10 Amazing First Tinder Date Ideas (+10 Common Mistakes)

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first tinder date ideas

Do you want your first tinder date to go well? I bet you do! Hence I’ll walk you through 10 amazing first tinder date ideas, so that you don’t mess it up!

We all use Tinder differently — some are looking for hookups, others for casual dating, yet others for relationships. Most end up somewhere in-between, because they don’t know what will happen when they meet someone.

Maybe it turns out to be the kind of person they want to hook up with, maybe it turns out to be the kind of person they want a relationship with.

And that’s just the thing: you don’t know what will happen when you meet someone from Tinder in real life. That’s why first dates can feel like a hassle.

An awkward hassle.

First of all, let’s lay down the ground rules for good and bad dates.

  • You must have an exit plan.
  • You Better avoid extreme situations.
  • Make sure you have the ability to get to know each other.
  • Do something that brings you natural topics for conversation.

Having an exit plan means you don’t tie yourself into a five-hour tinder date before you know you want to be on one. That means you avoid dates that would take five hours.

You can also say something like “I might meet up with some friends later, we haven’t decided yet.” Voila, there’s your exit plan for first tinder date.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a five hour date — it just means you only commit to 30-60 minutes. If the date goes well, you can just do something else later.

Meeting at a place like Starbucks, unless it’s one that’s filled with strange people, leave you very few conversation openers. You want to be at a place, or doing something, that lead to natural topics for conversation.

However, you might be surprised by the fact that Starbucks is among the most popular places for first date.

Extreme situations can be fun, and adrenaline kicks actually make people fall in love more easily, but…do you really want to be in an extreme situation with a person you don’t know?

You don’t know how they’ll react, so probably not.

Ever tried meeting someone for the first time in a very loud, very busy bar? You don’t hear what they’re saying, you’re distracted by everything happening around you and chances are you’ll end up more frustrated than attracted/in love.

The 10 First Date Ideas that Work:

1. Wine Tasting

Something like a wine tasting, cheese and wine pairing, or beer tasting, is a great way to spend an hour together, while also having other people to interact with. You just don’t want a full day tour of a vineyard — stick to an even that’s max an hour, or so.

2. Meet for Dessert

An after-dinner dessert (or late afternoon one), can be really fun for first Tinder date. You go to a place with lots of choice, so you can talk about your favorite deserts. You get to oh-and-ah about how good it is.

You get a sugar rush. It’s sweet. In more ways than one.

3. Go for a Walk

A walk gives you something to do.

Buying take-away coffees, or some ice cream, and then going for a walk in the park, or on the beach (choose somewhere with plenty of people around as it will give you topics of conversation and help you both relax as no one fears getting kidnapped).

You can always bring a frisbee, paper to make boats for the pond, that kind of thing and then use it if, and only if, you feel your Tinder date is the kind to appreciate it.

4. Go to a Quirky Bar or Café

When you go to an oddball place, you have something to talk about naturally. Whether it’s the super cool decor, or the funky drinks menu.

5. Coin Toss Dates — The Penny Date!

We actually got this idea from the guys over at Kirby, but it’s so good that I (the author), for one, am going to try it out!

Basically, you walk around the city and at each street corner you toss a coin. Heads you go right, tails left.

Of course, you can also have a goal. Such as stopping at the coolest bar you see (maybe you need to walk far enough to find two so you can make a choice, esp. if you find the first one after one minute of walking…), or having dessert somewhere.

6. Events in Your City

While concerts, plays and the movies are a terrible idea as you can’t really talk to one another, farmers markets, Christmas markets, Renaissance fairs, art fairs and the rest, are excellent first dates.

You can walk around, looking at different stalls, so you have something to talk about and it won’t take all day. And the bonus is you might actually get to see something new in the city!

7. Ice Skating or Rollerblading

OK, so if you, or your date, are prone to breaking your bones (or being scared of being seen looking like Bambi on ice), don’t do this. If not, it’s a pretty epic way to spend an hour together.

You can laugh (especially if you’re beginners) and after some fun exercising, you can stop for a coffee, ice cream, or hot chocolate.

8. Hang out with Your Friends

This is a bit of hit or miss. For it to work your friends have to…..

  • a) be a nice bunch that will respect your date, whether s/he is super interesting or deathly boring
  • b) you have to be able to pay attention to your date and ensure they don’t feel left out
  • c) it needs to be something where s/he can leave after 30-60 minutes if you don’t have chemistry (such as you’re all preparing to go to the next bar and they can join/go home, or you can choose to go with them somewhere else, or leave yourself).

While hanging with friends is low-key and a great way to get to know someone without much pressure, it’s usually better for first dates with people you already met in person. So you know if they’ll gel with you/your friends.

If they’re super shy, meeting five of your closest friends in one go can be too much. If you’ve spoken to them on the phone and chatted for a while and gotten a hang of their personality, it’s a more safe bet.

9. Billiards, Ping-Pong, Mini-Golf, Bowling, etc.

Granted neither one of you are prone to hit people with golf clubs/bowling balls, or feel totally humiliated by how bad you are at pool, playing a game together can relieve a lot of tension. Granted neither is a bad loser, either.

You don’t need to be good at a game to have fun, you just need to enjoy it. In fact, if you are terrible, you have something to laugh about.

10. Exhibitions and Museums

This is similar to a fair — you walk around and check something out. It helps if you’re both into whatever is being exhibited, but if you both hate it, it can also lead to a good laugh.

Just bear in mind that if you’re a science geek and they’re an arty fart…unless you can make the science exhibit fun for them, or they the art exhibit fun for you, it’s not a good idea.

You need to find common ground, or something that’s new to the both of you, or something one can explain to the other to make it interesting. We all know what it feels like going to a boring exhibition and that is a total killjoy.

The 10 Biggest First Tinder Date Mistakes:

Mistake 1 – Meeting at Home

Pressure, much? You don’t know the person. They don’t know you. And trust us when we say that online chemistry doesn’t always translate. Not even if you’ve spoken over the phone, or done video chatting, before meeting.

Even if you’re looking to hook up with them, meet somewhere else first. You can always go home, once you’ve established that you’re attracted to their real life persona.

Mistake 2 – Going to the Movies

Yes, you may both LOVE film. Great. You’ll have something to talk about. That’s just the point though: to get to know each other you have to speak.

Sitting silently next to each other in a dark cinema for two hours? Not a very good way of getting to know each other.

Besides, remember the rule of an exit plan? Mhm.

You can’t very well up and leave in the middle of the movie, even if you realize you have zero attraction for the person next to you. Instead, you have to finish watching the movie, then dutifully accompany them to have a drink.

Worse yet: they may be hungry by now. You can make up a lie about not having much time, but how good will that sound?

After all, you knew you were going with them to the movies and that you would have to spend time with them afterwards…

You could flip it: have drinks first, then go to the movies. But imagine ending up next to someone that really didn’t get the hint during drinks and is still trying to move closer, or hold your hand during the film? Yeah.

Mistake 3 – Going to a Shooting Range

It sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Lots of fun for a tinder date. Pretty sexy. Especially if you both dress for the occasion. A bit of role play.

Sure, it is all of the above, but you don’t know who you are meeting. Imagine going to a shooting range with a lunatic.

They’ll have a gun. Need we say more?!

Mistake 4 – Having a Big Dinner

You want to impress each other, so you want to dress up to your knees and head to a fancy restaurant for a three-course first tinder date dinner.

First of all, are you really comfortable being THAT dressed up on a first date?

Secondly, how much time investment doesn’t it take just to get ready?

Thirdly, you can’t leave in the middle of dinner, even if they turn out to be as exciting as a sleeping pill.

Mistake 5 – Extreme Adventure Sports

You’ll probably survive if your date, who said s/he likes adventure sports, turns out to be a wuss and refuses to climb the wall in a climbing place. Not too much fun, but nor too much time or money wasted.

But imagine if you’re in the same situation out on a rock? Especially if they’re halfway up the rock. Or when you’ve paid to go paragliding and last minute they back out as it’s scarier than they thought?

And just imagine heading out to the middle of nowhere to go mountain biking with a stranger. And if they come home with a broken ankle because they were busy trying to talk to you when biking…great first date. Not.

If you both love adventure sports, then the second date is a better opportunity for that. For the first date, stick to slack lining in the park.

Mistake 6 – Paintballing

It sounds like fun, right?! But you have no idea if they’ll start crying when hit by a splash of paint, or if they’ll go completely crazy and shoot you up close, which is against the rules and hurts like hell. It can also get awkward chasing each other with guns on a first date.

Mistake 7 – Meeting in the Middle of Nowhere

I’ve touched upon this already, but being in the middle of nowhere with someone you don’t know, creates unnecessary fear and stress. You don’t know them, they don’t know you, there isn’t enough trust to meet far away from people. No matter how great the sunset happens to be at that beach.

Mistake 8 – A Concert

Sure a concert is fun and if you both like the same band, great. However, you can’t talk to each other during the concert, they may turn out to have moves like the worst 70s disco nerd, want to get trashed, or sing like a banshee and embarrass you in front of hundreds of people and you’re stuck together for the duration of the concert.

It can get awkward as F**K.

Loud bars are just as bad idea for Tinder date. You may be able to get out after a drink, but if you couldn’t hear a word of what they were saying, or vice versa, what are the odds of you having any chemistry?

Mistake 9 – A Boring Coffee Shop

There’s nothing wrong with meeting for a quick coffee. In fact, it’s a great way to establish if there’s any attraction in real life. But meeting in a boring coffeeshop, as the Starbucks mentioned above, leave you few conversation topics.

Like “is your favorite the mocha or the Americano?” Not cool.

Same goes for boring restaurants. And remember: no long meals. Meet for a drink, or a snack, and if you like them you two can go to a restaurant once you get hungry.

Mistake 10 – Double Date

Having chemistry with one person is one thing, with two more, another. And horrors if it’s a first date and your date ends up liking your friend instead of you, or you end up liking your friend’s date.

Maria Montgomery

Maria Montgomery

A Writer. Director. Social Entrepreneur. Change maker. Foodie. Creative nutcase. Potentially funny. Maria has been in the online dating scene for the longest time. Her personal experience in online dating is unmatchable which qualifies her for a top expert.

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