Typical first dates are awkward. You meet at a restaurant and sit across the table from someone you might want to get to know. You order food and talk about careers, goals, and recent events. Two hours later, you pay the bill and then have to make a decision. Should you press on? Fake an emergency phone call?
If you're at all like me, spontaneity and creativity trump any traditional date archetype. Today, we're going to look at some unique things you can surprise your Potential with.
If you live in a tall city, you have a unique opportunity for a cute little adventure. Grab your date and head toward the nearest above-ground parking garage. Make sure to grab a pen and a few sheets of paper (large or small). Enter the parking garage and start walking toward the top; you could use the elevator if there is one, but I prefer walking up each level. Once you reach the top (which is hopefully open-air), walk over to one of the ledges. Take out your paper and pen and write a note on the page. It could be inspirational, funny, clever, or whatever. Now fold it into a paper airplane and release it to the city below you! It will take a minute to fall to the ground, where someone will likely notice it and go read it. I mean, what would lighten your day more than a note from the sky? This obviously isn't enough for an entire date, but it's a fun activity to throw into the mix. Just don't go overboard! You don't want to create a trash problem. If you do see one of your planes go somewhere where it might not be found, try to recover it and put it in a recycle bin.
Play at the Park or Beach
Summer is just around the corner, so what better than to enjoy some sun while having fun?! Of course you can do a typical picnic in the park, but let's get creative. Depending on your own interests and skills, you can adjust these items accordingly. You could grab some juggling balls and teach/learn in the park. Or bring some hula hoops to the beach and practice some tricks. If you haven't seen advanced hula hoop dancing, take a look at this video; it's incredible. If it's hot enough out, you could go swimming at the beach and play catch with a beach ball. Or volleyball if there's a net around.
Make a Cinemagraph
Selfies are so 2014. To better memorialize your date, grab your smartphone and make a cinemagraph. Cinemagraphs are a mix of video and still photography. They are designed to freeze a moment in time while still capturing some moving texture. Cinemagraph Pro for iOS or Fotodanz for Android should get you started.
Mind-blowing, I know. But walking is one of the best ways to prompt conversation while filling any sort of awkward pauses. If it's the weekend, try to find a farmer's market to walk through and buy some veggies. If you're feeling adventurous, pick a landmark way off in the distance and try to walk to it. One time I had an afternoon to kill in LA so I started walking from downtown to the Hollywood sign. Along the way I saw tons of the city that I might not have stumbled upon without that goal in mind.
Play Super Mario World at a Cafe
If you haven't noticed already, I'm a bit of a nerd. If I took someone out on a first date to a crazy fancy restaurant, that would set the wrong bar for myself. I much prefer cost-efficient ways to have fun and enjoy life. Playing classic video games just happens to be one of those ways. So tell your date to meet at a chill cafe and bring your laptop and a controller or two. Of course, you should definitely make sure that's something they'll be in to. If you don't know how to get Mario (or any other classic game) on your computer, I wrote a handy guide for you here!
After you make a solid first impression on this date, you're going to need to keep at it! If you want to up your game, you could even start spending a little money. I wrote a list of a few fun date ideas for under $10 here.
Do you have any free or cheap activities you like pulling out for first dates? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!