In an era of pick-up artists and swipe-happy dating games, the thrill of surprise is somewhat weaker than it used to be. There is, arguably, too much choice – some daters do the bare minimum with their meetups, knowing that another, less demanding person is just around the next profile click.
But isn’t is better to be wild and unshackled with your love life? Don’t settle for the norm, and heed our advice for surprise on a first date, getting his or her chest fluttering with what’s to come…
1. Do a ‘people snapping’ exercise
Maybe try this at least midway through the date, so you’ve gotten to know each other as rational, sane individuals. Then, when you’re getting along, suggest that you play an upgrade of the ‘people watching’ sport… This time, however, it involves a smartphone and plenty of sneakiness.
Like two urban ninjas, dot around a crowd, taking turns to photograph people you think are interesting, bonkers or have a story to share. The first of you to bottle out is the loser. It’s a great test for how willing you are to let reservations slide in one another’s company; furthermore, it’s (kinda, sorta) exercise, which is always a good dating boon!
2. Claim a fake restaurant booking
With some finely-tuned charm, you can pretend that you’ve gone for the worst date location in history, before unveiling your real choice just a little further down the road.
Say to the dater that you’ve booked a place at “this high class eatery, somewhere in town, you’ll really like it!”. The locale, as it happens, could be a greasy spoon café, or a pub chain. Ignore your date’s concerned face as you walk through the door – as you’re sitting down, and pretending to admire the menu, act like you’ve dropped something. “Oh, what’s this…” And emerge with two theatre tickets in hand, along with a booking for a fine restaurant somewhere nearby.
3. Prepare a list of hypothetical questions
Obviously, let your brain wander to wherever it wants to go, in the moment, for this sort of dialogue. It’s actually one of the best ways to first message someone online, in addition to the date itself. Hypothetically, your partner can show what they’re made of, by answering questions they’ve never even thought of before…
Try and get a nice split between the banal and bizarre. So for instance, “Would you rather go to a party with Ernest Hemingway, or a football match with Brad Pitt?” could be trailed by “What would be the last cheese on earth you’d ever eat?” Query by query, you’ll laugh, connect, and discover what you’re into. If he\she thinks you’re insane, then all the better for it. Eventually, the real question can be launched: “Do you want to do this again sometime?”
A first date, by all accounts, can be nerve-jangling – that’s why it’s useful to surprise yourself, as much as the dater, with behaviour that’ll keep the mood bright and exhilarating. Sign up for FreeAndSingle, and read our guide to a-typical dating messages before you put your ‘quirky’ hat on… It has to fit first, wouldn’t you agree?