couple-dancingWhat’s the right time to come up with romantic date ideas?  Now.  Before you’re out with a very special man, on a very ordinary date.

Later is too late: another ho-hum dinner at TGI Friday’s, followed by two hours of non-communication at a movie. Deep down, what you really want is a seriously romantic, unforgettable experience with him—not just a “nice” date.

It took a lot of time and energy for you to get to the dating stage of the game. As your relationship coach, my job is make sure you don’t fumble now, for lack of planning.

Failing to pre-plan unique dates results in boring, forgettable ones.  A string of forgettable ones—even with somebody who’s your type—will sabotage a good relationship that could have become a great one.


The dating process is full of unknowns, things that you simply have no control over. It’s exciting and it’s stressful. When you’re already stressed and nervous, last-minute decisions add even more pressure. In a crunch, you’ll both tend to come up with the quickest and easy (non-creative) date ideas.

Sure, they’ll be normal, hassle-free activities; but they’ll be so traditional that you can do them on auto-pilot. And you will too.  That’s where the problem pattern begins…

When you aren’t giving your full attention, you can appear bored and detached, like you wish you were somewhere else.  Your companion will assume that it’s him—not the activity—that you’ve lost interest in.

When men feel insecure they look indifferent; like none of this matters anymore. That, in turn, triggers your own insecurities, tempting you to put your protective wall up.

And that’s how a good relationship never quite progresses to the next level.

But, what if you could head off that deadly pattern before it even begins? Believe me, you can. IF, you use this same simple, but powerful strategy that has helped many of my coaching clients totally avoid the unnecessary grief.

Always, be ready with answers when he asks that inevitable date question: “What do you feel like doing?” Answer with creative ideas that are unique, out-of-the-box and have major romance potential.

These romantic date ideas could be your perfect jumpstart:

1. A Produce-Picking Date: Schedule a sun-kissed morning at a “pick your own” farm. Transition to a nature walk through your own personal Eden.  Then bring out that well-stocked basket for a romantic picnic.

(Tip: Pauses in the conversation feel natural and relaxed when you are engaged in a shared physical activity).

2. An African Marketplace Date: Stimulate your senses and celebrate your culture by strolling through an outdoor festival or marketplace. Savor the exotic foods and share your likes and dislikes for the art and handicraft on display. It’s an unbeatable place to people-watch.

(Tip: Expect to run into people you know. Keep those exchanges brief. Quickly return  to the task at hand—memory-making with your date.)

3. A Dessert Date

Skip the forgettable dinner and head straight to the outrageous desserts? Pick an ultra-romantic spot and order up a sampling of mouth-watering sweets to share. Consider the dining room at the top of that ritzy, high-rise hotel. The classy jazz combo is icing on the cake.

(Tip: Avoid harping on the subject of carbs and calories. Instead, take the opportunity to share some dreams and goals for the future—and how much you are enjoying the present moment on this date.)

4. A Wine-Tasting Date

Head to a nearby winery or tasting event at a local wine bar. Share your passion for wine, or just your curiosity. Toast to your date. Mention his qualities that you most admire and experiences together that you treasure most.

(Tip: Eat first and avoid over-indulging. Nothing kills romance like a drunken date).

5. A Theme Park Date:

Want an instant upgrade to your growing relationship?  Experience stomach-churning rollercoasters, bumper cars, cotton candy and carnival games together.  It’s the perfect time to expose your uninhibited, fun side.

(Tip: Laugh until your face hurts and say yes to rides that put your hairdo at risk.)

6. An On the Water Date

If you’re near anything from an ocean to a picturesque pond, head there for a sunset walk together. Also, check around for lakes that have boat rentals, (canoes, paddle boats, etc.) then drift together for a few hours.

(Tip: Don’t get stuck talking only about the boat and the rowing.  It’s the perfect setting to share detailed stories about yourselves.)

7. A Volunteering Date

Partner up to meet a charitable need.  A Habitat for Humanity house build?   A yard clean-up for an elderly neighbor?  Host a homeless family for a four-course dinner? Discover each other’s core values. Doing good is good for your relationship.

(Tip: Pick causes you are both passionate about. Make sure the project involves lots of interaction with each other.)

Caution: If every detail is planned, dating will feel mechanical. But, never planning gives the impression that the quality of our dates is a low priority for both of you. Find the right balance by experimenting.  It’s worth the effort and the pay-off is huge.


Lisa Cericola, 9 Great Non-Dinner Dates

Jeff Cohen, 27 Unique Date Ideas Yahoo Personals


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