This isn't as tricky as it first appears. While some dating agencies have organised group meals and activities you will probably want to be in an environment of your own choosing, and most agencies work on this basis. Choosing what to do or where to go should be a joint decision but it's always wise to give a thought or two to your dates' financial position. Perhaps you are used to, and well able to afford expensive restaurants or other financially demanding activities, but maybe your date isn't fortunate enough. You really don't want to make anyone feel out of place or uncomfortable so please do give this aspect more than a passing thought. Going on a first date together is stressful enough let alone in unusual surroundings.
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It is probably a good thing to have more than one idea of what to do and where to go for your first meet - your date might not be particularly keen on your first idea. However, you must give them the opportunity to come up with some suggestions too. We, as many other online dating agencies do, recommend that you don't start with an evening meal - it takes too long and you don't want to be stuck with a date for a couple of hours that you really can't stand, especially if the conversation has dried up after a few minutes. We also don't recommend going to the cinema on a first date. Some people believe that this is the perfect way of asking someone out and it often works. The only problem with this suggestion is that after you've been together for a couple of hours watching the film you still won't know anything about each other! So the date doesn't really start until you've left the cinema. Why not just cut to the chase, skip the film and get to know each other first. If you get on well there will be plenty of other opportunity to go to the cinema. However, we can recommend meeting for a coffee or lunch as an ideal starting point. If the date goes really well then you can always extend it into the afternoon (so have an idea of what else you might want to suggest doing in the area). However, if it goes horribly wrong then it doesn't need to take either of you very long to drink the rest of your coffee and go your separate ways!
It's also a good idea to agree on the dress code first - there's nothing worse than turning up either over or under-dressed. Of course you want to make a good impression so choose your clothes carefully but be comfortable with what you're wearing. Tradition demands that the man should at least offer to pay for his date but it is very common for women to offer to go 'Dutch' these days, which is often perceived well by men. As we like to think of ourselves as one of the more responsible online dating agencies we recommend that if you meet on licensed premises then you limit your drinking to perhaps just one or maybe two drinks. Heavy drinking changes the way most people behave, and not always for the better!
If you're getting on well it's probably best not to be too pushy with questionning your date. It's not a job interview and you want the first date to result in a second one too! Many people aren't prepared to reveal all of their life history on the first date and nor should you expect them to. It should be a gentle conversation that allows you to find out a little about each other and tells both of you whether you want to meet up again. Give it time and allow the trust to build between you both over several dates. When you think about it like this then there's very little to be nervous about so you can relax and enjoy each others company.