Date Night Advice: Strategies to Making it Unforgettable AND Affordable

Whether it’s with a long time partner or a new date, this date night advice will make it unforgettable!

How to Make Your Date Unforgettable!

Pay attention

Nothing says “I’m interested” like paying attention to someone you are on a date with. Especially when you are getting to know someone, it’s important to be a great listener. The more you focus on asking the other person open-ended questions and truly listen, the more your date will feel like you are interested in what he or she has to say. Sometimes we can get nervous before a special date or have that work project from earlier still on your mind, but try hard to put those worries aside and be present and engaged with your date. We all like feeling like the person we are talking to is interested and cares about what we have to say, and if you let your date truly open up, chances are more likely that they will feel connected and engaged with you in return.

Don’t keep conversation too light and breezy

While we used to hear that we should keep early-date conversations light and breezy, new studies show that people who engage in more substantial conversations early in getting to know someone bond quicker – this is because vulnerability draws closeness to others. This doesn’t mean that you need to discuss your worst breakup ever or tough childhood experiences right off the bat, but try talking about things that are a little more meaningful than the weather. Casual might be cool but it won’t get you anywhere romantic – and too much talk about weather will put your date to sleep!

Be open and optimistic

Be optimistic! Come to the date with a positive mindset and without too many negative assumptions. Try not to focus on the fact that you prefer to date men that are over 5’10 and this guy is only 5’8 ½, or that your date has brown hair when you typically like blondes. A person’s height shouldn’t determine his level of intelligence or sense of humor. Try not to be to set on these things and give your date a fair chance. They could really surprise you!

Do something novel or unique

In the past, we have talked about creative innovative date night ideas and novelty can be a great way to add fulfillment to an existing relationship or add excitement to a first date. Not only will this give you and your date something interesting to talk about, but novelty and excitement actually produce more bonding hormones – connecting you and your date further. This does not necessarily mean doing something wild and crazy that you or your date are not comfortable with, yet adding an interesting flair to your date will make the date more memorable than just going to dinner. Get out and do something fun! Active dates will always be more memorable.

Be Yourself

This is probably the most important part to making a great date. If you aren’t being yourself on a date, it’s a disappointment to yourself and your date. Feeling confident in your own skin is very attractive and will make you stand out. Your date agreed to go out with you because he or she saw something they liked, so let them get to know the real you! Being authentic ensures that not only are you not wasting their time, but that you are also not wasting your own time. If you love being silly and watching stand-up comedy, don’t hide that from your date. Be yourself and let your true energy shine through. If your date isn’t interested in that side of you, then you’ll know it’s time to move on.

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How to be a charming date:

  1. Give genuine (and not just superficial) compliments: Sure, everyone likes to hear that they look nice, but a slightly deeper compliment carries more weight. Complimenting someone on their dedication, motivation, commitment to a cause, hard work, etc., is more validating on a deeper level.
  2. Everyone’s favorite topic is themselves: Ask questions. Ask lots of questions. It’s likely that they will reciprocate, and this shows a genuine interest in wanting to get to know the other person. Up your ‘charming’ factor by paying close attention to what they are saying and asking follow-up questions. This really shows you are invested in the moment and in them, making your date feel special and connected to you.
  3. No distractions: Being attentive and respectful to your date means keeping outside distractions to a minimum. Don’t look at your phone, don’t look at the tv in the restaurant, and if you run into someone you know, introduce your date and keep it brief. Nothing says “you’re not important” like giving these your attention when you are supposed to have get-to-know-you time.
  4. Show that you’re listening: Show that you are retaining the information they share. Some of the biggest ‘charmers’ we have met were ones that were able to pick out a restaurant, movie, gift (maybe a bit farther down the line), or ask a question specifically based on something their date has said in the past. This makes your date feel valued and seen!
  5. Be genuine: Showing your date some pieces of vulnerability at times actually elicits compassion and connection. Were you bummed when you didn’t get the job you wanted? It’s ok to state your disappointment. Part of being charming is being real.  It’s harder to relate to a “perfect” person that has it all together. 
  6. Empathize: If your date just shared something that was important to them, or had an impact on their lives, be sure they feel acknowledged. You don’t need to overdo it, but brushing past something when they just disclosed an intimate piece of themselves can come across as uncomfortable. If you want them to continue to share, help them feel like their disclosures are valued and safe with you.
  7. Reciprocate vulnerability with even levels of disclosure:  The natural way people build trust is sharing small pieces of personal information, the other responds or reciprocates, and the process continues in small circles, each sharing a level deeper. You don’t need to go down to the deepest level the first few times you meet someone – if there is interest and your relationship continues, you will naturally build trust and share more.

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I earned my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family psychotherapy in 2004 and I am currently licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist MFT (LMFT#47653) with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).

I focus my practice upon the empirically-based and proven research methods of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

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