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30 Fun First Date Ideas That Will Thrill You And Your Partner

30 Fun First Date Ideas That Will Thrill You And Your Partner

Planning a great first date can be rough. McDonald’s and the movies are fine for 16 year olds, but as a more mature and sophisticated person, you can and should do better. Fear not, nascent lover! Here are 30 great first date ideas that are sure to get you to the second date with style!

1) A night at the theater

Theater Lights

    Culture is all but dead in modern society. Why not set yourself apart by getting tickets to a showing of one of Shakespeare’s plays, a stand-up comedy revue, or even a presentation of the opera? (We recommend avoiding Don Giovanni as a first date for a number of reasons.) Not only will your date appreciate the extra thought, but it’ll make you look more sophisticated, too!

    2 Do something sporty!

    With the average job becoming more sedentary than ever before, people like to get out and move around in their free time. Taking your date for a little physical exercise is a good way for both of you to compete in a friendly fashion and loosen up in a very casual environment. Batting cages, bowling alleys, roller-skating rinks and even miniature golf courses are all good venues for getting to know someone better without expectations. As a bonus, you can see if your date is a sore loser…or winner!

    3) Go fishing

    man-fishing

      For the outdoorsy type, there are few better ways to enjoy someone’s company and alleviate pressure than by wetting a line. Even if you don’t catch anything, or just choose to catch and release, fishing is an excellent relaxation activity that allows for conversation and closeness in the great outdoors. If you do catch something, you can do your own fish fry to top off the day!

      4) Attend a museum

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        Museums are great first-date venues because they are public places chock-full of knowledge and fascinating artifacts. Ask your date what kind of art or ancient societies interest them and plan your day accordingly. For someone who always wanted to be a paleontologist, someplace like the Field Museum in Chicago would be ideal, while the artistic sort would likely enjoy the Guggenheim. Your date is sure to appreciate the extra effort you put into sharing their interests!

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        5) Be a kid again at the arcade

        Taking your date to the arcade is a fun way to show you still have a sense of humor and know how to have good, old-fashioned childlike fun. Playing skee-ball, collecting tickets, and buying frivolous prizes with them is a fairly inexpensive and exciting way to have a good time without any pressure. If you’re really good at the games, you may be able to win that oversized, plush, purple dragon for your date, ensuring she’ll think of you for years to come!

        6) Take a spin on go-karts

        There are few things better than getting behind the wheel of a go-kart and trying to make the best time on the track. When you have a date, you can add fun and excitement to the race by making a friendly wager. Maybe the loser buys ice cream or the winner gets to decide what kind of pizza you’re having afterward. This is another good first date idea that mingles competition and fun.

        7) Create a picnic

        picnic

          This may sound a little corny, but stay with me. Building a picnic lunch with your best gourmet tricks (if you don’t have any, check out this link for some recipes that will help) and her favorite wine shows you have confidence in yourself and your culinary abilities, but also took the time to think about what she would enjoy. Picking out the perfect spot, whether it’s by a duck pond, on top of a cliff, or out in the woods is a good way to get away from it all, enjoy a relaxing time, and get to know each other better.

          8) Off to the races!

          Horse racing is an exciting pastime and a fun first-date idea. Whether you’re a hard-core trackhound or a casual observer, putting down bets and then watching to see if your horses will take the day can be a great way to get to know your date better. Just be careful, because there’s a good chance she might be better at picking the ponies than you are!

          9) Do a little stargazing

          file0001286388267

            The nice thing about the stars is, they’re free for anyone to look at. Why not go out away from the light pollution and noise of the city and amaze her with your knowledge of astronomy? (And, if you happen to know a little something about astrology, that’s even better!) Stargazing is a romantic and fun way to spend time together, especially if you tell her that shooting star doesn’t hold a candle to her!

            10) Try volunteering

            The idea of a first date is to show the size of your heart. Why not spend your first date doing volunteer work? Whether you’re reading to young children or serving up food at a soup kitchen, or even helping with the animals at a shelter, you’re sure to impress her with your civic-mindedness and caring for others. However, if you’re going to do this, make sure it’s a cause you really believe in.There are few things less impressive to a person than the feeling their date is just putting on a show.

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            11) Listen to live music

            What’s more enjoyable than listening to a live band? You don’t need to spend $300 on concert seats, though. Why not check out the local blues joint or the country band playing at your favorite watering hole? If the band’s really good, you might just get a dance or two out of it. The live music will also give you some insights into their musical tastes, which is an important baseline for deciding how compatible you’ll be in other ways!

            12) Brave the haunted house

            Everyone likes a good scare once in a while, and being scared automatically gets you closer emotionally and physically. Because of this, a haunted house can be a fun first date idea. Just be careful to leave the scaring to the professionals! Your job is to be just as scared as your date is, and to let her hold on to you when she needs to. This is a good way to show your bravery and tenderness.

            13) Cook a dinner

            Anybody can pick up a phone and make a dinner reservation. It takes real skill to cook well. Why not cook your date’s favorite meal, or a reasonable facsimile of it? With all the food websites and cooking shows around, it’s easy to find good recipes that even a guy who burns water can make. Your date will enjoy the effort, especially if you kick it up a notch by choosing the perfect complementary wine to accompany the meal.

            14) Attend a wine tasting

            Cheers to That! 7 Unexpected Benefits of Red Wine

              Wine tasting is almost a lost art in our culture, as are most social graces. To impress your date with your old-school sensibilities, why not do something really different and attend a wine tasting together? There’s a good chance you’ll learn a thing or two, and you’ll both have a lot of fun!

              15) Go to open-mic poetry

              Many people fear public speaking more than they do dying. However, open-mic poetry is a good way to show your more scholarly and sensitive side. Write your own pieces and present them, or find some poems you enjoy that tell your date how you feel. You never know–your date may even have a own poem about you!

              16) Go see a parade

              Okay, parades aren’t exactly the most common things in the world, but if there’s going to be one in your town, why not attend? Everyone enjoys a parade, and your date will like the fact you thought outside the box.

              17) Take a stroll in the park

              A walk in the park is a good first date idea because it’s simple and relaxing. What could be better than appreciating the beauty of nature and your date, at the same time? Plus, a walk in the park can be combined with a number of the other first date ideas on this list for a great beginning, or end, to your date!

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              18) Go antiquing

              If your date thinks that older is sometimes better, a visit to the local antiques shop can be a fun and refreshing icebreaker. Keep your eyes peeled for something reasonably priced but memorable to give to your date as a memento of your special day together.

              19) Take an art class together

              7 Steps To Becoming A Full-time Artist

                If you and your date enjoy drawing, painting, or any other kind of artistic endeavor, why not take a class together? There are few better gifts you can give than that of knowledge, and an art class may just spark inspiration for one or both you. It may even spark something even deeper.

                20) Go on a hike

                Much like walking in the park, a hike can be combined with other ideas, such as fishing, picnicking, or stargazing, to create a one-of-a-kind first date experience. Especially if you know a great hiking trail or an awesome overlook, this can be a good way to spend some one on one time without the hustle and bustle of the city getting in the way.

                21) Build a teddy bear

                Places like Build-a-Bear Workshop are good first date venues because they allow you to indulge a sense of whimsy and show off your inner child a little. Maybe your date likes Star Wars or Harry Potter. This is a fun way to enjoy the other person’s company and create something that’s as unique as your date, and that she can enjoy long after the date’s over.

                22) Attend a lecture

                Many colleges and universities offer lectures that are open to the public on a wide range of topics. Maybe you and your date are both advocates for gender equality, or you both enjoy speculating about the nuances and theoretically underpinnings of faster-than-light travel. An academic lecture is an intellectual first date. It’s excellent for stimulating conversation and interest, both in the topic and each other.

                23) Sightseeing

                Playing tourist is a fun way to get to know each other and look at your town through new eyes.

                24) Go to the carnival

                What’s more awesome than attending an old-school carnival? Play for prizes, hit the rides, go through the House of Mirrors, and see who can eat the most funnel-cake!

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                25) Go paddle-boating

                For a more relaxing date, rent a tandem paddle boat at your nearest lake and spend a lazy afternoon exploring! (Pro tip: This goes great with snack foods like cupcakes!)

                26) Take a drive

                cute-couple-in-car-512x384-2426

                  Finding something new is always a good way to spend time together. Taking a drive in a direction neither of you usually goes can give you new sights to see and new places to stop and see what’s going on. You might even find the perfect restaurant to cap off the day.

                  27) Take a swim

                  Find the nearest swimming pool, lake, or river and jump in. If you really want to get creative, pick up a new bathing suit that tells your date how you feel about them!

                  28) Go skiing

                  For the outdoor enthusiast, nothing says wintertime fun like whizzing down a mountain on a blanket of fresh powder. Just make sure the run you choose matches both of your skill levels!

                  29) Go running

                  For a healthy and fun first date, take a jog or a run together. Try new paths, look for wildlife, and stop for an ice cream or a coffee afterward!

                  30) Watch the sun rise

                  While some people may not consider this a good first-date idea, you’ll get bonus points for creativity and thinking outside the box. Even better, you can surprise your date with breakfast and early-morning conversation!

                  cookeville-sunrise

                     

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                    Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                    Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

                    You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

                    This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

                    What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

                    According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

                    Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

                    There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

                    How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

                    When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

                    Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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                    1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

                    One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

                    The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

                    Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

                    2. Be Honest

                    A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

                    If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

                    On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

                    Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

                    3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

                    Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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                    If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

                    4. Succeed at Something

                    When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

                    Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

                    5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

                    Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

                    Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

                    If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

                    If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

                    Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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                    6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

                    Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

                    You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

                    On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

                    You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

                    7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

                    Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

                    Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

                    Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

                    When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

                    Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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                    In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

                    Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

                    It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

                    Final Thoughts

                    When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

                    The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

                    Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

                    Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

                    Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

                    More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

                    Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
                    [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
                    [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
                    [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
                    [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
                    [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
                    [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
                    [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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