Confession time: I haven’t been on a first date in a minute, but boy do I reminisce on those days.
Admittedly, with my past dating experiences I’ve always tried to venture out of the default dinner date night bubble and what’s considered to be the first date norm. Despite the fact that I am a bit of a film buff, I absolutely hated the idea of a first date being at the movies.
1) You spend two or more hours sitting in the dark trying to pretend you don’t talk to the screen during movies like the actors can hear you.
2) It’s a very intimate setting done in a way that’s impersonal – because essentially you don’t know the person you’re there with. Granted, it lays the groundwork for beautiful conversation after, but still.
I wrote guys off sometimes if they questioned why I wasn’t up for a movie during the first date.
Dinner was another thing. It’s the end all be all and the often used option when planning to go out on a date night. And, it’s glamorous.
You can wear that LBD from your closet that you invested in as a staple piece, do something different with the two-day old twist out you often rock, make an effort to be sexy. The fact that I love food makes dinner all the more my go-to answer to the commonly asked: “What do you want to do tonight?” It’s a safe bet.
For that very reason, I abstained from dinner dates whenever possible, seeking to do something active, something that would tell me more about the person I was going on a date with versus a dinner date where impressing me would be the main objective because my panties were something he wanted at the end of the night. I’ve always had the most fun on active dates that took me out of my comfort zone and that were not dinner.
[Tweet "In a comfortable, long term relationship, you may revert to ways you didn't care for while single."]
And as I settle into the, at times, monotonous mundane routines of being in a comfortable, functioning long term relationship, I’ve noticed how much I readily revert to ways I didn’t care for while I was single. Food is lovely, but it’s just dinner at the end of the day, you know? Yes, being comfortable has gotten us into a date night rut ladies! So I started to remember that getting out of that comfort zone shouldn’t just be reduced to our bedroom adventures or first dates, and that our 35th date could have just as much personality, if not more. So here's a list of date night ideas that aren’t dinner in case it’s your first date, your 7th, or your 35th – something to challenge your comfort levels. Check them out below!
Open Mic Night
I’m all about poetry, whether it be in the form of an artist who spits rhymes, an artist who sings her truth, or one who indulges in spoken word. Open Mic Nights are a more intimate and less elaborate alternative to full-on concerts. It’s a great way to engage in the sounds of local artists while being inspiring and renewing. Talk that talk honey, walk that walk money. Y’all know that “Love Jones”.
Indoor Wall Climbing
For the physically active, indoor wall climbing for me is kind of up there with indoor trampolines. So do one or both. I think if you’re really into using your body, you will absolutely LOVE incorporating fitness during a date night sans the gym. It can be really tough, but it’s also a nice segue into some friendly competition. Indoor trampoline places like Skyzone are fun--you literally feel like you’re flying. I promise the laughter between you will not stop.
The term “scavenger hunt” isn’t something we readily apply to life as adults, and definitely not through a romantic lens, but I had an amazing scavenger hunt once. There are a lot of murals in my city (through art initiatives like The Living Walls and WeLoveATL) and I decided to make a game of it by hunting down each one and documenting them. The whole day was filled with tracking these art pieces: paintings, murals, sculptures, interactive art. We took photos with them and of them and it was really fun, learned a lot about one another along the way. So choose something obscure and make a game of it.
I am such a fan of art, so here is another entry in favor of the art world on this list. A lot of cities offer Downtown Art Walks at the beginning of every month, especially during the warmer seasons. These art walks consists of gallery hopping and pop up eateries with food specials and great glasses of wine. It’s typically free aside from food and drinks and a great way to expose yourself to flavor and culture of your city with your date.
A Roadmap Dinner Date
In case you can’t shake the old faithful dinner routine, exchange it for a remixed version of it. Again, I am a big proponent of active dates, so this fulfills two of my biggest loves: food and my need to be active during dates. Pick a restaurant to grab an appetizer from and only an appetizer. Next, head to another spot to eat your entree. Then, hit up the last place for dessert. And if you’re up for a nightcap with drinks, by all means, start the turn up. It’s a great way to add some additional adventure to dinner and is one of my favorite ways to do date night.
These date night options are slowly but surely helping me come up with new answers to bae’s “What do you want to do tonight?” question and it’s helping us out of our date night rut. Dinner is cool and all, but change can be good.
What are some things you do to shake up the default date night ideas? Share below and give your girl some more ideas! Thank ya!