No, not an okay date night. Not even a pretty solid effort date night. You want it to be perfect. That sounds like a lot of pressure, and we get that, but it’s really a lot easier than you might think. As long as you put in the effort and plan it out well, you’ll be just fine. Below we share our top tricks and tips to keep in mind when planning the perfect date night.
Start By Brainstorming
Let the good ideas flow here. This is your time to just throw things out there and see what works. No idea is a bad idea. Okay, some ideas are bad ideas, but we trust you can discern which ones will make the cut. Remember that you’re not married to any of these ideas, so just throw things out there and see what works.
Sometimes working backward from a certain time or place you like, and creating a date with that in mind, can be easier. Gifting a promise ring? Try starting with a location meaningful to you and working out a date idea from there. Sometimes having some constraints makes it easier to be creative with your date ideas.
Presents Never Hurt
You don’t have to show up with a new Cadillac. In fact, we recommend against large purchases that are made as a solo decision. Never ends well. However, a nice token of your appreciation is a whole different thing. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it should be thoughtful. When in doubt, a great piece of everyday jewelry is guaranteed to be a winner.
Consider Outside Factors
Put on your planning hat and think about anything and everything that could get in the way. We’re talking about weather, traffic, scheduling commitments. Does she always have to work late on Thursdays? Maybe don’t plan for a Thursday evening. Want to head downtown for an event at 5:00 p.m.? Plan around traffic. You get the gist. Think about what can get in the way and do your best to get ahead of it.
While we’re at it, a backup plan (or two) is never a bad idea. You can plan for many outside factors, but sometimes things just come up. The restaurant had to close at the last minute or a pileup on the interstate brought traffic to a crawl. These things happen. If you’ve got a secondary plan, you can take a lot of stress out of the equation.
Recruit Help As Necessary
No shame in bringing in an outside consultant here. Not the most romantic person ever? Recruit a friend who’s good at this. Read an article about tips for planning the perfect date night. Use all the tools at your disposal. Even if your help is just hiring a babysitter so you can get in a much-needed date night, make sure you use all the help you can get.
Leave Your Phone At Home
At least put it on “do not disturb.” We get it — emergencies can happen, and maybe you don’t want to leave your phone behind. Fair enough. If you’re good about your relationship with your phone and it isn’t likely to get in the way, you’re more than welcome to bring it with you. If you know it’ll be a distraction, though, you better have a plan to stay present.
Obviously, planning ahead is an integral part of planning the perfect date night. Also, though, planning can just include listening and keeping your eyes open. Has she mentioned a restaurant she wants to try? Did you see a flier for live music that looks interesting? Be as pre-emptive and attentive as you can here, and it’ll pay dividends.
While We’re At It, Actually Plan Something
Seriously. “I don’t know, it’s whatever you want to do” does not inspire love in anyone. You don’t have to create the date night to end all date nights, but you have to intentionally plan something. Something simple that’s been deliberately thought out is infinitely better than something that’s been thrown together, no matter how nice or expensive.
Don’t Assume That Money And Good Date Are Synonymous
You can’t throw money at all your problems. Sorry about that. Even if you’re Jeff Bezos, it turns out it just doesn’t always work. There’s nothing wrong with investing money in a date if you’re doing it for the right reasons. However, there are plenty of ways to create a romantic date night without spending a pretty penny.
Don’t Phone It In
We don’t care if you’ve been together since One Direction was still a group, do something fun. Also, if you’ve been together since that era, good for you. You’ve probably had plenty of successful date nights at this point.
We said it before and we’ll say it again: a well-planned, simple date is better than something thrown together, no matter how much it costs. You just gotta put in the effort. That’s really it.
Know Who You’re Planning For
This is probably obvious, but we’ll say it anyway. Take all these tips with a grain of salt. You know your significant other better than we do (at least, hopefully. If not, you better be more engaging in conversation), so adjust accordingly. Take what you think is useful from this, and don’t feel the need to force something that doesn’t work just because it’s supposed to be “perfect.”
The perfect date night is really just one that was put together deliberately for someone you love. If you have all those components and you really put forth your best effort, you’re going to get a result you both love.