So you know if you’ve come to Intro Matchmaking we arrange your first dates for you but if you’re trying to arrange your maiden date single-handedly with a potential perfect match – and if you’re not quite sure if he or she is ‘the one’, it’s all about having fun. Whether you’ve met on dating websites, at a bar or through a friend, if you’re a single man or a single woman dating in Ireland and preparing for that first meet-up but lacking inspiration as to what it should involve, we have done the hard work for you and come up with some cracking ideas that are sure to impress.
- Go for Coffee
It may not be the most exciting date idea in the world but believe us, we know from experience, if you click over that latté, you won’t notice the surroundings and will only have eyes for one another. It’s public so it’s safe and if anyone you know walks in, it could be a business meeting – people meet for coffee all the time. Once the conversation is flowing, you can order a second Americano and perhaps share some sumptuous chocolate cake or better still, neither of you have eaten, cue “Hey do you fancy grabbing something to eat down the road?” and the opportunity to spend more time together. If it’s not going so well or dare we mention, there’s lots of awkward silences, you have an opportunity to run to that next ‘business meeting’ or you have a pre-organised date with friends. And with ‘coffee’ you don’t have to worry about getting anything stuck in your teeth, which is never a good look for a first date.
- Dinner Date
It’s a cliché but single men and single women all over the world do first dinner dates all the time so why would you be different? It works, not just because you get ample time to discover one another’s tastes in food, manners towards the waiter or waitress and most importantly, to talk and find out if you have similar interests. Dinner doesn’t have to break the bank – there are plenty of restaurants offering early bird deals and other weekday deals. What’s more, if he or she offers to pay at the end of the meal, it’s always a bonus.
- Movie Time
We couldn’t ignore this one – simply because people in Ireland love going to the cinema on a first date. Maybe it’s the shyness of Irish guys who can calm their nerves during a two-hour action or chick flick? We’ve gone on many cinema dates and they have their benefits – if you sense there will be nerves or awkwardness it’s a good way to spend time together without having to talk much and let the magic slowly develop! If you’re movie fans, then it offers plenty to talk about once the film is over – like how hot was Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie! That is sure to get the conversation flowing. Just ensure not to get popcorn kernels stuck in your teeth – it’s not a good look!
- A Romantic Stroll
Definitely one of our favourites particularly as you can introduce your pooch to your potential partner and see if they get along! Going for a walk may be boring for some but if you’re the outdoorsy type (and the dog needs to be walked anyway!) a walk on the beach or by the sea is ideal and offers a good 40 minutes to chat and get to know one another. If you share an interest in dogs, it’s perfect as it will provide a topic of conversation. It’s casual and best of all, the strolling option is free.
- Picnic in the Park
This recession busting idea is perfect – pick up a cute picnic basket, fill with some goodies from the deli where both of you can choose what you’d like to bring (ideal conversation starter!) and then pop a bottle of bubbles in the bag and head off to the park for a few hours. If you’re dating in Dublin then we love St. Stephen’s green where you can feed the ducks! You’ll have some strawberries to dip into some cream or ice cream (believe us it works a treat and provides some laughs!) and if it’s nice you can lie out and enjoy the rays. If that’s not your thing, it can be a simple lunch for an hour during your lunch break and if it’s not going so well, you have to go back to the office.
- Go Bowling
A sure way to find out your potential partner’s competitive streak, bowling is a good sport and offers the opportunity to have some drinks and nibbles while having fun. Your date will see your fun side which is what you’re aiming for and if you win, all the better!
- Take a Road Trip
Ireland has such beautiful scenery and so this is one of our favourite dating ideas. We wouldn’t advise this on a first date unless you know the person well before hand, but a half hour trip on a second or third date to a nearby point of interest such as The Burren or Sandymount Beach offers the perfect way to get to know one another and for just the cost of the petrol. Grab some ice creams on the way and a coffee while you’re there and it’s the perfect Sunday date.
- Check Out The Tigers
Embrace your inner child and head to the Zoo or nearest wildlife park (we highly recommend Fota Wildlife Park if you’re dating in Cork). It’s exciting to see the tigers and bears and is sure to pass a few hours, particularly if it’s a first date and you’re not sure how it’ll go.
- Skate It
Ice-skating can be such fun and this is the coolest idea (pardon the pun!) around Christmas time or during a heat wave when you’re trying to stay cool. For about €15 you can skate away to your heart’s content and if you’re a first timer, it’s all about learning the ropes and laughing at yourself.
- Gig It
Our final recommendation for music fans is to go to a gig. If you both share the same taste in music, a gig will provide plenty of bonding time and a relaxed atmosphere. This is top of our list and our top tip – book the day off the following day as you’re sure to have a ball.