Whether you’re in a
long-term relationship or dating a new beau, there’s a high chance that your go-to for a date is to hit up your fave taco spot or cocktail bar. There’s an equally high chance that you and your S.O. have gotten bored with your regular haunts. While it’s natural and totally understandable that life might get in the way of your date night planning creativity, it’s important to put forth more effort from time to time in order to build and maintain a fulfilling relationship.
Coming up with creative and out-of-the-ordinary date night ideas can be as easy as making a list with your partner of the top five activities or experiences you’ve both been wanting to try. Some underrated activities include going out for breakfast instead of dinner or going on a scavenger hunt, to name a couple of examples. Flipping the script will liven up your routine and maybe even spark some new ideas for other things you want to try down the line.
Certified matchmaker and dating coach
Margot Finley says it’s not just about having fun — going out with a partner and doing different things can actually create (and boost) chemistry and intimacy. “Shared unique experiences, seeing someone in multiple settings, and fostering open and honest conversations is what creates bonding,” she tells Bustle. “One overlooked fact is that adrenaline, arousal, and attraction are all connected, so take the time to find ways to play games with various levels of physical arousal and/or competitiveness.”
Especially if you’re seeing someone new, trying out unique and more interactive date ideas can teach you more about your S.O. and create lasting memories that you can share together. To help get you started, dating experts share 14 underrated date ideas below.
1 Take A Walk
Whether you’re looking for a cost-effective date or just want to get outside, certified matchmaker and dating coach
Daphney Poyser recommends going for a walk with your date. “This is one of the most romantic types of dates that you can do, especially as a first date, because it’s all about intentionally getting to know someone,” she tells Bustle. You can take a stroll around a botanical garden, on the beach, or even around a local park. Accompany it with a stop for coffee or ice cream, and you’ve got a well-rounded date. 2 Check Out Holiday Decorations
If you’re boo’d up during cuffing season, certified relationship coach and matchmaker
Casandra Henriquez suggests taking a drive around your local neighborhood with your S.O. to check out holiday decorations over a cup of hot cocoa. “Jam to your favorite holiday songs and talk about your favorite holiday memories,” she says. “This gives you a chance to see your date light up as they reminisce and connect.” 3 Go On A Hike Hero Images Inc/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Don’t listen to the hiking haters when it comes to planning a date —
take a hike (literally) and get outside with your S.O. to enjoy the fresh air and connect. “Some of the best dates are those oldies but goodies, like a morning hike with a backpack filled with yummy snacks and mimosas,” says relationship expert and dating coach Jennifer Hurvitz. You’ll be able to share in a challenge by getting to the top and enjoy the reward of a meal with a view. 4 Sing Some Karaoke
Singing your heart out at a karaoke spot is a super fun way to bond with your partner and show off your goofy side. Even if you’re a little (or a lot) off-pitch, that’s OK — the point of karaoke is to have a good time. Pro tip: Pick a song that features two singers so you can belt out a duet.
5 Hit Up A Local Arcade
If you and your boo are into gaming of any kind or even some flirty competition, try taking a visit to a local arcade and betting on who will win at Pac-Man, says Hurvitz. Thinking outside the box and getting creative with your date nights will keep things from getting stale and help you both to look forward to your nights together. Plus, arcade bars are a thing now, so a few cocktails (or mocktails) might just be the ticket to your winning streak.
6 Make A Vision Board Together
If you’ve been dating someone long-term, it’s a good idea to be on the same page about your vision and goals for the future of your relationship. Even though it might sound cheesy, Henriquez says that creating a mutual
vision board for your “love vision” can be a great way to start a conversation about what you both want. “Grab your favorite magazines and choose experiences you would like to have together, goals you both share, and where you see yourselves together in the future and cut out pictures to reflect that,” she says. 7 Visit A Local Bookstore
Are you and your partner bookworms? For a more intimate day date, Hurvitz recommends taking a visit to a local bookstore and taking turns reading passages from your favorite novels. Even if you’ve been dating for a while, this can give you an even deeper glimpse into what moves your partner and what they connect to.
8 Play A Card Game
Whether it’s something raunchy like
Cards Against Humanity, a childhood fave like Go Fish, or a deeper and more emotionally-intimate option like We’re Not Really Strangers, spending a night in and playing games with your partner can be a great way to get off your screens and spend quality time together. 9 Take A Class
Going to a class with your partner to learn a new skill or improve on a preexisting one is a fantastic way to connect with your date. As you both gain some insight into a subject, you’ll also be able to see how your S.O. faces new challenges. Finley suggests looking into things like cooking, pottery, and surfing lessons.
volunteering as another underrated date idea, which is the perfect opportunity to give back to your community and bond with your partner at the same time. Whether you work at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter, this activity can be an incredible way to enhance your emotional connection with your S.O. and to see them using their time and energy in service to others. 11 Go On A Scavenger Hunt
Map out a fun scavenger hunt for a creative and enjoyable way to explore your neighborhood, suggests Poyser. “This can be a little adventurous and competitive, and it allows people to see how flexible someone can be with dealing with different situations,” she tells Bustle.
12 Schedule A Breakfast Date
Even if you and your partner are not morning people, anyone can appreciate a delicious breakfast spread. Finley suggests going out for an early meal instead of the usual dinner date, which has several benefits: You get to experience time with your partner when they’ve just woken up, which can be a refreshing change from grabbing dinner or drinks; you can choose to spend more time together if you want to extend the date past your meal; and it gives you the chance to grab a quick coffee and pastry before work.
13 Rent A Paddleboat
Most people have seen these during funny or romantic scenes in movies, but if you know of a local spot that has swan or paddleboats you can rent out, it could make for a unique and enjoyable date. Kayaking would do the trick, too. “This is a little old school, but it’s so much fun,” says Poyser. “It also takes coordination and can spur on a little bit of competition between the daters.”
14 Hit Up The Gym
you and your partner are into fitness and enjoy hitting up the gym, consider working out together. Having a swolemate to crush your goals with not only benefits you but can also provide even more opportunity for you both to spend time together doing mutually enjoyed activities. Experts: Margot Finley, certified matchmaker and dating coach at Finley Introductions Daphney Poyser, certified matchmaker and dating coach at Fern Connections Jennifer Hurvitz, relationship expert and dating coach Casandra Henriquez, certified relationship coach and matchmaker
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