In the 21st century, there are many ways you can find someone to take on a date, but once you do, you need to decide where to take them. There are numerous venues that people consider to be good first date ideas. These traditional options can be good if you don’t know much about the person you’ve invited or if you want to play it safe.
These first date options include restaurants, the movies, and even the theatre. Some people may choose to combine them together, perhaps watching a film together before heading to a restaurant.
However, many people consider these safe options to be boring. Of course, it’s down to personal preference and you’ll have to take the likes and interests of your potential date into consideration when choosing where to take them, but in recent years, there has been a rise in people choosing non-traditional first dates.
There are long lists of ideas that you can find online that include a diverse range of options for a first date including rock climbing, taking a walk, visiting the zoo, spending the day at the beach, singing karaoke, riding bikes together, cooking together, or playing video games at an arcade.
But if you’re a sports fan, you might be wondering about whether it is a good idea to invite your date to watch a game with you.
Some people’s first response to this might be a firm and resounding “no”, but this is very dismissive and blatantly wrong. The answer is much more nuanced, so before you invite your prospective partner to watch a football match with you, consider these factors.
Does the Other Person Like Sport?
There is an outdated stereotype that men love sport and women hate it. However, this is far from the truth. In fact, distribution between men and women has been edging closer to 50/50 for many years and has almost evened out.
The NFL has the smallest gender gap out of all major American sports, with women making up 47% of all the league’s fans.
In the same vein, it’s also worth remembering that not all men enjoy sports, so you shouldn’t assume this either.
Therefore, it’s important to consider whether the person you’re inviting on a date will actually enjoy it. Ultimately, even if they like spending time with you and talking to you, a first date at an event that bores them or makes them feel uncomfortable isn’t going to end well.
That said, you don’t have to be a die hard sports fan to enjoy watching a game. Some people enjoy trying new things and will get involved in the cheering, chanting, and other spectator shenanigans.
You may already know whether they like sport before you ask them out, especially if they’re a colleague or a friend of a friend. Otherwise, it might be worth asking them or choosing a different option.
Consider the Atmosphere
Of course, sporting events are unique in their atmosphere. This is created by the energetic and passionate fans that are packed together in the stands, all cheering their team in the hopes that this will spur them on to perform better. In fact, this is taken so seriously in Germany that players don’t wear the No 12 jersey; instead, it’s “reserved for the crowd” as the 12th member of the team.
To some degree, this is a good place for a first date as you can both join in with the festival atmosphere and create some great memories that you can cherish as (or if) your relationship grows and develops.
However, it’s also worth thinking about how you’ll be able to communicate with each other during this time. At lively sporting events like soccer matches, fans are usually on their feet for the entire game, jumping up and down, cheering, singing, and generally making as much noise as is humanly possible.
This, therefore, may not be the ideal environment to get to know the person you’ve invited on a date.
If you still think a sporting event is a good idea, then you may want to add in a second activity like a restaurant, bar, or a walk in a park where you can spend some time talking. If you do it after you’ve left the stadium, the game can provide you with a good conversation starter.
Don’t Forget About the Kiss Cam
You’ve likely seen those viral videos of people getting singled-out by the kiss cam at a basketball or hockey game and either awkwardly trying to get out of kissing their neighbour or getting soul-crushingly rejected when they lean in.
If you and/or your date might find getting caught on kiss cam awkward, then you may want to choose a different first date activity or make sure you attend an event where there isn’t a giant Jumbotron to cause you some embarrassment.
After all, starring in an embarrassing viral video from a sports game isn’t going to be conducive to furthering your sprouting relationship.
Choose the Sport Carefully
Some sports are better suited to first dates than others. Baseball and cricket are more relaxed than basketball, soccer, and hockey. Therefore, you may need to factor this in to your decisions.
A more relaxed game gives you more time to talk with your date, while a faster paced game may provide more excitement. If you’re concerned you may not be able to pay enough attention to your date because you’ll be focused on a fast-paced basketball game, it may not be a good choice.
Most sports fans are very passionate about their team, so get very animated while watching them play. Some people get so engrossed in the game that they develop tunnel vision that forces them to ignore everything (and everyone) else around them.
If these last two sentences describe you, then you should think carefully about whether a sporting event is a good idea for a first date.
Of course, a good relationship is one where you can be yourself around the other person, but you should still ask yourself whether you’ll make a good first impression with your date when at a stadium, and factor this into your decision of whether to invite them to watch a game with you as a first date.