One of the biggest anxieties of dating is what to do on a first date with someone new. And with good reason! I remember helping my client Monica, with this same feeling.  She felt overwhelmed and stuck. After using my first date suggestions she felt more confident and excited about her dates.

While most people opt for a dinner date, this may lead to frustration. You may decide that you’re not a match even before the water glasses appear at your table, but you have to stick around for a few hours through appetizers, main courses, and maybe dessert and possibly split the check on a meal you weren’t even sure about in the first place. There are so many more options available to get to know each other while spending time doing something you’ll both enjoy. 

Here are my five top ideas for a first date:

1. Coffee or drinks

There’s no rule that says you have to have a meal with a man in order to get to know him. Meet up at your favorite coffee shop or neighborhood bar and enjoy a great conversation as you sip your favorite latte or drink the new cocktail everyone is talking about. There’s more flexibility for this type of date; you can get together during an afternoon or evening and a reservation is usually not required.

2. Go on a walk

No matter where you live, there’s at least one great spot where you can take a scenic stroll — a public park, next to a body of water, along a quaint downtown Main Street, or around your neighborhood. If one or both of you has a dog, bring them along! A walk is a relaxing and active way to get to know a new guy.  And you’ll never run out of things to talk about as you pass interesting shops, buildings and people on your path.

3. Try something artsy

Art is everywhere — small quirky museums, public parks, major museums, or local galleries. Spend an hour or two exploring a museum or outdoor exhibit and chat with your date about what you see.  Ask for his opinions. This is a great way to learn about your date in a relaxed setting. Bonus points if you find a gallery opening; there’s usually free drinks and hors d’oeuvres!

4. Look for the sweeter things

What’s more fun than dinner? Dessert! There’s probably a bakery, cafe, or ice cream spot that you or your date have always wanted to try. Agree to meet your date for an afternoon dessert run. Split something decadent and dig in! 

5. Festivals that focus on food

Most cities have farmers’ markets or festivals that celebrate the holidays, the change of seasons, and local delicacies. Meet your date at one of these festivals and explore the culinary offerings. Try something new together or taste-test different varieties of one of your favorite snacks. Festivals also offer a setting for you to learn about your date’s tastes and interests and if you’re at a farmers’ market, your date has an opportunity to buy you flowers:)

A few things to keep in mind

Here are a few guidelines for a successful first date. Most importantly, protect yourself and exercise common sense. Meet in public places. Take your own car or find your own ride (there and back). Let a friend know where you’re going and with whom, and tell them you’ll call when you get back home. 

Try to keep the date under two hours. Even if you’re having a great time, the shorter time period leaves your date wanting more. If you feel awkward about ending the date, set the stage at the beginning and tell your date that you need to leave at a certain time.  

On the flip side, if your date isn’t going well, there’s no pressure to stay. Be upfront. Thank your date for taking the time to meet you.  Kindly tell him that you don’t think that you’re a match, wish him the best and then head out. I know this can be difficult, but keep in mind, it’s not your responsibility to manage your date’s feelings. You’re looking for your soulmate. If this guy is not for you, move on! 

First dates don’t have to be anxiety-ridden. Have an open mind and be curious about your date.  Ask questions.  

By going to an art gallery, food festival or for a walk you’ll in a better headspace for getting to know a man. You’ll both feel much more relaxed, talkative, and open. And there’s less emphasis on what to wear; you’re not going to need heels and a little black dress. 

Even better? None of these dates require Spanx!

Take action and find your soulmate

If you’re a woman over 40 who is ready to take action NOW and start attracting the man of your dreams go ahead and apply for my Breakthrough 6-Week 1:1 Coaching Program. This program will help you to increase your confidence and quiet your inner critic so you can start attracting high quality men!

Start by clicking this link to schedule your complimentary consultation call and we can discuss if my program is right for you.