Whether you're taking a girl out on a first date or you have been with her for years, planning dates is tough.
You need to come up with a good date idea, make sure everything goes smoothly, and still have something interesting to say while you're together!
While can often be difficult, they are essential.
They don't need to be anything extravagant and planning them doesn't need to be complicated.
Let's take a look at a very simple formula that will ensure a perfect date every time.
These first two components are essential and together they almost guarantee a great date.
The meal is the time that the two of you sit down together and have a relaxed opportunity to talk to each other.
This is a great time to learn more about her. Ask a lot of questions and listen intently.
Where should the two of you eat?
This really depends on who the girl is and where you are in the relationship. Regardless of the past two questions, remember that any guy can take a girl to a nice restaurant.
You my friend are not just any guy! Be creative. Girls love guys who take the time to plan out a meaningful date. Here are a few pointers for picking the restaurant:
- Quiet is better
- A view is a always plus
- Tables are better than booths
- "Hole in the wall" restaurants are much more memorable
- Always pay the full tab - never go Dutch (#10 on our list of men's life tips)
The activity is the second fundamental component of a date. It can be almost anything as long as it involves the two of you being active together. You could take her horseback riding, bowling, ice skating or even snorkeling.
The activity will do two major things:
1. Set you apart
First, literally every couple goes out for a meal. If your buddy told you that he went on a date last night, what would you assume he did?
Second, any guy can take a girl out to dinner. Being able to combine a good meal with a fun activity is an art.
This is where you tell her you're not like the other guys she's been disappointed with. It shows her you are fun and will keep her interested.
2. Tell you who she really is
On the first few dates your interactions together are almost fake. You are both on your best behavior: sitting up straight, maintaining eye contact, talking about non-controversial subjects, etc.
The activity is where you are both able to relax a little and see who the other person really is. This is because allows you to connect differently, letting your personalities show and shine.
It will tell you a lot of the things you want to know about her:
- Is she fun (and will this relationship be fun)?
- Does she have trouble letting her hair down?
- Do we enjoy being friends and not just lovers?
If you have been in the relationship for a while, you may already know the answers to some of these questions. That being said, doing an activity together will remind you of why you love her and why you stay with her.
So what activity should the two of you do?
I have found that (especially in the beginning) it is best to keep the activity simple. Be sure that it:
- Makes sense at your point in the relationship (skydiving (or any "adventurous" activities) on a first date might be a little bold)
- Is something you think she would enjoy
Don't over think it...
By taking her to do something more than just dinner, you've already won.
The Pro Tips
These are the things that separate the boys from the men.
They're what will get you a second date or keep your long term girlfriend interested.
Music sets the mood (and not just sexually).
If you're somewhere quiet, play some music that matches the mood you want for your date.
There is not a woman alive that doesn't like flowers.
Roses are romantic, but are a little bit played out. Try something different like carnations or peonies.
Just remember that the color of the flowers means something. I will write a full post in the future, but for now, avoid yellow. This usually signifies friendship.
This is not a hard and fast rule as it varies from situation to situation.
For example, you don't want to go to a restaurant where you are the only couple (the food probably sucks). Conversely, you don't want to be in a bar full of people and not be able to hear each other.
This is more important on most of the activities you will do. For example, which would you prefer: A hike to a viewpoint that you share with 20 other people or a hike to a viewpoint where it is just the two of you?
This is more a mindset than anything.
You can't expect that everything on your date will go exactly as you planned. Like most things in life, a date that is too rigid will crack and fall apart at the first signs of stress.
Be flexible and change things around if needed. The dates that don't go perfectly are often the most memorable.
Put it Together
I also hope that some good date ideas are running through your head. Just in case, here are a couple ideas to get you going:
- Pack a picnic and take her for a light hike to a great lookout point
- Rent bikes and ride to a fun restaurant
- Take a tour of a winery and eat appetizers in their wine tasting room
- Go to the zoo and eat at a local burger joint
- Cook her dinner and go to a concert together
Start with the foundation: a meal and an activity. This alone will lead to a great date.
Mix in some of the pro tips and it will be a date that neither of you will forget.