Whether it’s the first date, or the 101st date, it pays to be prepared. When the big night rolls around, the last thing either party wants is to wait in lines, have their plans fall through, and flounder around the city trying to find something else to do. It’s not fun, it’s not romantic, and it certainly isn’t conducive to getting you another date.
The key to ensuring a great date is to put some effort into the planning process. Not only will it pay off logistically, allowing you to pick better places and reserve in advance, but more importantly it also shows your date that you care. It shows them that you have thought this through, taken their wants into consideration and come up with a curated night of fun.
This article will walk through the main steps in the planning process. From the inception of the idea, all the way to the follow-through, here’s how to plan the perfect date night.
Don’t Sacrifice. Compromise.
When deciding what to do for date night, you have one of three options: you can just do what you want to do, with no regard for your date’s feelings; you can do what they want to do, with no regard for your own feelings; or you can compromise. I think everyone will agree that the latter option is the best.
Take a second to consider your date’s interests, and try to come up with ideas that you know they will like. Then Venn Diagram those ideas to see if they overlap with your interests. Surely, there are a few things both of you will truly enjoy – if there isn’t, you might be looking at a broader issue of incompatibility.
Keep Conversation and Activity in Balance
It’s almost time to lock down an idea, but before you do, consider this: does your chosen idea allow for enough conversation? Does it require too much conversation? Some activities, like the classic dinner and drinks, might be too heavily weighted towards conversation, which can suck the air out of a date. Some activities, like going to the movie theatre, allow for nearly zero conversation, which gives you no chance to get to know one another.
Take an activity, for instance, like axe throwing. It’s the Goldilocks of date ideas: there is some fun activity involved, but with enough pauses in the action for conversation. It’s hip, busy and offers more than enough photo opportunities. Just right.
Do Your Research
If you pick an idea, you want to find the best iteration of that idea that exists. Want to go axe throwing? Find the best place to go axe throwing in your city. Want to go for Thai food? Get on Yelp, or Google reviews, and research the best Thai restaurants in your vicinity. Want to go out dancing? Ask around to find the best club night that matches your criteria.
In essence, don’t just settle for the most pedestrian version of you date idea. Take a little bit of time to figure out which venues offer the best possible experiences for your chosen idea.
Plan Ahead and Book Ahead
Once you have locked down an idea, and chosen a particular business or venue, book ahead. Showing up last minute, only to be turned away at the door, is not a good look on anyone, and could seriously jeopardize the integrity of a date.
Even if it’s just a few days in advance, it’s still a good idea to try. But, in general, the farther in advance you can possibly book, the better, especially where popular spots are concerned.
Clear Your Schedule
Is there a possibility work might call you in for the evening? Make it clear to your boss that you need this particular evening off. That means freeing up your phone from incoming emails, phone calls and work messages as well. There’s nothing less romantic than leaving a date to go answer a work email.
Also, don’t be presumptive (and certainly never feel entitled), but you might also want to clear the following morning from your schedule. You never know.
Planning a date isn’t that hard. It takes very little time, and yet it shows your date that you care enough to think about these things in advance. Find an activity that you both enjoy, one that mixes activity and conversation; research the best spots for that activity; book ahead; and make sure work stays far away from you when the time comes. That’s how you plan the perfect date!