Spring has sprung. This is the perfect time of year to get serious about your quest for love. With so many exciting potential partners at your fingertips your quest for romance has just begun. Lucky you, that you live in a time when you can be so proactive about your love life!

One of the most common questions that comes across my desk as a love columnist and lifestyle expert is, what should we do on the first date? Both men and women have confided that they feel anxious about moving their wonderfully-compatible online communication with someone off-line. People fear that if they meet in person, one party may not live up to the others’ expectations. Hogwash…

Instead of dreading the first date, think about it as an opportunity and an adventure. Your first date experience sets the tone for your potential relationship. If you want something different you have to try something different. The dinner date or coffee meet-up is a classic, but here are five juicy ideas to make your first dates unforgettable. After all, if things go well, this may just be the last first date you’ll have for the rest of your life.

1. Take a class together

These days, you can find adult classes in just about anything. Why not try a cooking class or a cocktail-making class as a first date? It could also be really cool to indulge in something hands-on like drumming or pottery. There’s almost nothing quite as attractive as seeing how someone cooks or is inspired by something new as you get to know them.

2. Go beyond coffee

Instead of just meeting at the corner coffee spot, why not go for a full-on high tea. The tea room experience will give you something to anticipate and talk about. Even though the first date can be nerve-wracking, you don’t want it to feel like an interview. Having your waiter explain the tea types is a great way to break the ice and kick start your conversation.

3. Sing your heart out

For the more confident and outgoing, a date at a karaoke bar can be a great place to get to know each other in a fun environment. You don’t have to be a fantastic singer, just give it your best shot. Stay away from love ballads though – save those for the second date at least!

4. Out and about in nature

If you’re a nature lover and your date is too, find an local park to explore. The nature date is also a way to spend less money without looking like a cheapskate. Try a romantic picnic with wine and pasta or a hike on a scenic trail.

If you’re the organiser, make sure to let your date know what you’ve planned beforehand so they can dress appropriately. There’s nothing worse than showing up in a glam dress and heels when someone wants to go on a long walk. Make sure it’s something they’re going to be comfortable with too – half the battle is feeling at ease on a date.

Other cool first date ideas include checking out a comedy club, volunteering for a cause that’s important to you both or even visiting a local tourist landmark that neither of you have been to but always wanted to see. The most important thing is getting to know each other.

Happy dating!

by Abiola Abrams. To read more, visit Abiola’s Passionista Playbook lifestyle blog – www.abiolatv.com.