In a world where all it takes to get a date is a right swipe on Tinder, it is indeed a commendable achievement that you have found someone who is willing to see you (and of course, who you are willing to see) for a third time.
Just the fact that you’re here looking for third date ideas proves that you can already sense some kind of chemistry between the two of you.
There are great odds of the third date turning into somewhat of a milestone in a budding relationship – so understandably, you don’t want to mess this up at any cost.
I can fully understand your apprehensions, as well as your excitement (been there, done that), so don’t you worry – I have quite a few creative and fun third date ideas up my sleeve that will help you steer your relationship in the right direction.
But before that, let’s talk about the importance of the third date, and why it is imperative that it goes well if you truly wish to see the other person again.
How Important is the Third Date Anyway?
Although the third date is not as nerve-wracking as the first one since both of you have reached a certain level of comfort after seeing each other a couple of times, it is much more important as it helps both of you decide if you’re compatible enough for the long-term.
So if the first date is casual, and the second one crucial, then the third date is definitely critical.
This is why most people believe that the third date is the date that determines whether their relationship aircraft takes off, or nose-dives.
It is a Chance to Reveal the Real You
For a lot of couples, the third date was when they started letting their guards down a bit.
This is because by the third date, you start feeling much more comfortable in each other’s company, so you can allow yourself to be more relaxed and less concerned about impressing your date.
Simply put, this is the time you start showing glimpses of your real self to your partner, and the need for any superficiality fades – no more agreeing to everything the other person is saying, no more excessive smiling, and no more faking interest in something that you actually hate doing.
So if you’ve told your date ‘I love bungee jumping too!’ when in reality you are terrified of heights, this is the time to come clean.
Or else, be prepared for an extremely awkward situation if they choose to ask you more about your bungee jumping adventures!
Of course, it would be even better to be upfront to begin with, so please do consider that the next time you go on your first date. There’s nothing wrong with being yourself to begin with. After all, this is one of the green lights to look for in your date.
It is a Chance to Get to Know the Other Person Better
If you’re anything like my husband and I, your third date won’t be confined to a café or some fancy restaurant.
There are tons of interesting things to do on your third date (we’ll get talking about them in just a bit) since you probably already know each other’s hobbies by now and can mutually decide on doing something that interests you both.
Getting involved in an activity that both of you enjoy is a great way of getting to know each other. If you make an effort to be honest and open in your discussions, the other person will also feel encouraged to be their real self with you.
And if you’re both hoping for something long-term, then this openness and honesty is extremely crucial right from the start.
Helps You Know Where You Stand in Terms of Compatibility
The fact that you’re on your third date already proves that both of you are at least fairly compatible with each other.
The third date is the perfect time to go a step further, and determine if this compatibility is strong enough to get into the real deal.
A great way to ascertain that would be to notice how the conversation between the two of you is flowing. Does it feel too forced at times? Are there too many awkward pauses?
If yes, then maybe you need to sit back and reconsider if the other person is also looking for the same thing out of this relationship as you, or not.
If, on the other hand, your conversation seems to flow naturally, and you both genuinely seem to enjoy each other’s company, it might be the sign of a promising future.
Perfect Time to Get a Little Intimate (If You Wish)
Although there are no fixed rules regarding when to introduce a bit of intimacy into a relationship, the third date is considered a good start.
Please note that I said ‘a bit of intimacy’ here, so while upping the ante when it comes to getting flirty with each other is okay, I do not suggest going all the way (you know what I mean, right?).
This is because I feel that it is a good idea to wait until there is some more emotional investment into the relationship from both sides.
However, if you guys feel comfortable enough to take things to the next level, go ahead! Who knows you might just discover that you are much more compatible with each other than you previously believed!
As for what ‘a bit of intimacy’ means – well, I think swapping fleeting kisses for longer, lingering ones would be a good example.
Now, it is important to note here that just because it is your third date does not mean that you have to indulge in some kind of intimate act. If you guys are not yet feeling that spark in your relationship, it is best to wait and give it some time.
Gives You an Idea of Where the Relationship is Headed
By the time the third date gets over, you both have a clear idea whether it is going to work or not.
If the chuckles get replaced by full-on belly laughs, if the goodbye kiss turns much more passionate than just a peck on the cheek, if both of you have already planned when and where to meet next, if you guys were smiling from ear-to-ear for the most part – these are all signs that your relationship is growing in the right direction.
Of course, it could also end up in a not-so-pleasant way. Maybe you guys discover that you don’t have too much in common or that you’re both expecting different things out of the relationship.
In either case, it is best to be open about how you feel and also encourage your partner to voice their opinion. Remember that honesty is the best policy when it comes to relationships. There’s nothing wrong in ending a relationship that is not mutually working.
Some Third Date Goals You Should Strive For
We’ve already established that the third date is pretty crucial since it can mark the beginning of a new relationship. So it is best you give it the importance it deserves.
Here are a few third date goals you should aim for if you want things to turn serious between the two of you:
- Make sure both of you are on the same page when it comes to what you’re looking for in the relationship. If one of you is in it just for fun, while the other is expecting long-term bonding, things might take an ugly turn in the future.
- You have decided to see this person not once, not twice, but three times. And ditto for them! So there must be something about them that makes you want to see them again and again. Talk about what you like in your partner and encourage them to do the same. This will help you both connect at a deeper level (or learn the connection isn’t as mutual as you thought).
- Okay, you enjoy each other’s company. But is there some physical attraction too? The best way to find that out is by trying to get a little intimate. Of course, this should happen only if both the partners feel comfortable enough.
- By the third date, you should know how compatible your partner is with you. Do you share the same values? Do both of you have some common hobbies? Are you both animal lovers? Do you both believe in staying fit and healthy? Are you both family-oriented? Do you love your jobs?
- Every person drops clues regarding their true personality once they start getting a little comfortable with you. Keep your eyes and ears open for such clues. I am not asking you to go into detective-mode, but being a little alert will help you ascertain what kind of a person your date is and if they really are a good match for you long-term.
25+ Third Date Ideas for Building Your Relationship Strength
So now that you know pretty much everything there is to know about third dates, let us talk about some brilliant, out-of-the-box, third date ideas that will strengthen your budding relationship:
- Attend a Cooking Class
Probably your first and second dates also revolved around food, but hey, who doesn’t love food? Moreover, this time around you’ll not just be eating it, but learning how to cook it too.
So find a good cooking class, and learn to cook something that you both love eating but don’t know how to prepare. My husband and I learnt how to make sushi on our third date, and it is still one of the tastiest things he prepares (in case you’re wondering, I am culinarily challenged).
Cooking together can be an awesome team building experience and is a great way to keep the conversation flowing organically.
If you want to make the experience a little more intimate, you can invite your date home. Together you two can look something up on YouTube’s cooking channels, and then put your culinary skills to the test by recreating it in the kitchen.
- Go on a Nature Trail
This can be a wonderful idea if you had your first two dates in noisy cafes, or restaurants. Find a nature trail near your city, pack your lunch or grab some takeaway, and get lost in nature.
There is something about being in nature that is extremely therapeutic. Just being there in each other’s company as you hear the sounds of the wind rustling the leaves, or the waves crashing on the rocks can be very romantic.
Also, since it is just the two of you, you can take this as an opportunity to talk with each other to your heart’s content.
- Play a Sport
Another great third date idea is to play a sport together. You can mutually decide on something that both of you enjoy, and then choose a local park or community center to play the sport.
Just remember one thing though – being competitive is good, but not when the person you’re competing against is the one you wish to see again and possibly spend the rest of your life with.
Also, if one of you is not sporty enough, you can choose to get involved in some activity that is not too physically straining, but fun nevertheless – like maybe bowling or go-karting.
- Go Swimming
Visit the beach or just head to the nearest swimming pool. This way, you get to spend time together in the great outdoors, and also an opportunity to check each other out in swimsuits for the first time!
This definitely helps enhance the level of intimacy between the two of you.
When you’re just getting to know a person, spending time with them doing an activity that is supposed to bring out their kinder side can be a great way of understanding their true nature.
During our early days of dating, my husband and I decided to volunteer at the local animal shelter (it was his idea, by the way). The way those animals instantly recognized him and the love that he showered on them, spoke volumes about his compassionate nature.
Needless to say, that day I felt more attracted to him than ever before!
- A Trip to the Amusement Park
You can never go wrong with this one. A third date at the amusement park means you have tons of time to discover how adventurous your date is and how totally gorgeous they look when they’re laughing with abandon.
An added bonus is that you’ll have someone to keep you company as you wait for your turn in the queue. Also, you get to experience little intimate moments, like both of you holding hands tightly as the roller coaster plunges.
- Go Boating
No matter where you live, you will have either the sea, a lake, or a river nearby. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to plan your third date on water.
You can simply rent a paddle boat, or if you’re up to splurging a bit, take your date on a yacht to spend some quality time together. There is something magical about being surrounded by serene water, with just your partner to keep you company.
- Dance Night
A dance night is anything but boring, but you should do it only if both of you are comfortable enough with the idea. This is because dancing involves quite a bit of physical contact, especially if you have salsa on mind.
And if you truly want your third date to be special, I highly recommend skipping the noisy bars and taking your date to a restaurant that has a nice dance floor.
Dancing can be a terrific bonding experience, so make sure you’re focusing a little less on your moves and more on the person swinging and twirling with you.
- Go for a Long Drive
Most probably, your first and second dates were at public places, so going for a long drive with your partner on the third date is a fantastic way of taking things forward.
It is as if you’re quietly letting each other know that you’re ready to meet privately.
You can head to some scenic point where you can watch the sunset together. Or maybe you can just sit under the stars for a while and indulge in some star-gazing. The entire experience will be utterly romantic, and you can easily round it off with some kind of physical intimacy (read, hugging and kissing).
- Trip to a Candy Store
Want to make your third date super sweet? Like, literally?
Well, head to your city’s popular candy store, and go candy tasting (yes, that is a thing, just like wine tasting)! Have fun trying out new, crazy flavors. I found out on one such date that chocolate and mushroom is a lethal combination!
If you’re not too big on candies, you can go to an ice-cream parlor and splurge on fancy ice-cream sundaes.
- Listen to Your Favorite Bands, from Home
As a couple, you’re on your third date – so there should no longer be the pressure to constantly talk to each other. In fact, this is the ideal time to take a break from talking and indulge in some listening.
So a wonderful third date idea would be to enjoy live music, right from the comfort of your home. This would give you the much needed privacy, and would also help you bond over music.
You can head to Bandsintown to enjoy some amazing live music from your favorite artists.
- Get Artsy
By the third date, chances are you already know what your partner prefers when it comes to art. If your tastes match, you can plan a trip to an art gallery, or a museum.
Or maybe you can plan to attend a symphony orchestra concert, if that is what you prefer.
- Visit a Nursery
There is something deeply romantic about the sight of blooming flowers, so taking your partner to a plant nursery on the third date is a terrific idea. You can just roam about, smell the roses and the pansies, and admire the beautiful greens all around.
This will give you guys a chance to relax and chill in each other’s company and indulge in some casual chit-chat.
What’s more, you can also choose to adopt a houseplant that will remind you of the beautiful time spent together.
- Plan a Movie Night
I know, I know – this third date idea is perhaps on every other list on the Internet, but you can surely make the best out of it by adding your own creative touches.
For instance, instead of doing the whole ‘Netflix and Chill’ routine, you can choose to watch a documentary on a topic that interests both of you (make sure it is not too heavy though). This will lead to mentally stimulating conversations, and will also help you get to know your partner better.
You could even start a trend and have a date based on a movie from each decade!
- Walk and Talk
Every city has some hidden gems that most of the public has no clue about. Take out some time to find those cool places in your city, and then set out to explore them – on foot.
Believe me, acting like tourists in your own city is super fun. And when you have your potential someone special to keep you company, the fun quotient just multiplies.
We’d suggest looking for street performers to combine this idea with idea 11.
- Head to the Local Farmer’s Market
This might not be one of those conventional places to take your partner to on your third date, but I can guarantee it will be an experience both of you will fondly remember for years to come.
Also, shopping for veggies and fruits together gives you that “we’re a couple” kind of feel, and you can even opt to cook a meal together later in the day with all the fresh stuff you buy.
If it’s spring season, here are 54 other spring date ideas you could consider.
- Play the Question Game
If you feel that you still don’t know as much about each other as you should by the third date, playing the question game can be a fun way to get your answers.
This will also give you a chance to find out how compatible you are with each other.
- A Breakfast Date
If you ask me, dinner dates are kind of overrated.
Breakfast dates can be ultra cool and fun; don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise! This third date idea is particularly awesome for people who are early risers and who love to have a hearty breakfast (read choco-filled pancakes, waffles, French toast, bagels, cinnamon rolls, and avocado sandwiches) to kickstart their day.
- Coffee Shop Crawl
Just like dinner dates, food crawls are also frequently over-done.
If both of you are coffeeholics who need to have their caffeine fix before they can take on the world, why not do a coffee shop crawl instead! You can mutually decide which coffee shop to start with and then spend the rest of the day hopping from one coffee-haven to another.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to try out some lip-smacking pastries these coffee shops offer. And don’t spend too much time at one place; it is meant to be a coffee shop crawl, after all.
- Window Shopping
There are few things that can be as enjoyable as shopping – but who said anything about spending a dime!
You can choose to go to window shopping on your third date, and believe me, it can be just as much fun as the real thing. Head to your local flea market, or some fancy mall in the city – depending on your mood.
Act like tourists, cruise through the shops, and if you actually do find something that’s worth buying, I am not stopping you!
- Walk your Dogs Together
If both of you are dog parents, walking your darling pets together can be a terrific third date idea.
Not only will this give an opportunity to your furry buddies to get acquainted with each other, this will also help you two relax in each other’s company in a stress-free environment.
We have a few other dog date ideas you could try out too.
- Board Games, Anyone?
Nothing screams retro fun more than board games like Monopoly, or Snakes and Ladders, or Scrabble.
You can invite your date over for a board game night and make it a bit more special by keeping some snacks and fizzy drinks handy. Board games are an excellent way to relax and unwind – you will no longer feel the pressure to put your best foot forward.
In such a fun, carefree environment, conversations flow freely, and you get a chance to know your partner better.
- A Roof Deck Date Night
Not everybody lives in a penthouse that offers a stunning view of the city’s skyline. But even if your apartment has a roof deck, that’s more than enough to enjoy some cozy time with your partner on the third date.
You can bring out your blankets and pillows, grab some comfort food, and get ready to chillax with your date as the sun prepares to bid adieu to the day, splattering the sky with beautiful hues of pink, orange, and red.
To make the moment even more magical, go get a small Bluetooth speaker and play some romantic music on it.
- Trivia Night
This is your third date, and by this time, you already have some idea of your partner’s likes and dislikes. Keeping that in mind, you can select the theme of the trivia night so that both of you can comfortably participate in it.
Pro Tip: Make sure you’re both on the same side if you want to see how good you are as a team.
- Share Your Skill
Another great way to bond with your partner would be to introduce them to a skill that you’re good at.
It could be cooking, painting, pottery, playing the guitar, or even a video game that you’re excellent at. Show them how you do it, and then encourage them to try it out too. This will be a wonderful bonding experience, and will give your potential love interest a better understanding of who you are as a person.
- Photo Booth
Yes, I know it is just your third date, but isn’t it sensible to start making memories right from the very beginning?
So if you were too shy, or awkward to click pictures together on your first and second dates, go that extra mile on your third date, and hit the photo booth. To make things even more fun, you can choose to take some quirky props along.
If you’d rather something more professional looking, we have some great advice on how to host your own couples photoshoot without a photographer.
Third Date Ideas to Get Comfortable With Each Other
Third dates are less about impressing the other person, and more about getting comfortable in each other’s company. The above listed third date ideas can be a great way to build chemistry and help discover new things about your date.
Remember that most of the time, it is the thought and the effort you put into the date that matters more to your partner than the money you spend.
What was your favorite third date, or which of these ideas are you looking forward to trying out? Let us know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article, please share on social media using the buttons below and sign-up for our newsletter to receive advice straight in your inbox.