10 Date Ideas to Get to Know a Person Better
Today's snippet comes from Chapter "D" on Date Nights from my upcoming e-book, The A to Z Guide to Thriving in the First Year of Marriage.
The ultimate goal of dating someone should be to get to know one another. That means you need opportunities where you can, a) talk b) learn more about who the person really is and c) share new experiences. Most people will try to introduce you to their representative on the first couple of dates. So your job is to discover who they really are versus the person that they THINK you want to get to know. I don't want months to go by and then you find yourself sitting across the table from a real jerk thinking "who are you and where’s the person I was beginning to like?". So how do you get past that? You spend time on new and exciting dates that will push people to be their authentic selves. For example, I fell for my husband early on because he was exposing me to things he liked, but also to things I had never tried before.
A couple days after hanging out at his birthday bar crawl, we met up at Whole Foods. Anyone who knows me knows that a man who likes to eat healthy is a man after my own heart. Dar also played in a co-ed softball league and invited me to his games. This showed me that he was active and social. A couple weeks later he invited me to an overnight softball tournament up north. Although I’d played in high school, I’d never done anything like that before. We had lots of great conversation, slept in the car together (uncomfortable), and cheered each other on throughout the day. He also went bowling almost every Thursday with his friends. He invited me to come and I loved that he was competitive, goofy, and wasn’t going to ditch his friends just to spend time with me. When a man invites you to hang with his core group of friends, it’s usually a good sign. A couple months later we took a trip to his hometown of Grand Rapids, and he surprised me by taking me to Art Prize. I love art and it was incredible to share that experience with him.
The first time that I told my husband that I loved him was on a tubing trip. We were on the river, the sun was shining, drinks were flowing, we were in the midst of great people, and I looked over at him and blurted out “I love you”. I was able to blame it on the alcohol since we’d only been dating for 2 months, but the truth was that I was falling for him because he was exposing me to new experiences and sharing his life with me. He was being intentional.
Experiencing new things together is a great way to get to know each other.
Tired of going to dinner, the movies, or Netflixing and chilling? Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning and help you think outside the box.
1. Escape Rooms
If you want to know how a person will act under pressure, this is a great idea. Pay attention to how your date reacts to stress. Do they take charge and dismiss your input? Do they listen to you and respect your ideas? Or do they just sit back and let you do all the work? This could be indicative of a relationship with them.
2. Art Galleries, Museums, Paint with a Twist , or Poetry Night
Are you into the arts? In many cities, there are art museums that are free on certain days of the week. Spend time walking through an art exhibit and talking about what you like or don't. Paint with a twist is another opportunity to get your hands dirty and create something that you can keep forever. Listening to some great poetry can inspire you to talk about topics that you usually wouldn't bring up on an early date.
3. Get Physical
No, not like that! If you both like a sport or there's one that you've always wanted to try, go for it. You can play a game of basketball, go to the batting cage, try mini golf, find a yoga in the park event, ride your bikes in a slow roll, or go for a hike if you both like nature. Getting sweaty together will probably bring you closer.
4. Water Sports
I know that this is similar to the ideas above, but there is something about being in the water with the option of drowning that really puts people on edge. On our anniversary trip to Jamaica we tried kayaking for the first time and let's just say the first 10-15 minutes were not easy. Luckily we figured it out, but renting a canoe, paddle boarding, or any other water sport with a paddle and shared survival can help you learn a lot about how a person leads and listens.
5. Spa date
For my bad and bougie folk, a spa date is a cool way to relax together. Get a couples massage or a pedicure. It's a form of self-care for you and a way to learn how your potential partner takes care of themselves on a regular basis or doesn't.
6. Volunteer together
Do you have a cause that is really personal for you? Take the opportunity to volunteer somewhere and share why you care about it so much with your date.
7. Start a garden
Have you been wanting to start a garden, but haven't had the time or energy? If your date will agree to it, why not get some free labor in the process, lol. It's another opportunity to work together and create something beautiful that you can sustain over time. Seriously though, I think we all should know how to grow our own food so that when the zombie apocalypse pops off... never mind.
8. Try new foods
If you must go to a restaurant, try a type of cuisine that you’ve never had before like Carribean, Vietnamese, Cuban, Indian, or South Korean dishes. Not that adventurous? At least go to a restaurant with a great atmosphere that you’ve both never been to before.
9. Go to church or bible study together
If your relationship with your Creator is a major part of who you are, then more than likely you want to date someone who feels the same way. Invite them to your church home or visit theirs. Worshiping and learning about God together is a great way to build a deeper connection.
10. Plan a quick road trip or flight
Now I don't recommend this on the first couple dates since you're probably still trying to figure out if this new person is a serial killer. However, if you feel comfortable enough and can afford to get away for a day, you can buy a flight or hop in the car and drive for a few hours to explore a cool city. Plus, since it's only a day trip you don't have to figure out sleeping arrangements.
Finally, for all my single ladies out there! Please know that you don't need a date to get out and have a good time. Call up a friend or go do something new by yourself! I know it may feel awkward at first, but you can find joy in being able to enjoy your own company. The better you know yourself, the better you will be able to decide what you do and don't want from a partner.
Want more date night ideas?
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