Somehow or other, you've met someone. You have a date planned.
What to do on a first date? I've covered this elsewhere, but movies are not ideal if you haven't really talked to a guy before--say if you met him at a party or a bar. In that case, you want to be able to talk to him. (Note: if you don't want to talk to him, why do you want to go on a date with him?)
What to do? Lunch, dinner, outdoor activity (weather permitting). If you don't hate it with a passion the way I do, bowling is good.
One big exception to the "no movies on a first date" rule: if this is a guy who is a friend and you are making the transition to dating, or things are evolving, nothing says "game on" the way dinner and a movie do. This happened to me once in grad school. I was looking for vip-ex who was my ex-non-bf at that point (we were in our "off-and-on" phase, which was followed by our "going steady" phase--we liked to mix things up). I was looking for him, but I found super clean-cut Midwestern white boy, "Pete," instead. Pete was a first year student (I was a third year), but I already knew him a little. My first impression was nice, semi-cute, not my type. We got to chatting. It was around 6pm on a Saturday or Sunday and we were both at school. He asked if I'd eaten and we ended up going to the Indian buffet about a mile walk down Franklin Street. To my surprise, we hit it off. I assumed that since he wasn't my type, he wouldn't find me to be his type either. He gave me a ride to the commuter lot where I parked and we sat in his car talking for a long time.
This got to be a bit of a habit--he would either give me a ride, or we would take the bus together and he would give me a ride from there. Or I would give him a ride home if he hadn't driven. And the eating of dinner. And the playing of basketball. And all of a sudden, we both knew something was going on and I started to like-like him. I'd go around to the first year offices to see Pete and run into vip-ex. That was kind of sweet. "No, I'm not looking for you, I'm looking for Pete."
After a couple of weeks of intense friendly hanging out, we made a "dinner and movie" date. He came to my house to pick me up. He wore a nice shirt. I wore a skirt. We laughed about it, but we were both nervous. He was everything vip-ex wasn't. Kind, honest, sweet, single. (Do you see the problem here yet?) I couldn't quite believe that I really liked this sweet, blonde, blue-eyed fellow, but I really did. It was a bit of a blow when he broke up with me after only two weeks, using the priceless "I'm not over my old girlfriend yet" line. I guess we had more in common than I realized since I got back together with vip-ex right after. Heh.
Anyway. First dates. No movies, unless there are special circumstances. On the first date, pay attention and ask yourself a few questions. The newest one, which I've discussed elsewhere, is if you want to kiss him. I've found myself answering "no" when I didn't expect it. Not sure what it means, but worth a try. The other little thing I like to do is the "tv test." Would you rather be home watching (in my case broadcast) tv than sitting there listening to your date? If he can't even pass the tv test, well, that is a problem. Extreme boredom is an indication of a bad first date.
There are also some things you might want to figure out pretty quickly if you think this guy might become your boyfriend. What those things are depends on what is important to you. I need to know he wants to have kids (I've always found this out, even way back when. And I dated vip-ex for years even though he said he didn't want kids. Can't actually expect me to be consist now, can you? I chose not to believe him.). There is the question of religion (as in, my kids will be Jewish, even if he doesn't convert). Of course, do not ask these questions directly. Are you out of your mind? You probably don't really need to know the answers unless there is going to be a second date, but the sooner you figure out if you have the same basic priorities, the better. The simple way to put it is, what are your deal breakers? I know I couldn't be with a guy who didn't want kids. If he was very religious, went to church all the time, that might be a problem too, particularly if he expected me to participate. Sometimes, as my experience dating Republicans has taught me, you can be wrong about your deal breakers. I recommend being as open as possible, within reason. More important than someone's religion or politics is how they actually treat people. Is he honest? Considerate? Respectful--to everyone? Then I can work him, even if he is a Republican. Funny helps too, especially if he gets my jokes. I will probably marry the next guy who gets my jokes and who thinks I'm hot.
Grateful for: not having to worry about this stuff right now.