While a successful date can be had any number of places, you can improve your chances with proper location scouting. I have prepared the infographic above and outlined the spectrum of difficulty based on various first date scenarios below:

Sports Bar: A novice move. Taking a first date to a crowded sports bar is like using a pencil as a tennis racquet: there’s just no way it will work. While often well-endowed on the alcohol front, Sports Bars are haven to the jackass, and tricky to navigate without losing your date.

The “Original” Idea: A picnic by the beach, a DJ class, laser tag! Yeah you’re clever. Just keep in mind you are walking dangerously close to the “just friends” line. A first date in daylight is only for the highly skilled.

Lounge (Just Before it Gets Crowded): The combination of minimal ambient noise, intimate table size, and a sexy vibe make the “just before it gets crowded” lounge hard to beat. When it does indeed get crowded, that’s the perfect excuse to move somewhere else, extending the date without losing momentum.

A Friend’s Party: The ideal bonding event. This “let’s just check it out” event is great for sussing out how adventurous your potential mate is. The perfect mix of outside stimulus and conversational variety. Relies a bit heavily on your friends, so make sure you have no saboteurs in your midst.

Movie: A safe option, especially if you’re unsure if there’s chemistry. Minimal conversation is necessary and the option exists to extend the date to drinks afterward if both parties are intrigued. Can be considered a boring choice however, so proceed with caution.

Cliche Restaurant, 8pm: Ah the classic. Typically reserved for potential partners that you can see it “going somewhere” with. Conversational prowess is a key factor here and you better have mastered taking care of the check without your date noticing.

Concert: This is a surprising worst-case scenario. Inevitably you’ll end up awkwardly standing next to one another, and given the volume, you’ll be stuck in an unfortunate holding pattern of whether to talk or not. Concerts have been rigorously engineered to ensure you never make it to a second date.