What Makes a Good Date?
Dating can be tricky.
The rise of mobile technology has changed the way people interact with each other. In this age of instant gratification, people’s attention spans are shorter than ever. How do you plan a good date that’s fun and engaging, and won’t leave your date reaching for their phone?
While definitions of romance tend to vary between eras and cultures, in modern western society there are some common dating elements that will appeal to almost anyone. Here are some things to consider:
Make it thoughtful
Everyone wants to feel special on a date. Think about who you’re dating: What are their interests? What parts of town do they like? What are their favourite hobbies, foods, genres? The more you can tailor a date to someone’s unique personality, the more enjoyable and memorable the experience will be for them. Plus, thoughtfulness is an attractive trait. It might not come naturally to everyone, but like most things it’s a skill that can be developed.
Dinner and a movie? Drinks at a bar? While there’s nothing wrong with these things, they’re pretty generic, and less likely to be memorable. Is your date into fitness? And photography? Why not go for a hike somewhere picturesque and snap a few photos. Or maybe they like coffee and fantasy novels? Easy, visit a local library and borrow a book to read over a couple of lattes. Combining things your date likes in meaningful ways shows off your creativity.
It doesn’t have to be expensive
Sure, champagne and lobster sounds great, but not everyone can afford that! Aside from special occasions, you don’t need to spend half a week’s pay to have a successful date. Or any amount of money, really. It pays to be resourceful, so look around your local area for cheap or free activities and events. Google/Facebook are the obvious go-tos, but try your local papers and business noticeboards for ideas. Cultural festivals are a great example, as there will often be free music, performances, food and other activities. More interesting than a fancy dinner!
Failing to plan ahead is flirting with disaster. There are many things that can ruin a date completely, so it’s in your best interests to be prepared. Always check the weather forecast. Always. Even if you’re going to be spending time indoors, a sudden downpour could leave you both looking less than refined once you walk in. Work out travel arrangements in advance. Be mindful of traffic or train disruptions and plan accordingly. It’s always better to be slightly early than arriving late. Tardiness is not an attractive trait, and your date will not appreciate it. If possible, have an alternate plan in case everything goes awry.
The demands of adult life can wear people down so much that they forget how to have fun. Fun is underrated. Fun is what happens when you forget about life’s troubles, and just enjoy the moment. When you’re out on a date, leave your baggage at home. Put your phone away, those notifications can wait a few hours. Do your best to focus on the present moment, and the experience of spending quality time with another person. Keep things light and don’t be afraid to be yourself. If you’re adequately prepared, you will find it easier to relax and just let things flow.
Here’s a simple formula for a good date:
Thoughtfulness + Creativity + Resourcefulness + Prepared-ness (Is that even a word?) + FUN
So if you’re a first-timer or a seasoned dating veteran, these things will all go a long way when it comes to having a good, if not wonderful, date.