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7 Creative First Date Tips to Help You Have a Great Time

A guy who used one of these creative first date tips, laughing in the grass with his date.

When you’re single, there’s nothing more surprising than going on a really good first date. From the initial greeting (handshake or hug?) to the obligatory small talk, and all the awkward silences in between, first dates are just known for being awkward. But there are some things you can do to take your first dates to the next level.

“Like most things in life, the best way to avoid an awkward date is to be prepared,” Kelsey Lord, matchmaker and dating expert with Three Day Rule, tells The Date Mix. “That sounds funny, I know, because how could you possibly prepare for the unknown? But if you do your due diligence before the date, you’ll likely have a lot more fun and feel a lot less pressure when the date does come.”

Being prepared can mean having a list of questions you want to ask or a fun story or two to tell. It can also mean planning a memorable night out that your date is sure to enjoy. So here are some creative first date tips that will help you and your date have a great time.

Tell a fun story.
According to Lord, having a funny story in your back pocket is huge secret advantage when it comes to first dates. For one, it can showcase your personality early on and keep your date hooked. And two, it’s just the kind of thing you need to pull you out of any awkward silences. If you need some help, think of your best “craziest thing that happened to me” story.

“Not only will these stories keep the conversation flowing, but they will lighten the mood and make the date way more fun than basic small talk,” Lord explains.

Get competitive.
You’d be amazed at how much people reveal about themselves when they’re in the middle of a game. You can find out how competitive someone is, how they handle stressful situations, and whether they’re a sore winner or loser. Engaging in a competitive activity is also great if you’re on the shy side. It’ll give you something to focus on in the moment while you get more comfortable with your date. It’s also easier to laugh and bond over things that are happening in the moment.

Head to a thrift store.
There’s really no need to break the bank in order to have a great time. If you’re looking for something that will test your date’s creativity, head to your local thrift store or dollar store and set a budget challenge. All you have to do is set a budget like $10 per person, and then pick out fun things to do or bring along for your date. Dating coaches Marty Kupper and Dana Lam, owners of Fun Fantasy Ritual suggest picking out an outfit for your date.

“Purchase and change into the outfit and head out to dinner and/or an activity in something wacky,” they say. “You’ll laugh so hard and enjoy the reactions of the other patrons, servers and people you come across for your unusual outfit. Makes for great photo opportunities to share on Facebook and Instagram!”

Do a local scavenger hunt.
Whether you’re new in town or you’ve lived there your whole life, local scavenger hunts can be fun for anyone. There’s always something new to discover. Companies like Big City Hunt or Urban Adventure Quest can help you get to know your city a little more. You can even get creative and make up your own little local adventure.

Take a class together.
Taking a class together is a great idea because it takes the pressure off of a typical first date. You don’t need to worry about filling silences with a good story because you’ll be focused on doing something else. You’ll also get to see how your date interacts with others and how they handle potentially stressful situations. Try to pick something you’re both interested in, but have never done. That way, it’s a new experience for the both of you.

Do something that scares you.
Research has found that doing something that gets your heart racing, like watching a scary movie, can make your date like you more than they already do. When people do an activity that makes their heart race, they have a tendency to attribute those feelings of fear and anxiety to sexual attraction. It’s a type of date that you’ll definitely bond over.

Ask your date silly questions.
If you had a genie, what are three wishes would you want granted? What’s the most obscure fact you know? What’s the best type of cheese? First dates can sometimes feel like interviews, especially if you’re exchanging the typical “getting to know you” questions. So don’t be afraid to have fun with it. Get creative and ask questions that can open up for some pretty interesting conversations. Even silly questions like what three wishes do you want granted can reveal a lot about who your date really is.

First dates can be pretty awkward. But if you use any of these tips, you’ll be sure to have a great time. If all goes well, you may even land a second date.

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