Cupid setting you up with a new Valentine this year? For a successful blind Valentine’s Day date, be creative, and skip the traditional dinner-and-a-movie combo. The point of a first date is to get to know the other person and decide if it’s worth investing future time and emotions.
Two hours in a movie theater might be enjoyable, but it leaves little room for an actual connection. And while you still have dinner conversation, many people fall into the trap of acting like they think their date wants them to act. That just leads to disappointment later on, when your real personalities start coming out. Besides Valentine’s Day swamps most restaurants and theaters.
Pick a first date that encourages more interaction and you’ll not only be surprised at how much more fun you’ll have, but you’ll also get a better glimpse at your new Valentine’s real personality.
Play Teacher – Or Student
If you’re a baseball fan, take your new girl to the batting cages. Or give your new man some snowboarding, salsa, or kickboxing lessons. Or try something new together. Sign up for a beginner’s surf workshop so you can laugh at each other’s wipe-outs. Learning a new skill is great way to get hands-on and show your date what you’re passionate about. It also gives you a chance to see if your date has the patience and sense of humor necessary to maintain a relationship.
You’ve always heard the way to a man’s heart is through is his stomach, and girl’s are just as susceptible to good cooking. With a decent recipe and some basic groceries, anybody can whip up a simple, tasty Valentine’s Day meal. Cooking a great way to open up conversation about likes and dislikes. The intimate setting usually keeps you shoulder to shoulder and leaves ample opportunity for feeding each other. If you’re nervous about having your new date over to your place so soon, check into one-day cooking workshops in your area. They are usually available for any ethnic cuisine, gourmet desserts, baking or healthy dishes – whatever you’re into.
Volunteer Your Day
Take Valentine’s Day to show your community or those less fortunate that you care about them too. Community service offers a hands-on activity with the added bonus of helping others out. You can see if your date is able to focus outside their own life and it opens up discussions on personal values, morals and society issues. Take a few hours to play with the cats and dogs at your local animal shelter (volunteers are always on short-supply and the animals love the attention). Or give a few hours lending a hand at the soup kitchen or doing a story hour with kids from the local shelter. You’ll be surprised at how much more fun this can be than a stuffy Valentine restaurant dinner.
Getting your hands dirty and creating something together is another fun way to break the ice. With a little legwork, most towns and cities have some unique arts-and-crafts experiences. Do-it-yourself pottery painting, basket weaving, sand art…you name it, it’s there. Local parks may also offer one-day workshops on nocturnal wildlife, edible plants or other quirky subjects.
Hit a Theme Park
Carnivals, fairs and theme parks have a long-standing romantic reputation. Roller coasters and cotton candy take us back to our childhoods and give us permission to cut looses for the day. A wide-variety of rides and games will keep things exciting and constantly change the atmosphere. There are ample opportunities for quirky little things to make the day special – get matching temporary tattoos, kick his butt at bumper cars, spend $50 trying to win her an over-stuffed tiger, or test your date’s culinary bravery with a deep-fried candy bar. Any lines you encounter will only give you time for talking.
Another option is to spend a few hours at the arcade. Restaurants like Dave & Buster’s have made a lot of money on combining good food, a fun atmosphere and adults desire to relive their childhood fantasies. Now you have more than a $5 allowance to spend on those video games, and your mom doesn’t have to know.