cheap. Let’s not front.

– First dates not on neutral ground are usually a bad idea. The last thing you want is for her to be nervous or uncomfortable because she’s stuck in an unfamiliar house or apartment with a dude she really doesn’t know, or for you to end up getting kidnapped Misery-style, surrounded by cat figurines and lavender scented candles.

Photo credit: Man cooking meal image by Shutterstock

7 Picnic

Picnic image by Shutterstock


– Makes you look sweet and romantic and all that horseshit.

– Cheap.

– You probably can’t find a more relaxed setting than a quiet park on a nice day.

– Since you’re not constrained by a preset time like with a movie or a sporting event, you can move things along at whatever pace feels comfortable.


– Cheap… and she knows it.

– It’s bad enough that you have to worry about crabs once you get to the bedroom, you don’t want to have to start off the date worrying about ants and bugs crawling all over your food.

– What is this, 1954?

– It’s nice and relaxed until someone’s dog or kid comes crashing through your picnic.

– If the date sucks, you’re pretty much stuck. It’s not like you can just pack your shit up and leave her there. Well, you could, but even the annoying little kids playing catch a few yards away would understand that you’re an asshole.

Photo credit: Picnic image by Shutterstock

6 Ice Skating

Ice skating image by Shutterstock


– Sappy in that really ridiculous way that makes a lot of girls go “Awwww…” when they hear about it.

– Inexpensive, minus the hospital bills anyway after you fall and break your ass on the ice.

– One of you will probably suck and that leads to falling all over each other which then leads to, well, you know…


– You are literally risking your life. I mean, face it, even if you don’t break an ankle, you’re on a date with someone you barely know surrounded by shoes strapped with tiny swords. Pissing her off is not a good idea.

– The aforementioned ass breakage.

– Incredibly clichéd, like so much so that even the people who run the Hallmark Channel would make fun of you.

– Look, you’re kind of stuck here. Either you’re really good at skating and you just end up looking like an arrogant show-off, or you suck and fall and hurt yourself over and over again while she laughs and teases you which might be charming the first few times but trust me, there’s a reason the ice-skating scenes in romantic comedies only last a minute. After an hour of that shit, she’ll just be kind of embarrassed for you and you’ll kind of hate her and as a nice bonus, you’ll get to tell people when you’re 55 years-old that you were never the same after you messed your back up that one horrible day.

Photo credit: Ice skating image by Shutterstock

5 Volunteer Together at a Soup Kitchen

Soup kitchen image by Shutterstock


– You’re doing something nice.

– You’ll look like the nicest dude in the world.

– You could not find a cheaper idea for a first date.


– Have you ever actually been to a soup kitchen? It might be the most depressing place on Earth.

– Come on, a soup kitchen? Even the bums will see through that shit. Everybody knows you’re not that nice.

– Romantic plans are naturally set aside when the only thing either of you can picture at the end of the night is the memory of that old homeless guy vomiting and then pooping himself and crying in his soup.

Photo credit: Soup kitchen image by Shutterstock

4 Live Music

Live music image by Shutterstock


– Hey, who doesn’t like music?

– Like with a movie, gives you something to do and share without having to worry about making awkward small talk.

– Music leads to dancing which leads to comfort levels rising which leads to good things.

– Even if the date sucks, you’re basically hanging out a club doing what you’d probably normally be doing anyway.


– It’s hard to get to know each other better when you have to scream over the music and say “What? What!?” every ten seconds.

– You might have to dance.

– It’s easy to confuse “being on a first date” in this setting with “just hanging out.”

– You might get too into the music and then she gets to see you making those really weird faces and acting like a spaz.

– It all sounds like a good plan until you actually get there and it’s a band of 50 year-old balding dudes playing shitty cover songs and turning the entire room into the land of sadness.

Photo credit: Live music image by Shutterstock

3 Go For a Walk

Couple walking image by Shutterstock


– It’s simple and relaxing and you can either walk and talk or just walk together quietly and enjoy the scenery.

– Not just cheap, but free and free is good.

– Hey, even if the date fizzles at least you’re getting a little bit of exercise.


– Let’s face it, this is corny as hell.

– Yes, free is better than cheap, but free is also cheaper than cheap.

– She might think you’re actually homeless.

– A walk sounds nice and relaxing until you realize “Oh shit, I’m on a walk. Why am I walking? This is horribly, horribly boring.”

Photo credit: Couple walking image by Shutterstock

2 Meet for a Drink

Couple at a bar image by Shutterstock


– About as pressure-free a first date as you can get. You’re basically just two people hanging out a bar together.

– Hey, it’s your old friend alcohol!

– In a miracle of nature, it gets easier and easier to talk with each drink poured down your gullet. It’s just basic science, really.

– Alcohol tends to, uh, loosen people up a bit.


– Perhaps too casual. You actually want her to realize that she’s on a date and not just hanging out at the bar.

– One drink turns into two which turns into three which turns into you vomiting on the sidewalk outside while she calls one of her friends to come pick her up.

– Alcohol makes it easier to talk, but it also makes it easier to say really stupid shit.

– You don’t want for people to get too loosened up because then you’re entering that moral grey zone and you don’t want to be that guy, do you?

– The best way to remember a date is probably not with a crippling hangover.

Photo credit: Couple at a bar image by Shutterstock

1 Just Hanging Out

Couple hanging out image by Shutterstock


– No pressure here, just two people hanging out and seeing where things go.

– You can spend almost an entire day just goofing off together and not have to spend more than a couple of dollars.

– You get to see each other in a normal, non-contrived setting, which is probably the best way to get to know someone’s true self.


– Uh, you’re just hanging out. You run a real risk of not being on the same page. You think it’s a date and she thinks you’re, well, that you’re just hanging out.

– Goofing off together? Yeah, not really that romantic.

– You have to actually, you know, hang out. And there’s a good chance that since it’s a first date you really won’t have that much in common, in which case this will just be painful. Every minute will feel like an hour.

– Real life is not a movie montage. You might be picturing the two of you laughing while you feed birds in the park together before being magically whisked to a thrift store where you try on goofy outfits while some upbeat pop-song fills in all the pauses and awkward silences, but in real life you’re just standing there, throwing bread at birds, bored, and then running for cover when the birds decide to shit on your head. You then can’t catch a cab and she gets bored and starts texting with her friends and then you end up browsing a thrift store in silence until you awkwardly say your good-byes and then go home, maybe cry a little, jerk off and go to bed. Or as I like to call it, Tuesday.

Photo credit: Couple hanging out image by Shutterstock