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16 Romantic Ideas & Secrets to Plan a Perfect Date and Impress Them

You’re excited that you got your crush to go out with you. But now, you need to know how to plan a date to remember! Here’s all you need to know.

how to plan a date

A great date isn’t about huge amounts of money spent. It’s not about doing something crazy and out there. No, knowing how to plan a date to remember is about being creative, thinking of something fun, and being yourself. It’s really that easy!

Most of us panic when it comes to planning a first date. We’re so high on the energy of them actually agreeing to go out with us. Then, the panic of what to actually do on the date dawns on us.

The good news is that understanding how to plan a date to remember isn’t really about needing huge amounts of time or cash. It’s about thinking outside the box. [Read: 30 fun first date ideas that leave them wanting more]

How to plan a date to remember: The dos and don’ts

Let’s explore this subject a little more deeply, and touch upon the dos and don’ts of a great date.

1. Do avoid checking your phone

Okay, you might need to leave your phone on just in case of an emergency, but do not keep checking the damn thing! There is nothing more annoying than not being present. Your date will notice it and wonder whether you’re wishing you were somewhere else.

Think about how you would feel if your date was doing the same. Incidentally, if they are, it’s probably time to find another date altogether! [Read: Don’t ignore these 12 subtle red flags on your first date]

2. Don’t stick with the regular routine

Dinner and drinks? Boring! Cinema? No time to talk! Rather than sticking with the regular tried and tested routines, when it comes to knowing how to plan a date well, the best tips all center around doing something different. Go to the zoo or a festival. Check out a local event or see a comedy show.

Basically, go somewhere that interests both of you, and avoid the regular haunts which put far too much pressure on how a date goes. By being creative, you’re setting the scene for conversation and quirkiness, not regular boredom! [Read: 14 signs you’re unintentionally ruining your first date]

3. Do find out if they have any specific fears, irrational or otherwise

It’s a good idea to do a little delving before you plan the date. Find out if there is anything they really don’t like or are fearful of. For instance, we mentioned going to the zoo. What if your date hates animals? Unlikely, but it’s possible!

You might plan a butterfly sanctuary visit, and they’re really scared of the little creatures! By asking questions about the things they like and don’t like when you’re generally chatting and texting, you’ll avoid these kinds of minor disasters.

4. Don’t have a friend obviously lurking nearby

There is a difference between letting a friend know where you’re going for safety and actually having them sitting at the next table! Your date will notice. It certainly won’t make them feel comfortable! If you don’t feel safe with your date, whether you’re the one planning it or not, don’t go. It’s that simple.

5. Don’t think you need to splash the cash

You don’t need to spend a fortune to plan a great date. If they are only impressed by money, they really aren’t the type of person you should be dating anyway. Of course, it’s nice to offer to pay, and it’s nice to go to quality places. If you’re really low on cash, don’t feel pressured into heading to a fancy bar for cocktails.

Sometimes, the small touches really mean more. We’re talking about things like holding out a chair, holding open a door, taking a coat, etc. These things are far more valuable than anything money-related. [Read: 18 signs your date really likes you on the very first date]

6. Do attempt to impress with your sense of humor

The number one thing which most men and women find attractive is a sense of humor. Don’t turn the date into a stand-up comedy routine, but make them giggle a few times. This disarms the other person and puts them at ease. Bonus, it also makes you feel more comfortable.

When you make someone laugh, you’re showing your true personality. Who you are is what will really shine through. Which leads onto… [Read: How different types of humor impact relationships]

7. Do be yourself

The biggest piece of advice on how to plan a date, above everything, is to always be yourself. Never try and be someone you’re not simply because you’re nervous about how it will go.

Remember, if things do go well, you’re going to need to keep up the pretense of being someone different for any dates following. That’s just downright exhausting! Be yourself and you will shine. It’s really that simple.

8. Don’t choose a venue too far away

For the first date, choose somewhere relatively close to home for both of you. This is not only for convenience but also for safety. You don’t know this person well. You don’t want to be a million miles away from home if things don’t go as well as you would like. In addition, the drive there and back may be awkward!

9. Don’t put too much pressure on the first date

If you place a huge amount of pressure on yourself and the outcome of this date, then you’re not going to enjoy it. You’re not going to be the best version of yourself, and it’s probably going to be a disaster.

If on the other hand you relax, enjoy your time, and simply be yourself, you’re more likely to not only have a great time but also bag a second date! [Read: How to make a good impression on the first date]

10. Give your date options

Most people have busy lives, so you’ll want to give your date some options. Say something like, “Which day is better for you…Friday or Saturday?” By giving them options, you are showing that you really want to take them out. And you’re also showing them that you respect their time.

You can even give them options for what they would like to do on the date. For example, you could suggest dinner and a movie or going to have a few drinks and listen to a band. From there, they can choose.

11. Make reservations

When you have chosen a day and time for the date, then you should make reservations if possible. Whether you are going to a restaurant or going to play laser tag, having a reservation will assure that nothing unexpected comes up. [Read: Romantic dinner date ideas -17 fun dates you will both never forget]

Making reservations also shows that you plan ahead and are putting a lot of thought into the date. You’re not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person. It shows a lot of thoughtfulness.

12. Tell your date what you will be doing

You also need to communicate with your date and let them know what you will be doing. If you planned a meal at a fancy restaurant and they think you’re going hiking, that will make a big difference in how they dress.

Also, it’s nice to not be in the dark when you’re going on a date. Everyone should know ahead of time when and where you are going, and what you will be doing. [Read: 30 First date rules for guys and girls that’ll make your date adore you]

13. Be on time

It’s a terrible idea to show up late to a date. Your date might think that you will be a no-show and ghost them. And depending on just how late you are, they might leave if they think you aren’t coming. Even if they don’t leave, this makes a horrible first impression.

Of course, unexpected things happen. So, if you do end up in a traffic jam or something else happens, then you should at least keep your date informed about what is going on and why you will be late. Some things are out of our hands, but always, always, be on time if you can.

What makes a date romantic and perfect?

If you watch anything from Hollywood, you probably think that first dates have to be swish and hugely impressive to make it to date number two. This is not true. A great first date is about connection and having fun together. It’s not about money or huge effort.

Of course, do your best to impress, but impress with your personality above everything else. Some of the best dates are simple in nature. For instance, a walk through a national park, followed by a lunch in a cozy country pub is a wonderful way to spend your first date together! [Read: 20 things that will completely perfect your first date conversation]

If you go too over the top, keen and eager to impress, chances are that you will come over as ‘trying too hard.’ That’s never a good thing. Most men and women are turned off by someone who’s clearly trying to impress with money and flashy items, rather than their sense of humor, warm personality, and wit.

How to plan a date – the specifics

As you know, there are a lot of options out there for what kind of date you can have. In fact, there are so many that it could overwhelm you. So, here are the things to consider when you are planning the perfect date.

1. Eating

Some people think that this is a typical boring date – going out to eat. But it does have its advantages too. Having a meal together gives you the time for you to sit down together and have a relaxed opportunity to talk and get to know each other. [Read: Foodie dates – 15 trendy dinner ideas for new couples]

Be creative and plan a restaurant or other spot that is unique to make yourself look like you put a lot of thought into it. People love it when someone takes the time to plan out a meaningful date.

When you are trying to figure out where to go, you should consider a few things. First, is it quiet enough for you to talk? If you can find a place with a view or trendy, that is the best way to go. 

Also, you should ask a lot of questions and be a good listener. You want your date to know you’re interested in getting to know them.

2. Activities

Doing an activity on a date is always fun too. It’s not as stereotypical as it is just going out to a random restaurant for a meal. What kind of activity it is doesn’t really matter. It can be almost anything as long as it involves the two of you being active together. [Read: 15 of the most memorable things to do on a first date]

Some ideas include bowling, mini-golf, horseback riding, ice skating, hiking, or anything else you think your partner would enjoy *you too*. Doing an activity will set you apart from other people who plan dates because it’s not as common to do something like that.

It might be the best idea to combine a meal and activity for a date. That way, you will have the quiet time to talk and get to know the person over the meal, and you also get to have some fun doing an activity.

3. Music

You could incorporate music into the date somehow. You could do this by actually going to listen to a band or a concert. This is a sort of activity as well, although it doesn’t allow you to talk very much. But if both of you like music, it’s a good option. [Read: The most romantic songs to play during a dinner date]

You could also incorporate music just to set a romantic mood too. If you’re riding around in your car, put some of your favorite songs on. Either jam out to something upbeat or put on something that will make your date want to kiss you.

Final thoughts

Planning a date can be nerve-wracking because you want to get it perfect. But even the biggest failure of a date can turn into a success with a smile and a quirky remark to make someone laugh! So, just relax, be yourself, and most importantly, have a lot of fun!

[Read: First date moves that will guarantee a second]

When it comes to knowing how to plan a date that impresses even the most difficult-to-impress date, simple tactics are always the best. You simply need your personality, creative thinking, and the ability to make someone smile.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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