How to do First Dates Abroad The Right Way!

February 18, 2013

When it comes to going on dates while traveling, I can say I probably have more experience than most. Whether it be strolling down the cobblestone streets of central Mexico with a local in hand, or riding twoseys on motorcycles through forests in the Philippines, I’ve graced my presence upon frauleins from Berlin to Bangkok more times than I can count.

How much better is traveling when you have someone special to share it with? A lot better. Even if it’s just for a few hours, days, or even weeks, connecting with a member of the opposite sex adds that extra special spice to sojourning. This is a follow up post to one I did a little while back on how to meet girls while traveling and now it’s step 2: where to take someone on a date once they’ve said “yes!”

1. Momma Told You to Always Share

You can’t fail with a good meal. Yeah, it’s pretty clich…classic, but it’s a time-tested and proven good first date, as long as you can carry a conversation and make someone feel comfortable.

Everyone knows that sharing is caring, and there is no better way to instantly warm up a date than sharing your meal with them, literally. It not only provides you with a shared experience that you can talk about, but it will help break the ice and let you get closer.

If you’re in the western world, then opt for a tapas restaurant (Spanish style of cuisine consisting of small plates prepared for sharing). You can take the reins in ordering and say you know some amazing dishes you’ll know they will love. You can also pair whatever you’re eating – cheeses, meats, seafood, etc. – with a nice wine that will loosen you both up a bit more. Don’t be worried about asking for a recommendation from the waiter – it’s better than ordering something undrinkable.

Be mindful of your date’s eating preferences. If she’s a vegetarian and you go to a tapas place, make sure you choose wisely as your options may be limited for vegetable-only dishes. A good alternative is a sushi restaurant, where you’ll generally find plenty of vegetarian options. If your date has never tried sake, order a warm carafe. (I know, warm alcohol, but it’s a new experience for most and it’s amazing.) People think sake is a hard alcohol, but it’s basically just a strong rice-based wine (only about 15% alcohol) that is really smooth and makes everything taste better!

2. Take Your Lucky Lady Somewhere She Hasn’t Been in Years

Chances are, if you’re a traveler, you’re not going to know about any super cool local secret places to go, but don’t fret. You don’t have to get creative – like taking her to a pottery class or going on a graffiti tour – to make a great impression on a first date. Sometimes taking your date somewhere old school or even “childish” will bring out a bigger smile than you could ever predict.

Did you enjoy going to the zoo or aquarium as a kid? Hell yeah you did! And as much as you think you might have grown up, you haven’t, and seeing monkeys make love or massive lions pace around their enclosures, growling at the top of their lungs, will surely start some conversation, crack some smiles and promote a relaxed vibe that will have you and your date talking about the cool things you saw for hours.

3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

While making a fool of yourself might suck in your mind, it’s often cute to members of the opposite sex. It shows that you’re not just some stoic, rock head who cares more about ego than showing someone an enjoyable time.

For example, I’m a terrible dancer.  But, while I know I stink at salsa, I still took a date to a salsa class in Bogota once. She loved it and, even though I stepped on her feet more times than she could count, she didn’t care because I was trying. I got some basic steps down with the help of the teacher, and right after the class, I said, “alright, now let’s go to the salsa club.” She loved it and we danced the night away!

Suck at ice skating? Take the chance. Worst cook ever? Take your date to a cooking class to learn a dish in whatever the local cuisine is where you are.

Be upfront that you know you’re not the best, but you’re really interested in learning, and you’ll be golden. And besides, you’re traveling – you’re not going to see anybody you know or run into any ex-girlfriends. You literally have nothing to lose!

Hopefully these three tips for dating while traveling will help you step up your dating game abroad. Whether you meet people on dating sites or at the local cafe, people are people, and most respond to a fun time positively. ¡Buena suerte!

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