First dates are exciting and awkward at the same time. You’re hoping to be swept off your feet and taken to some exotic place, preferably flown there by private jet just for dinner.
He’s merely trying to find a restaurant that you’ll like since he has no idea about your food preferences. For all he knows, you’re a vegetarian and you won’t enjoy his favorite steak house.
He wants to impress you without going overboard, yet not be so mundane that you think he’s a loser. Many guys would rather plan and execute a battle than set up plans for a first date.
But every relationship starts somewhere and it’s usually at the first date. Even if you’ve known him before from work or as a friend of your friends, the first date takes it to a different level.
So when he says, “What would you like to do?” don’t sabotage him with the standard answer, “Whatever you want to do is fine.” Seriously give him a break and provide some information.
Otherwise don’t complain if you walk out in a silk dress and heels for the date he planned for riding go-karts. Without feeling like you’re directing the date or squashing his ideas, you can offer a few suggestions.
If both of you are sports fans, you can say that you don’t have to go to the baseball game (with expensive tickets) – you enjoy grabbing sub sandwiches and watching the team on TV just as much.
For active sports participants, mention that you have your own skates, bike and tennis racket if he would enjoy any of those activities on your first date. That gives him several choices and tells him that you have the right equipment for each activity.
If you’re more the indoors type, you can say that something you like to do with friends is go to the early movie then go out for dessert and coffee. When you have a special coffee hangout place, you can challenge him to a game of chess or other board game where the winner buys lattes and the loser buys the donuts.
When you have significant preferences, you need to state those up front. If you’re allergic to milk products, he needs to know not to end the evening with a drive across town to share a banana split.
If you have strong feelings about certain types of violent movies or R rated movies, then tell him before he buys tickets. Even if you make the suggestion to visit an art gallery after dinner, ask him if he’s been there before.
If any place you suggest has an expected dress code, don’t let him be embarrassed by showing up in cut off jeans and sandals. Mention that one thing you enjoy about this place is that it’s where people dress up – women in dresses and guys in business casual or jackets.
The first date is complicated enough. Give the guy enough information so he can plan a great night or share the planning with you. Either way, let the only surprise be how the spark ignites between the two of you.