This is the second essay in the series "First Date Tips." To be clear, I'm referring to the first date you have with a new person rather than your first date ever. Someone who posted a comment on my previous essay said that the list I gave in Part One would be helpful for someone who hasn't dated in a while. I think that's a good point because we sometimes must remind ourselves how to engage in certain behaviors when we haven't had practice in a while.
This essay is going to focus on the ideal environment to have a first date. There is no universal good place. The priority should be to ask yourself where you would feel comfortable, and choose accordingly. For some people, they would be most comfortable in a loud place with lots of distractions. For others, they would be comfortable in a quiet, intimate place where they can talk and focus on each other.
I am a believer that activity dates are a good idea because they require you to focus on an activity while getting to know your date. Dating can feel kind of uncomfortable and contrived ("How many brothers and sisters do you have?"). I think an activity can help people relax and remind you that liking each other is not the only goal you have for the date. If you go for a walk in the park and end up hating each other, at least you can say you took a nice walk in a beautiful place.
Staring across from somemone you just met over dinner can be intimidating. Take your date to a place where you can relax in your own way and be yourself. It's a good idea to think of a few ideas and ask your date if he or she is interested in any of them. This shows that you can take intitative, know what you want, and are able to think about the feelings and needs of your date. This is a great way to start a dating relationship if you make a good match with your date.