The classic dinner-and-a-moviefirst dateis a trusty standby,but what are your ideas for some fun alternatives?Is it possible to go overboard with getting creative?(Hint: yes.)

I like food and movies as much as the next girl/human.Still,I've always thought that the popularity of dinner-and-a-movie as THE first date model is kind of odd.You launch right into 1-2 hours of seated conversation,only to follow it up with 2 hours of complete silence.If the dinner was disastrous ("So…are you a cat or a dog person?" "Dogs.Cats are disgusting." "Oh,I have,like,four cats."),the enforced quiet of a movie theater can be a welcome relief,but if the dinner was great,the movie can kill the chemistry you built up over the dessert menu.

Of course,a date with the right person is probably going to be great no matter what you do,and the opposite is true of a date with the wrong person.Like,for instance,ifRyan Goslingasked me to join him for a few hours of drinks and conversation in the bottom of a dumpster,I feel pretty sure that I would have the time of my life.Alas,most people we date are not Ryan Gosling.(Until cloning becomes a reality!!!) (Just kidding,Ryan Gosling!!) (Kind of.)

Getting creative for a first date is a good idea,but it's also important not to be TOO out there.One of my guy friend's brothers told him he planned to take his first date to a bar where they literally chain the girl to a railing for the duration of the evening.(!) Small talk can be hard enough,and it's definitely not going to be any easier under interrogation-like conditions.Thankfully,my friend talked his brother out of it.Crisis averted.

This was not the romantic date she had in mind.

I think a good creative first date gives the daters an activity to do and talk about,a chance to be on their feet,and the opportunity to get to know each other without extended periods of silence.My vote?A science museum or another hands-on local exhibit.Fun,different,and even educational!At least if the first date is also your last,you will walk away with a slightly better understanding of the Coriolis Effect or how magnets work or something.

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What's your ideal first date?Is dinner-and-a-movie the standard for a reason,or do you prefer to do something more out of the ordinary?__

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Katie Heaney is a writer and dedicated text message analyst in Minneapolis.Follow her on Twitter@KTHeaney.More Ways to Get Glamour:

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