On a gray February afternoon, I smiled while watching the flurries pelt the windshield of the car. I glanced to my left, where my date was driving me back from our first date.
“Did you have a nice time?” he asked me. When I answered yes, he said, “I did too. Would you want to do something like this again sometime?”
For me, there was no doubt about the response. After all, it had been the best date I’d ever had—and not just because I really liked the guy. Unlike many other dates I’d experienced, this one had structure. Like a storybook, there was an arc—a beginning, a middle, and an end—and he had planned out each part. He picked me up at a set time. We had brunch, followed by a visit to a nearby museum, where he knew to arrive in time for the next guided tour. Clearly, he had put a lot of thought into planning this date. Who wouldn’t be impressed by that?
What makes some dates better than others
Over the years, I had been on a handful of pleasant first dates: an invitation to a formal event, a conversation over coffee, an ice cream outing. But all too often, I had also experienced nebulous “hanging out” dates. These involved meeting up, maybe walking around and chatting, but ultimately wondering what to do. Usually, these “dates” ended up being some passive and largely silent activity, such as watching a movie.
At the time, it seemed the problem was with me. Shouldn’t I have more things to talk about? If we liked each other, shouldn’t our conversation just flow? It wasn’t until I started dating someone who consistently planned our dates that I realized the problem wasn’t with me but with those other dates.
As humans, we bond through shared experiences. Sometimes those experiences get thrown in our path unexpectedly, but in ordinary life, they usually require a plan. So while there might be people out there who recognize their soulmate simply by “hanging out” with them, I recognized mine because his actions—putting effort into creating quality time with me—showed me that he cared for me more than any other person I’d dated.
The value of a well-planned date
In my experience, the planned-out date keeps its charm no matter how long a relationship has been going. Why? A plan always demonstrates effort and …….