15 Places Your Date Won’t Go With You — But Your Dog Will · The Wildest

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15 Places Your Date Won’t Go With You — But Your Dog Will

In response to a certain list that went viral this week, we’ve got you covered.

by Charles Manning
October 27, 2023
Puppy Giving Paw To Owner At Coffee Shop.
valbar STUDIO / Stocksy
The letter "W" from the Wildest logo

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Planning dates is hard. Especially first dates. You don’t know this person! You don’t know their likes, their dislikes, their desires, their values! And you definitely don’t know them well enough to justify spending a bunch of money on them or to justify them spending a bunch of money on you. 

That’s why there is absolutely nothing wrong with a first date that is casual, affordable, or even downright free. And no matter what a certain viral (and also pretty classist) list might say to the contrary, anyone who disagrees is not going out with you for the right reasons and is not worth even a minute of your time. You don’t need them. Especially not when you’ve got a dog at home who is more than happy to join you on any number of fun, budget-friendly dates. Dates like…

1. Dinner at a burger place

Certain humans might think they’re too good to grab a bite at Shake Shack or In-N-Out, but your dog knows better and is happy to join you on the patio for a little nosh. Shake Shack even has a dog menu and In-N-Out has a secret dog menu to make your canine love feel truly included. 

2. Coffee shop

Your human date might not be interested in getting to know you over a cappuccino at Starbucks, but the chain’s secret menu “puppuccino” has your doggo’s name all over it. And if you’re not into Starbucks, the “puppuccino” is really just a cup of whipped cream, which you can order at any coffee shop, really.

3. Sip-and-paint class

A human might judge your wine-loosened painting prowess, but as far as your dog is concerned, every stroke you make is a work of art in and of itself. 

4. Pottery class

Let’s be honest: Pottery people are pet people. They just are. And how cute would it be to make your dog’s new food or water dish together? Extremely, that’s how! That said, you should reach out in advance to inquire about the specific policies of your local throwing studio or pottery painting place, just to be sure non-service dogs are allowed. 

5. Beach walk

Your human partner might not want to feel the sand between their toes or the surf lapping at their ankles, but your dog will be living their best life, especially if you two find a quality stick (for fetch, never chewing!) rubbed smooth by sand and time. 

6. Your sister-in-law’s birthday party

In all fairness, taking someone on a first date to a family anything is pretty messed up. It’s just asking way too much. Of a human. Not of a dog. Dogs are great for family gatherings. Everyone is nicer around a dog. They can’t help it. Dogs are a vibe shift for the better. And they are the perfect scapegoat when you decide you’ve had enough of your fam and need to go. “Oooh! Sorry. Pepper isn’t feeling too well. I know she seems fine, but I can tell. I better get her home before she makes a mess. This was fun, though. Thanks. Bye!”

7. Netflix

Proposing a streaming night in as a first date is pretty presumptuous, but your dog would love to curl up on the couch with you and watch a movie. And you can even pick the movie.

8. Anywhere that requires a long drive

That human you’ve been chatting with online might be wary of a long drive, but you open up that window so your dog can hang their head out and they will happily ride with you from one end of the country to the other. 

9. Sonic

It’s the perfect combination of numbers one and eight.

10. Drive-in-movie theater

Seven and eight — combined! And best of all, you’ll only have to pay for one ticket. Indoor heaters in the U.S. don’t typically allow dogs, but the U.K. is setting the bar for that to hopefully happen for doggie date nights at American theaters one day.

11. Panera Bread

It’s more than just a casual lunch spot for busy professionals, it’s also a solid place to bring your dog. Bread is dog-friendly (in moderation), and most locations have patios that welcome pups with open arms. 

12. The mall

A new human paramour might balk at the idea of going shipping on a first date, but your dog is definitely down. Outdoor malls are a no-brainer, but even some indoor malls welcome dogs and certain stores, like Saks Fifth Avenue, are extremely dog-friendly. 

13. A run

The idea of working up a sweat on a first date might turn off some people, but your dog has been waiting for you to take them on a run since, well, the last time you took them on a run

14. Your softball/baseball game

The new person in your life might find it a bit boring to watch you field fly balls and slide into home, but your canine life partner is your biggest fan and would happily watch you do anything. Or go to a baseball game with you — if they have doggie days.

15. Outdoor flea market or farm stand

Digging through heirlooms (be they of the furniture or tomato variety) might wear thin on a person, but your dog is down for whatever. Take as much time as you need. Also, people are much more likely to cut you a good deal if they like your dog. And how could they not like your dog? Your dog is perfect. 

Charles Manning

Charles Manning is an actor, writer, and fashion/media consultant living in New York City with his two cats, Pumpkin and Bear. Follow him on Instagram @charlesemanning.

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