First dates are scary! First dates are exciting! They’re either super awesome or extremely bad! I’ve been dating for the last 10 (give or take a few) years and I’ve had my fair share of AMAZING first dates and I’ve definitely had a few that you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to relive. This guide will help you navigate the torturous waters of first dates!

1. Landmarks –

These (usually) cheap first dates make for romantic nostalgia in the future. My super handsome boyfriend and I had our first date on top of the Empire State Building! It was like a scene from ‘An Affair to Remember’ (one of my favorite movies!)

Chances are you don’t live in New York City, so landmarks in your town can be just as romantic!! In my hometown in North Carolina there is a town square complete with a gazebo grab your iPod and a dock with some speakers! You could make the perfect playlist and have a picnic complete with a sweet slow dance. Think Edward and Bella. Complete the mood by pre-setting the space with gorgeous lights!

2. Non-Chain Restaurant –

We’ve definitely become used to finding the most convenient chain restaurant by the mall, but chances are that’s probably not the best place to start off a relationship. This may scream fun, but does not scream romance:

Instead, try out a local Bistro! I love sharing appetizers on the first date, especially oysters! It feels like team work! My ideal first date food is Oysters and Burgers. It screams, “I’m not high maintenance and all your friends will love me!”

3 – Live Shows

Whether it’s seeing a live band at your local pub play covers of Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl or you’re going to see a Tony Award Winning Musical, action directly in front of you is a good call on the first date! One of the best first dates I ever had was a Sunday Matinee to see Jersey Boys with a boy who I NEVER thought I would date (we dated for six months). The Matinee turned into dinner which turned into drinks and when he walked me home I still didn’t want the night to end! I definitely did the key dance outside my building for a FEW minutes trying to prolong the inevitable good-bye!

4 – Sporting Events

Another great first date spot is a sporting event! I’m totally clueless to pretty much anything sports related. I once asked a boy if the Giants were playing the Celtics. Sporting events definitely give your man friend some time to shine! He feels so smart and important explaining what a flag is and why it was thrown! Complete that with all the fun food and beverages that are usually served at sporting events you’re set for a fun night with a cutie! Bonus points for slipping the videographer a Ben Franklin to get you on the Kiss Cam!

5 – Outdoor Sports

Being active on dates keeps you away from any akward pauses because you can fill the conversation with observations from whatever activity you’re doing. Hiking trails is super fun and leisurely, perfect for the elf-ette who doesn’t want to break a sweat! Bike riding up the coast or along a pretty greenway is fun and you can always bring a picnic along. My best friend Ashley’s all-time favorite date is outdoor ice skating in the winter! She says that it gives you a chance to hold on tight to your date and bond afterwards over hot chocolate! Please though, please refrain from this move (and outfit):

Whatever your first date is, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself! e.l.f.-ettes are all gorgeous on the outside, but even more so on the inside!

Brittany (e.l.f. Social Media Maven)