Food in teeth, nausea, childhood stories and exposing your pot belly are all things you ought to avoid on first or second dates. You run the risk of experiencing these and other humiliating incidents if you choose the wrong place to bring your date. Good places are memorable, different, unique, cost-effective, and relevant to both of you in some way. Bad date places have none of these qualities and the worst places not only lack these things, but also embarrass you and assure that you’ll never get another date with the person again.
Let's look at the function of a date. If you're single, a date acts like an interview. Your goal is to get the other person to still like you enough when the date is over to go out with you again, assuming you're still interested as well. You're trying to appear cool, sexy, together, confident, and fun. You're also trying to make the other person as comfortable as possible.
That's why avoiding the worst places is the first step in smart dating. The following lists the worst places you could choose to go on a date and I recommend that you avoid them like the plague if you want the other person to still like you when it's over.
An Amusement Park
As the roller coaster nears its pinnacle your date looks over the side and silently swears under her breath at you for talking her into going on this ride. She hates roller coasters, has always been afraid of them, and is highly susceptible to motion sickness. As she contemplates her strategy to avoid you in the future, the coaster starts its stomach-turning decent, and she leans over and throws up in your lap, her way of saying "Thanks for the great date".
Amusement parks are a funky phenomenon. You'll often find overgrown stuffed animals running around trying to high-five you, screaming children, long lines, and overpriced food. Unless your date is an amusement park buff, it's unlikely he or she is going to love the idea.
Don't get me wrong, the beach is a great place. But from the point of view of a date with a near stranger, it stinks. First, there's an awful lot of sand and it can get everywhere. You can't easily eat on the beach; a lack of furniture contributes to that. With sand and bugs-o-plenty, eating ends up being a drag.
But probably the worst thing about the beach is that you're compelled to take off most of your clothes. Now, if you both have hot bodies, well-groomed with flat stomachs and great muscle tone, then you have nothing to worry about. But if you don't, stay away from places that make you feel silly if you want to keep all your imperfection-hiding clothes on.
A Non-Traditional Restaurant
One time I took a date to a Japanese restaurant where they made everyone take off their shoes upon entering. There were no chairs, just floor-level tables that everyone sat around on little pillows. It didn't seem like it was going to be too bad until I started to smell my feet while eating our salads. The noxious odor must have been escaping from the various holes in my ratty socks. The whole night was humiliatingly awkward.
Other places to avoid are eateries where you're expected to use your hands to feed yourself. A first date doesn't want to watch you maul your barbeque ribs and chicken legs like The Missing Link. No one likes the thought of being touched later on by greasy fingers. And have you ever eaten corn on the cob and come away with clean teeth?
A Family Function
I don't know about your family, but a few of my great-aunts have hairy faces. I mean really hairy, with partial beards and hairy moles. One of my uncles thinks he's still living in 1880 and uses every racist expression ever known. So it goes without saying that I never brought dates to family functions. And you shouldn't either. Weddings, reunions, baptisms, bat mitzvahs, and especially funerals, are out.
There's no such thing as a family that isn't dysfunctional. It doesn't exist. If you bring a first or second date to a family function be prepared for somebody to embarrass you. Grandma will ask you two when you're getting married and when to expect great grandchildren. And your little cousin Eunice will promptly tell your date all about the time you farted in church.
Your Parent's House for Dinner
I can't think of a more uncomfortable setting than sitting at a dinner table with complete strangers in their own house. Don't put a date through this torture. You may have the hippest parents in the world. They may intelligent, hospitable and interesting. But don't subject anyone you just recently met to your parents for an entire dinner.
Often the parent of your same sex looks like you're going to look in twenty five years. You'll find your date sizing up your parent asking themselves whether they'll be ok with your pot belly and hairy ears a couple of decades from now.
Bringing your date to your parent's house is just asking for trouble. Your mom may temporarily forget that you're trying to make an impression and start talking to you like you're thirteen years old again, "Before you leave tonight my little muffin, can you take your hemorrhoid ointment out of our medicine cabinet, daddy keeps using it for lip cream by mistake."
Dates can be traumatic and nerve-racking in the best of places so don't make it harder on either of you than you have to. There are some great places to take a date that will make you look like a hero, won't cost you too much, will give you just enough time to talk to each other, but will also provide an entertaining distraction.
I'm talking about museums, jazz shows, rock concerts, musicals, art shows, plays and live comedy. These are all cool places to bring a first or second date. They allow you to talk and be entertained at the same time. These types of places make the date memorable, distinct and out of the ordinary. It shows you put more than just a little thought in the idea. And if you're trying to get someone to go out with you for the first time, find out what kind of bands, shows, comedians or plays they like, buy a couple of tickets, and casually invite them along with an explanation like your buddy just cancelled on you and you have a free ticket that you don't want to waste.