However, the truth is that even if you DO create that pressure-packed scenario where you're sitting across the table from a woman at dinner trying to figure out how not to overspend and/or wrestle over the bill at the end, things can still turn out okay.
And yes, if you sit in a dark movie theatre without saying a word to each other for two hours, she MIGHT still agree to a second date. After all, you two did virtually nothing to get to know each other yet.
BUT...rest assured that if your idea of a good first date involves ANY of the following half-dozen cockamamie schemes, you're TOAST...with pretty much zero chance of a second date:
1) Messy, Gassy Restaurants
If indulging in the full-on, sit-down, drag-out dinner date weren't bad enough, some of us think more with our stomachs instead of our brains.
Heck, even if we let our "smaller head" do the thinking for our larger one, as it were, we'd figure out we do NOT want to risk splattering Italian red sauce all over our shirt, slobbering burrito innards all over ourselves, getting all sticky after picking at BBQ ribs and/or reeking of "eau de peel and eat shrimp" for the remainder of the evening.
What's more, we'd also remember ahead of time that most anything served at Mexican or Cajun restaurants (among others) tends to conjure up some WICKED fart action in record time.
There's nothing like having THAT come home to roost when you're out with a woman for the very first time, now is there?
And most of all, we'd immediately clue ourselves in to the fact that SHE'D be even MORE mortified than we would be were any of those tragic consequences befall HER on a date.
2) Concerts By Local Bands With Friends In Them
Man, this one sounds like such a fall-out-of-bed GREAT idea when we suggest it to a woman.
After all, you'd be taking her to hear some cool music and probably get in for free because your buddies are playing. Nice.
There's only one problem. You'd also be setting your buddies up for automatic and inevitable recognition as the "alpha" guys in the room.
Think about it. They're the ones who would actually be PROVIDING the music you're so sure would be cool...all the while being glorified on stage before a throng of adoring fans.
And don't kid yourself...an "intimate venue" might as well equal a "throng" in this case.
If you go forward with such a crazy plan, don't be at all surprised when she sheepishly asks, "Um...so...can you, uh...introduce my to your friend? The one playing the guitar?"
Game over. And the worst part? You set yourself up for this.
For what it's worth, it's best to avoid ANY situation where you are setting other dudes up to look like heroes in front of your woman, while you're apparently relegated to "fanboy".
This is especially true if those guys are somehow socially accessible to the audience in some direct way after the gig.
Going to see plays, sporting events, etc. with your friends as the main center of attention is almost never a good idea.
3) Anywhere You Haven't Researched First
The general rule is this: You can either PLAN or you can PAY.
Never mind the simple fact that showing up for a date with a clear plan of action is an excellent indicator of masculinity as women define it...while NOT having a plan ISN'T.
The more profound problem is that when you're left to "improvise" your way through a date you might very well find yourself somewhere you know virtually NOTHING about.
For example, let's say you decide to take her ice skating. The only ice rink is on the other side of town.
No worries, you take her anyway. It's a Friday night, but for some reason the "free skate" time ends at 8.30...which catches you by total surprise.
You can't take her home before 9.00 because...well, that's just "unthinkable". So you fall into the little restaurant on the corner that she pointed out because it looked "quaint" or something.
You park the car, walk into the modest-looking neighborhood eatery and take your seats. A few minutes later you're handed your menus and the entrees are priced like it's friggin' Morton's Steak House.
If you get up and leave you know you'll look like a cheapskate, and things are going to get awkward REAL fast.
But if you stay you might not be able to make your car payment this month. Whoops.
4) Anywhere She Won't Feel Perfectly Safe
We just found out that venturing into the "unknown" on a date is fraught with peril.
But the "cost of doing business" aside, if your luck truly betrays you there's a chance you may completely misread wherever you end up...only find out there's either some ultra-creepy, socially incongruent or flat-out dangerous vibe going on in there.
Guys who plan dates around venues they already know and trust realize that "luck" actually has nothing to do with it. ...At least it SHOULDN'T.
Remember that a woman you're with on a first date hasn't really had the chance to fully get to know and TRUST you yet. At the very least, you can't ASSUME that she trusts you already.
Women are "security seeking creatures". Always avoid dark alleyways, driving through bad neighborhoods, etc. when you're enjoying their company of a woman.
And whatever you do, don't purposefully take her somewhere that's going to freak her out.
5) Anywhere Without An "Escape Hatch"
No matter how much you've (unfortunately) managed to convince yourself that the woman you're going out with must be some sort of "goddess" who can do no wrong, you'd do well to bear in mind that ANYTHING can happen on a first date.
For example, you might discover you have mind-blowing chemistry together.
Then again, one or both of you might be ready to pull the plug on the whole thing within ten minutes.
Hey, even if you're both decent, upstanding people you could indeed be driving each other stark, raving NUTS sooner than later.
And IF that happens, you'd better hope you haven't sequestered yourself on some five-hour ferry boat ride or some other place there's NO CHANCE of getting out of.
Yeah, it's good to be optimistic. But don't let your anticipation of good things override common sense.
6) "Meat Markets"
The way I see it, this one should fall under the jurisdiction of Captain Obvious.
But go figure...I hear the horror stories again and again, so let me spell it out for you.
Here's the deal, gentlemen.
For starters, why you would want to pit yourself night after night against a bunch of other PUA-minded guys in a bar or club who are all hitting on the same stuck-up chicks is beyond me to begin with.
But why you'd RETURN there once you already HAVE a woman to go out with is completely beyond my comprehension.
I mean, if you're a masculine, confident man it's not like you can't successfully AMOG all of those other guys who are invariably going to mack on your girl as soon as you go to the bar to get a couple of drinks.
But why on Earth would you WANT to?
You've GOT THE GIRL. Now go somewhere where you can actually get to know her rather than having to concern yourself if you're even going to LEAVE with her.
Having gotten to the end of the list, I'm realizing that I don't think anyone has ever covered ANY of what I just shared with you before.
Usually the advice you hear out there admonishes you not to drop a pile of ca$h on a woman and pretty much leaves it at that.
If it's online dating advice in particular, just about everyone (including myself) would suggest that you plan nothing more elaborate than a half-hour visit to a coffee shop with any woman you've never actually met before.
But now you know just how deep this "first date" rabbit hole potentially goes.
What did I miss? Leave it in the comments.