If you’re wondering what to do on a first date to make it stick in their memory, you need to think outside the box. Be original!
We’ve all been on dates we’d rather forget. I know I have. I can still remember that horrendous Chinese restaurant which gave me food poisoning. Despite the sickness, it still wasn’t as bad as sitting through two hours of boring conversation, checking the clock to see if it was time to leave yet. So, you want to know what to do on a first date to make it a happy memory and not a pukey one.
First dates need to be memorable in a positive way, not in a way which makes you shudder every time you think about it. If you’re in charge of organizing that special first date, you’re probably feeling the pressure.
I don’t envy you! Remember that you don’t need to spend a fortune and dazzle your date with ‘out of this world’ ideas to make it special.
A memorable first date can be simple and super-effective without spending a small fortune in the process. I went on a very memorable date. This date was on a Wednesday evening in summer. It was a mild evening. My date took me to the top of a hill with a view of the sun setting and had a picnic with a bottle of wine. See? Simple and extremely effective!
The fact you’re reading this tells me that you’re the one responsible for the planning. I’m going to help you out and take the stress off your shoulders. Let’s walk through it slowly. [Read: 30 first date ideas that will leave them wanting so much more]
The logistics: When and what time?
The question isn’t only what to do on a first date, it’s about when it’s going to take place. This can be a deal breaker if you go at the busiest time possible, e.g. a Friday or Saturday evening, you’re not going to be able to hear yourself speaking above the noise. On the other hand, you don’t want to choose some obscure time, like a Monday at 6pm! [Read: How long should a first date last? A guide to planning it right]
The logistics of what time and when really come down to when your date is free. If they’re working, they might not finish until after five. Then give them time to get home and prepare before meeting you. In that case, ask what is best and don’t simply assume. In that case, they’re going to be stressed out from rushing and you’re not starting the date on the best foot.
Once you know their schedule, come to a mutually convenient time between you. First, make sure you give yourself a few days’ notice so you can actually come up with a great plan for what to do on a first date! [Read: 20 fun and unconventional date ideas that’ll impress your date]
What are their interests?
Next, figure out what you’re going to do and where you’re going to do it. Do you know much about this person yet, or are you still in the getting to know you stages? It’s a good idea to try and get a feel for their general interests. Then you can tie in the activities with something they really enjoy. That shows thought, and they’ll appreciate it.
Why not ask them what they’d like to do? This doesn’t have to be the basis of the whole date, but you can grab some useful ideas from it. If you’d rather be mysterious, it’s time to go down the social media stalking route. Yes, you are going to look at their social media feeds and figure out what they like from there!
Coming up with an idea of what to do on a first date, something they’re really going to enjoy, will be the difference between the date being a minor success or a major hit. [Read: How to stalk on social media and find just what you need]
Do you want to eat or not?
Some people get very nervous at the idea of eating in front of someone on a first date, so this is something to consider. Dinner isn’t a boring option, but it is a traditional one. Take my ideal date for example, we ate but we did it in a different kind of way. To me, that showed an inventive mind and it took the pressure off my shoulders, because I am one of those people who gets a little nervous with someone new in a restaurant I’m not familiar with.
Instead of going down the meal with drinks route, why not do something fun and practical, which you can just have snacks with?
For instance, you could go ice skating and grab snacks afterwards! The adrenaline of doing something practical will bond you together, cutting out the nerves and knocking down walls which might otherwise cause the date to be awkward instead of fun. [Read: What to do on a date to make it fun and special]
Don’t try and do too much
Despite my suggestion of doing something different, don’t attempt to do too much. This is a date, not a guided tour with an itinerary. You might have the best intentions at heart and want to show your date a great time and make sure they don’t flit into boredom. At the same time, you don’t want to exhaust them.
Stick to one idea and see it through. Don’t attempt to cover more than one. Remember, knowing what to do on a first date isn’t about blowing your date’s mind because they can’t keep up with your plan, it’s about getting to know each other and figuring out whether you’re going to move on to date number two!
Also, don’t spend too much
You might think that your date is going to be impressed that you splashed the cash, but the chances are they’ll think you’re trying too hard. Believe me, you don’t need to spend a small fortune for a date to be a success. Simply do enough to make it memorable and not do anything which makes them remember the entire time in a negative way. You don’t need endless cash for that!
Having said that, it’s not the greatest idea to take your date out to Burger King or something similar and expect them to be impressed! [Read: How to impress on your first date]
Finally, just be yourself!
The most important piece of advice I can give you? Simply be yourself. Sometimes nerves can force you to act in a different way. Perhaps you come over a little cocky when you’re not usually or you go completely the other way and retreat into yourself. Just be yourself. Your date will be impressed no matter what you choose to do. [Read: 18 things you HAVE to avoid doing on a first date]
If you’re struggling with that idea, remember that your date is just as nervous as you are. It’s simply that you’ve been landed with planning the whole thing out! If you were brave enough to ask them out, which I’m assuming you were by the fact you’re doing the planning, you can certainly be brave enough to be yourself when you finally do meet.
What to do on a first date doesn’t need to be a long-winded question you ask yourself. At the end of the day, a first date is about connections, not huge gestures.