What are the cringiest first date ideas? A new survey has squirm-worthy findings

When it comes to first date ideas, sometimes simplicity works best!

Young couple doing karaoke on a date
(Image credit: Getty)

We're sorry to say, but first date ideas can often lead to a make-it-or-break-it situation, and redemption isn't always a possibility.

Romance can be tough, and when toxic trends like summer shading, benching, and so on continue making the rounds, you might feel the pressure to knock things out of the park with an awesome activity. But according to a new survey from Thortful, there are a few things to keep off the list.  

“First dates are important to us because humans are hardwired to want a relationship, so we put a lot of pressure on them," Mairead Molloy, relationship psychologist, said. "The most effective way to reduce the pressure is to remember that a first date is not a do or die situation, but it is an opportunity to have fun and meet someone that can make your life and theirs better.”

That being said, which activities/events are worthy of a red flag? Here's what singles have to say.

What are the cringiest first date ideas?

Thortful surveyed 2,000 people Brits of various ages and backgrounds about their worst nightmare when first date activities come to mind. The top five cringiest are as follows (drumroll, please):  

  • An Escape Room (25%)
  • Inviting Someone To Your Show/Game/Etc. (24%)
  • Climbing and/or Bouldering (23%)
  • A Long Hike (22%)
  • Karaoke (20%)

Though fating, fitness dating, was allegedly on the rise, it appears as though singles would actually prefer not to work up a sweat when meeting someone new. An invite to a show or game is probably a Main Character Energy overdose, and no one needs the pressure of singing well...or getting out of an enclosed space. 

The top contender for a first date? Going out for small bites. This relieves the pressure, doesn't add any longevity when it's not wanted, and puts people in an easy-going mindset. Ah, the power of some good food! 

"This is the easiest way for us to relax and feel comfortable having conversations while sussing out your date," Molloy insisted about coffee dates and the like. "Nobody wants to be stuck in an escape room for two hours with someone they don’t fancy!"

Now that you more or less have an idea what to avoid—strenuous, stressful activity—start planning and have a look at our expert-backed first date tips before you go. Good luck! 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.