Love, Lindsay

'Is Going On A First Date To A Concert Too Soon?'

All your relationship questions answered — right here, right now.

Lindsay here, A Plus's resident relationship guru/columnist. While I may not know everything, I do know a lil something about love and our seemingly endless pursuit of it. Having written dozens of A Plus articles about dating, relationships, and sex, I'm ready and willing to investigate all of your romantically-inclined questions (submit here!) — because I've asked them myself. What I hope to bring to A Plus's readers is a sex-positive, body-positive, and most importantly, you-positive perspective on modern love. Consider Love, Lindsay your digital Cupid. 


Dear Lindsay, 

I've been talking to a guy on a dating app for a few days now and he seems normal/cool. I also just got offered an opportunity to buy Haim tickets for Thursday night and since pretty much all my friends already have plans that night, I was thinking about asking this guy. Is that weird/too soon? 

Thanks, Lisa 

Dear Lisa,

I don't think it's too weird or soon, but it certainly is a bit more ambitious than just "grabbing drinks," the de-facto first date activity of singles everywhere. And that's not a bad thing! Many people go on run-of-the-mill "let's get drinks" first dates and then wonder why they're bored making the same work, family, friends small talk in between sips of their same boring drink. 

At the same time, there's something to be said for uncreative first dates. Because there's often so much self-imposed pressure and nervousness going into a date, sometimes it's a relief to just sit down and drink a beer while you're trying to figure out if you want to see this random person ever again

That may be why, according to a 2017 survey conducted by dating app Hinge, of 8,000 users across five U.S. cities, grabbing drinks was found to be the most effective first date activity. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said drinks had led to a second date, followed closely behind by coffee dates (34 percent). Lunch and dinner, which both require a longer time commitment before the date even begins, were ranked third and fourth, respectively. 

This isn't meant to discourage you from pursuing an out-of-the-box first date, but to help you go into the situation with a realistic perspective. By suggesting a concert as a first date, you are embarking on a multi-hour time commitment with a veritable stranger, and unlike drinks or coffee, you can't easily extricate yourself from the situation if he ends being creepy, offensive, or just not your type. Of course, you can always leave the concert, but then you'll be missing out on something you wanted to do. 

Matthew Hussey, dating expert of the website How To Get The Guy, told me, "I'm all for spontaneous, high-investment first dates when appropriate." To figure out if a first date with this particular guy is an appropriate time, he suggests asking yourself two questions first: 1.  Has this guy expressed a genuine interest in seeing the show as well (i.e. independently from your own excitement about it)? 2.  Would you want to go on Thursday even if this guy wasn't coming? 

I'd like to add a third: On any other first date, do you feel nervous getting to know a new person? 

If you answered "yes" to the first two questions, Hussey says to go for it. "Especially," he added. "If you're both desperate to see the show and can geek out about it all night afterward." If he's not as psyched for the show as you are and/or you don't know, however, you may want to opt for another first date activity. 

Now, if you answered "yes" to all three questions, you still may want to take the more cautious route and plan a casual, low-pressure first date activity. However, to alleviate your nervousness, Hussey advises having a real conversation on the phone or Skype/Facetime first." 

I think this is a great idea because, personal anecdote time, I went on a first date to a Broadway show with a guy I'd met on a dating app and who had great texting game. When I met him for coffee before the show, however, I knew within the first five minutes there was no second date on the horizon. But still, I had to stay and watch the entire show with him, all the while feeling guilty that I was wasting both of our time. 

"A concert can be a long, awkward time to spend in a stranger's company if you realize within ten minutes you don't have any chemistry," Hussey noted. "And the phone is a great way to see if you can both connect in conversation for 10 minutes before wasting an evening of your life glancing at each other in stony silence (believe me, countless people have shown up on first Tinder/Bumble dates wishing they had done this beforehand)." 

Now, that might sound like a tip for older people, but hey, our elders must've been on to something if we're all here. So don't knock it till you try it, at least once. I wish I'd thought of that before my own first date because I might have saved myself some trouble, but I will note that I still enjoyed the show. And guess what? Even knowing the unromantic outcome, I'd do it again because the overall experience was worthwhile. 

This brings me to the fourth and final question you should ask yourself: If he's a dud, will I still have a good time? If the answer is yes, then go for it. When it comes to dating, especially in the early stages, your happiness should be your first priority. And even if you choose another first date activity, you should still consider going to the concert alone because well, why the heck not? You want to go, so you should go. 

Then, go out for drinks or coffee or dinner, you dating daredevil, another time and as Hussey said, "keep the big guns," like concerts, shows, family reunions, bar mitzvahs, weddings, etc. for your second date later on.

Love, Lindsay 

Cover image via Upslash

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