When it comes to first dates, meeting someone for happy hour or dinner always seems to be the automatic go-to. But what if you want something a little different, and dare we say even a bit more exciting––even if it is a little quirky? Why not give bowling a try––yes, bowling, that thing you've maybe associated with your teen years. Let us count the ways that bowling is a great first date idea.
Bowling is a Natural Conversation Starter
First dates can be stressful, just think of the stream of nervous thoughts like, 'Will I like this person? What will we talk about?' running through your head. But when you're both participating in a dynamic activity like bowling, the activity itself is the built-in conversation topic. And that can be a great catalyst to get to know your date in a different way. Meaning, the first few minutes of conversation probably won't begin with, "So what do you do?" At the same time, keep in mind that "lulls in the conversation are natural," says author of Love at First Click, Laura Davis, in an interview with Mic.
A Little Friendly Competition Never Hurt Anyone
Another shameless plug for bowling is that a bit of friendly competition can help create some flirtatious vibes, and you may learn that there is a hint of chemistry between you two. Not only can it help the sparks fly, competition might spark the discussion of your next date together––granted, if all goes well. For example, you could make a bet that whomever wins the first round of bowling has to buy a round of drinks on the second date.
Bowling Is a Low Pressure, Non-Threatening Environment
An additional perk of choosing bowling as your go-to first date is that it helps you get to know your date in a laid back atmosphere, and not to mention in equalizing attire. Two words: bowling shoes! Throw on your favorite t-shirt and your most comfiest jeans, and you're out the door. And, as the eloquent writers over at Glamour magazine put it, you can touch each other without being a weirdo. For example, after crushing a strike, a high-five is a pretty minor yet useful move to break the touch barrier.
Most People Are Beginners––and That's The Fun Part!
When it comes to putting a spin on first dates, an activity like bowling can be a fun way to challenge your comfort zone just enough without pushing you over the edge. Bowling is one of those things where you don't have to be a pro to enjoy it, meaning the date can still be fun even if one of you only throw gutter balls. Meaning, you can both have a laugh at the end of the date, because (like we said above) you're in a chill space! Plus, being someone who can roll with the punches and have a good time when you're on the losing end is an attractive quality regardless.
Bonus, Bowling Alleys Today Have Gotten an Upgrade
Most bowling venues serve alcohol, bar food, and other tasty treats right at your lane. Though lately, have you noticed that the whole bowling experience has gotten a makeover? Some have even expanded into full-fledged entertainment venues, sometimes combining a full-service restaurant, retro arcade games, traditional backyard games like corn hole and more. You might be familiar with hip national bowling chains like Lucky Strike, Splitsville, Punch Bowl Social and Bowlero. These venues sport disco-like lighting, a Top 40s music playlist, and huge TV screens streaming the latest athletic game (though that may or may not be a good thing).
Similarly, if bowling just isn't your thing but you like a little friendly competition with food nearby, there are eatertainment venues to choose from like Top Golf, or independently run spots like Penn Social in Washington D.C., or Ace Eat Serve (care for a little Ping Pong?) in Denver.
Still Thinking of Dinner or Drinks?
If you're still opting to meet for the first time over drinks (yes, coffee and tea count too) or dinner, then that is exactly the best first date idea. There's nothing wrong with sticking to what you're most comfortable with at first, and if there is a second date, mixing it up the next time around. Plus, the experts at dating app Zoosk say a mere mention of certain activities like dinner, drinks, or the beach may just up your chances of scoring a date in the first place.