By Dr. Ramirez-Icaza
Dating and having a great time with your special someone is hugely important from the first date, second date, and yes, third date, throughout a relationship. Many relationship experts including Dr. Jane Greer, New York–based marriage and family therapist and author of “What About Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship,” have found that dating is critical to creating and maintaining the special connection between a couple. Wow! Talk about pressure. On the other hand, being too worried, stressed out or obsessing over every single detail, text, emoji, snap, etc. is exactly what is most likely to make the date go bust. 🙁
The billion-dollar question is How do you have a great date that is fun, relaxed, sizzles with chemistry and makes you both crave more alone time? The answer is a 3 Step Process: 1) Research 2) Plan and 3) Prepare. If you do these three things, the date should go off without a hitch, both of you have fun and most importantly you won’t be a nervous wreck! Disclaimer – surprises, glitches always happen so that is part of being prepared.
Let’s start with research. This includes what each of you are interested in. Do you like to be outside? Hiking? Music? Gaming? Shopping? If you are interested in someone, you need to know what they like to do. This means asking questions and listening to the answers. BUT – this goes both ways! So drop some hints. Make sure to be letting this person know what you like to do or what interests you as well.
Then plan the date. If he/she asked you out, that may be a little more challenging but you can still be involved and usually they really want some help! They’re probably a little nervous too. Females – you can take the lead either directly asking the person out or by providing some very solid ideas! Either way; Always, Always have a Plan B. If there is need for childcare, make sure to have someone for backup. And if this is a first date and childcare is involved, what happens if the kid(s) get sick? Does the date stay home with you? If it can go wrong, it will! Lol. I’m not being negative, just being real with you. This is part of the Planning process.
So you have done the research, the plan is solid and now you need to prepare. This is the most important part; (Tip 1) Preparing for anything you will EVER do in your life – do it ahead of time! It is that simple. So, if you are going swimming, have a suit picked out, know how to wear your hair, etc. This isn’t the Prom, but the reason why the Prom goes off so well is because everyone prepares ahead of time! So do it here too and it should go well. (Tip 2) Don’t wait until the day of the date. Try to have multiple outfits picked out. We all know we change our minds last minute.
Where you are in your relationship has a lot to do with the direction you may want to go from here. However, most of these ideas can be adapted for 1) virtual dating, 2) social distancing – in person or 3) a long-term relationship.
If this a first date or someone pretty new that you are spending time with then you may very well be in lockdown or at the very least be practicing social distancing in person. This is particularly important if you are pregnant or have young children in your home. If this is the case, make sure to know that you can NOT come within 6 feet of each other. This is because even though neither one of you may be feeling sick or showing any of the symptoms of the Covid-19 (coronavirus), one or both of you could be carrying the virus and unknowingly pass it to the other. Even more importantly, pediatricians are reporting very serious, life-threatening complications in children who were previously thought to not be at risk!
Here are some ideas that can be adapted for social distancing and even virtual dating and more easily fit with the current limited options we have for some fun things to do.
- Picnic. With good weather this is always a good idea! Research: what to eat (are either one of your allergic to any foods?), where to go, Plan: who gets what, Plan B if bad weather, etc. Prepare: know what you’re wearing, bring something extra if he did all the work.
Social distancing – this is hard, but no hugging. Alternative would be: blow him a kiss, sit a few feet away, no holding hands. If you break the rules, you have to wash your hands as soon as you can or are home.
Virtual – that’s easy! Use your phone or laptop/device and toast each other. See how fun the two of you are together.
- Gaming. Perfect for virtual or social distancing. See above
- Hiking. This is similar to picnic (1). Caution: bring water and don’t try too difficult a trail!
- Fishing / Boating.
- Netflix / Movie time. Virtual, Social distancing or Long term.
- Grab a coffee or juice. Virtual, Social distancing or Long term.
- Shuffle dance.
- Tiktok – either watching or even better make one together!
- Cooking Dinner or go out to Dinner.
These are a few ideas for you to think about to get you started. Remember for them to be successful you want to do your research, plan the date and prepare to have an awesome time.
Dating is a great way to spend time together whether it is someone new, you’re just getting to know or you are in a long-term relationship. Try something fun, rewarding and memorable. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate to be a Great Date!