The Ultimate date

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ultimate date In her latest Single Girl’s Guide to Dating post, Brooke Falvey reminisces over some of her best dates and explores what it really is that makes a date great.

“Could you please describe your idea of a perfect date? That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket”. — Miss Congeniality

It’s fair to say that over the past 15 years, I have dated my way around the world. I’ve been to football games in London, eaten giant pretzels at Coney Island, kissed on a rooftop in Italy, ridden at motorbike along the beach at St Kilda and walked the Brisbane River at sunset. And let’s not forget last year’s four-day second date in Las Vegas (although I actually wouldn’t mind forgetting the date portion of the trip!) and, take my word for it, it’s hard to turn up for a date looking good when you’ve just stepped off a 16 hour flight.

Given this history, a lot of people assume that when it comes to dating me, the bigger the better, but when it comes to my ideal date I’d like to think I’m fairly low maintenance. For starters, I don’t think there is an ‘ideal date’ and I think to believe there is, is just setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, think of it this way—there are great dates, not-so-great dates and bad dates.

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When it comes to great dates I don’t need an international flight or five-star cuisine (but I probably wouldn’t say no if it was offered). I need to be with someone who makes me laugh, who is kind to me and the waiter, and someone who is interested in getting to know me beyond the usual ‘where did you grow up?’, ‘what does your job involve?’, ‘do you have siblings?’.

One of my best dates happened over burgers and ten pin bowling and while it did take place in New York, we could have been anywhere in the world and I wouldn’t have noticed because I was having such a good time. In recent years I’ve realised I really love dates that involve doing things. And they may not necessarily be first dates because I like to keep them somewhat short and sweet (unless someone sweeps me off my feet) as a bit of a taster, but once I’m comfortable with that person then doing an activity is a great way to see another side of them.

The reason my burger and bowling date was so great, aside from the guy, was because we mixed things up; we had a chance to sit and chat over our burgers and fries and then we unleashed our fun and somewhat competitive sides over bowling with an added dash of flirting. Doing an activity on a date is a good way to take off the pressure – you don’t have to worry about making conversation for hours or stress about whether you’ll get spinach stuck in your teeth or end up drunk. Plus a little healthy competition, whether it’s ten pin bowling or testing out a new recipe in a cooking class, never hurt anyone.

But keep in mind a date isn’t the time to really challenge yourself, so put all thoughts of first time skydiving or going for a run if you’ve never done so much as a jog on hold!

Unlike my favourite brownies, there’s no set recipe that guarantees a great date – but the key ingredient is definitely the person you’re with and how comfortable you feel both in yourself and with them. And when you find someone you really enjoy spending time with, it won’t matter what the date involves as long as you’re together.

Finally, here are my top 8 tips to be a good date:

Turn up

One of the biggest fears people have about first dates is whether they’ll be stood up. Confirm your date a couple of hours earlier.

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Don’t be late

But if you’re picking them up, don’t be too early either because your date may not be ready.

Open the car door

This is a pretty smooth (and easy) move that is guaranteed to get you a smile.

Don’t think you have to spend a lot

Most people will be more impressed by the questions you ask and the interest you show rather than the money you spend.

Listen

Don’t just talk about yourself all night, and if you ask questions, stop and listen to the answers, don’t just move on.

Ditch the checklist

Some people feel they need to immediately find out if their date meets the requirements on their check-list, but where’s the fun it that? Just because someone doesn’t tick every box doesn’t mean they’re not your ideal match!

Focus on fun

Focus on making the date fun and enjoyable for both of you – because if you’re having a good time, it will be a good date.

Be polite

Even if your date is as enjoyable as a root canal, hold on to your manners and ride it out. Think of it as good date karma.

By Brooke Falvey

What’s your ideal date? Tell us in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

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