Solving The Biggest Issue Of On-Line Dating Encounters
A friend texted the other day asking for suggestions on where to meet up with someone he met on-line for a first date.
It was a Sunday morning and he wanted a place for brunch that was good but not too expensive. Because I run PubClub.com, he trusted my expertise in this area and knew I would offer him a solid recommendation.
And so that proved to be the case. I recommended, without hesitation, BALEENKitchen, the top South Bay first date restaurant because it met all the criteria one should be seeking in a first-date location.
And that got me to thinking that choosing a place for a first date is a critical element almost as important as the person you’re meeting. So I’m posting my well- tested criteria here.
I am a guy and am speaking to guys meeting out girls, but this works just as well with girls meeting out guys. And even gay dates, if that’s your thing.
Top First-Date Restaurants Criteria
1.) A Nice Place With Menu Prices In The $15 Range
It’s a first date so you don’t want to spend a fortune. But you don’t want to come across as cheap, either. Pick a place with good food and drinks with entrees priced in the $12-15 range. Your bill will be bigger than $15 each, of course, but this is not the time to splurge.
2.) Someplace Lively But Not TOO Lively
You want to pick a place that’s fun where there is activity going on around you, but not a place that is so lively that it takes away from your focus.
You want to show her you are fun. But you also want to show her you are in charge. If the place is too active then you are not in charge of the situation.
By picking a place that’s lively, you show off your fun side. Plus, if there are a few diversions happening around you, it makes for a good break when the conversation stalls. But if it’s too lively, then you lose control of the situation and thus, the date.
Whatever you do, don’t take her to your “regular” place where you know all the bartenders, staff and patrons.
3.) A Place Where You Can Control The Environment
Girls like guys who take charge, who are in control. If you can control the environment, you can have the attention and respect of your date. So pick a place where you can be in control of your surroundings.
I sometimes go in ahead of time and talk to the manager or hostess to let them know I’m coming in for an important date, and ask if they can set aside a certain table for me that’s near the “action” but far enough away so we can have our private moments, too.
By the way, a sure date-killer is to hem and haw about a location. “Let’s go here, no I don’t like that place, or how about there…”
Pick a spot and stick with your decision.
4.) Make Sure It’s Off The Beaten Path
If you take her to the same place she’s been a million times – with her girlfriends or on other dates – that does nothing to separate yourself from the crowd.
Find a place that’s a bit different, such as a cozy restaurant on a side street or a real locals’ favorite not visited by the masses. This will elevate you in her mind as being creative and innovative and mark you as a leader, not a follower.
5.) No Lines To Wait For A Table
You don’t want to go to a place that’s so popular you have to wait in a line to get seated. Not only does that make for an awkward conversation, you’ve already lost control of the situation because you have no control over the situation.
And no matter how charming you are from this point forward, she will always be thinking in the back of her mind, “what a loser; I can’t believe he took me to a place where we had to wait for so long.”
Top First-Date Bars Criteria
Choosing the right bar is similar to choosing a restaurant, but also different because it’s usually just for an “exploratory” first date to meet in order to determine if you will later go on an actual date.
Or, as is the case with some dating sites, it could be to determine if you’re going to hook up or not for the night.
1.) A Lively Bar That’s Not Too Lively Or Crowded
Much like the restaurant, you want a place that’s hip and cool, but where you can also sit down at the bar or a table and carry on a conversation.
A good Happy Hour bar but not the most popular Happy Hour bar in town is a perfect example of this kind of place.
2.) Control The Environment
You want to be able to talk to the person to get to know them, so you want a bar where you can sit down and carry on a conversation without yelling over crowd noise. You also want prompt service, so being in a place that’s not too busy is critical.
If you have chosen properly, then you can walk in with authority, confident that while the date might be indeed be spoiled by, well, your date, it won’t be because of the place you chose to meet. Confidence can go a long way in making a favorable first impression.
3.) Have A Second Bar Planned Out In Advance
One of my big moves is, after a while, to try and get the girl to another bar. That’s because if she comes along, it means she trusts me to take care of her, and that’s a big step forward in moving forward with the date. For the night or for the future.
And like criteria #1, it’s got to be a place that’s lively but not too lively. It’s good to have a backup place anyway, in case your first choice is unexpectedly jammed due to a large group that’s gathered for a party or a group of loud fans are there for a sporting event.
If you can seamlessly move to another spot and carry on the date without hesitation, then that’s major points in your favor.
4.) Have Other Nearby Options In Case The Date Flops
I like being in a place near other spots I like just in case the date turns out to be a real zero. Since I’m already out, I’m likely to stay out even if the date is a “one drink and done” thing. But I don’t want to just sit there and say goodbye, I want to be on the move because it shows confidence in myself.
So pick an area where you can slip around the corner into your regular bar or some other lively place where the memory of your failed date quickly fades with the new diversions of the night.
5.) Make Sure It’s Close To Your Place. Or Her Place
This is if things go well and you want to make a move to have sex. Well, that’s pretty much the case with all guys on any date, which is why you want to pick a bar close to where either you live or in close proximity to her place.
One advantage of being close to her place is that she is likely to feel more comfortable in an environment she knows. But it can also work against you if a bunch of her friends start coming up to her and interrupting things. If that happens, then you need to take control of the situation.
The best way to do that is to suggest going to another bar (have this scouted out in advance so there’s no hesitation whatsoever on your part about where to go next). If she goes along, then chances are the date will be a very long and rewarding one.
Take her to a bar close to your place if you sense she’s more of the adventurous type.