How great would it be to have an unlimited budget to live out every amazing date you’ve ever dreamed of?
A spur-of-the-moment flight to Italy to eat authentic pizza at a fancy little “ristorante”? Sounds great!
Then perhaps a quick jaunt over to Paris for a moonlit kiss under the Eiffel Tower. Easy peasy!
But for all of us regular folks who don’t go on quick trips to Europe for dinner and smooches, we’ve got to get a little more creative with making our dates fun. Let’s save those extravagant dreams for later and plan something with plenty of fun right now!
The 3 ingredients for making dates fun
To plan a fun date, you’re going to need the right ingredients. Just like a cake won’t be good if you forget to add the flour, a date won’t be fun if you forget any of these ingredients. The 3 ingredients for making dates fun are:
- The right mood
- The right location
- The right activity
Since you can’t just go to the grocery store for these ingredients, how can you get them? Let’s talk a little more about what each of these ingredients really means and how to make sure you’ve got them.
The right mood
Have you ever tried to do something fun with a friend, but they were in a funk and ruined all of the fun? That is NOT the mood you want for your date. If your significant other (or the person you’re hoping to make your significant other) is in a crummy mood and won’t snap out of it, the date won’t go so well.
When you’re getting ready for the date, take into mind what their mood might be like. If you’re new to dating, this could be tough. You haven’t gotten to know the other person very well yet, so you probably won’t have a great gauge of their moods. Learning their moods could take a little trial and error, but don’t worry! No good recipe comes out perfectly the first time you make it.
If you’ve been married for a while, you probably have a decent read on your significant other’s moods. Are they exhausted after work and won’t want to do anything on a weeknight? Then don’t plan the date on a weeknight. Are they going to be in a great mood if their team just won a big game? Then the day after that game might be a good time for a fun date.
Keep in mind, this applies to you too! Check yourself to make sure you’re in the right mood to have fun on this date too.
The right location
This is a kind of tricky ingredient. Choosing the right location for your date can be really easy for some couples and really difficult for others. Some people are ready to have fun wherever they are — indoors, outdoors, alone, crowds, wherever. Other people really dislike certain settings. If you plan a date in a setting that your significant other hates, you aren’t following the recipe to make dates fun.
Here are a few things to consider when planning the location:
- Temperature. Do they get hot or cold easily? If so, pick somewhere with a neutral temperature. Try not to make your partner shiver or sweat a lot on the date. Sweaty dates are only enjoyable when you’re having fun playing outside. Otherwise: gross!
- Sunlight. Does your significant other get sunburned easily? If so, make sure you’re either indoors or in the shade. Getting sunburned on the date will suck the fun right out of it! You don’t want to end the date with a trip to the drug store for some aloe vera.
- People. The number of other people around only matters if you’re trying to make it a romantic date or if your partner dislikes crowds. If your partner doesn’t mind crowds and you’re set on having fun without making it especially romantic, you’ve got plenty of options for locations.
The right activity
Finding the right activity for making dates fun can be tricky if you’re dating someone new, but it should be a lot easier if you’ve been together for a while. Ideally, plan an activity that relates to something you both already enjoy. Though it can be exciting to try new activities as well, there’s no guarantee that brand new activities will be fun for you both. And if either of you hates it, that can wreck your mood (see ingredient number 1).
Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that you should always do the same thing! Doing the same thing all the time will get monotonous, and monotony is a fun-killer. It just means that you should find some new-to-you activities that are similar to things you already know you like. That way, you won’t have to branch too far out from your known fun zone while trying new activities.
- If you already like going hiking together, plan a day trip on a new trail.
- If you already like listening to live music, go check out a new band.
- If you already like eating out, find a new restaurant with a new food type to try.
These are all really basic date examples, but you get the idea. Try a new activity that falls in the same vein with something the two of you already like.
If you’ve been together for a while and have already tried a lot of activities together, you’ll have a lot more room for date activity exploration. You’ll already know what’s fun for both of you, so the world is your oyster!
If you’re new to dating this person and you don’t know each other well, ask them what they like. Find a similar interest and plan an activity based on that interest. As you spend more time together and try new things, you’ll find more common ground and expand your date-idea repertoire.
Once you’ve nailed the basics of how to make dates fun, you can build on your recipe. Keep the primary 3 ingredients and add whatever else you want. Spice it up with a little romance if you want a romantic date night. Add some adventure if you want an adrenaline-fueled date. Go on double-dates with friends if you want more social dates. As long as you and your partner are in the right mood, go to the right location, and plan the right activity, you’ll have a fun date.