The more promising a date, the harder it is to keep your cool during the planning process. From shoes, to hair, to what you’ll order at dinner… there’s a lot to stress yourself out about.
I’ve been on a lot of first dates, and only a few of them were what I would qualify as good.
The success or failure of a first date depends on two things: the people involved, and what they’re involved with during the date.
Getting your mind and body in shape before putting yourself out on the market is the first step to a quality first date. Yes, that means getting yourself in gear months in advance, but it’ll pay off!
In The Truth About Six Pack Abs by Mike Geary, the topic of eating well and exercising is emphasized as part of feeling good about oneself. Mike states further that feeling good about oneself ultimately leads to more confidence (and more intimacy) within the relationship. So without further ado, here’s some great tips:
1. Act like a teenager.
It’s tempting to go for a safe idea, like dinner and a movie, when planning a first date. But rather than sticking to something routine—which won’t require either of you to step outside your comfort zone and loosen up—try something wacky, even a little childish.
Mini-golf is fun, it’s goofy, and it forces you to let loose. You can tell a lot about a person based on how they react to competition, and a game of putt-putt brings out the competitor in all of us. If 18 holes don’t sound appealing, why not an arcade, laser tag, or an ice-skating rink?
Here’s a fun thought: make a bet at the beginning of the date that whoever wins the round of whatever game you’re playing gets to choose date #2’s itinerary.
2. Explore a science museum, aquarium or zoo together.
If you’re not the night out type, an afternoon at a museum is the perfect alternative first date to the old standby of drinks and awkward conversation.
Not only will strolling around a museum give you time to get to know each other, it will provide you with plenty of fodder for conversation. We all have a nerdy side, and relaxing enough on a first date to show yours tells your date you’re laid back and fun.
3. Meet for breakfast before work.
When people think “date,” they jump to Friday or Saturday night. But why can’t Tuesday morning be “date night,” too?
Make a plan to meet somewhere convenient to both your workplaces. You’re always so rushed and stressed in the morning, wouldn’t it be nice to be excited for once instead?
And here’s an added bonus: if her program the Diet Solution Program by Isabel De Los Rios, she stresses how easy it is to eat well no matter where you’re dining as long as you know what to look for.
Another plus? The time constraint of needing to get to work will help avoid that awkward end-of-the-night “what next?” moment.
4. Take your (or his!) dog for a walk in a park, and pack a picnic lunch.
If you have a pet, chances are it’s important to you that your significant other not only accept but adore the little thing. And if your date is a pet owner, I’m sure he feels the same way.
Offer to pack a picnic and head to a park or wildlife recreation area for a leisurely walk. Having a pet along for the date is like having a best friend there, making it so much easier to relax into conversation.
5. Find a bar with board games or trivia night, and start a friendly competition.
If you like the bar scene, look for one with an interesting twist. Most bars have a trivia night, but a lot have also started keeping board games behind the counter for patrons to loan out over a pint.
Google a few local spots to find one with Scrabble on hand, and challenge your date to a word-off. This is also a great option for group or double dates—if you’re shy, bring a friend and her beau along and sic yourself and your date against them in a game of Sorry! over some sangria, or Monopoly coupled with mimosas.
About Dr. Mike Tremba
Dr Mike is a writer, publisher, and of course, past (pre-marriage) dater. He can usually be found on the great beaches of Southern Alabama, or somewhere outside getting exercise. Through the failures he's had (as well as the successes), he loves sharing his tips on making life more enjoyable.