{Single Saints} Fantastic First Dates

I recently reached a new all-time low for a bad first date experience. I won’t terrorize you with the details, but I will tell you it was amazingly awkward.

To save you from such future awkwardness, I have compiled a list of fantastic first date ideas for you to turn to:

1. Community events. Concerts, arts festivals, trade shows, sporting events, the works. Now, I won’t lie, I’m lucky here in Salt Lake. There’s a lot going on. But you don’t have to live in a big city to be able to find fun activities. High schools are always putting on plays; minor league sports teams play games, too. Maybe it’s not as glamorous as something you might find elsewhere, but it’s probably cheaper. Maybe it’s not as high quality as you might find elsewhere, but that just means you’ve got lots of time to get to know each other and something to laugh and groan at. No matter how big or small your city, you can find opportunities that will provide awesome entertainment or a no-pressure way to get together and talk without just getting together to talk.

2. Service projects. Service projects are a way to have fun, get to know each other, and share mutual interests. And best of all, they’re free, but instead of seeming like a miser, you seem generous! Check out a local nursing home to see if they have a games night you can join in on to provide some company for the elderly while sharpening your Uno skills. Both pet fanciers? Take the dogs at your local humane society for walks or help bathe the kittens. If you both like being outdoors, try helping with a trail cleanup or building a home. Be aware, though, these projects often take more planning than most, as some places require forms and/or background checks.

3. Free and cheap activities. I am a huge fan of inexpensive (or free!), and especially on a first date, because it means I don’t have to feel guilty if a guy’s spending a wad of cash on me when we barely know each other and may decide to never see each other again. Money is not necessary for fun, gentlemen. Don’t feel pressured to show the green. Go for a bike ride or on a scavenger hunt, and read this post for a list of fun and free (or nearly free) date ideas for groups and individuals.

4. Movie and dessert. I know, I know. How dare I put this on here. Movies have been slammed as cliché and whined about because they don’t allow you to get to know each other. I used to be one of those people. I’ve since come around, but with one caveat: this is a movie followed by dessert, not dinner followed by a movie. If you’re not sure he shares your taste in music or whether she can stand nine innings of baseball and you’re scared to do something too cheap for seeming, well, cheap, I think this option is okay. It shouldn’t be a first choice, by any means, but it is viable. Everyone loves movies. If you don’t know each other well, it guarantees conversation fodder for after the movie when you’re grabbing dessert. The prototypical “dinner and a movie” is out, though. Still awkward dinner conversation about the food and weather, followed by noninteraction for the last two hours of the date? Not a good plan.

Do you have other date suggestions? What was your favorite (or worst!) first date experience? Leave them in the comments below.

Kaela Worthen is the associate editor at LDS Living. A self-titled “ultimate grammar nerd,” she also battles serious addictions to news and food websites and a compulsion to dance to the radio while driving.
Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com