If you’ve spent any amount of time on our site, you know that we like to focus a lot on first dates. Why? Well, the first date is the make or break time where you can make something awesome happen with someone special, or you can break your chances of anything continuing with someone awesome. First dates are important, and there is a lot you can do right and a lot you can do wrong that will affect the outcome of the date.
In this guide, we’re specifically going to talk about one of the biggest mistakes that you can make on a first date – taking your date somewhere that you frequent. It might seem like a great idea, but we’re going to make a strong case as to why this is something that you should avoid at all costs.
Before we go any further, we do want to make sure you’re aware of a few awesome resources we’ve put together for first daters. Make sure you’ve checked out our Complete List of First Date Mistakes You Have to Stop and The Ultimate First Date Checklist. These two guides and what you learn here today should help to get you all squared away for your upcoming first date!
What Happens if the Date Goes Poorly, But They Like the Place
If you know us, you know that we don’t like to just make claims or tell you to do something without backing it up. If you wanted someone to bark unfounded orders at you, you could probably call up your mom or your boss and let them go to town. But, that’s not how we roll here.
Let’s look at a first date scenario where you take your date to your favorite bar that you love to frequent after work. You know the bartender, and it’s just an awesome space that you love to go to in order to unwind. You show up with your date, order a round of drinks, and things are off to a great start. Your favorite bartender is even working and said hey to you and made you feel like a celebrity.
About 20 minutes into the date, though, your date starts to get quiet and so do you. You’ve read our blog on how to avoid awkward silences on dates, but it’s just not working. The date starts to spiral down from there and then your date eventually tells you they’re not interested and awkwardly shuffles out of the bar.
Good thing you don’t have to see them again, right?
The next day you go after work to grab a drink and who do you see there…on another date…in YOUR favorite bar? Yup. Your date from the night before is hijacking your favorite bar. It’s now becoming their favorite bar and where they decide they want to take their dates. You now have to decide to either deal with them there or lose your favorite bar.
Don’t risk losing a place you love for someone you just met. Save the sweet spots for later dates and take them somewhere that you don’t frequent in case it goes poorly, you don’t have to worry about seeing your cruddy date again.
You Could Run Into Friends or People You Don’t Want To
What is something that usually happens at a place you frequent? You make friends! Or, you start frequenting a place because your friends go there. It’s a chicken and the egg kind of thing, but the point is that places you frequent will probably be packed with people that you know.
Answer this question honestly. Do you want your friends sitting in the corner watching you while you’re on your date? Heck, you’re going to be nervous enough already as it is. Why add fuel to the fire by taking your date somewhere that if it goes terribly wrong, you’re never going to hear the end of it? Or, depending on what kind of friends you have, they might be the kind that could accidentally assist in making things go terribly wrong.
While there is nothing wrong with accidentally running into people that you know on a first date, it’s not ideal. The more variables that you can take out of the first date scenario, the better your chances are to have a good time and not run into any problems.
You Could Ruin Something That You Don’t Know About
You never know who is watching when you’re somewhere. Don’t worry; we’re not saying that to sound creepy. What we are referring to is the fact that a lot of places you go, there are probably people who are interested in you and might be interested in dating you in some capacity. It’s possible they are waiting for the right opportunity to talk to you or to work up the courage to come say hi.
What do you think they are going to do if they see you in there with someone else on a date? What are they going to do if they see you in there with multiple dates on multiple occasions? The answer is they are probably going to assume that you’re taken and never get the courage up to ask you out or let you know they are interested. If they see you parading people through, they might lose interest thinking you’re a player or something like that.
Don’t ruin opportunities that you don’t even know exist by bringing first dates through places you frequent. This would be like taking a first date to a work function or something like that. You never know who is watching.
The Weak Case for Taking a Date Somewhere You Frequent
We wouldn’t be offering you a complete guide if we didn’t at least look at some of the reasons for taking your date to your stomping grounds or a place you frequent. But, we will give you the spoiler that all of these arguments are actually an argument for a better solution that we’ll cover as well. Let’s start by looking at the reasons taking a date somewhere you frequent could be nice and then we will talk about what you should do about that.
You Can Get Special Treatment
Know a bar with a bartender friend? Probably going to get hooked up. Know a restaurant where you know the owner? You’re going to look like a boss. There are certainly some advantages to going somewhere you frequent, and they start with the level of service that you will get. If you’re a loyal customer they know, or you have a personal relationship with someone at the venue, it’s going to make for a better experience overall and possibly save you some cash.
You Know the Lay of the Land
When you go somewhere that you frequent, you can make the case that you are actually removing more of the variables as opposed to what we said earlier. You know what the menu looks like or what they offer, you know where everything is, and you know the ins and outs of what needs to happen to ensure a fantastic experience. Basically, you’re the expert on a location, and it’s going to make you look cultured and experienced when you bring your first date there.
Save it for a Later Date
Some pretty great arguments up there, yea? We actually agree. BUT!!! We think they are great arguments that still reign true on the second date or fifth date or any date other than the first. Wait until you know that someone might be around for a while before you go taking them to your stomping grounds.
Save the special treatment for someone who deserves it. You’re going to start to develop an odd reputation at your favorite locale if you are constantly parading men and or women through there.
Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a journalist and data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.