Where You Go on a First Date Doesn't Really Matter

holding hands

So much could go wrong on a first date, but also, so much could go right. Which is why we all spend a lot of time thinking about where to go for that first potentially magical time we spend with someone. The mobile dating App Clover surveyed their users and found that the most popular first date spot was Starbucks, followed by Chipotle, Panera Bread, and The Cheesecake Factory. Kinda boring, huh? But don't get upset about the choices of these first date spots. I did my own research and learned something quite beautiful, and very telling.


I conducted a small survey asking people where they went for their first date with their love. I wanted to know if the location was a good pick, and if even mattered. The answers had great range. 

Denny's. Chuck E. Cheese. A fancy restaurant and drinks after. A breakfast cafe. The backseat of a car. His apartment. Her mother's house. At a hotel thousands of miles from home. Yoga class. At the park. The movies. A party.

Some of these may sound like the worst place in the world for a first date, but for these people, it was the best. Location didn't matter.

Marj shared, "I used to work a second shift job so when we first started dating, the only things open after midnight were bars or Denny's. So we went to Denny's a lot and played 'What's that tune?' with the elevator music they played. Eventually he'd visit me on lunch or dinner breaks and we'd go to a park and eat. Did it matter where we went? Nope. As long as we spent time together." This couple is happily married, and they have two kids.

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Jennifer first met her love at a bar she worked at in NYC, but their first date was three months later in London. "Our first date was me flying into London to see Leathen (where he lived) for the first time after three months after we first met at the bar where I worked. That was the farthest I ever traveled for a date! We checked into a hotel and then went to a bar and met up with a friend who was in London. It was so much fun and nerve wracking as we were about to spend five days in Paris together as pretty much friends who got to know each other over the phone and by email for three months. Not your typical first date, I suppose." Married. Still madly in love.

Sarah shared, "We went to my mother's house to split firewood. It was a great first date. We got to see if we could work together and I got to watch him swing a maul (he knew my family, so it's not as weird as it sounds)." Still in love.

Kym's first date was at yoga class. "When he asked me out on a Sunday brunch date, I told him I have yoga class and he offered to come. He had never done yoga before but I loved that he was interested in doing what I liked to do. We took the class together (he did well!) and then we went out for lunch after at a small bistro." These two have been together six years now and have a child. And they still do yoga together!

It doesn't really matter where you go on that first date, but it does lend to nostalgia and the couple's connection. Denny's ends up meaning something more than just Moons Over My Hammy. Splitting firewood becomes sentimental. A cup of coffee can be life-changing if you are having it with someone special. All the frills aren't what's important. What makes a meaningful date is the chemistry you have, how well you get along, the way you speak and listen to each other. And you can do that at Starbucks or at a five-star restaurant. We all might be worrying too much about where we go, when it's really who we are with that matters most.

What was your first date with your significant other like? Where did you go? Did location matter?

Image via Katie Tegtmeyer/Flickr

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