Bar, restaurant, cinema - yawn, yawn, yawn. Why stick to the tried and tested, tired old routine when it comes to a first date? So if you're bored of drinks, dinner and a movie, try these ideas to inject some excitement back into dating.
A bit more creative than going to the cinema, it pretty much guarantees you'll both have a good time – even if there's no spark. Laughing for several hours straight should ensure you leave thinking, what a great night! Plus you get to find out more about their sense of humour. And if the comedians are terrible, it gives you something to bond over.
Much less formal than the usual restaurant or drinks, it's romantic without the pressure, you can snuggle up together on the rug – if you feel like it – and if you ask the other person to bring half the food, you get an instant idea of their tastes. Turning up with olives and some chilled rose gets brownie points, grabbing a bargain bucket at KFC means a quick getaway and no second date.
Perfect to tailor to your personality – want to ooh and aah over the cute furry animals? Leap into his arms in the reptile house? Start an in-depth conversation about whether zoos are vital to preserve endangered species or a way of cruelly caging these magnificent beasts? Easy. Alternatively, it's an ice-breaker as you wander round and get to know each other.
Or you can substitute roller-skating for summer – you're guaranteed a good workout and it's the perfect place to hold hands... just to stop from falling over, of course. Not recommended if you can't laugh at yourself when you inevitably land on your bum, but a good indicator whether he's relaxed enough to make a fool of himself.
If the thought of a museum or art gallery makes you run for the hill, keep thinking – how about photography, fashion, design, or even food exhibitions. Check out your local listings for something fun or thought-provoking, and if it gives him chance to show off his knowledge, so much the better. A guaranteed conversation starter, although it helps if you know some of his likes and dislikes.
All that adrenaline will get your heart racing faster than he does. The perfect combination of screaming happily, wandering round chatting, and generally getting to act like a kid – without looking immature. Plus, he might even try to win you a prize.
One step up from a straight-forward walk round the park, this gives you something to focus on if the conversation's slow, and he gets to show off his skills. You'll both bond over trying to get the kite airborne and it's easy to lead into a drink afterwards – or head straight home when the wind drops. An alternative is bowling, although not if it brings out your competitive streak.
Beats sitting in a bar any day, especially if you happen to live near a vineyard. Wine tasting will also calm any of those first date nerves, without you necking three G&Ts in the first half hour. If you don't drink alcohol, check out chocolate making workshops or cookery classes in your area, for another fun activity that's more fun than going out for dinner.