20 Something: Doing Date Night Right

Lately I’ve been very back and forth on whether or not I’m actually ready to be in a relationship again. I met a really great guy, and he’s pretty much ready to dive face first into an exclusive sort of thing. I am not.

That said, I really enjoy his company, and I thought I would share some aspects of our second date as examples of doing it right.

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1. Be creative

This is important throughout a relationship so things don’t get boring, but I think it’s especially important in the beginning. I am a creative person. While I like movies and dinner, that doesn’t give me any insight into the person I’m with except that maybe they aren’t a creative type. Just put some thought into it. Now, this isn’t to say that every date has to be crazy and original, but if you’re trying to impress someone, this will help immensely.

Example: For our second date, the Mad Scientist took me on a moonlight picnic. And yes, I know it’s January in the states, which means it was freaking cold, but it was amazing.

2. Be prepared

So you’ve picked a creative date, now you actually have to make it happen. I give brownie points for good intentions all the time, but it’s unlikely that a date is going to be worthy of another meeting if you haven’t actually put some effort into it.

Example: On the night of the picnic, we attended an event for a friend of mine first. So the Mad Scientist had a crockpot of chicken and dumplings hooked up to a battery in the trunk of his car with a super fancy thermos of spiced apple cider. He had blankets, bowls, cups, and even fruit pies for dessert. Basically, he thought everything out, and I was impressed.

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I love it when a plan comes together.

3. Be open to changes

Sometimes people are busy. A lot of times, I have to work someone into my schedule for a date. But what I won’t do is give up some other plans I already have. If finding time for this special date you’ve planned is difficult, be prepared to roll with the other person’s schedule. You may have to tweak your date idea for this.

Being open to change could also mean something like your date is allergic to the food you’ve chosen or he/she is afraid of heights and you picked rock climbing or a hot air balloon ride. Don’t get upset that things aren’t going exactly according to plan. Things happen, and how you handle the need for adjustments says a lot, so it’s an opportunity to either seriously pique your date’s interest or turn them off of you completely.

Example: I mentioned my friend’s event. It was a fashion show for charity. When I mentioned that I had that on my agenda, the Mad Scientist was just like “Sounds fun, we can do that and picnic afterward.” I loved how he was ready for something different, and it really made the picnic even more impressive.

4. Listen

I don’t expect someone to remember everything that I say. Half the time I forget things that I’ve said. So it really impresses me when someone remembers a minor detail. It shows genuine interest.

Example: On my first date with the Mad Scientist, we talked about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. We also talked about how I had just had my birthday. We made plans to see the movie when it comes out in a couple of weeks, and he went a step further. The next time I saw him, he had a birthday present for me (which was maybe a little over the top, but I chose to interpret it as a sweet gesture). It was Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the prequel to PPZ, on audiobook.

5. Communicate

Listening is a big part of this, but you also need to be able to talk openly with someone about how you’re feeling. Whether it’s your second date or 501st date, communication is key. You want to be sure that you’re both on the same page, and this involves being honest with him/her as well as accepting how he/she is feeling, too.

Example: I mentioned in the intro that I’m not really ready for a relationship. So I’ve been honest with this guy about that. I want to take things slow, so I let him know when he’s pushing things too fast. And he listens and processes that information; he doesn’t just pay lip service to it. If he weren’t able to do this, I doubt we would have made it to a third date.

En fin

I don’t know if I’m ready for a relationship, which probably sounds weird considering that I’m dating people anyway. However, I’m enjoying my independence and single life. I’m not looking to tie myself to anyone soon.

Until I am ready for that leap again, I’m figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t. What I want, what I need, and what is nice but not necessary. This list just shows a few things that I find essential in keeping me present on a date instead of wondering when I can get back to watching YouTube.

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