So, you both swiped right and managed to find someone a bit great. That’s great news! Now you need to make some actual date plans to meet in the real world. I got you…
It’s not what the name suggests – don’t panic! Mini golfing at Swingers is a cute date idea, and if you’re shy or nervous, it makes so much more sense to choose a date with an activity rather than just sitting across from each other feeling like you’re at a job interview.
Draughts is such a cute space and an interesting way to spend a date if you’re a board game fan. Everything is categorised and the staff are on hand to help if you need a recommendation or how to play. We discovered the most hilarious game (in the same section as ‘Cards Against Humanity’) at Draughts and spent the entire time crying-laughing. If you’re a bad loser and always end up throwing the Monopoly board across the room, let’s look at some other options…
Activities and games give you something to talk and laugh about – especially if you’re as bad at golf as I am. I’d also recommend Flight Club for a game of darts or Namco Funscape for bowling, arcades and maybe even a game of pool. Arcades are a little bit less pressure when it comes to game skills and winning – just a lovely place to have some fun and get to know your new person.
Maybe you don’t want your new Tinder match to know how bad you are at darts or that you’ve never played an arcade game in your life… if you want to dress up fancy (obviously you do – we all do) and grab a cocktail, then I’d say head on over to The Candlelight Club
for the roaring twenties vibes, or Experimental Cocktail club
for something a bit special. No boring dates for you.
Once you’re a bit more comfortable and in the rhythm of dating your new person, you might want to try something a bit different.
Sip on a few cocktails and decipher the code. If you’re both into Sherlock Holmes and The Imitation Game, a night at The Bletchley is a sure winner as you work together to earn your next drink! There are a bunch of other similar experiences popping up all the time, based on different TV shows and films – the world is your Oyster.
Ping pong is a fun little evening but definitely recommended for those who’ve spent some time together. Being at far ends of a ping pong table doesn’t lend itself to ice breakers or getting-to-know-you questions. For those couples who’ve started to spend a lot of time together and don’t need to ask ‘so what do you do for a living?’ – Bounce is a great plan.
BYOC (Bring Your Own Cocktail) is a novel idea where you bring your own booze to the table. It may seem odd but I think it’s actually pretty good value for money. £30 gets you a two-hour session at the table and you can bring any (unopened) bottles you like for the bartender to mix. This means you get cocktails specifically tailored to your tastes, and you get at least five cocktails each (or however many you can drink in the time slot) which, I think, works out as quite a nice deal. Careful of overdoing it – it’s easy to underestimate how much alcohol you’ve actually consumed until you get outside and hit the fresh air. And no-one wants their date to vomit everywhere.
You’re An Item…
Once you’re a real Facebook-official met-the-parents type couple, there’s no reason the dates should end. It’s important to carry on the adventures and having fun first moments together. You can’t spend every night binge watching Netflix box sets (okay, you could… but these are just some options in case you run out of box sets and movies).
Eating in the dark and experiencing your food in a different way can be fun and exciting. (If you’re against eating with your hands and can’t be separated from your phone for an hour, then pass on this). It’s definitely something different to try once.
Dine on a lovely steak dinner before hitting the tables for a casual roulette bet and a game of Blackjack. The Heliot often has good deals for two, and does a really good meal (complete with extra fancy desserts). I did ask why the cheesecake came on a box of dry ice… the waiter said “Just for pizazz.” Cool.
I just love any excuse for fancy dress so skip this one if you’re not into it. Secret Cinema is a beauty of a concept – immersed in the world of the chosen film, you will be given a character and objectives (though it’s not super strict so don’t feel intimidated) before sitting down to watch the movie. It’s such a unique experience – guaranteed fun night out.
Have Fun On Your Date…
Always know that if you’re not having fun, or you don’t get along, that you really don’t need a friend to fake an emergency to get you out of there. You are your own independent person, and you can do what you want. If you’re done, have the confidence to drop the mic and go. I have definitely been too polite on some occasions and lost hours of my life trying to feign being interested in someone before I felt it was ‘appropriate’ to leave. Lesson learned though. When you know, you know. (Side thing though – definitely tell people where you’re going and feel free to assign yourself an ’emergency word’ so your girl knows if you text her ‘giraffe’ that she needs to come get you. I’ll keep you safe!)
Dating should be fun – you get to meet new people and do interesting things… and if it all goes horribly wrong, then you’re left with a bunch of funny stories for your girls.