Date night is always exciting. While the nerves may lessen over time, it still requires some thoughtful planning beforehand if you want things to go smoothly. After all, the evening should be spent focusing on your date and getting to know them, not stressing over where to eat or how you look.
These three tips for date night cover the most important aspects of a solid night out: dress, food and fun. If you always combine these three, you’re guaranteed to have the recipe for a memorable date — just add two people!
So sit back, relax (especially if you’re reading this because you’re stressing about tonight) and take note of these three tips for keeping your date night simple, easy and, most importantly, enjoyable.
The most important thing to remember when planning a date night is possibly the most cliché: Be yourself. If a suit and tie really isn’t you, don’t force yourself to wear one just because you think your date will appreciate it. Obviously there will still come a time when you will want or even have to dress up for a date, but if this is a casual evening, you should seek to enhance your regular style.
Ladies, this means forgoing heels if they really aren’t you and not forcing yourself to wear a dress if you’d really rather be in jeans.
Instead, look at these comfortable, dressier alternatives to everyday fashion favorites that will allow you to feel confident and look great while sticking true to your style. For women, this means swapping sweats for nice leggings or a nice pair of skinnies. Men, trade in that lovingly worn graphic t-shirt for a fresh v-neck. And don’t forget to dab on a little perfume or cologne! Your date will appreciate it.
You don’t want to get caught in that dreadfully awkward and annoying “wherever you want to eat is fine!” loop. It’s more than okay to take initiative and pick a restaurant you think both you and your date would enjoy ahead of time.
If you want to pick one together, turn to an app instead of just listing off local joints on your fingers. You can also look at websites and online reviews like those found at OpenTell.
You don’t always have to combine an expensive dinner out with an extra activity, but if you decide to grab a bite before the night’s main event, make sure you know what it is ahead of time for two reasons; first, you don’t want to spend the bulk of the date’s budget on a meal and wind up having to skimp out on your entertainment; second, if you’re doing something more active, eating a large meal beforehand could wind up making you both feel sluggish.
That being said, there are tons of ways to plan a fun date night without breaking the bank or racking your brain for paranoid hours on end. Our best advice is to keep things relevant to your relationship.
This includes first dates. If someone’s pretty much a total stranger, you don’t have to go out of your way to impress them with some off-the-wall date idea. Instead, dedicate your attention to them and the conversation. All you need is a nice place with some good atmosphere to keep things light and jovial.
For those who know their date more and are looking for more than just dinner and a movie, focus on your interests. What do the two of you like the most? What do you seek out in your free time even when you’re not together?
For active folks, things like indoor rock climbing, laser tag and escape rooms make for awesome dates that aren’t that expensive, especially if you score a deal on Groupon.
If you’re both into games, why not hit up an arcade and kick it retro style? You can also try classics like bowling, mini golf and even just challenging one another at the bar’s pool table.
Date night is all about who you’re with, not what you’re doing. While following these tips and taking some time to plan in advance will make the evening more enjoyable, the most important thing to remember on any date is the person you’re going to be with.
Get to know them even if you’ve known them for years. You should never stop connecting with your date and learning about them. One of the best ways to do that is through activities you both love, so keep them in mind during your planning and that thoughtfulness is bound to pay off.