Although your friends may appreciate you exposing yourself to the cliché, horribly uncomfortable, social minefield of the first date so they can indulge in an hour's cruel speculation at your expense, you are always the one left to deal with the grim reality of the next move whilst they get on with their lives.
Quell your anxieties by knowing where and where not to go in Birmingham:
DON'T resort to the cinema. There's nothing wrong with the fine choice of cinematic establishments Birmingham has to offer, and the low-lit, hushed atmosphere of the auditorium may seem a great place to cultivate the first seeds of romance, but if your close proximity to 100+ people isn't enough to put you off, surely the prospect of popcorn-related first kiss issues is. Also, unless you're a member of the aesthetic elite, good luck seeming comparably attractive in the the eyes of your date after an hour and a half gazing Angelina and Brad's massively enlarged faces.
DO pay a visit to the quaint, quirky, Canalside Café
on Gas Street, a walkable distance from the city centre from even for the laziest of date-goers. Renovated from the old canal-keeper's cottage, this intimate little pub epitomizes country bumpkin chic in the midst of the city slickers' haven. As a bonus, if conversation runs dry you can discuss the curious assortment of teacups and trinkets lining the walls and ceiling.
DON'T go clubbing! Avoid the garish lights of Broad Street and resist the temptation to get your moves out. No matter how good a dancer (you think) you are and no matter how well you think a date is going, this is never acceptable. Only fools will ignore this advice.
DO take a jolly jaunt to Harborne to soak up the pleasant weekend atmosphere of the drinking establishments. The best of these is The Plough
on the High Street.
If a) you are a man and b) you bow down to peer pressure and pay for everything on a date, take advantage of the two-for-one offers on pizzas (Mondays), burgers (Tuesdays) and a selection of good old pies (Wednesdays). This eccentric little gem practically solves first date awkwardness with the novel provision of Connect Four and Frustration as an alternative to finding out what your date does/is called/cares about in life.
DON'T crave a curry without planning where to go and end up mindlessly stumbling into the murky depths of Selly Oak, the land of the desolate, the impoverished and the hungry (aka the students).
DO enjoy fine Indian cuisine at Akbars
of Bradford on the Hagley Road. Here you will benefit from excellent service, luscious curries and refreshing, albeit slightly over-priced, Indian lagers. Also make the most of the convenience of T.G.I Fridays cocktails being only next-door away.
Want to try these tips out? You'll be needing Birmingham hotels