Okay, so some of us are out here looking for any opportunity for a fancy meal, and that’s okay. But it’s not the right way to get to know a potential partner. When we’re talking about building real relationships, you want to know what the other person is like all the time, not just when they’re doing their best to give you a good impression. Ice breakers can only go so far; we’re going to look at how to set up first dates that really reveal what a person’s like.
Sit back and enjoy the show
Dinner and a movie is fine, but it’s a bit cliché, and a movie is only a good idea if you’re comfortable enough to spend a couple of hours mostly being quiet beside one another. If you want to see someone at their most comfortable and relaxed, there’s nothing better than to make them laugh. A live comedy show, especially an open mic night, has a much looser, and more playful feel. Plus, you have more of an opportunity to hang out and talk between different sets of the night. Always good to see whether your new beau has a sense of humor or not, too.
Make it all fun and games
If you want to see every shade of a person, at their highest, at their lowest, and everything in between, then why not get competitive with them? For one, a trip to one of your local bowling alleys or a round of mini-golf is an excellent way to keep the night light and fun. But also, it’s important to see how well your partner handles either defeat or victory. A little playful teasing when they get a strike can be plenty charming, but throwing a tantrum over a gutterball is taking the game a little too seriously. As the relationship goes on, having a board game night with a few friends is a good way to see how they handle some friendly competition and banter alongside you as a couple, too.
Don’t hide your interests
What is it that you love to do? What is it that you would like to yourself doing with a partner when you’re a couple together? Do you want to spend your time feeding the ducks? Do you want to try taking a new cooking class together? If you have an interest, why not incorporate it into your date? If they’re not into it, that could be fine. You don’t necessarily have to do everything together. But the opportunity to find or even create a shared interest is always one worth taking. Plus, if you bring up the idea and they scoff, that’s as red a flag as you can get. You don’t have to share interests, but they need to respect yours if you’re going to get on well together.
Who said dates had to be easy? If you feel like you’ve hit it off well with your date during the build-up, you can make things a lot more exciting than a dinner date. If they seem like the fun-loving and adventurous kind, why not try something that’s a little outside your comfort zone? If the rink’s open for the winter, ice skating can be both exhilarating and hilarious, depending on how prone either of you are to fall. Or you can go rock climbing if you’re both active people who love a challenge. After you’re done, you’ll have worked up enough of an appetite for all the pretense to fall away during a much-needed meal.
Keep it light
So, you might not want a super formal dinner, but you might still want the opportunity to sit down and talk things out. Instead of arranging a candlelit dinner, why not get a breakfast or brunch together instead? Provided you choose the right spot, it can be a lot more casual. Furthermore, keeping things out in the day time means that there’s less likely to be any unwanted implications of going back to anyone’s place for a “coffee”, so you can both keep things chill and simple for the moment. But, as mentioned, you still have the opportunity to get deep into conversation, and to ask directly whatever it is you want to know about your date. More importantly, a public space in the middle of the day is a much safer spot until you feel you can trust your date.
If you want your nice dinner and to have your drinks bought for you, more power to you. However, if you want to get real, then you need to take the dates out of such an unreal setting. There’s plenty of time candlelight and filet mignon.