Not Just Dinner and a Movie: Creative Dating Ideas
Valentine’s Day Challenge
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, dating is on many people’s minds. Whether this is your first date with that special someone, or if you’re in a long term relationship, planning the “perfect date” is important. Before settling for the ordinary, stop to think about what the underlying goals of dating really are. First, dating is intended to be a way for two people to get to know each other better — what are their interests, hobbies, and preferences. Second, dating is about establishing compatibility — do you share any interests? Do you have similar values? Third, dating is about strengthening the relationship between two people. This can be done through developing teamwork skills, trust, and communication. With these goals in mind, choose a non-traditional date idea that lets you get to know the other person on a meaningful level. And remember, dating is supposed to be about having fun, not just finding the perfect mate.
Plan to go on an “adventure.”
Choose to do something or go somewhere that neither of you have ever been before. This could be a new restaurant, trying a new type of cuisine, or something much more extreme like skydiving, or river rafting. The whole point is to try something new together. The fact that you are both in an unfamiliar situation puts you on even ground and gives you an equal opportunity to get to know each other. Plus, even if the experience turns out to be a bad one (for example, not every restaurant is really worth trying) you will have a shared experience and something to talk about on your next date.
Go on a scavenger hunt.
The options here are nearly endless. Either write up your own list of things to find, or have someone else do it for you. You can opt to find actual items, or take pictures of things with a digital camera. The fun part about taking pictures is that you can turn it into a fun scrapbook page later, assuming the date goes well and you want to remember it. The location possibilities are also wide open — you could go to the local mall, or make it an outdoor event and go to a local park, or you could even wander around your own neighborhood.
Play a game.
Playing a game together gives you a wonderful opportunity to learn a lot about each other. You can either make this a group date and invite some friends to play, or you can choose a two player game. A couple of good group games that encourage people to get to know each other better are “Apples to Apples” by Out of the Box games, and the original “Cranium” game. These are both for four or more players and are easy to learn how to play. Some options for two player games are “Battle of the Sexes” card game by University Games, and “Hoopla” by Cranium. Playing games together can encourage a sense of teamwork (or friendly competition, depending on the game) and can help encourage communication between people.
Find your inner child.
Don’t take life so seriously, do something that you both may have enjoyed doing as children, such as roller-skating, or sledding. Making snow angels and having a snowball fight can also be a lot of fun. Or, even just going to a playground to play on the swings can be fun. These things encourage you both to get away from the pressures of adult life and connect with your inner child, and with each other.
“Dinner and a movie”
If all else fails, resort to this old standby, but put a new slant on it. Try making dinner together. You can plan the menu together and then go to the grocery store to get what you need. Cooking together can be a great bonding experience (even if neither one of you has any particular cooking talent) and can give you a great sense of accomplishment. Instead of renting the latest new release, try watching a movie from a genre that is unfamiliar to both of you, and then discuss the film afterword’s, or even write a movie review together. Who knows, you might just discover a whole new genre of films that you could enjoy (or you’ll know what not to rent for next time).
There are plenty of options for going on a creative date that can bring two people closer together. Just remember to have fun and not take anything too seriously.
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