First dates are filled with unknowns: What if you don’t hit it off? What if they’re nothing like you expected? What if they don’t want to share dessert (an immediate red flag)? This is especially true when you’re meeting someone in person for the first time. While finding safe first date ideas for your Tinder match may feel like it adds a level of awkwardness to an already awkward situation, it’s important to prioritize your safety first and foremost.
There are plenty of precautions you can take before you even meet up for the first time. Experts say it’s best not to give away too much personal information (i.e. your full name, your exact address, your social security number and bank routing number) while initially getting to know someone via dating app. No need to disguise yourself entirely (It’s kind of necessary for the other person to know what you look like). But maybe wait until you’ve been a few dates before adding them on Facebook or letting them know your apartment number.
Though it may seem like overkill, it is unfortunately necessary to keep your guard up a little. (Anyone with internet access and a mother has likely heard the dating app horror stories.) Just be smart: let a friend know where you’re going to be, meet in a public place, and drive yourself to/from the date. Maybe familiarize yourself with Apple’s emergency SOS call feature or download one of these safe dating apps.
And if you’re worried about having to come up with a clever first date idea on top of all of that? Have no fear. Here are nine safe first date ideas for you and person you swiped right on.
1. Get Coffee
If you’re looking for a daytime date idea, why not go for coffee. A cafe has all the makings of a safe first date meeting point: it’s a mutual public space, there will be plenty of people around, and you likely won’t be leaving in the dark. Plus, there is coffee.
2. Meet Up At A Popular Bar For Happy Hour
Again, finding a popular, public place to meet up is one of the easiest ways to ensure your safety. Happy hour is doubly perfect since you know there will be plenty of people around should you not feel safe one-on-one. Dinner at your favorite local restaurant is also a great option if you’re looking for public date places and want to limit how much you’re drinking.
3. Go To A Sporting Event
Nervous about not having enough to talk about on a first date? Cheering on the home team will give you plenty of conversation fodder. While definitely more of a time commitment, you won’t have to worry about being completely alone with your date, if you’re feeling uncomfortable.
4. See A Concert Or Show Together
Seeing a band or a comedy show is perfect if you’re looking for something with similar safety precautions as a sporting event...but with less sports.
5. Go Bowling
Experts say goal-oriented date activities can be a great way to foster teamwork. Additionally, a little friendly competition can be a fun way to get to know someone. Bowling is also less isolated than, say, rock climbing or golfing, if you’re looking for a date idea that’s both safe and active.
6. Visit A Local Museum
Taking a walk can be great for conversation, but it’s probably best if you’re not meeting someone for the first time on a secluded hiking trail. Try walking and talking around a museum or art gallery for all that great conversation minus the seclusion/bugs.
7. Explore The Zoo
Still want to take a walk outside? Meet up at your city’s zoo. That way you can enjoy some casual conversation outside in a safer way than the aforementioned secluded trail.
8. Go Head-To-Head At A Barcade or A Board Game Cafe
Board games and video games are a great date go-to. But, for safety’s sake, it’s best if you don’t meet up for the first date at your place or their place. Instead, check out your local barcade or hang out at a coffee shop that has a stash of board games on hand.
9. Get Dessert
If you aren’t sure about committing to sitting down for an entire meal, just meet up for dessert. Stop by ice cream place or hang out at a bakery. You’ll feel less pressure stay longer than you’re comfortable since no one takes that long to eat a cookie, right? Plus, you can do that cute thing where you each get a different dessert and then share/convince them to give you both desserts.