The Guysexual’s Guide to Four Other First Date Ideas

The Guysexual’s Guide to Four Other First Date Ideas

...and what they say about you

We’ve already discussed that deciding where to meet your date for the very first time can be a tricky affair — what if he’s not having a good time? What if you aren’t having a good time? What if no one is having a good time?

You might have played footsie over popcorn at the movies, or charmed him over cheeseburgers at your favourite diner, but something still seems amiss — is it him? Is it you? Is it the waiter who’s giving you condescending looks because you didn’t tip him extra?

Don’t fret — if bottomless mimosas and blockbuster movies aren’t your thing, here are four other ideas to try out if you want your first date to be stuff that they make Hallmark movies out of:

1. A fancy, romantic meal

It’s always risky to meet someone at an upscale restaurant for your very first date. What if he’s not worth getting your dinner jacket dry-cleaned? What if his breath already smells like truffle oil? What if the waiters give him a look that you usually reserve for a bowl of deep fried kale chips? What if you can’t make an exit halfway through your expensive entree? What if a bottle of champagne later, you realise that the only thing you have in common with him is your love for overpriced alcohol?

Stick to the upscale restaurant only if you’ve been a couple of phone calls down with the boy — know of his tastes at the dining table, and in life — you don’t want to take a lasagna-loving lad to pick at his wasabi at a sushi bar — because the only thing that’s worse than being stuck with a bad date is a bad date that won’t pay his half of the bill because he thought the filet mignon was going to be fish.

Side note: Plan ahead and make a reservation, so that your date doesn’t have any.

2. A walk in the park

Snotty kids, disapproving old people and pigeons aside, a walk in the park is perfect when you are nursing an empty wallet but a head full of questions — it’s cheap, but romantically so.

Here your conversation skills need to be on point, because unlike a movie theatre or drinks at the neighborhood bar, there’s nothing else to provide you with entertainment other than the occasional people (or pet) watching. It’s the best way to get to know someone who you know nothing about (apart from their vital stats and how old their Grindr profile picture is).

Think of it this way: a walk in the park is an anthology of multiple mini first dates — enjoy an evening stroll, pack up a picnic, feed the ducks or the dogs, go on a nature trail, share an ice cream cone and explore your inner child (but not the ones in the sandbox), opening a playground (pun intended) of possibilities.

Side note: These dates make more sense when you are clueless about the credentials of your date-to-be, because ending a date in someone’s bed might be risqué, but ending it in a body bag is a risk no one should take.

3. The coffee shop

The coffee date is the equivalent of a quickie in bed. Because can you really get to know somebody in the time taken to consume a single cappuccino?

Not really. But it gives you enough time to give someone the do-over, so that before the scalding murky brown contents of your cup reach the base of your throat, you can be out of the coffee shop never to see him ever again.

What if things are going great?

That’s where the refill(s) comes in.

Side note: (Not to be confused with calling someone over for coffee, when the only thing you are going to do is espresso into his pants)

4. An art gallery

Gay men like to flock to art galleries the same way they like to flock to Sunday brunch — simply because it’s an Instagram haven. But art, unlike bottomless cocktails, isn’t every man’s cup of (matcha) tea.

Sure, it’s a red carpet full of conversation starters — what do you think this painting really means? Does that sculpture speak to you? Do you think I could have painted that better? Is it just me or does that fruit bowl look NSFW? Is that fire bucket a part of the exhibition? Can we just go get drinks instead? But that’s where the good times (and sometimes the conversations) end.

Book yourself a tour of the museum or an art gallery only when you know your interests are aligned, because there’s a fat chance your stars won’t be — if you spend more time looking at the art than talking to your date, you are clearly doing it wrong. Like they say, being an art connoisseur might be the current rage, but being a great date is even better.

Side note: Just make sure your date is an art aficionado (and it’s not just something he says on his Tinder profile), because his constant yawns will only take him to one bed.

His own.

— Illustration courtesy Amrai Dua

Aniruddha Mahale