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Last Updated on January 10, 2018

21 First Date Ideas

21 First Date Ideas

First date is always important because it’s where you drop your first impression and most importantly, it plays a big role to determine whether or not this relationship will work out.

It’s just like choosing what to read. Let’s not talk about the book cover (I know, I know, Don’t just a book by its cover!) so now we all judge by how the story begins. No matter how amazing the storyline is, if the introduction failed to grab readers’ attention, no one is going to read it because no one likes to get their time wasted. Relationship works this way too.

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If you need ideas to secure your first date and your own impression, You’ve come to the right place! When I first started dating, my idea of a date was the stereotypical cheap-dinner-and-a-movie. Don’t hate on me, I didn’t know any better! By the time I finished high school I was pretty comfortable in my own skin and got pretty good at coming up with ideas for dates. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorites as well as some suggested by friends. Enjoy!

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Outdoor Adventures

  1. Go for a walk – This is such a simple first date idea but most shy away from it because they feel like they must do something complex in order for their date to be impressed. Wrong! The only ideas you need to impress your date with are the ones that you articulate as your conversation progresses. If you are an interesting person and have found a fun person to spend time with, rest assured that a walk about town will be just fine. Remember, the idea is to leave your date wanting more. As a warning, you may be tempted to start talking about previous relationships. Don’t. That’s not how to get over an ex. Rather, enjoying the company of a fun new person without dwelling on the past will serve you best!
  2. Watch an outdoor movie – Going to a movie is pretty worn out in the world of first date ideas. You can resurrect it in a fun way by going to see a movie outdoors or, even better, at a drive-in movie theater if you still happen to have one near where you live.
  3. Create your own picnic – Pick a nice spot near where you’re meeting up and swing by a grocery store or take-out restaurant for some quick eats before setting up camp for food and conversation with your new favorite person. There’s no need to spend a lot of money. Picnics are supposed to be simple and you want it to be about getting to know your date, not truffles wrapped in gold foil!
  4. Go boating – The idea of sailing on a first date seems like a recipe for disaster but something milder, like canoeing, row boating, or taking a paddle boat out on a sunny afternoon would work well. Admittedly, the last time I took a girl on a paddle boat for a date we both ended up soaking wet with marsh moss in our hair. It was amazing though!
  5. Go for a run together – If running is your idea of a good time, an easy run with a new friend can make for a great date!
  6. Volunteer at a soup kitchen – One of the best first dates I’ve ever been on involved meeting up with a woman at 5:30am to serve breakfast at the local soup kitchen. Not only did we get to know each other better but we got to do something worthwhile that helped our community. It’s hard to come up with a reason why giving back to your community could be considered a bad idea for a first date! If you don’t have a soup kitchen or other short-order volunteer opportunity, be creative and come up with your own. There is always somebody nearby who could use some help if we are willing to give it.
  7. Get up insanely early and be the first customers at your favorite breakfast joint – You’ll get a chance to chat before the restaurant gets busy and have time to do some people-watching when the regulars start pouring in. Note: If you find somebody who is cool with rolling out of bed early to join you for a breakfast date, it’d be a bad idea to let them get away!

Indoor Sweetness

  1. Take an intro yoga or other fitness class – If you’re really out of shape, this might not be a great idea for a first date. Otherwise, pick a class that will fit both of your fitness levels and have some fun! You should know that getting hot and sweaty
  2. Visit a psychic – Everybody likes to know the future, well, at least a prediction of it!
  3. Visit a shut-in – This might not seem like it belongs on a list of first date ideas but if you step away from your preconceptions, I think you might consider it and even try it out. Visiting people who are unable to get out and enjoy regular social interactions isn’t just a worthwhile use of your time. It gives you a chance to learn a bit about the character of your date. Is he or she willing to spend time with people who are in need? If your date is unkind it will only be a matter of time before that unkindness is pointed at you. Seek the good hearts!
  4. Play video games – Playstation, Nintendo, Xbox, it doesn’t matter. If your date is into video games and you’ve got strong thumbs, it might be time for a bit of virtual smackdown! Just be careful not to beat your date too badly at whatever video game you decide to play. You don’t want your first date ideas to turn into video-game-inspired revenge ideas.
  5. Take a music lesson together – Have you always wanted to learn how to play the guitar or some other instrument? Inviting a date along for a partner lesson at a local music school might be a fun way to start your lesson and get the much-dreaded first date out of the way.
  6. Go to a used bookstore – It can be a new bookstore if you insist. It doesn’t matter! If you and your date enjoy reading and perusing books, hitting up a bookstore on a first date may just end up being one of the ideas that sets you on a quick course to true love.
  7. Go gift shopping – Not for each other, but for somebody else. Perhaps you need to pick up a gift for your sister or some other relative and you need some insight into the process? Ask your date to give you some in-motion advice and perhaps even pick up something small for each other. Trinkets only. Save the cars and fur coats for later dates!

Play It Safe Ideas

  1. Take a cooking class together – Check your local community college or continuing education program for listings of cooking classes you can take if there isn’t a culinary school to be found.
  2. Visit a tourist hot spot in your town that neither of you has been to before – Even if you’ve been living in the same place for years, there’s a great chance that you’ll have missed at least a few interesting places in your community. If it turns out that your chosen spot is a dud, get creative and come up with a few quick ideas to finish off your date. Most will give you a lot of slack if little things go wrong. Just keep the conversation interesting and the venue won’t be such a killer.
  3. Attend a local film or music festival – It’s a rare individual who won’t enjoy a local festival at least a bit. This is a pretty safe bet for anybody but the most boring of people.
  4. Meet up for a drink – This is one of the safest, and therefore one of the most-used first date ideas. You can make things a bit more adventurous by visiting a jazz club or finding a bar that will teach you to make new drinks. Of course, you could always go and grab some bottled water.
  5. Visit a new restaurant – There’s a bit of risk in eating at a new restaurant because you can’t be sure of the quality but this first date idea still makes the “safe” list because it’s not hugely risky.
  6. Eat in – Do you already have great cooking skills? If so, break ’em out for an early dinner! You might want to check for possible food allergies before you start sharing your iron chef skills though.
  7. Phone it in – Oh yeah, the date that consists entirely of talking into a small electronic device. This one is for all you cyber dating pros out there looking for first date ideas like you planned on doing something other than talking on your phone.All jokes aside, there are some benefits to phoning in. Sure, you don’t get to see your date’s face while you’re talking, but that also means that you don’t have to get dressed up or worry about what your face looks like. See? Might not be a bad idea.

Things to keep in mind on your first date

So now I guess you have sufficient ideas on where to go on your first date. Still, I would like to remind you some of the important things that you need to keep in mind if you want your first date to be perfect!

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  1. Don’t be late. This is a common rule but a lot of people still fail to do so. No one likes to spend their timing waiting and being late is simply disrespectful. Give yourself enough time to prepare and try to arrive the location 10-15 mins earlier. If you are running late, make sure you give your date a call or text so they can go to a cafe or find somewhere to sit while waiting for you.
  2. Don’t get over-dressed. I know how that feel, you want to look perfect for your date and try very hard to dress up to impress them. However, it’s best to dress according to the event you are going to. Imagine if you guys are going for pinic and you are in suit or high heels, that would be super awkward for both of you. I am pretty sure you won’t impress him/her for this.
  3. Don’t talk about past relationship. Either asking or talking about them are a big “NO-NO”. This is something very personal to ask on a first date because you are not sure whether your date is comfortable to talk about it. Talking about your ex might also leave your date an impression that you still haven’t moved on yet.
  4. Don’t get too drunk. If you can’t control yourself when you are drunk, I am pretty sure you know what to do. Also, it’s always nice to stay a sharp mind to remember all the things that happened on your first dates so you guys can start to build on memories and topics to talk about on your next date.
  5. Do offer to split the bill. If you are a guy and you feel comfortable to pay the bill, that’s very nice of you. But for ladies, don’t just sit there and expect people to pay for your meal, it’s always nice to offer help on the bill! It shows that you are friendly and considerable person. Of course, if the guy insist to pay, just let them do the job and don’t argue over it.
  6. Don’t focus on talking about yourself. Who doesn’t love to understood? Dates are supposed to be chances for you guys to know more about each other before getting into a relationship (or friendship, oops) So if you can’t help to blablabla about yourself, you will leave an impression of you not interested in your dates. Always remember it’s not a stand-up comedy, it’s a CONVERSAION. Try to ask your dates about their interests, jobs and hobbies, nothing too serious and personal!
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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system”.

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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The power of habit

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being six hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The wonderful thing about triggers (reminders)

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to make a reminder works for you

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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