Dinner and a date? Puh-lease. You are so much more fun and interesting than that! Creative dates help you bond with your partner, problem-solve, and create the sort of memories you can chew on when you need a pick-me-up. Here are 20 you-won’t-believe-what-we-did date ideas. Try one this weekend!
1. Surprise yourselves with new music.
Grab a local newspaper or magazine, find the live music section, close your eyes and pick a band neither of you knows. Go check them out! You might discover your new favorite band (or you might remember why you hate heavy metal). Either way, there will adventures and bonding.
2. Take a really long one-way walk.
Take a really long walk in one direction — passing through different neighborhoods, stopping for coffee or lunch, checking out shops and parks. Take a taxi back to ease the pain!
3. Go halfsies planning the evening.
One person organizes the dinner, the other organizes the entertainment: tickets, reservations, the whole thing. All this collaboration will help you learn more about your date’s taste and interests.
4. Make a fort.
Use your sofa cushions and an old blanket and hide out under a card table. Make out.
5. Have a seven-course dinner… at six different places.
Try appetizers at one place, soup at another, salad at another, entree at another, dessert some place else, and coffee or after dinner drinks at your final destination.
6. Try something neither of you have done before.
Salsa dancing? Pottery class? Rock climbing? Renting a Vespa and driving along the coast? (Groupon can help with this!)
7. Do a double feature.
Each of you brings your favorite movie to watch and neither of you know ahead of time what the other is bringing. Maybe this will be a rom-com paired with a Hitchcock thriller?
8. Check out a drive-in movie.
The double feature at home not adventurous enough for you? Try a drive-in movie! I admit, this one seems uber-cool to me just because I’ve never done it. It's even more fun if you drive a hatchback and make a nest in the back.
9. Make a music mix for each other.
If you’re feeling ambitious, give your mixes a theme: Songs I Loved In High School, Songs We Heard On Our Trip To Mexico, Songs I’m Ashamed To Admit I Like.
10. Hit the video game arcade.
Everyone likes Pac-man, right?! If you’re feeling really brave, challenge your date to a Dance Dance Revolution dual!
11. Get ice cream.
Go big! Choose each other’s toppings, mix and match scoops, walk around afterward and talk about how you feel.
12. Have a “cultured” date.
Go to an art gallery, a poetry reading, or a lecture. Check out a fancy restaurant that serves things like escargot. Pretend to be sophisticated and talk about more than the last episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians.
13. Shhhh. Make it a silent date.
Get cozy near each other and read books.
14. Sneak into a rooftop pool.
Sneaking plus swimsuits = sexy!
15. Visit the old neighborhood.
Take your date to your old stomping grounds. Which bars did you go to in college? What was your favorite coffee shop when you lived here? What did you always order at that deli?
16. Make it a mystery dinner.
Type your neighborhood into Yelp, and search the restaurants. Sort by "highest rated" and walk there for dinner. Maybe you just discovered your new favorite place?
17. Re-enact your first date.
This one is the most fun for married or long-term couples. Get ready separately, meet somewhere new, and pretend you’ve never met before. Just start over.
18. Cook a five-course meal together.
Plan appetizers, soup, salad, a main, dessert and then spend the day chatting, stirring, sauteing, and drinking wine.
19. Pop over to the nearest playground.
Have a go on the swings, play horseshoes, and see if you can still make it across the monkey bars.
20. Pretend to be tourists.
Go do the stuff you’ve never done because you live here! Check out the Tripadvisor suggestions for your city and work your way through them together.
Dating should be a time to reconnect with your partner and remember why you chose them in the first place. Use your imagination and you can do just that!
Dr. Danielle Dowling, Psy.D. is a doctor of psychology and life coach, helping ambitious, driven individuals achieve the financial, spiritual, and lifestyle abundance they dream about. She holds a bachelor's in business from American University, and her master's and doctor of psychology degrees from Ryokan College.
Dowling has spent years helping people live richer, more joyful lives. She has seen firsthand the magical pairing of psychology and life coaching, which allows people to access their happiest selves.