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!
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.
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.
How to be a charming date:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Do You Have Date Night Advice That Doesn’t Break the Bank?
One of our therapists started a game called $20 Date Night, where every Friday night, her and her partner switched off with creating the date. The goal is to create a date with only spending $20 or less. To their surprise, they came up with many dates; it just took imagination and creativity. Don’t let a recession, the pandemic, or any financial related stressors get in the way of nurturing quality time in your relationship. Take the challenge and create your own date…we dare you!!!
- Free Admission to the Museum: Many museums provide a free admission one day per month (each day is specific per museum). Take the time to admire artwork and see something new. Play a game with your partner and see if you can guess what eachother like and dislike. Talk to your local museums and see if they have any discounts.
- Hike and a Picnic: Life gets busy with the everyday routine, and we can frequently take for granted the beauty of nature. Take a hike with your partner and bring along fresh fruits and homemade food for two. Relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
- Coffee and a Game: There are many coffee shops that provide game boards and books for their customers to use while enjoying coffee. Mix it up a bit… sip on a latte and challenge your partner to a game.
- A Night at home (without the kids): A night at home relaxing, watching movies, cuddling in bed, and connecting intimately is a date all on its own. Drop the kids off at a friend’s house for a no cost date. This free date is a huge investment in your relationship that will pay off in the long run. Don’t forget to stay away from cleaning, bills, or anything else that may keep you from focusing on one another.
- Dance Classes: Various restaurants or bars offer free dance lessons. Get dressed up and learn how to move your bodies together to the music.
- Skinny Dipping at home: Sometimes we simply need to step out of the box and do something exciting! If you have a pool or hot tub, take off the clothes and jump in…No cost and a lot of fun.
- Sunset and Sandwiches: Take the time to watch a beautiful sunset while eating gourmet sandwiches from your local deli. Cuddle up with a blanket and enjoy the view!
- Bonfire Dinners: If you have the luxury of a bonfire pit, or a local park or beach that offers bonfire pits, take your partner out and have s’mores around the fire.
- Open-mic Night: Many coffee shops do an open microphone night for musicians, comedians, etc. Be adventurous and hit a coffee shop near you. The price of a latte and sugary scone might just hit the spot!
- Matinee Movie: Dates don’t have to be during the evening … matinee movies are great cost-savers and still allow you time together as a couple. Snuggle up and enjoy the movie.
Despite these date night advice strategies, dating can still be a challenge for many people. If you are struggling because you repeatedly go on first date after first date and none are leading to more, or are having a tough time getting dates, it can feel pretty rough. If you experience this, or feel that you have a pattern of mistrust, past trauma, or blocks that prevent you from getting close or attached to others or from finding a partner, you may want to seek counseling or therapy to help you work though some deeper issues and help you start to have some successful dates. Call or text us at Estes Therapy, at 619-558-0001 today to get started on the process. Trying to find out what might be some of the blocks keeping you from finding a partner can make a big difference.