More memorable, less meh: Planning an unforgettable first date
July 2, 2018
First of all, congratulations! If you’re here, chances are you’ve already asked out someone you’re really interested in and they’ve agreed to step away from their busy lives for a bit to spend some quality time with you.
Don’t take this lightly, but don’t get your stomach in knots either because we’re about to tinker with some serious first date science.
OKRs and dating? Why not!
(Disclaimer: This is primarily to rule out any chances of you sinking into an existential crisis during the date.)
Did you know Silicon Valley giants Intel and Google got where they are by following a simple goal setting technique?
So, why not take inspiration from the best in business and apply it to dating?
These tech mavens applied a proven management technique called Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to charter their explosive growth.
Now, in OKR planning, the key results are the two to three “achievable tasks” that contribute to an objective being met.
Lost you there for a sec, huh? But hang on tight because this could change the way you plan your dates forever.
First, just ask yourself this simple question:
What am I expecting from this date?
Your answer is your objective.
Say, you’ve asked someone you just met out on a date; so your two primary objectives will be to get to know each other better as well as have fun on the date.
To put it simply:
Objective 1: Get to know each other better.
Key Results: Have a great conversation by asking the right questions
Present your best self
Objective 2: Have fun on the date
Key Results: Find common ground
Plan an activity based on your common interests.
Having an organized plan for your first date shows that you really care about them having a good time. Moreover, tailoring a date to suit both your personalities rules out the chance of those dreaded awkward silences and ensures you’re both in your comfort zone. Sure, I dropped a cliché there, but think about it – nobody gets to be their best self when they’re busy brainstorming exit strategies.
Own the unexpected
Does bowling and, wait for it, exploring an amusement park afterhours sound like an unforgettable first date?
…Am I still talking about it 5 years later?
You only have one chance to make a great first impression right? So ditch the generic when you’re planning a memorable one.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to plan an unforgettable first date to really match your personality, make memories, and keep conversation open and free, check out our recommendations for some unique first date activities.
A date inspired by their favorite movie or TV show
Movies and TV shows have always given us serious dating goals. Go ahead, take a cue from your conversations and plan something that would really sweep them off their feet.
For example, take a leaf out of John Cusack’s character in Say Anything or maybe plan a date based on Ted Mosby’s super date song.
Not that kind of museum
If you’re looking for some knowledge-swapping with a side of quirk, head over to an unusual museum in your city.
Not only do you get to stock up on some extraordinary trivia, this visit will be a potential gold mine for sparking great conversation.
Dial up the thrill
Did you get a chance to peek at their bucket list? Plan an activity they’ve been putting off to dial up the thrill on your first date.
May be they wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride or rock climbing and never found the perfect partner. Step up and be that for them – encountering your fears together will be a one-of-a kind bonding opportunity.
If outdoor adventures feel a little extreme for the first date, head over to a nearby escape room to make your date extra thrilling and unique.
A little charity goes a long way
Are there any causes that both of you are passionate about? Why not spend the day spreading some good cheer? There’s honestly no other way to put your best foot forward and get to know each other better as well.
Now, if being too cheesy isn’t really your thing, we have some awesome suggestions for first date activities that are low key but still fun and engaging.
- Go for a concert (Pro tip: Come back and swap some great tracks with each other.)
- Watch a play (Pro tip: Grab a coffee afterwards to bond over your first experience.)
- Go for a stand up routine (Pro tip: Ensure your humor is on the same page.)
- Go wine tasting or to a microbrewery (Pro tip: Alcohol melts away your inhibitions, especially if you’ve not been on a date for a while. Remember though – grab some drinks but don’t get smashed.)
- Go for arcade games or laser tag (Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to bring out your inner child, but leave the child that ALWAYS wants to win at home.)
- Board games at a coffee shop (Pro tip: A great way to amp up your coffee date and also check out how they react once competition comes into the picture.)
- Drinks and Karaoke (Pro tip: Request a song you both know.)
- Watch a movie (Pro tip: Suggest dinner afterwards to talk about the movie.)
- Plan a picnic in the park (Pro tip: Grab a bottle of wine to go.)
- Set up a play date with your pets in the park (Pro tip: If your pets are great with each other, chances are, you’ll be too.)
Pro-pro tips for an unforgettable first date
Are you hoping to make your date extra special, and perhaps spend a little bit more time with them (without seeming too clingy)?
We get it.
Check out our unique combi date recommendations that’ll help you enjoy each other’s company without turning it into a snoozefest.
Improv + cook for dinner together
Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm took improv to a whole new level in the early 2000s. Did you know they filmed entire episodes without a script?
For a unique and eventful date, sign up for an improv class to start off and come back home to cook dinner together to test out your newly acquired improv skills.
Scavenger hunt + picnic
If you’re unsure how an escape room date could turn out, try a relatively tamer version. Set up a simple scavenger hunt in the park (no Leslie Knope scavenger hunts please!) and have a fun picnic afterwards.
Cosplay + theme restaurant
Brainstorm your costumes together and head out to your favorite theme restaurant in town. Go on, geek it up!
Don’t treat it like a job interview
Friendly reminder: don’t ask your date uncomfortable questions – their best friend will catch mono faster than you can reach for your next question.
A great first date is the stepping stone to a meaningful relationship, which could eventually mean unlimited fun times like pigging out over a jar of Nutella in your kitchen or dune surfing and star gazing in Marrakech.
Also, great relationships are nurtured and sustained when you chase a singular purpose throughout – to be your best self every day – and it begins with the very first date.
Essentially, whatever you do, don’t weird them out and don’t forget to have fun!