7 Unconventional First Dates To Try

Trying to come up with a great first date idea can be stressful. Because of this a lot of people tend to opt for drinks, dinner, or coffee. While there's nothing wrong with such a date, these situations don't really allow two people to experience something together and really get to explore each other's personalities in fun and unique ways. Sure, you get to know each other while talking, but you don't get to see the other person in action. And, as they say, actions speak louder than words. 


"You create intimacy by doing," founder and chief relationship advisor at Relationup Rhonda Milrad told Bustle. "People create connection by experiencing and engaging in a task together. The event itself creates an opportunity to interact in ways that don't occur when you are sitting politely across the table from one another. In an activity, you are negotiating, compromising, collaborating, demanding, sharing, and often working toward a common goal."

Also, let's be honest, it's far more exciting than finding love and connection over a few glasses of wine. Because spending quality time with someone in an interesting and even challenging setting will teach you more about them, the next time you're trying to come up with a great first date idea, don't be afraid to suggest something unconventional. Dating is supposed to be fun, after all, so allow yourself to get creative on your dates.


Take a class

Although we see a lot of people doing those wine and painting classes, do you realize that those are just the tip of the iceberg? When it comes to taking a one-night-only course on a first date, you have so many options. You can take a pasta-making class, sign up for trapeze lessons, or if you don't have two left feet, you can take a dance class. Your opportunities to learn alongside your date are endless. "When you learn something new together, it creates a connection between the two of you," co-founder of Select Date Society Sandra Myers told Today. "Choose something new you would both like to try."


Not only will taking a class together give you something to talk about and enjoy, but it can also help limit any pressure to keep each other interested with exciting banter. When pressure is decreased, it's easier to be yourself — for both of you. 

Go to an escape room

Unless you have a fear of being locked in a room with no way of fleeing, then an escape room is a great unconventional first date. With an escape room experience, you and your date will have your brains tickled with riddles so you can both show off your puzzle-solving skills as you work together to get out of the room. It's not just an exercise in problem-solving, but seeing how you two work together as a team. 


"I always say that dates that both excite and terrify can be great dates," clinical psychologist Megan Fleming, Ph.D. told Women's Health. "Escape rooms are something that allow you to experience both emotions, and most cities have them." Romantic relationships come down to creating a bond that's steeped in teamwork. If you and your date can manage to get out of an escape room without aggravating each other in how you tackle the tasks at hand, then maybe you have met someone worth hanging onto for the long run. It's also worth noting that attraction increases when we do things that get our adrenaline pumping, per Psychology Today.

Volunteer at an animal shelter

As Mahatma Gandhi famously said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated," and of course, the same can be said about the individuals in that society. Suggesting you and your date hit up an animal shelter to walk some dogs or cuddle some cats isn't just beneficial for the animals and your mental health — research has found spending time with animals can decrease stress — but you also get to see how your date is with animals. If you're an animal-lover and your date isn't a fan, that can be a real deal breaker right there. 


According to a 2016 study published in the British Journal of Psychology, people who make time to volunteer and be genuinely altruistic are more attractive. As the research found, one's altruism suggests that the person has qualities — outside of their altruism — that make them a great partner. Hence the reason why they're found more desirable than people who might not volunteer. Also, who doesn't want to cuddle up with animals on a first date? 

Take a breathwork class

If you're someone who gets really nervous at even just the thought of a first date, then consider taking a breathwork class. According to WebMD, breathwork helps people release toxins while managing their healthy breathing which can alleviate stress and anxiety. It's a way to heal the body mentally, emotionally, and physically by bringing the focus to the self. 


"A breathwork class can be a wonderful way to connect with your date and peel open layers of guardedness that can usually take a lot more time to dissipate," certified dating and relationship coach Megan Weks told Insider. "Breathwork also busts through nerves, which helps you and your date to feel at ease." When the class is over, you'll both be relaxed so you won't feel the need to put on airs or be something you're not. When people are comfortable, they tend to be more honest and open to the idea of allowing themselves to be vulnerable. 

Go to a drag show

Drag shows are a fabulous first-date idea. Going to a drag show isn't just about being immensely entertained by drag queens and/or kings, but celebrating queerness in all its glory. Especially at a time when the LGBTQ+ community is being persecuted for their creative endeavors. Suggesting a drag show is also a really quick way to weed out the bigots.


"Queer people have always found creative ways to resist the violence of their experience and norms that have tried to restrict our ability to live freely in the world," associate professor of professional practice in women and gender studies Nino Testa told CNN. "Drag is a process of that resistance. These communities formed as a response to harassment, exclusion, and violence. I'm hopeful in the sense that we've done this before — we never stopped doing it." 

Many drag shows are performed during dinner or brunch, so you don't have to worry about where you'll get a bit to eat either before or after. It will also give you a lot to talk about later on during the date. 

Meet for a dawn date

If you're thinking that dawn dating is about dawn, as in that epically early hour of the day, you're right. So many dates take place right after work for happy hour or later in the evening for dinner, so suggesting that you two really go the unconventional route by meeting at dawn can really infuse your date with excitement. Or at least a large thermos of coffee.


"I've always been a big believer in having a clear end-time for first dates, so I'm a big fan of dawn dating because it creates a natural end-time," CEO and founder of The League dating app Amanda Bradford told Lifehacker. "This reduces anxiety around how long the date should go, and wondering if one person is ending it because of lack of chemistry or actual commitments, etc. And if it turns out it's an awesome date, it's never a bad thing to leave them wanting more, right? Dawn dates work perfectly for this approach." When the sun is up, the date is over.

Try axe throwing

You've probably heard of axe throwing, but if you haven't tried it, now is the time to do so — especially if your date has never tried it either. Healthy competition is actually a good thing in relationships because of how it affects feelings of accomplishment and happiness amongst couples, per Allo Health. While your first date may be a long way off from a relationship, there's no reason not to indulge in your competitive ways early on — it shows a passion for success.


"Activity dates are a great way to get to know a new person," matchmaker Allison Gerrits told Bustle. "You have a chance to see them either in or totally out of their element, which can be revealing. Seeing someone's competitive side can be sexy or a total turnoff, and it's great to see their true colors right off the bat (no pun intended). You can also be flirty ... [giving] you a chance for contact through a high five for encouragement or a friendly hug to console the loser. You're sure to walk away with inside jokes and maybe even a new alliance."

When deciding on an unconventional date, the sky is the limit. Ask your date for their input and decide on something that will excite you both. Starting your relationship off with a first date that's dinner and bungee jumping is probably the beginning of a long partnership full of excitement and wonder.