18 Worst First Date Ideas to Avoid at All Cost

18 Worst First Date Ideas to Avoid at All Cost

Together with the Pure community, we decided to have an open discussion on places to avoid when planning your first date with someone new. From movie theaters to parking lots, we’ve gathered a list of 15 ideas that seem good in theory, but not in practice.

Heaven is a place on earth with the right person, no doubt. But when it comes to first dates, there are things to consider. Getting comfortable with someone is not an overnight thing: it’s a process that requires an appropriate setting. To save you the awkwardness and inconvenience, here’s a list of places that might sound like a good idea but are best to avoid, or at least save for later. Who knows, maybe you were just doing your first dates wrong all this time!

Going to the Movies

Why going to the movies is a bad date idea, you ask? Well, it’s not that big of a deal, but going to the cinema with someone is almost the same as going there alone: eyes on the screen, popcorn, strangers sitting all around you. The first date is a truly great chance to get to know someone. And it’s commonly done by, you know, talking. Unless you’re both avid cinema lovers and watching a great movie is the best way for you to connect and discuss it later, we would recommend postponing your visit to the movies until date number two or a session at your place, snacks included.

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Coming Over

Yes, you can! Although, don’t forget about necessary safety precautions before you go to a stranger’s place or vice versa. Try meeting up in a public space for a coffee or a walk first, or letting a friend or a family member know where you are. After all, you’re meeting someone for the first time and don’t know if they’re trustworthy yet. Just doing the above will ease the anxiety for both of you! In case you’re the host, don’t forget to tidy your place and make it feel welcoming to ensure your guest is comfortable and won’t stumble upon the infamous socks-on-the-floor.

Trying Exotic Cuisine

In case you were wondering what’s the worst food to get on the date — exotic cuisine is pretty much any cuisine that may or may not give you, uh, digestion issues afterward. And if you’re going to their place, god forbid such imminent fate surprises you out of nowhere: the game of thrones will suddenly take on a whole new meaning. Now, this might end up being a bonding experience, but do you really want that for yourself?

In addition, remember about the power of garlic and other strong spices: they might make your breath smell funny.

The Date at a Fast Food Joint

We love burgers, we really do. Anything you can eat one-handed is a good bet for a date, but burgers are not the most romantic idea for your first date though, when you’ve got ranch all over your mouth and grease stains on each finger while your partner is trying to shove something in their mouth (we understand the appeal of the latter, though). Big fast food joints, in general, tend to be quite loud and crowded — hard to keep a conversation going. Opt for something cozier instead!

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Bringing a Friend

Bringing a friend on a first date is a great way to ensure that you will not have a second date. There’s time and place for everything. They don’t even know you yet, and you’re trying to drag friends into this? This scenario will most certainly lead to social awkwardness and your date feeling plain uncomfortable. Or worse: becoming a third wheel. You and your friends have history and inside jokes — pair that with embarrassing stories from your past and you’ve got a recipe for regret. Try it if you want to kill any chance of a relationship!

Pure. Let loose. 

Pure is an app where classic rules for dating don’t apply. On Pure, you create your own rules.

Escape Room / Quest

This could be fun to spice up a long-term relationship, but it’s probably not the most thoughtful event for blossoming romance. The first date should be something quick and stress-free and the high-stress environment might lead to fighting, if you’re into that, well, just skip the date and start renovating your apartment together. It’s especially nerve-wracking when you have to showcase your intellect and decision-making skills (which is usually the case with escape rooms), and it’s easy to disappoint or get disappointed. 

Going for Bar Crawl

Unless getting shattered was the plan for both of you all along — trying to outdrink your date is not very enticing or particularly sexy. As a rule of thumb, drinking and dating don’t go together as well as movies want us to believe. And yes, we’re talking consent here — intoxication implies the inability to give consent, and you want to make sure taking the date further (if an opportunity arises) is a 100% mutual, sober, and reciprocated decision. Plus, the bartender knowing you by name and your regular order is not the best first date flex either: best to save these impressions for later.

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Fitness Activities

There’s a handful of fun fitness activities to do together, but keeping a balance, going at the right speed, trying not to sweat too much — all of this just sounds like a challenge when you’re trying to get to know a person. We advise you to leave intense workouts outside of your first date plans, especially if you don’t know your date’s activity and stamina level. Even if you’re an advanced gym enthusiast, there are ways to connect with someone you like without showing off your weightlifting skills — trust us on this one. Try a comfortable space that is enjoyable for both of you instead.

The Mall

If all the couples having a date at the mall (because they couldn’t decide on a better option) disappeared, nature would start healing. All of the food courts on the planet would suddenly have available seating for those of us who are actually hungry and in a rush. And the only thing worse than window shopping on a date is window shopping on the first date. What if you actually feel like buying something, or trying some shoes on? Awkward moment alert. If you both like shopping, it's a possible option, but we suggest avoiding it on your first date.

Parking Lot

Or sitting in your car, for that matter. There’s something special about the atmosphere of cars and parking lots, we know that. And it’s budget-friendly. Might be a romantic gesture when it’s spontaneous, but planning to just sit somewhere and smoke with the music blasting might turn out to be a rather lukewarm experience and come off as lazy and low-effort. Save it for some other time… as in, when you’ve been together for a while.

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Your mom’s

Thinking of meeting the Parents... on the first date? Whether they’re the take-home-to-mama kind and you’re head over heels or you live with your parents and they’re gone for the weekend — we recommend you leave out any family matters until the time is right, house included. Firstly, your date is almost guaranteed to feel a little overwhelmed as it’s too soon to introduce them to that aspect of your life. Secondly, your childhood bedroom with baby photos and posters is only nostalgic and comfortable to you — a stranger might find this setting a little less appropriate. Most importantly, what if it doesn’t work out and you already gave them access to something as private as your family home address? Your mom surely won’t be happy about that.

More things to NOT do on the first date

  • Surprises

Unless you’re confident your date would be fine with going somewhere unknown and letting you take the lead, discuss your activities and plans well in advance. Meeting someone is stressful enough in and of itself!

  • High expectations

As with everything in life, expect the unexpected and beware of your idealized scenarios. The chemistry might not be as good in real life as it was online, and that’s okay.

  • Arguing

Intellectual conversations are great. Trying to prove a point to someone you’ve just met is a big turn-off for most. Whatever the topic of your discussion will be, remember that politeness and peace go a long way, even if a disagreement occurs.

  • Being on your phone

We hope we don’t have to elaborate on this any further: there is nothing worse than your date checking Instagram or constantly replying to messages when you’re sitting right in front of them.

  • Bringing up your ex

This, unfortunately, happens way more often than it should. Leave the bitterness in the past and enjoy the beginning of something new and beautiful.

  • Trauma dumping

It’s great that our society is evolving to the point where we recognize our traumatic past events and emotional baggage, and can talk about those freely. These tough conversations, however, are best held at your therapist’s office, not the first date. 

  • Judgement 

Keeping an open mind and being receptive is the key to good communication, romantic or not. Approach your date with childlike curiosity, honest enthusiasm, and kindness — your efforts will be appreciated.

If you have any bad date stories (or even better – tips to avoid them) feel free to share them with us via Instagram or at [email protected]!

Lera Bergman


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