When it comes to first-date ideas, there’s a lot of options out there, from the standard dinner-and-a-movie to more atypical ideas, like going for a walk or hike. But you may wonder what the best first-date idea is if you want a long-term relationship. Luckily, one dating platform found out the top first dates that lead to marriage.
Between August 16-20, 2018, PlentyOfFish (POF) surveyed more than 400 former users from the U.S. who married partners they met on the app. After all, it’s best to go straight to the source and see what date ideas worked best.
“It’s important to pick a first-date location that encourages conversation,” Kate MacLean, resident dating expert at POF, tells Bustle.“Dates that foster conversation will help you get to know someone better and will determine whether or not date #2 is in your future.” She also suggests selecting a location you’ve been to before so you’re relaxed and familiar with your surroundings. “That way, when you’re at ease on a first date, there’s less room for any awkward interactions,” MacLean says.
So, when you think about your own first-date locations, do you do the same type of activity with each date? Do you have a go-to first-date spot? Or does the location vary depending on the other person? In any case, the below are good #firstdateinspo, so take note.
1. A Sit-Down Meal At A Restaurant
Having a sit-down meal at a restaurant was the #1 first date that lead to marriage, popular with 55.1 percent of respondents. Yes, with someone you meet online or through an app, a dinner date may seem like a bigger first-date commitment than, say, meeting for drinks. However, it seemed to work for more than half of those surveyed, so food for thought — literally and figuratively.
2. A Romantic Walk
Going for a romantic walk came in second place as far as first-date ideas go, with 29.9 percent of those surveyed doing this as their first date — and now they’re married, so… it works! You can either walk to another location if you two click, but if you’re not feeling the person, you can just walk away. Plus, if you prefer dates that don’t involve alcohol, a walking date is perfect for that, too!
3. Drinks At A Bar
Having drinks at a bar came in third place, with 27.7 percent of people doing this for their first date, and it makes sense — you can limit the date to one drink or have more if things are going well. And with rooftop bars so popular, you can also have drinks-with-a-view.
4. A Movie
If you’re looking for a first date where you don’t have to talk much — at least, not right away — a movie may be your best bet. It was for 18 percent of those surveyed, at least, and then it’ll be a natural conversation-starter — you’ll have plenty to discuss about the movie afterwards.
5. A Quick Coffee
Having a quick coffee was the fifth most popular first-date activity among those surveyed — 15 percent of them, at least. Just like meeting for a drink at a bar, meeting for coffee is easy, and you can always add dinner or dessert to the date if it’s going well.
6. The Beach
For summer first-date ideas, the beach also came in the top nine, in sixth place, with 10.3 percent of respondents choosing it for their date. And why not, right? It’s usually free (unless you have to rent chairs or an umbrella), it’s beautiful, and also romantic. Who can ask for more than that?
7. A Music Festival Or Concert
Going to a music festival or concert with somebody is also a great first-date idea, and 5.6 percent of those surveyed agreed. Just like a movie date, the music performance will be a conversation-starter for you two.
8. A Sporting Event & A Bike Ride
There was a tie for eighth place: watching a sporting event and going for a bike ride; each came in at 4.7 percent of respondents choosing them as summer first-date activities that led to them getting married.
While some people are definitely sports fanatics more than others, sporting events, like a baseball game, are great for first dates — not only can you enjoy the game, but you can also eat, drink, and talk. Plus, you can bond over your favorite team — or tease your date if they’re rooting for the other team.
As for going on a bike ride, renting bikes is getting more and more popular and economical in many cities, whether you rent them for a half-hour, an hour, or all day. Plus, like some of the other date ideas on this list, you can extend the bike ride if you and your date are enjoying each other’s company, and even ride to some of the other date suggestions, too.
9. Amusement Park Or Carnival
Going to an amusement park or carnival came in ninth place in popularity, with 1.9 percent of people who married their POF date choosing this as their first-date activity. Plus, you can stay at an amusement park or carnival as long as you want, making a day (and night) of it, or not. And both settings provide built-in, child-like fun. Who doesn’t like when their date plays Skee-Ball and wins them a prize?
As you can see, many of the above first-date ideas that led to marriage can also be done year-round — depending on where you live, of course. As MacLean said, it’s good to choose a date location that encourages conversation, then take it from there.
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