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Last Updated on January 26, 2021

50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

How many times can you go out to dinner and a movie? Not that there’s anything wrong with the quintessential date standard, but it gets boring after a while.

Especially if you’ve been in a relationship for any length of time, you’re probably running out of date ideas. You are still going on dates, right. Even long-term relationships need to go on a date occasionally.

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So, for those of you who feel stuck in the “dating rut” here are some date ideas for couples:

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  1. Do a restaurant tour – Pick an area with a bunch of restaurants. Start with cocktails and appetizers at a restaurant with a bar or lounge, head somewhere different for the main course and finish up someplace else with fabulous desserts.
  2. Look for treasure – Browse antique stores, flea markets, second hand shops or yard. You don’t have to buy; just looking is fun.
  3. Movies with a twist – Instead of haggling over drama vs. action and settling on a comedy flick to keep the peace, why not leave it up to chance. Close your eyes and pick. Whatever it is, both have to agree to honor the choice or it’s not fun.
  4. Explore the nearest state park – Pack a picnic. Go for a hike or hit a nature trail.
  5. Rent bikes – Go on a biking tour of your area. There are often organized bike tours or routes already mapped out for you.
  6. Rent a boat for the afternoon – If a sailboat is not your thing, rent a rowboat, paddle-boat, or kayak.
  7. Attend a festival in a neighboring city.
  8. Broaden your dinner horizons – Choose a new restaurant, someplace neither of you have ever tried. Bonus points if it’s a different ethnic cuisine than you normally eat.
  9. Do some stargazing – Get a book on constellations, aim your telescope at the stars see how many you can pick out. Prefer a more professional venue? Visit a planetarium.
    • Ghost tour – If you’re into the supernatural craze that’s storming our country, go on a ghost tour. Many towns now have “haunted houses” open for guided tours
    • Mini Golf – Old-fashioned fun, friendly competition and inexpensive, what’s not to love.
    • Cooking night – Make your favorite dishes together—work as a team on a brand-new recipe.
    • Dinner Cruise – Whether you live by the ocean or near a lake, you can easily find dinner cruises. Brunch or moonlight cruises are also another good option.
    • Have an indoor picnic – Serve dinner on a picnic blanket laid out in the living room. Open a bottle of wine with some favorite finger foods. An indoor picnic can be even more fun and romantic than a traditional outdoor one. It’s quieter and no interruptions!
    • Visit a museum – Nearly everyone has a museum or several within driving distance. Plan an afternoon wandering around the exhibits. If art isn’t your thing, try a history, sport, or cultural museum.
    • Learn a new activity together – Take a dance or photography class or learn how to play shuffleboard.
    • Go to the theater – The Theater is a date favorite. It’s a little classier than a movie and you get to dress up and soak in some culture.
    • Art gallery – A trip to the local art gallery is a wonderful date idea.
    • Try new cuisine – Check out a new ethnic cuisine — something neither of you have tried before. The element of adventure will add some excitement to your date, and, who knows, maybe the two of you will find a new favorite.
      • Be tourists for the day – Go sightseeing around your city. Stop inside places you often pass but never go into.
      • Reawaken your inner child – Stop at the toy store to pick up a few goodies. Try a Frisbee or kite for some outdoor fun.
      • Recreate a memorable date  – Think of a favorite past date, something that means something special to you as a couple; where you first met, your first date together, where you professed your love or popped the question.
      • Take in amateur night – Visit a local bar, club, or coffeehouse and watch the amateurs display their talent. If you’re adventurous, get up there and try it yourself.
      • Bowling – Bowling is an old-school date idea with a casual, relaxed feel. It not only makes a fun date, but also makes a great first date.
      • Be daring – Go rock climbing, bungee jumping or sky diving.
      • Outdoor theater – Think Shakespeare in the park. Theater is so much more fun and relaxed under the canopy of the sky than in a stuffy theater.
      • Bingo – Playing bingo is actually more fun than you might think. Find a local community organization, buy your cards, and get ready to shout “Bingo!”
      • Game night – You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. Try a play date instead. Pick up a deck of cards and a board game for an indoor date.
      • Go skating – Roller-skating is always fun, even if neither of you have ever done it. Ice skating is a great option as well in the chilly months.
        • Mystery trip – Plan a day or an afternoon and take a trip to nowhere in particular. Just get into your car and drive. Stop when you want to eat or get a closer look at something of interest. Wing and have fun, but you might want to bring your smart-phone or GPS just in case you get hopelessly lost and can’t find your way home.
        • Engage in some friendly outdoor competition – Have a date at the driving range, batting cages, or go-kart track.
        • Take the gaming indoors – Visit a local arcade or gaming center. Don’t know where to go? Just ask some local 13 year olds, they’ll know.
        • Drive-In – Another old- school date idea that’s making a comeback of late. There’s something so cozy about watching a movie at the drive-in. Maybe it’s that you feel 16 all over again or maybe it’s just the fogged up windows…
        • Amusement Park – Ride roller coasters, eat cotton candy, get your picture taken in the photo booth, try your hand at some carnival games, and check out the view from the top of the Ferris wheel.
        • Play sports – Hit the golf course, tennis court, or ski slope for some sporting fun.
        • Dinner Theater – Interactive murder mystery-type dinner shows have become very popular. Good food, lively entertainment, and fun. A perfect date combination.
        • Visit the Aquarium – Aquariums aren’t just for schoolchildren, they’re also a great place for a date. Take a leisurely stroll while you survey the sea life.
        • Go on a picnic – A tried and true, but often overlooked date option. Pack up your picnic basket, add a bottle of wine, and choose a great spot. To make it more interesting, choose an ethnic cuisine, do a breakfast, or moonlight picnic.
          • Take in the sunset – Walk on the beach, sit on a dock, find higher ground, or just choose a quiet spot to soak in the sunset together. While you’re at it, pack some food and turn it into a simple sunset picnic.
          • Visit your local ballpark or stadium – Get tickets to a professional game or cheer for your hometown favorite.
          • Attend a concert – Live music is always a great way to spend a date. Get tickets to a big name act or enjoy a local band in the park, or a local club.
          • Wine tasting – Take an organized wine tour, or visit local wineries on your own (or with another couple.) Just make sure you have a designated driver please.
          • Go to the beach – Lie in the sun, take a swim, or skip some rocks. A day at the beach is a fun date.
            • High-school musical – No, not the movie…attend an actual high-school musical. Most high schools put on an annual musical or play. Tickets are inexpensive and you might just see some budding actors.
            • Go horseback riding – Find a local stable and either take a guided ride, a lesson or rent horses if you already know how to ride. Giddy up!
            • Volunteer – Spend some time at a local shelter or food kitchen or even join a community beautification project. Helping others can actually be a great way to spend time together and do some good in the process.
            • Casino night – Either visit a casino if you have one or go to a “casino night” fundraiser for a local organization. It’s thrilling and fun. Just don’t spend more than you can afford to lose.
            • Up, up and away – Take a hot air balloon ride. Glide over the roof tops pointing out sights of interest or just enjoy floating on air.
            • Factory tour – It sounds kind of lame, but it’s actually fascinating to see the inside of a local brewery or manufacturing plant. You’ll see things you never imagined.
            • Movie marathon – You each pick a couple of movies of your choice, (no arguments,) and cozy up on the couch with snacks and the remote.

            There are so many dating options out there to choose from, depending upon your interests, budget, and location. There’s something for every couple. Remember, whether you’re 20 or 60, dating should be fun!

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            photo credit: Pinterest

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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            More by this author

            Royale Scuderi

            A creative strategist, consultant and writer who specializes in cultivating human potential for happiness, health and fulfillment.

            3 Simple Ways to Invest in Yourself and Change Your Life 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples Why You Need to Say No! More Often How to Fall Asleep Fast and Have a Restful Sleep (The Definitive Guide) 10 Simple Ways to Find Balance and Get Your Life Back

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            Published on April 7, 2021

            6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

            6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

            Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

            While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

            1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

            Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

            If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

            In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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            2. They Make Everything Transactional

            Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

            For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

            Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

            A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

            Some statements to be wary of include:

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            • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
            • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
            • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
            • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

            3. They Criticize Everything

            One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

            However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

            Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

            • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
            • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
            • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
            • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

            4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

            We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

            For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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            This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

            5. They Socially Isolate You

            Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

            Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

            This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

            In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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            6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

            It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

            Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

            Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

            • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
            • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
            • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
            • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

            Final Thoughts

            It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

            More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

            Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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