First dates can be thrilling, nerve-wracking, and full of potential. They offer the chance to make a lasting connection with someone new. However, as many of us have experienced, not all first dates go as smoothly as planned. Some can quickly spiral into unforgettable disasters, leaving us with stories to share and laugh about later.

Many factors can make or break a first date, such as a lack of chemistry or a catfish moment. The location of a first date can make all the difference. Some settings set the stage for romance and connection.  Others are like stepping into a catastrophe.

Imagine being all dressed up, excited to meet your date for the first time, and then you find yourself in the middle of a crowded and noisy sports bar. The blaring televisions and raucous cheers make it impossible to hear each other. Alternatively, you might find yourself at a fast-food joint, where the aroma of greasy fries and the glaring fluorescent lights kill any possibility of romance.

Choosing the wrong place for a first date can turn what should be an exciting experience into an awkward or uncomfortable affair. However, it’s worth noting that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the perfect location for a first date. The key is communication and understanding each other’s preferences.

Avoid these first-date fails.

Instead of opting for crowded or distracting venues, consider locations that foster genuine conversation and allow you to get to know each other in a relaxed setting. Cozy coffee shops, serene parks, or intimate restaurants are often better choices. Ultimately, the best first date location aligns with both of your interests and allows you to focus on what truly matters. And what matters is the potential for a meaningful connection with someone special.

Before you venture into the world of first dates, it’s good to know some spots that might not be the best choices. Here’s a list of places that could turn your first date into a bit of a disaster.

  • Strip Club

    A strip club as a first date location is perhaps the epitome of a worst-case scenario. The combination of loud music, dim lighting, and provocative performances make it impossible to have a real heart-to-heart. Instead of getting to know each other, the focus shifts entirely to the dancers on stage, leaving little room for real interaction. Although, someone on Reddit admitted to having a first date at a strip club. They even turned it into something positive. “The trick is to never take your eyes off your date to prove your loyalty,” they wrote.

    Two men watching a strip show

    Polka Dot Images/ Getty Images

  • Funeral

    It’s a super sad and serious occasion where people are mourning and trying to cope with loss. Also, not the time to try and spark a romantic connection. It would be so awkward and totally disrespectful to everyone there. First dates are supposed to be fun and light-hearted, not filled with grief and sorrow. On a Reddit thread, a woman recounted an awkward experience she had while attending a funeral with a date. Expressing her discomfort, she wrote, “God rest your soul Grandpa Jack but if I’m ever introduced somewhere as a ‘special friend’ ever again I’m gonna unalive myself.” YIKES!

    Sad, funeral and flowers with couple and coffin in church for death, respect and mourning. Grief, goodbye and empathy with man and woman loss at casket with depression, remember and farewell memorial

    PeopleImages/ Getty Images

  • Cemetery

    The eerie silence, tombstones, and the constant reminder of mortality create an atmosphere that’s anything but romantic. Instead of charming conversation and shared laughter, you’re left feeling uncomfortable and awkward, tiptoeing around gravestones. It’s not the kind of setting that fosters a genuine connection. Plus, nobody wants their first date to feel like a horror movie. You won’t believe this, but I have a former coworker who actually takes her dogs for walks in a cemetery. She claims it’s to steer clear of people and other dogs. Anyway, she thought it would be a great idea to bring a guy she met on a dating app along for one of these walks. Let’s just say that was their first and last date.

    Sad couple walking through a cemetery

    Rawpixel/ Getty Images

  • Sex Shop

    Suggesting a sex shop as a first date destination is a cringe-worthy nightmare. It’s like entering the ultimate awkward zone. From the moment you step inside, you’re surrounded by a plethora of adult toys and intimate products, and there’s no way to avoid feeling uncomfortable. Instead of getting to know each other, you’d be blushing and trying to dodge eye contact at every turn. Not exactly the recipe for a successful first date. Apparently, it happens. Someone on Reddit shared the details of their first date at a sex shop, writing ” Xxx adult book store/theater/novelty shop. he said to just keep an open mind.”

    couple at adult sex store

    JackF/ Getty Images

  • Little League Game

    A little league game as a first date, especially when you have no relation or ties to the kids playing, can be quite a cringe-inducing situation. While supporting children’s sports is admirable, this setting may not be the best for getting to know each other. Why not splurge a little and go for a major league game or a minor league event instead? It could be way more fun and exciting. There was a Redditor who shared their rather unexpected experience of going on a first date to a little league game.”I was pretty excited for a baseball game date until we pulled up to a local field where kids were playing…and no he didn’t have kids.”

    Youth league baseball

    bitterfly/ Getty Images

  • Movies

    Sure, it sounds classic, but think about it. You’re sitting in the dark, not talking, and trying to get to know each other while silently munching on popcorn. There’s zero chance for meaningful conversation or bonding. Plus, you can’t gauge each other’s reactions to the movie, which could be a bit awkward if one of you hates it and the other loves it. From my own experience, just know that it’s a challenge trying to get to know someone while a movie is blaring sonic booms and people around you are constantly munching their popcorn and obnoxiously slurping their drinks.

    Red haired girl is angry at asleep boyfriend in cinema.

    T Turovska/ Getty Images

  • Abandoned Construction Site

    An abandoned construction site as a first date is a recipe for disaster. It’s not only dangerous but also incredibly creepy and uncomfortable. The dusty surroundings, broken structures, and potential hazards make it far from an ideal setting to get to know someone. Realistically, no one in their right mind would suggest such a location for a first date, or would they? This one actually appeared on a list reported by Thrillist. According to the list of voters, more than 200 people went on a date on an abandoned construction site. It’s just not a place to foster a connection or create lasting memories. Let’s leave the abandoned construction sites for action movies and opt for a much safer.

    Woman discussing apartment replanning with builder.

    anatoliy_gleb/ Getty Images

  • Geocaching

    While geocaching can be an exciting and adventurous activity for some, it might not be the best choice for a first date. Geocaching involves using GPS coordinates to find hidden containers or “caches” outdoors, which can take you to unfamiliar locations and sometimes rugged terrains. Your date might get the wrong idea, like you’re taking them to a creepy dungeon with victims. Also, for some people, this type of activity can be intimidating, especially if they are not comfortable with outdoor adventures or physical challenges. Someone on Reddit shared how creepy this first date activity can be. “In* a secluded area, where you might get kidnapped and maybe murdered or sold off to I wonder where,” they wrote.

    Hiking couple holding a compass and pointing forward

    Wavebreakmedia/ Getty Images

  • Camping

    Camping as a first date might not be the best idea. It can be a real challenge, especially if you’re both new to it. Setting up tents, dealing with bugs, and getting used to outdoor living can be stressful and take away from the opportunity to connect. Plus, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, it could turn into a total disaster. Camping requires a lot of cooperation and problem-solving, which might be too much for a first date. Some people shared their thoughts about this in a Reddit thread with one person writing, “No. Just no. If she doesn’t know you that well it could be super sketchy.” While camping might not be everyone’s ideal first date, some people have found success, especially if they are enthusiastic about camping.

    Funny shot of young couple arguing while setting up their tent on a sunny day.

    helivideo/ Getty Images

  • Nightclub

    Hitting up a nightclub for a first date might not be the best idea. It’s just too loud and crazy to have a decent chat and get to know each other. You’ll end up yelling to hear anything, and that’s not exactly a recipe for a romantic time. Plus, with all the drinking and partying going on, things could get a little messy. This happened more times than I would like to admit in my lifetime. And every time I thought my opinion would change one it. A place that’s loud with drinking and strobe lights is recipe for disaster. Especially when your date doesn’t know their alcohol limits. Oh, and you can’t forget not being able to hold a conversation under the “bump” and “thump” of the music.

    Intense Argument: Boy and Girl in Nightclub

    Filippo Carlot/ Getty Images

  • Your Place

    It could get a little too close for comfort, you know? Plus, it might be a bit awkward and make you feel like you’re invading each other’s personal space. Unless you both love being cooped up and binge-watching Netflix together, Safety-wise, it’s better to meet up in a public spot where you both feel at ease. Keep the home hangouts for when you’re more familiar with each other.

    Couple Crisis. Guy Playing Videogames, Not Paying Attention To Girlfriend

    Prostock-Studio/ Getty Images

  • Group Date With Friends

    While it may sound fun and casual, a group date as your first date could present some challenges. With a crowd of friends or acquaintances around, the spotlight might be shared, making it difficult to have personal and meaningful conversations with your date. Instead of getting to know each other intimately, you might find yourself engaged in small talk or trying to keep up with the group dynamic. The potential for distractions and divided attention could leave you feeling disconnected and longing for a more intimate experience.

    woman with smartphone at dinner party with friends

    dolgachov/ Getty Images

  • Gym

    A first date at the gym can lead to some unexpected challenges and potentially ruin the date’s mood. Feeling out of place and self-conscious can overshadow the opportunity to connect. Plus, sweating it out together might not be the most flattering scenario for a first impression. “I wouldn’t even be able to say a full sentence without being out of breath from doing 5 squats,” a Redditor shared on the subject.

    Coach supporting sad woman at gym

    Prostock-Studio/ Getty Images

  • Fast-Food Restaurant

    A tempting choice for a quick and affordable meal, but perhaps not the best spot for a first date. Sure, it’s convenient, but let’s face it, the ambiance is far from romantic or intimate. You’re met with fluorescent lights, plastic seats, customer chatter, and register beeps. Not to mention the limited menu options, which might not cater to everyone’s tastes or dietary preferences. Nothing kills the mood faster than feeling disappointed or unsatisfied with your meal choice. Whether it’s disappointment from your date or your stomach.

    Young woman eating with friends on lunch break in cafeteria.

    Drazen Zigic/ Getty Images

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