I’ll cut straight to the chase. When you show up for a date with stone-rigid expectations, something is bound to go wrong.
I mean, show me 1 human activity that ever goes 100% as planned. None right?
If we can’t even make weddings look like what we spend years planning, why would our dates which take a fraction of that time to plan be any different? Don’t get me wrong I’m all for planning your dates… I just think in doing so you should remember 2 things:
1. The more precisely you can predict an event, the less excitement it produces.
2. Good plans maximise the fun; bad ones leave no room for it.
Let’s dive in.
Date Nights Fail Under Excessive Planning
You know when your back itches right at the middle and your hand is too short to reach? You lean against the wall, wiggle mercilessly to tame the beast and then you remember you can’t spend the whole day here?
I like to look at planning as the fork you would rush for in that case to scratch your back. It’s a problem solver. But as much as it could give you the sweetest goosebumps, if you press in too hard with any plan, pleasure disappears.
To the best of my failed dates memory, 4 areas where this happens the most are:
- Something makes it impossible for you to go where you really wanted to.
- You had a better place in mind than where he wants you to go.
- Your mate doesn’t look the part.
- Your own dress looks too [insert excuse here] .
- You don’t really feel like doing this because you’ve never done it before.
- This is not for “people like you”.
- You will only do this when she agrees to do this other one.
- This activity is not as fun as the one you had in mind.
- You can only give her X amount of time. So things better start packing quick.
- Your time is precious. And it’s money too.
On their death bed, most people regret the things they did not do. None of the things I mentioned above bear more value than the memories you could build with the person you love. You’ll never be this age twice, or be at this place in your life twice. So use it, make memories as you go along.
Moreover, every second that passes, your time on earth with this person reduces. We love to think we’ll catch up or make up for it later, but older people agree; that time rarely comes. So as long as it is in your control, please go easy on the ‘MUSTS’.
How To Put The Sparkles Back Into Your Date Nights
I know nothing worth having that does not include a meeting with the unknown. To reclaim your date night mojo, you will have to get comfortable with not knowing it all. With time, you’ll even relish it.
I remember a night when my wife and I drove for an hour to have a good time somewhere. That night an angel touched her hair, her makeup was on point and my stomach wasn’t bloated. To our horror we found out that it was the wrong day and that we emptied our perfume for nothing. When you live in a city where every alternative closes at 5pm, there’s reason to fume when this happens.
Instead of sucking our bile like we would have both done a few years earlier, I drove this smily lady I call mine to the riverside, where we dined on dreams and hugs. Wasn’t as fancy as our original plan, but the memory it created seats very close to my heart.
Every failed date is an opportunity to create something out of nothing. And like any IKEA furniture, the things you create in adversity are likely to mean much to you.
So tip number 1 is this:
1. Never let a failed plan go to waste.
There’s always an alternative not far from where you are. Must not always be a paid activity; it could be a monument you both wondered about during a car ride. And maybe the car ride itself could be the date! Play some music, be cheesy, no one’s looking.
2. Set aside more time than your date requires.
Attention is the highest form of generosity. And when one is in a hurry, it’s difficult to look into another person’s eyes or pick the right clues in a conversation. You can’t reach anyone’s heart when you’re on the rush.
If you’ve decided to give your lover attention, go all the way. Be present. You will reap the benefits of this in spades.
3. Have a bank of replacement activities before time.
I’ll give you details about this in a later post. In a nut shell, have a note in your phone with a list of activities you can do for free, under $50 and above $50. This will come in handy when you can’t think quick of what to do to replace a failed activity.
Pro tip: Building this list is a date in itself. Get together, buy a few snacks and giggle-think.
4. Build up your self-esteem to silence the power of appearances
When you’ve got nothing going within yourself, it’s easy to look outside for validation.
You’ll know this is happening to you if the absence great looks can move you more than their presence. The solution is to build your self-esteem so much that you put more value on who you are inside than what every one sees on the outside.
It’s possible. And we show you the first steps here.
Leave room for surprise. Be flexible. Value time spent together more than the things that could be absent from that time. Remember these, and you’ll kiss your date nights back to life.
As always, I’m rowing your gondola.