Family & Relationships Singles & Dating

A Passion Shared - How Exploring A Common Interest Can Make That First Date Memorable

It's a tricky decision.
You've met someone on an online dating site who you'd like to take on a real date.
You've fixed a day and a time to get together.
You've exchanged mobile numbers in case you're running late.
But what are you going to do on your date? And where are you going to do it? Many mature people using online dating for the first time, admit they have real problems choosing the right setting for that all-important first date.
It's understandable, of course.
Everyone wants to make a great first impression.
But if you get the location or the setting wrong, it can be a disaster.
In the worst case scenario, that will be all your date will remember.
You'll forever be 'that bloke I met in that awful Italian restaurant' or 'that lady who met me in that smelly biker's pub'.
None of us wants that.
So how do you make sure you avoid that situation? Well, if our experience is anything to go by, you can do a lot worse than spending your first date sharing a common interest or activity.
Spending a few hours indulging your shared taste for art or opera, beach-combing or bird-watching can be a guaranteed winner in more ways than one.
First of all, you know you are both doing something that interests you.
It's going to be something that you can both look forward to, regardless of how you get on personally.
So it takes the pressure off in advance of the date.
Secondly, by choosing an activity that interests you both you are going to be guaranteed to have something that you can talk about.
As we all know, awkward silences can be the kiss of death on a first date.
If you are at an art gallery or out bird-watching, it's going to be easy to keep the conversation flowing.
(Well, maybe not if your lying in the middle of a hedge, trying to remain perfectly still while you watch a golden eagle lying in its nest, but you get the meaning.
) You can both talk about your interest in the subject, explain where it began and describe some of your best - and worst - experiences.
Who knows, you might even learn something from your date's specialist knowledge.
Last, but not least, even if you find you don't quite click with each other, the few hours you spend together won't have been a waste of your time in any way.
You'll have done something you enjoy and shared it with someone who appreciates it equally.
That's a win-win situation all round, regardless of whether you see each other again.
So what sort of activities work for mature people on a first time date? Dinner, lunch, a coffee or a drink in a pub or wine bar, are the most obvious choices, especially for the many mature people who have an interest in food and wine.
But you have to be careful here.
Sitting, facing someone you don't yet know across a table can be a very stilted and static situation.
What if one person is feeling especially nervous? What if the conversation dries up? What if your taste in food or restaurants is different? What if the place you've chosen isn't up to scratch? So be careful about the places you choose.
And check up with your date about their tastes.
Don't assume that just because you like a particular bar or pub or restaurant that your date will too.
Cinema and theatre dates can work really well if you both share a passion for the arts.
Again, be sure to explore your date's preferences before booking anything.
And be sure to allow some time for a chat after the film or play.
Discussing what you've seen - whether you think it's good or bad - can be a great way to get to know each other and to show the real you.
So book an early evening or matinee performance and go for a drink or meal afterwards.
There are endless possibilities, of course.
Whether it's going to a talk by a favourite author, attending a concert by a musician you both admire or even standing on a train platform spotting engines pulling into the station together, if your date is based around your common interest, the chances are you'll have a great time.
And the chances are that your first date will be memorable - for all the right reasons.

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