Venues for first dates should follow three basic guidelines: public, conservative, and casual... but they should also reflect some notion of planning (even if it's a blind date). Whether you go for coffee, head to the beach, or declare paintball war, points should be given to men who plan, think, and stay focused on the date itself, not on what they might want to happen at the conclusion of it (hint-hint, nudge-nudge). However, keep in mind: Early dates are the standard by which your entire relationship will be measured subconsciously as it matures. Set the bar high, and keep the bar high. If he starts strong with effort and planning and peters off (usually after you hit the bedroom a couple of times), it might be time to discuss things.