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Dating: Where to go on a first date

Over the years we’ve seen the steady evolution of the first date. There have been the awkward first encounters with parents on dimly lit doorsteps and the quick scans of a restaurant as you try and pick out the blind date your co-worker swore was “just perfect for you.”

Now, first dates can be set up from your phone with the swipe of a finger or meeting through a dating website. It doesn’t mean that the more traditional means of snagging a date are extinct; it just means the processes have expanded.

While working up the courage to ask someone out or meet someone online can be tough, it’s also only half the battle – there’s still the daunting first date. It’s the first glimpse into what kind of partner you would be. It lets whomever you’re trying to woo learn firsthand how compatible you are as a couple. It also can make for some great stories.

For the first date, it’s important to pick a place where you can chat and get to know each other. A simple, yet effective go-to first date is the coffee date. Buffalo has a host of coffee shops that serve a broad range of coffees, local pastries and treats. Some of the more popular spots include Tipico Coffee (128 Fargo Ave.), Sweet_ness 7 Café (220 Grant St.) and Caffe Aroma (957 Elmwood Ave.).

Ana Misenas, left and Adam Sokol enjoy some coffee and conversation at Tipico on Fargo Street. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Ana Misenas, left and Adam Sokol enjoy some coffee and conversation at Tipico on Fargo Street. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

[Read: New crop of Buffalo coffee shops ups the bar for quality]

Another great option for a nice relaxing first date is America’s favorite pastime: baseball. Besides the incredible concession stand food and beers, there’s enough downtime between pitches and innings to strike up conversations.

Check out the Bisons’ schedule for games and special promotions. Tip: Don’t forget the blanket because Buffalo spring nights tend to lean towards the chilly side. There’s also a chance that you’ll grab a foul ball and leave your date with a nice souvenir.

If you’re going the Tinder route, a great first date can be a relaxing happy hour. Meeting someone in person for the first time after getting to know a little bit about each other through an app can be overwhelming. The laidback vibe and libations will be enough to take the edge off and will most likely lead to great opportunities to share stories and laughs. Marble + Rye (112 Genesee St.) hosts a daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. that features a selection of $5 cocktails, $1 off draft beers, a few $6 glasses of wine, and bar snacks for a buck.

Vodka soda with house-made watermelon soda at Marble + Rye (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News file photo)

Vodka soda with house-made watermelon soda at Marble + Rye (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News file photo)

[Read a recent dining review on Marble + Rye]

Feeling a little more adventurous? A first date can be more than just conversation and drinks. Depending on who you’re sharing the day with, the chance for excitement and thrills can be a welcome change of pace from the more conservative, typical first date.

Head about an hour south to Ellicottville and check out Sky High Adventure Park (6773 Holiday Valley Road, Ellicottville). The chance to zip line, climb and coast through the trees is an exhilarating first date opportunity that your date is sure to remember.

The great thing about first dates is that there’s a lot of excitement surrounding them. Problem is, that can also lead to some nerves. The trick is to try and not overthink it because there’s no right or wrong way to embark on the sacred first date. Pick something that you and your date will enjoy and be yourself. Before you know it you’ll be scrambling for ideas for the second date.

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