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Choosing the best first date location

18 November 2015

The location of your first date could go a long way to determining whether there will be a second one. So how do you choose a winner?

People watching on a first date
Pick a location where there is a lot going on to help generate conversation - if you're going to a cafe or restaurant choose somewhere you can do some people-watching

Should you choose somewhere fun and adventurous? Perhaps somewhere cosy that oozes romance? Should you splurge on somewhere impressive or keep things simple? Here are 5 top tips for choosing the ultimate first date location.

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1. Choose somewhere that will inspire good conversation

When you’re online dating over 50, chances are you’ve amassed some excellent stories that you love to share with others. Steer clear of anywhere too noisy and go somewhere you can hear each other loud and clear. 

The fewer interruptions the better, and anywhere with people-watching plus delicious food has got to be win-win for a first date location. If in doubt, restaurants, cafes and parks are all great picks for providing a comfortable atmosphere and ice-breaking conversation-starters.

Read our tips for dating ice breakers to get the conversation going

2. Match the location to your mutual interests

After exchanging a few emails and perhaps even talking on the phone, you might have discovered some mutual likes and dislikes. If you’re fans of fancy food, or a certain kind of delicacy – like cheese fondue, for example – you could score extra points for picking the perfect restaurant. 

However if only one of you is a fan, or if your match doesn’t even eat dairy, that fondue quickly becomes a fon-don’t. Stick to mutual ground and save the quirky ideas for your second and third dates, once you’ve both expressed interest in trying the same new things.

See our suggestions of great first date locations

3. Pick a place that’s easy to find and reach

When you’re meeting someone new for the first time, you don’t usually want to travel too far from home. It’s not exactly the best time to deal with bad traffic and tricky parking – there’s nothing worse than arriving to meet someone late and flustered. 

Make sure the place you agree on is reasonably equidistant for both parties, easy to find and if you’re driving, do some research to check there are plenty of parking options nearby.

Read our tips for shaking first date nerves

4. Be thoughtful but not overwhelming

It’s lovely to want to make a first date romantic, but it’s important not to overdo things. Sure, choose a nice restaurant, but leave the chocolates and roses at home. It could make things seriously awkward if you don’t hit it off. 

An over-zealous approach could even put off your match before the first date gets underway. All you really need to bring is a positive outlook and witty repertoire. Timing and subtlety go a long way and if things go well, you can bring out the roses at a later date.

Read the top five common dating mistakes

5. Try being spontaneous

If no particular first date location seems to inspire you, why not try living life on the fly? Suggest meeting your match in a public place – perhaps a park, or outside a store you’re both familiar with – and simply go with the flow. 

Your shared sense of adventure is a great conversation-starter and as you navigate the possibilities together in an act of spontaneity, you’re sure to create a fun date you’ll both remember, as well as some brand new memories to laugh about on your next date!

Read our guide to first date etiquette

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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