Saturday 17 March 2018

First Date Venues... from the pub to the gym

The cafe
The cafe
Tom Hiddlestone - his capers mightn't be ideal fare for a first date
Like an episode of Friends
Fit is the new romantic

Pat Fitzpatrick

As we eavesdrop on a first date, and a blind one at that), we take a look at the best venues for these nerve-racking occasions

1 The Pub

The pub is an old-school choice. It's likely to be an actual old school these days, turned into a pub called #HomeWork by hipsters, where they serve pints in disused inkpots. If your date suggests meeting there because it's his local, change your name and move to Algeria. A couple of rules for pub dates: don't feel the need to share whether you had a dump or a wee when you come back from the jacks. And if she agrees to a second pint, she's the one. (That's certainly how it worked in our day.)

2 The Cafe

The cafe is an increasingly popular venue, thanks to Tinder. More than anything else, the cafe is a safe spot where the date can be done and dusted in the time it takes to say, "You look so unlike your profile photo, I'm actually thinking of suing you for wasting my time". Of course, meeting for daytime coffee is a great way to weed out all the men on Tinder looking for casual sex. Which is all the men on Tinder, says you, very, very quietly, in case your date hears you.

3 The Internet

The worst thing about going on a first date with someone? You can't be on a first date with someone else. At least that used to be the case, before people under 30 decided to stay indoors and interact with each other over social media. With Tinder and WhatsApp, you can be on a first date with three people at the same time. It's like an episode of Friends, except funnier. Because, looking back on it now, everything is funnier than Friends.

4 The Cinema

What a lovely idea. A dark, intimate space where you can go with a stranger and celebrate your shared love for overpriced ice cream. Because it's not like two straight strangers can find a movie to watch together. Unless you know a bloke who will sit through a romcom where the leading lady finds love and still says loyal to her overweight friend. Or you find a woman willing to watch a shoot-'em-up caper that doesn't involve Tom Hiddleston. (He's just so vulnerable.)

5 The Gym

Fit is the new romantic. OK, it isn't. Until the person in California who comes up with "x is the new y" statements decides that it is. And then we must all obey their irrational whim. But the gym is still a great place for that first date. It allows you to show off 'the goods'. (Don't use that term.) And it shows a commitment to healthy living. That's vital for older people, to scare away suitors looking for a pay out from your life insurance.

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