A Fantastic First Date: Start a potential new romance on a high note

First dates.  They can be divine or disastrous. If it’s true “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”, shouldn’t you make that first impression spectacular?  Are you really best appreciated over a cup of ho hum coffee or being shushed in the local cinema? Why not start off your next relationship in a more unique, unconventional way?

Rhode Island – Dance LessonsBallroom Dancing

Dance lessons are back in vogue, due to the popularity of programs like “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance”.  Ballroom dancing requires equal effort from both partners, which makes it the perfect choice for a first date. Dancers are focused on a shared goal—learning the dance—so there are no boring or weird moments of silence.  Dancing also means physical contact, so you can tell if there’s physical chemistry without waiting for that awkward kiss or fumble at the end of the night. Step out of your comfort zone and see why it takes two to tango. And don’t let anyone put you in the corner!

The Dancing Feeling, 2429 Post Road, Warwick, RI

Vermont – Rock Climbing

Is it a good idea to get high on the first date?  Well, if carabineers and belay ropes are involved, we say, “Yes”! Spend a few hours at one of Vermont’s indoor climbing gyms and gain valuable insight into your date’s personality.  Is he competitive?  Is she confident? Is he supportive?  Will she collaborate? Do either of you shriek like a little girl when you slip?  After an hour or two, if the chemistry is there, you can always move on to drinks or dinner.  If not, you’ve just found a cool new hobby.

Petra Cliffs, 105 Briggs Street, Burlington, VT

New Hampshire – Cooking Class

Julia Child said, “Cooking is like love.  It should be entered into with abandon, or not at all”.  What better way to satisfy your heart, your soul and your stomach than by cooking on your first date?  Attending a cooking class puts you both on neutral ground; there’s no need to speed clean your apartment or worry about the nasty state of your basting brush.  There’s ample opportunity to make light conversation as you work together to tie up pork tenderloin or shave Brussels sprouts.  Is your date a rule follower, measuring each ingredient exactly, or a free spirit, throwing in a pinch of this and a dash of that?  At least you both know how the date will end: with a (hopefully) delicious meal.  After that, you’re on your own. 

The Culinary Playground, 16 Manning Street, Suite 105, Derry, NH

Maine – Flea Market

Flip date night on its ear and try an early morning date at one of Maine’s famous flea markets. You bring the coffee; he brings the donuts as you both scour for bargains through the aisles of antiques, collectibles and junk.  You love mid-century modern furniture while he collects 1970’s lunch boxes. Are your styles compatible?  Flea Markets bring out all sorts of characters, so they are a great place to people watch.  Even if you don’t appreciate that rusty Partridge Family lunchbox, you can connect over your shared observations of other shoppers. One day, you can tell your grandchildren how you went looking for dusty treasures and found love.

Monstweag Flea Market, 6 Hunnewell Lane, Woolwich, Maine

Massachusetts – Comedy Club

When asked which characteristics are most appealing in a mate, “sense of humor” almost always makes the list.  Isn’t it best to find out right away whether your potential significant other actually has one, rather than endure an awkward silence following that hilarious joke you just shared?  Book a table for two at the local comedy club, loosen up with a cocktail and let the laughs begin.  A little side eye will clue you in to your date’s taste in comedy.  Are they a fan of observational humor, or do they go for the really raunchy stuff?

Laugh Boston, 425 Summer Street, Boston MA

Connecticut – Trivia Night

Forget the pressure of a weekend date and opt for Trivia Tuesday at a local pub.  Sure, it’s great to know the square root of a hypotenuse triangle, but you want a partner who knows exactly where Pat Benatar put another notch in “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. Trivia is also a great group activity; if you’re not quite ready to go one-on-one with that guy who caught your eye, invite him along to see how well he performs under pressure.  If he comes up with “lipstick case”, he’s a keeper.

McLaddens, 37 LaSalle Road, West Hartford, CT

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