Coming up with the right date idea can be a daunting. I remember how as a young single, hanging out together with someone new could at times make me feel like I was on stage, over a barrel, or under the microscope when I should have been having fun. And those of us in long term relationships may also be running out of ideas and want to keep things fresh for ourselves and our mate.
To help people out we’re going to start a series on dates. We’ll include posts on general date ideas, budget-friendly dates, and first dates in the coming weeks. This isn’t intended as a list of things that you can do without any thought – most ideas are more like a springboard to hopefully give you inspiration that works for you.
We’ll also include examples from our own lives when a general date idea is given so that you can have a little more inspiration when planning your next night out for just the two of you.
There is nothing as attractive or as thoughtful as your partner listening to you, taking notes mentally, and then making it happen.
Example: I remember once Grace made a remark about the sort of birthday cake she wanted (yellow cake with Iron Man on it) and I said nothing, excused myself and made a reminder in my iPhone for two weeks before her birthday, January 2nd (just to make sure it happened).
When her birthday happened she was touched and thrilled that I had remembered something small that she hadn’t brought up since August. This small touch helped make her evening, and similar touches can make your partner’s evening.
2. Indulge Your Spouse’s Pet Interest. It’s Romantic.
Example: Sometimes we’ll go on walks together and I know that Grace is intentionally diverting us so that we can see some part of town with wonderful architecture or something else that I like. This one’s charming and its not at all hard.
3. Relive Your Childhoods
Example: Some Saturday mornings, I’ll make a big breakfast, we’ll build a tent fort in the living room out of chairs and blankets, and watch superhero cartoons in our pajamas.
4. Do a Themed Night
Make your clothes and what you eat and drink match the theme.
Example: Last Valentine’s Day, Grace and I went to the Goshen Theatre (an old-time cinema) to watch Casablanca. She did her hair and dress in a 40’s style and I wore a 40’s suit.
5. Make a Meal for Her
This one is so much fun. Whether you simply make a big breakfast and then artfully arrange it or make a dinner fit for candlelight and then have Sinatra or Benny Goodman playing in the background – your partner will think its a wonderful gesture.
6. Take a Day Trip to the City
Example: Last December while living in South Bend, Grace and I took a road trip to Chicago. I planned the whole thing out and surprised her. I researched all the stops and made sure that Grace’s pet interests were served. We went to Strings, a gourmet ramen house and then went to the 96th floor of the Hancock Center for hot chocolate. We looked over the city from ninety-six floors up.
7. Dream Together
What do you want? Talk about it. You may find that she has dreams or ideas you didn’t know about, ones that complement yours or that are exactly the same as yours.
Example: Its not uncommon for us to spend the better part of an evening talking about what we want to do together, whether its sailing and circumnavigating the globe or other adventures, visiting other cities, having kids, starting businesses or building our dream house together. It can make an evening more interesting and its fun and exciting to see what will come out of your spouse’s mind. Also, you’ll be surprised at how many time she’ll unknowingly replenish your supply of date ideas.
This can be as laid back or as elaborate as you want to make it. You can totally map out a route that is going to take you both past sites of natural or architectural beauty, or places that are meaningful. Go out just for the sake of spending time with her – she’ll appreciate it. Also, whatever city you’re in becomes so much more vivid and alive when you’re walking through it instead
Example: Grace and I once found a huge chess set in a public park while walking in South Bend, Indiana and had a lot of fun playing. Another time we found a high end Asian antiques shop in Chicago just by walking around. You also get to see tons of people. Things get more vivid this way.
9. Go Try a Type of Ethnic Cuisine You’ve Never Experienced Before
You might just find you like Brazilian, Vietnamese, Korean, Nepalese or Moroccan food. If your date is feeling a little less courageous than yo,u then stop by an ethnic grocery store and at least pick out some drinks or so something fun and different.
Guys, this one is so much easier than it sounds. Just book a massage for you and ask her what she wants one. If she wants something that takes longer than your massage then that’s alright – you can either opt to extend your massage to match in duration or walk to a coffee shop or bookstore once you’re done and wait for her there. Afterwards, you can both enjoy some coffee or look at books together. Either way, its really fun.
I hope that these springboard date ideas have helped you and I hope that the examples lived out in our own lives have helped too. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know your own personal favorite date ideas. Also, don’t forget to check out our other awesome date posts as they come out.
Written in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico.