The antithesis of a good date is a boring date. There’s nothing that spoils the mood more, nothing that ruins the potential for a relationship faster than a dull, uneventful first date. Getting to know one another – the main function of a first date – should be fun and exciting. If you’re into the person you’re going out with, you should both walk away from a first date feeling like you’ve shared in something truly unique.
Dating 101 states that, in order to maximize your potential for a meaningful connection, you have a make not just a good but a unique first impression. That will take some creativity on your part. Everything from the venue to the conversation, the food and the farewell, should be tinged with a sense of creativity.
Here are some easy-to-follow tips for taking your first-date game from bleak to unique.
Think Outside the Bar
Bars and restaurants are fine for spending an evening with your friends or parents, but they are no place for a date. First off, they’re often loud and expensive. But secondly – most importantly – they’re uninspired. If you’ve been on a number of dates (most adults have), chances are you’ve been to a lot of bar or restaurant dates, and, after a while, they get very tedious.
Think outside the bar. If you really want to impress a first date, choose an unconventional activity, something neither of you have tried before. Left-field date ideas might include something absorbing and instructional like a cooking class or an art gallery tour. But it might also be something exciting, like axe throwing – a new sport that, despite its straightforward premise (yes, you’re just throwing axes at a wooden target) is lively and entertaining.
For the cooking class, it may take some pre-planning. You ‘ll want to okay the idea with your date in advance (unless you know they’re a gourmand, in which case it’s a cute surprise!). For the art gallery, check to see if your local gallery has any evening events, and plan around that. For axe throwing, check the BATL website to see about booking a spot, which comes with a free coaching and practice session (so there’s no need to be nervous about not knowing how to throw an axe).
Don’t Stick to One Location
No one’s saying that you need to pick one location. Oftentimes, the best first dates are the ones that incorporate some mobility. Planning a second location, whether it’s one of the aforementioned spots, like axe throwing or a gallery, or a simple stroll in the park, shows that you have put thought and effort into the date.
It also gives you a chance to see how you get along in a dynamic mix of venues; from the fun din of an axe throwing facility to the quiet corridors of a museum, you get a good range of experiences together.
Ask Creative Questions
The questions you ask can tell you a lot about your date. But they can also tell your date a lot about you. If you just ask boring questions, like “what do you do for fun” or “where did you go to school”, your date might be inclined to believe that you’re unimaginative or superficial.
If you want to really get to know your date, and if you want your date to be impressed by your conversational prowess, ask unique and probing questions:
- If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
- What was your most embarrassing date experience?
- If you had instant access to a billion dollars, what would be the first thing you’d do?
- Where do you want to travel to most in the world, and why?
- What’s your all-time favorite TV series?
These questions run the gamut from deeply personal to fun and trivial, but they each do so by way of unique phrasing and interesting access points. They are far better than the standard first date questions your date has answered a hundred times before.
Ease Off the Gas Pedal
Finally, when it comes time for goodbyes and goodnights, don’t force it. It’s better to say that you had a wonderful time, and you’re keen to do this again, than to try and make the spark catch fire right away. A lot of daters are too pushy about first date expectations, so if you really want to be creative and refreshing, ease off the gas pedal, express how much fun you had, and head home.
First dates should never be boring. After all, one day, you might have to tell your grandkids how you met – and do you really want to say, “at a dingy bar”? No, you don’t.