10 First Date Ideas for People You Meet Online

By no means would I call myself the online dating queen. But I wouldn’t be opposed if someone started calling me that. Just saying.

Over the past few months, I’ve tested out about five dating apps. (Three of which I quickly deleted because they sucked.) The only ones I’ve gotten dates from are Tinder and Bumble. I haven’t gotten any new dates from Tinder recently, but I have gotten one from Bumble since my last post about it.

Although I’ve only gone out with three guys from dating apps, I’ve talked to more than that. And one of my biggest worries when starting a conversation was thinking of a first date idea. Heck, coming up with a first date idea for a guy you already know is hard enough. Now I have to do it for a guy I’ve never even meet in real life?

10 First Date Ideas for People You Meet Online | College with Caitlyn

So today I’m supplying you with ten date ideas to save you from wasting all your brain power on thinking of what to do and can instead be used to figure out what you’re going to wear. Because we all know that’s a whole problem of its own.

Dates Ideas you Shouldn’t Accept

Now, I do want to place stress on the fact that these two situations are very different. When you’re meeting a guy in person for the first time, you have no idea what they are really like – a.k.a. if they are dangerous. That’s why you should stray from any and all dates like the following:


While yes, I love hiking, and yes, hiking would be a cute date, it’s also not a very practical idea for a first date. I mean you’re going to be in the middle of nowhere with someone you just meet. No matter how adventurous you are, that is not a path you want to go down.

(See what I did there?)

transition to fall outfit pumpkin patch corn maze

Corn maze

Like the last, this may seem like a super cute date. Especially when it’s peak fall season. But again, you may end up lost and alone with someone you just meet. You never know what they might plan on doing when they get you alone.

Related: Child of the Corn

Welcome to my crib

Never go to an internet dude’s house, apartment, dorm, mother’s basement on the first date. And never let them know exactly where you live. You want to make sure you’ll be able to leave their house and that they won’t stalk yours. So save the crib tours for maybe after date three.

Go for drive

Late night drives and road trips are some of my favorite things. And they can be great for getting to know someone because it’s usually when people open up more. But they are still not a good idea for a first date. 1) this means the person may find out where you live if they pick you up 2) if you’re in their car they may kidnap you 3) don’t get sassy with me and say, “But Caitlyn, what if I drive?”

Just don’t do it.

Date Ideas you Could Propose

Getting food

I know, I know. This is about the most basic and predictable date ever. But who doesn’t love food!? Plus, it’ll give you a reason to hit up your favorite restaurant or try out that new one you have bookmarked on Yelp.

And you’re in a highly public setting. A.k.a. no funny business from your dude.

starbucks decaf coffee

Going out for drinks

Of course, you have to be at least 21 to go to the bar, so here drinks could mean alcohol or coffee. I’m all about the coffee, though. Especially since it screams maturity. My family told me a coffee date was an old people’s date.


I freaking love bowling. However, I always seem to forget it even exists. But if anyone were to ask me to go I’d be up and ready to win. Posing some friendly competition is also a great way to break the ice and give you two something to talk about the whole time. Meaning, no worries about awkward lulls in conversations. (Which are only awkward if you make them awkward!!)

See a movie

Again, another cliche date idea. But, here you also have no issues with the awkward lulls, so long as you don’t arrive at the theater too early. Get your timing right and you won’t even have to exchange more thank like ten sentences with him until after the movie when you can talk about what you just watched and have a whole conversation script planned out. (This can’t be just me.)

ice skating date idea

Ice skating

I’ve only ever been ice skating three times but I think it’s one of the most romantic things. Because a) either you’re going to be really bad and your date will help you around the rink, b) they’re going to be awful and you have to help them, or c) you’re me and you’re only mediocre so you might fall and they might fall so you avoid them so you don’t fall and almost break your tailbone again.

My trauma aside, ice skating is another great way to chase away the awkward no talking thing. You’ll both be too busy worried about falling or making fun of other people falling. It’s a blast.

Roller rink

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve been to a roller rink since like a fifth grade birthday party and Umbrella by Rihanna was huge. Meaning, throwing on some skate would be the ultimate nostalgic date. It’ll get you both active and laughing about how you haven’t been there in years! Maybe even a funny story about the last time you were at a rink!

Hit up a theme park

Theme parks are my jam. I’m all about scary stuff, meaning roller coaster are some of my favorite things on the planet. And if the boy I’m talking to is the same way, then I know things have a higher chance of working out.

I know this date can be a little expensive (the closest theme park to me is about $60 a person), but if you’re the adventurous type, I think it’ll be worth it. Especially if you haven’t been on a thrill ride in a few months. What better way to get to know someone then see what they’re like scared and when their adrenaline is off the rails?

Plus, I read somewhere that having an exciting date will make your date more likely to fall in love with you. Conniving? Maybe. Clever? Totally.

Play a sport

This is for all my athletic peoples out there. Especially if you’re looking for an athletic partner to match.

Suggest a friendly (hopefully) game of HORSE at a local park with a basketball court. Or maybe have him teach you how to skateboard. (Fun fact: this was an actual date I went on). Ask him to meet you at the park and play soccer with you. Go to the pool or beach and swim. Maybe hit up a sand volleyball court and volley back and forth. You could even go to the batting cage or driving range.

Just about any sport you love to play can be made into a date. Except boxing.

Related: Why You Should Join Intramurals in College

Reds Game

Sports game

Or if just sitting on the sidelines is more your thing, attend a local sports game together! This could be high school, college, or professional game. Whichever floats your boat. The game will not only give you something to converse about but also an excuse to not talk. I don’t know about you, but even if I was mad in love with the dude I was on a date with, I’m not going to want to chat the whole game. Like please, let me just watch some of it.

Farmer’s market

Lastly, we have the farmer’s market! As you may know, I’m not a big farmer’s market person but I did go on a date at one once. I thought it was cool because you could see the other person’s interests by what booths they gravitated towards and again it’s crowded. Always a good idea when meeting a new person.

I hope these safety guidelines helped you out a bit! And to make it easy to remember what to do and not to do, I created a nice graphic for you to save on Pinterest! Next time you hit a guy up on Bumble, just refer back to this and surprise him with an out of the ordinary date idea!

Have fun dating! And please be safe!

Safety guide to online dating and first date ideas | College with Caitlyn

What was the best first date you ever went on?

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