At the start of any relationship there comes a point when there has to be a first date. While internet dating has certainly set people up to get to know people better before that initial in-person meeting, the first date is still a critical aspect of one’s dating life. The first date is seemingly the make it or break it moment when a couple will decide whether or not to pursue something further with each other and if a second date should happen.

With so many people turning to the internet in order to find someone, a first date can be critical to the success of a future relationship. This means that in order to stand out and be remembered, it might be a smart idea to aim for a more original date than the standard dinner and drinks. Although there is certainly nothing wrong with going out to dinner on a first date, there are times when you just want to break the mold and try something different.

In order to plan for a unique and original first date, it might be important to first think about what makes for a great date to begin with. Although there are no simple answers to this, there are a number of factors that can make that first date a great one. Beyond what you do together for your first meeting in person, who you are with each other can really make a difference. The way you act with each other and even the discussion that takes place between you two will ultimately make for a more memorable encounter and hopefully one that you will both want to repeat.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that this first, real date is not about wining and dining your potential partner, but rather making an impression and being honest and open. When you come from the heart and are willing to be yourself, it can make all the difference in how the entire date is perceived, no matter where you go or what you do.

With all of that being said, it is still important to plan your first date and if you really want to be original and perhaps avoid the usual dinner route, then there are any number of options you might consider taking. In some cases, the original idea can even be a budget friendly one, that doesn’t break the bank either.

One great first date option is heading to a museum. Depending on what you already know about the person you are taking out, a museum could be the perfect option for someone into science, history or art. While art museums are always a great choice, there is nothing wrong with being a bit different and going for a natural history museum or a science museum. Not only will you get a chance to learn something together, but this is a great way to find out what the person you are on a date with is interested in or what fascinates them about the world around them.

Much like a museum, another great date could be at an aquarium or zoo. Once more this is a chance to learn something new, while also getting to see wild animals, and who doesn't love a chance to see animals, whether it is penguins, sharks, lions or bears.

Another option that is more physical might be going ice skating or roller skating. Depending on where you live, ice skating could be a year round option so even a first date in the summer could include hitting the ice. No matter what your level of experience, skating could be a great way to connect and have fun. On top of being a physical activity, it can also be a relatively budget friendly one based on when you go or if the rink in question offers coupons or discounts.

A great option, particularly in the summer and fall are fairs and carnivals. While these events can get expensive depending on what you do, they can also be a perfect chance to have a little fun, eat some food and get to know each other. Whether it is all about the rides or food, there is usually a little bit of something for everyone at a fair or carnival. Plus, it is a great place to people watch and sometimes that can be just as interesting as taking part in the games.

If your town or city has a farmers market, that can also be a nice first date. Every farmers market is different and yet this once more gives you a chance to connect and learn more about each other. Maybe your farmers market offers food that you can sit and eat there, this gives you almost a two for one bonus, a chance to walk around and see what your local farmers and crafters have to offer, while also providing a picnic of sorts.

No matter what you choose to do on your first date, it is important to be yourself. You want the person you are going out with to get to know who you are and that can mean showing them your favorite place in the city or perhaps taking them to do something you love to do. Whatever your first date entails, make sure both you and your date have a good time, even if the connection isn’t there, you never know if they could end up being your best friend or just a great date to look back on fondly.