The Best First Dates to Avoid Awkward Tension

Dating In The 6ix Aug 19, 2020

Making conversation with someone new or old is always a tricky task, even if the conversation naturally flows. The awkward hellos flooded with laughter, eventually become random fun facts with a personal flavour. But that only works for so long.

Instead of impatiently standing in the line for ice cream or desperately waiting for the waiter to serve your drinks (we’ve all been there), you can use these activities to break the awkward tension and let the two of you have a good time.

Sports Games (Virtual or Live)

If you and your (new + potential) loved one are into sports, then watching a live game (at the stadium or on the TV) is a great way to have a natural conversation point, whether it be the team, the sport itself, or the uniforms. All the two of you have to do is go find your seats, talk in between the game (if you feel like it), and enjoy as the players play with passion.

Going to an afternoon sports game is a great way to transition into the evening without being cheesy about it. Naturally the sky will start to fade to pink and eventually become dark, which can lead to a lot of possibilities. For one, you can offer your date a jacket or a shoulder to lean on, you two can grab a snack after, or you can drive your date home without seeming overly sleezy.

This is also a great date idea to kick off any season because there is always a sports game happening. From the fall to the summer, there is something for everyone, so you never have to worry about not having a stable date idea. So, go grab some peanuts and beer as the two of cozy up together, watch the game, and have a great, stress-free time.

“Competitive” Games

Mini Golf

Mini golf is a time-consuming activity (in a good way) because you can start when it’s bright outside and end when it’s dark out. Between switching courses and hitting the ball (;)) numerous times, it is a game that can feel endless while playing it, which is a great way to keep the two of you distracted and letting the conversation flow without a time constraint.

Let the two of you get lost in the world of glow and dark mini golf and see where the night takes you. You can end it on a savoury (late night snack) or sweet (ice cream) note, which can lead to a more amazing time, as the two of you can make future plans while bragging about who played better.


For the nights where you want to feel like a child, this is the place to go. Nothing spells out “let’s be kids tonight” like bright colours and neon signs with the smell of pizza and sweat. Far too often arcades don’t seem like the most romantic date night activity, but that’s not entirely true. There is a slight habit with thinking that only wining and dining can translate to romance but what about the nights where a bottle of wine and some nachos doesn’t sound too ideal? The arcade comes to the rescue!

When going on this date night, if it’s up your alley, don’t try to dress up and stay sophisticated, dress down and unleash all of your innocence out on the air hockey table, because I can guarantee that this this one date you’ll never forget or regret. This is a really casual way to have fun with no pressure and no time commitment, which takes off half the pressure. There is no need to wait for your meal or drink, all the two of you need is to buy the right amount of tickets and enjoy your night of gaming and “cheat day” eating.

Escape Rooms

Nothing spells out R-O-M-A-N-C-E more than being locked in a room with your (new + potential) lover for 60 minutes, or longer if nobody booked the room after you. The one thing this date does really well is get the conversation flowing without the need to rely on any external aids to help break the tension because in order to escape, you need to communicate. The convo might not be deep or making your wedding plans, but if you want this date to work, the effort is all in your hands, and doesn’t give you the option to use your phone to break the tension, which can tell you a lot about your date.

This too is a great date to get out of your comfort zone and use your skills + talents in unimaginable ways by surprising your date with being able to solve math problems quickly or understand riddles at the tip of the hat. Don’t hold back and unleash your brainiac side because it gives great insight to who you are underneath the layers of makeup or cologne. Save this date for a day where you want to spend significant time alone without any external distractions, because four becomes six very fast, and then (before you know it) the two of you are off to dinner.

Cooking and/or Baking Class

For the inner foodies in the two of you this is the perfect option. For once you can have your cake, eat it too (;)), and feel accomplished throughout the whole experience. Learn together, or show off your skills, as the two of you bond over your love of food and feeling the heat in the kitchen.

This also takes off the pressure and is a perfect Segway into ending the night on a sweet (or savoury) followed by a ride home. With the other people cooking or baking alongside you, there is always a group to talk, bond, and laugh with when the moments of awkward silence arise, which happens far more often than we realize. As mentioned, this is a great opportunity to reflect over the cooking or baking class with a late-night-bite followed by a ride home and an invitation inside for a night cap.

PS. Also a great option for self-isolation because it can be done virtually too

Farmer’s Market

If the two of you are looking for something fresh, flirty, and fun, this is the perfect date place without any hesitation. The casual ability to stroll through the aisles of fresh fruit and vegetables accompanied by local artists and entrepreneurs gives off major relaxing summer vibes, because of the ability to get lost in all of your surroundings.

This is a great place when the two of you have a lot of time on your hands because this date isn’t a one and done. Farmer’s markets, or anything of the sort, have a lot of layers to explore, so rushing through is not the way to give a great first impression (for a first date) and isn’t really the purpose of this type of date.

Save this amazing option for a day where the two of you have all day and nothing to do or are cramped with work but want to procrastinate (let’s face it, we’ve all been there) because this location is all about being simple with variety. The stands filled with food, art, crafts, or handmade objects, are a really easy way to get to know one another without the pressure of sitting at a restaurant or a bar with a huge waitlist, which offers a huge vantage point. All you have to do is sit back and relax, while the two of you are amazed by each other and your surroundings.

PPS. Distillery District + St. Lawrence Market are great options for those living in (downtown) Toronto.

As always, stay healthy and safe.



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Hi! My name is Maya Leah, I am a twenty year old theatre student at Queen's University. I am a Netflix binger, bruncher, and Jesse Eisenberg obsesser who enjoys curling up with a good book...

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