Dating can be hard. There are so many ways to do it right and 10 times as many ways to do it wrong. There are clear rules of etiquette and decency and then there are other, unwritten rules that can trip people up at every turn.
But one thing that is not a rule for most people is that a date has to be expensive to be good. A nice date is similar to many successful interactions — authentic connection and sincerity.
Whether it is your first date with someone, or you’ve planned a date with your loved one, they’re great opportunities to do something different and have a good time. Here’s some tips on how to have a special date at a cheaper rate…
Make the effort
Just because a date doesn’t have to be expensive doesn’t mean the effort isn’t required. Showing someone sincerity also means showing emotional investment. One of the best ways to do that on a date is to take the idea and go the extra mile to show how important the occasion is to you.
Cooking a lovely dinner? Put your attention to setting the table as well. It takes so little money to buy hotel quality tablecloths from Richard Haworth, but it’ll be clear this is no normal occasion. Make a simple centerpiece as well to show the person that they are the center of your world.
This is where listening is key. Understanding what a person values and enjoys can allow for a tailor-made date that feels more luxurious to the other person, not because of cost, but rather because someone cared enough to curate a wonderful experience to be shared. It shows that you not only listened, but you processed and articulated that the person cares about in a way that connects the two of you together.
Play the laser tag
Dating isn’t all fun and games, but that doesn’t mean a date can’t be. People fixate on the idea of releasing inhibitions when dating, but it’s often forgotten that that can also mean enjoying goofy activities that most adults struggle to enjoy on their own.
Breaking through the norms allows for better bonding and it won’t break the bank to do so. Go to the arcade, play laser tag, try to win a stuffed animal on a clearly rigged carnival game. That’s how memories are made.
Winning the games don’t matter, but always play on the same team. There should never be a winner and a loser on a date. If you’re going to get beat by a bunch of combat-rolling pre-teens at laser tag, face the defeat together and laugh about it.
Can’t beat a view
This world is a beautiful place. There are more scenic vistas than anyone can see in a lifetime. But people often forget about the inherent beauty of the backdrops that surround them on a daily basis.
London might be a challenging commute, but does it ever sparkle at night (and the Thames looks less brown, too). This is especially true around Christmas when scenic views are often enhanced for the season.
Pictures are worth a thousand words because moments are priceless. What you do together doesn’t have to be magical, but doing it somewhere that has a strong sense of place can be magic.