If you’ve been single for a long time, you may be wondering what it is that you are doing wrong. You’ve been on several first dates. You’ve done the wine and dine thing. You’ve gone to the movies. You’ve gone to a museum. But it just never seems that you get to that second date. And if you’re single again for the first time in a while, you may be thinking that you’ve already been there, done that with the dinner and a movie thing.
Perhaps the problem is that all of these typical first dates haven’t led to a second because they just aren’t all that exciting. Sure, everyone loves a great dinner, and who doesn’t love a new movie these days, packed with special effects and fantastic storylines. The problem is, these dates aren’t unique. Perhaps it is time to give something more unusual a try.
10 first date ideas that you should have thought of before
The entire idea of a first date is to get to know the other person. Though a nice dinner out definitely provides an opportunity to talk to one another, sometimes it can be a bit much and too soon. All of that pressure to come up with a conversation, especially when nerves are running rampant, may be fine for some but can be challenging for others. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there to try a fun first date that allows you to get to know the other in a more unusual setting.
1. Try a picnic. Better yet, if one of you has a dog (and the other likes dogs) bring your dog. A picnic provides a low-key opportunity to enjoy a meal together without the noise and crowding of a busy restaurant. The location provides a topic of conversation to get you started. And if you brought your dog, you’ll have fun romping through the park, forest, or whatever your setting is, with Fido. Plus, if you love Fido and can’t imagine a life without him in it and your date can’t stay further away from your furry companion, then maybe a second date isn’t worth it. At least you got out in the fresh air and got Fido some exercise.
2. Skip the museum and head to the planetarium. Yes, museums are great places for a date, but they are also common places for a date. A planetarium, on the other hand, is a bit more unique. People in the United States tend to love astronomy, and they are further mesmerized when relevant information is woven into the experience. So, take your date to the planetarium towards the end of the afternoon or early in the evening before the sun goes down. And if you live somewhere that you can get a good look at the real stars when the sun goes down, consider heading to a scenic overlook to take in the stars in person. Of course, if the date didn’t go well, you can pack it in and skip this last part. If it did go well, then well, who doesn’t like scenic overlooks in a car?
3. Take a cooking class. If you or your date is a foodie, and regardless of whether or not you know how to cook, a cooking class can be a fun option to get to know someone else, see how they make their way around the kitchen, and enjoy a fun meal together. You might even be able to improve your kitchen skills in the process.
4. Go to a comedy club and get your laugh on. Humor can be a great way to break the ice, especially on a first date. Don’t get too crazy with your comedy selection. Consider a comedian that isn’t too raunchy or offensive and stick with some good, clean humor. After all, don’t they say that a couple that laughs together, stays together?
5. Go ziplining. If you are afraid of heights, this is your chance to get over it, and fast. Ziplining provides a great rush of adrenaline and will work well to get both you and your date out of your comfort zone. In many ways, ziplining will help to take some pressure off and will put you both on a level playing field. Afterward, head to a local brewery for a craft beer sampling. Don’t like beer? Head to a local winery instead? Looking for a dry date? Then go get some ice cream. Whatever you choose to do after ziplining, make sure that you look for a place that will allow you to converse. After all, you’ll both want to share your experiences on the ziplining, and you may be ready to plan your next adventure.
6. Go to a spa. This one might seem like a bit of a stretch, but you’d be surprised how many guys really enjoy having a spa day, especially if they have never been before. Get a massage (if a couple’s massage is too uncomfortable, go for separate massages but then get back together to relax in the hot tub) and a facial, and maybe a joint pedicure. In the least, you’ll get a few giggles together and will learn more about each other.
7. Participate in a local volunteering event in your community. Many communities have an abundance of volunteer opportunities. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Feed My Starving Children, and more often have options that you can sign up for with short notice. Or, if you want to do something less formal, come up with your own project such as a roadside clean-up or park clean-up project.
8. Run a 5k. If you are both active and enjoy a good run, look for an organized 5k that is coming up in your town, and get signed up. This can be a great way to burn some calories first thing in the morning while getting your endorphins going. The natural high after the race is over will help desensitize you to your nervousness and will make conversation a bit easier. For lunch, go to a local pizza and beer pub to refuel.
9. Take a painting class. Painting classes are popping up all over the place. These retail-like shops provide class participants with step-by-step instructions so that everyone in the class completes the same painting by the end of the evening. Though the paintings are based on the same template, each painting looks a bit different based on the unique personality and skill-level of the painter. Because you will be focused on your painting, you will be able to enjoy easy conversation without too much pressure, and you’ll get the opportunity to assess your date’s artistic level. If you were hoping that your date was going to be the next DaVinci or VanGogh and you don’t like what you see, at least now you’ll know, and you’ll have your own great painting to take home.
10. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Yes, this one is extreme, but if the budget is there and you are looking for something that few people ever experience, then this one is for you. You’ll be in the presence of the hot air balloon operator so you won’t be too pressed to talk exclusively to one another, but if the conversation is comfortable, then you will have a great time enjoying the views and the exhilarating ride. Afterward, head to a local vineyard or winery and enjoy a glass of wine while munching on some local cheeses and salami.
Those who take their date on a unique experience will stand out over the rest
As exciting as a first date can be, it can also be terrifying. With modern dating and the ability to meet people online that you would usually never come into acquaintance with, you never know what you are going to get when you meet in person for the first time. Of course, sometimes you have known the person for some time and are deciding to turn a friendship into something more serious. But in most cases when we think of an actual ‘first date,’ we’re talking about a real first interaction. Either you met the person online, your friends set you up on a blind date, or you met at a bar, church, school, or work, and this will now be your first real ‘potentially romantic’ interaction. Regardless of how the date came to be, it is no wonder that you may be shaking a bit in your shoes.
Taking the time to think through what to do on the date, and how to make it different, will make the entire experience much easier. Going the traditional route might work, and the majority of relationships do start with first dates that included dinner and a movie. But if you want that stand out experience that sets you apart and shows your date that you are more than just a handsome or pretty face, then you need to get creative.
So, get the date scheduled, pick your activity, select your outfit, and then relax. The hard part is over. The rest is all about fun.