After a while, cocktails, wine and bread bar snacks start to feel old. The awkward waiting for service; communicating over music and weekend revellers. Since joining online dating, I’ve wanted to find first date ideas at night, more unusual – something to break the repeated mundane “Tell me about yourself” chatter.
How do you articulately converse with a stranger, knowing they’re judging and analysing each remark and sentiment you voice? Opposite one another, asking questions and sharing life examples as though you’re out with your boss. During a boring bar date, I thought how better this guy may seem if we were laughing at an activity. So, if you’ve always dated conventionally, maybe consider stepping out your comfort zone.
First date ideas at night: Cooking class together
Why does this work? Well, if the date doesn’t turn out as expected, you’ll at least learn a new recipe and maybe advance your cooking skills. It’s fun, practical, and can teach you what a date probably won’t say. Like whether they operate badly under pressure, struggle to listen; if they’re competitive with knowledge. I’d quickly lose attraction to a guy believing he knows better than a chef.
There are various class options available – from beginner dishes to extravagant meals accompanying desserts. Food is a huge aspect of dating – whether or not a foodie, it’s good to know how well you can work with someone in the kitchen. Plus, once you end your first date, you won’t have to spend the night cleaning up.
Most Romantic First date ideas at night = Wine tasting
If you’re worried about nerves, alcohol can help you unwind. Just take big gulps casually and not sips – it’s the best way to figure if a wine is for you. In seriousness, don’t over drink – slurring words and saying too much (just me?) isn’t the best. But wine tasting is a fantastic choice. Picture drinking a glass of wine next to a beautiful winery. Throw in the sunset and your first date ideas can’t get more dreamy.
Of all the date ideas, this is one of the most unique. As in, you’ve probably not done it before. An axe throwing date involves hurling axes at a target board. Forget darts – an axe let’s you release some steam. Because this experience is unusual, it’s an easy conversation starter. You can shift your nervous energy towards concentration.
My last date involved a round of mini golf at Swingers in London. Inside, several bars and street food restaurateurs surrounded the course. On a Saturday night, the place was packed. We had to queue for 5 minutes and then wait for each hole to be free. This meant other people watching my terrible swings and back-and-forth manoeuvres. Realising my embarrassment, my date gave me some tips and I managed to decently play.
Once you move past novice fear, you’ll loosen up and have amazing fun. Laughing at myself and enjoying competitive banter really brought out my confidence and made me feel closer to my date.
Sunset picnic, star gazing
Cute and affordable. A picnic lets you choose exactly when to end a date; because walking out of a restaurant half-way through dinner is the same level of etiquette as ghosting. A picnic is on your terms – you can both divide what to bring – goodbye awkward who’s going to pay vibes. During the summer, look for a spot that’s not too far away from people and shops, yet quiet enough to give you space. Relax together and then do some star-gazing. (A nice moment to suss out if you’re star sign compatible).
Be confident your date likes jazz before you suggest this. To be agreeable, some may go along with your proposal, disliking the music and ultimately having a bad time. I adore jazz – most clubs have live music that’s not too ear-splitting, letting you talk without raising your voice. If jazz isn’t your thing, you could listen to other music. Perhaps some salsa?
If you both participate; this is one of the coolest first date ideas. Dancing tells you:
- How well they step out of their comfort zone.
- How willing they are to try something new.
- What their potential bedroom skills are.
- Their levels of confidence.
You can build intimacy quickly and artistically express yourself. Although dancing can seem terrible if you’re not comfortable with how you move, you’ll be with someone else also learning. And, to me, dates that stand in the corner and avoid participation are a huge turn-off. I’d rather know early on what type of guy someone is in these settings.
These first date ideas at night work for introverts
First dates fill me with nerves because it takes a while for me to open up. I use to always drink my first round quickly – hoping tipsiness would create my ‘fake it till you make it’ potion.
Since my mini golf date, I appreciate how useful activity dates can be. I became occupied with the task, and in the process, stopped analysing and fretting about what he was thinking. If you’re naturally quiet or take a while to feel confident, you may find yourself more relaxed outside a bar or restaurant setting.
And I know people have apprehension over booking a big date when they may want to escape, but surly that happens at most bars anyway? You politely stay for a second or third drink, making an exception if the date is actually horrific. (Sneezing all over you during the coronavirus fear – yep, feel free to go). I advocate talking on the phone and spending more time messaging before agreeing to meet. That way, there’s less chance for disappointment.