Date Ideas To Avoid The Friend Zone And Be Closer To Your Potential Partner

It is important to plan your date creatively so you will have a better chance to see that person again. Most people fail at this and are unable to move past the first or third date. Once you succeeded the third date, magical things happen.

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Dodge The Cringey Dates And Smash Through The Friend Zone

If you’re searching for the best date ideas out there, you’ve found them all! We’ve all had an awkward first date or two, and they’re no fun at all. Sure, it’s comes with the territory, but there’s that I-don’t-really-know-you type of awkwardness, and then there’s the level of awkwardness that makes you run screaming for the hills. The latter, you want to avoid.

Thankfully, with some fun planning, you can come up with amazingly easy dates that are guaranteed to make an impression – a good one! Read on for our favorite ideas and leave those awkward date memories in the dust.

“I’ve often liked a girl, made her laugh, and thought she liked me, and then found out that she didn’t like me that way. I’ve definitely done time in the friend zone.” ― Demetri Martin
Cringey Awkward Date

The First Date

Flight Dinner

You’ve probably seen flights already – they’re becoming extremely popular in fine chocolates, wines, and even craft beers. You’re given a set of edibles (or drinkables) which complement each other, in order. The flight dinner takes this concept and applies it to dining out. Have your apps at one restaurant, your entree at another, dessert someplace else, then finish the night off with drinks someplace truly spectacular. It’s not as hard as it sounds, provided you pick spots which don’t leave your stomach growling between courses. Better still, it’s a great first date idea because it gives you much more time to get to know each other, plus the feeling that you’re on your own little adventure. Win-win!

A deliciously indulgent tweak on the Flight Dinner date is the all-dessert Flight Dinner date. Obviously, this is only for the most die-hard dessert lovers, but if that’s you, what’s not to love about sampling the finest sugary goodness your town has to offer?

Ride On

If you both enjoy the outdoors, revive a favorite dating activity of bygone eras – bike riding! As first date ideas go, this is probably one of your sweetie has never been on before, which automatically makes you stand out as something special. No bikes? No problem – most major cities and bike paths offer rentals at extremely affordable prices. Be sure to pick someplace beautiful and scenic, and take plenty of rest stops to chat. Finish up your evening by hitting a nice restaurant or – if you’re cooking skills are up to it – pack a cooler full of goodies for a picnic! Since you’re going to be very alone together, this could turn into an awkward first date, so we suggest trying it with somebody you know at least a little bit.

Festival of Romance

Whatever their age, everybody is a bit of a kid at heart – and what kid doesn’t love fairs and festivals? Whether it’s an artsy outdoor festival or an old-fashioned county fair, they bring out the kid in all of us – and kids love to have a good time. Check your city’s website for upcoming events, and plan your first date ideas accordingly. Be sure to totally indulge – this means every calorie-laden treat, every ride, and every game – although not necessarily in that order! If there’s a concert or fireworks display offered at the end of the evening, be sure to take advantage. As a bonus, it’s practically impossible to have an awkward first date when there is so much activity going on around you.


The Second Date

Congratulations! You’ve landed yourself a second date. Now, of course, the issue of creative date ideas pops up. How to keep them interested, not bored, and still into you, all at the same time? Thankfully, one of these factors can be crossed off the list – if you scored that second date, they are into you. Stop worrying.

Keeping them into you has much more to do with you than what you do on your second date. However, there are some traps to watch out for. Avoid anything involving a big group, or anything that prevents talking to each other (save those trips to the movies for later in the relationship). Other than that, pretty much everything is fair game. Here are our favorite creative date ideas, sure to keep both of you entertained, having fun, and on the road to a third date!

“Dating is about finding out who you are and who others are. If you show up in a masquerade outfit, neither is going to happen.” ― Henry Cloud

Cooking Classes

While these are picking up speed as first-date venues, they’ve been classics for second and third date destinations for years. There’s a good reason for this – cooking together is sexy! Not only do you learn a new skill, but there are tons of opportunities to feed each other. You can sign up to learn a more common dish or technique (like grilling), or take yourselves completely out of your comfort zone by signing up for fiery Thai cuisine lessons. It’s a delicious way to ensure that third date!

Outdoor Activities

Single, paired up or in a group, there’s something energizing about being outside. If your date isn’t necessarily the athletic type, there are still loads of second date ideas you can use to secure that third date. Take your cues from the weather. Walks and hikes are great during any season (in cold climates, be sure your date is up to donning layers of warm clothing!). Try to pick a local destination they haven’t already visited.

Walking Shelter Dogs

Yes, you read that correctly! This is one of our very favorite creative date ideas. It’s totally unexpected, compassionate and surprisingly fun, all at the same time. You’ll need to be sure beforehand that your date doesn’t have a lurking dog phobia. Other than that, all you need is a computer, a phone and a day! Some shelters don’t even require you to sign up – they’ll take walk-in volunteers. Walking shelter dogs is a service every shelter needs; their volunteers are already overworked. As you help out your community, you get the chance to have fun with some adorable furry playmates and actually talk to each other! Ask about your date’s childhood pets. This is a topic nearly everybody loves talking about, and it will put them in a happy, nostalgic mood – a stellar way to ensure that third date!


Surf the Art District

If you live in the city, chances are good that there’s a vibrant art community not too far away. You may already know it – loads of tiny, boutique art galleries packed onto a few streets. These districts make incredible second date ideas because of the variety. Your taste in art may be extremely opposite – she likes paint splatters, you like dogs playing poker. Hopping from gallery to gallery, however, gives you both a chance to see something you like and, even more important, talk about what you see. Unless you happen to say something incredibly offensive about her favorite style or artist, this is a great way to enhance your third date chances!


The Third Date

Once you’ve cleared the hurdles of the first and second dates (arguably the most nerve-wracking situations in the world!), you’re on to the third date. However, as a relationship progresses, thinking up cute third date ideas can be tough. If you’re like most, you probably used up most of your creativity-under-pressure on your first couple dates. No worries – read on for the best collection of fun third date ideas! These ideas are all about connecting on a deeper level and keeping sexual pressure off while still keeping things fun. 

Studies suggest that the pressure created by wondering whether or not a new couple will have sex can actually kill a lot of the fun of those first few dates, and even sabotage the relationship from progressing. Keep things rated PG-13, and you’ll actually be increasing the chances of a long-term relationship in the future.

“Dating is really hard because everyone puts on a front. It’s really difficult to see who is who, so it is important to be yourself.” ― Brooke Burke

Lunch and A Movie (or Play, Concert…)

This cute third date idea is all about connecting, talking and having fun. Scheduling a daytime date shows that you’re not trying to scheme for anything sexual to happen. Planning something to do after you’ve eaten also shows that you care enough to actually plan another date. Pick someplace nice for lunch – daytime price drops mean you can afford super-nice restaurants on a budget. After, you can see a movie, take in an art exhibit, browse a flea market – whatever is happening locally.

Brewery Tour

Virtually everybody likes beer, at least on occasion. And, thanks to the exploding market for small-batch brews, nearly every locale has its very own brewery! This is one of the most popular and fun third date ideas out there because it’s inexpensive, educational (in a fun way) and gives you a chance to talk about what you’re seeing. If you live near a huge, nationally-known brand, that’s great – but don’t overlook the little guys. Often, the smaller breweries offer longer tours, more interaction and more free samples – some even offer snacks!

Be A Tourist

Even in the smallest towns, there are probably loads of cute third date ideas regarding tourist-type destinations. In big cities, this is a very easy date – simply search online for something interesting, make sure your date hasn’t already been there, and book a tour or visit. Do your research, however – many small towns have a fun, goofy claim to fame, like those tourist-trap places advertised on the side of the highway. Yes, it’s silly, but remember, these dates are all about getting to know each other in a fun, pressure-free environment. What’s more fun than touring silly tourist traps? In larger cities, you’ll have your pick of romantic third date ideas. Take your date to the top of the tallest building in town, for example, or take a walking tour of historic places.

As you can see, there are loads of fun and romantic third date ideas very close to home. Be sincere and keep the pressure off, and you’re sure to have a great time on your date. You’re also likely to turn that dating relationship into a longer one!


Bonus Date Idea

Picnic And Yard Games In The Park

Looking for a fun outdoor date idea that involves minimal small talk? Try some modern, popular yard games followed by an intimate picnic in the park! Yard games are not only fun, but are a great way to break the ice! Have a few yard games placed sporadically throughout your yard or park, and let your date choose the first game. From there, the winner can choose the next game! Setting up your own yard games is a great alternative to popular date activities like miniature golf, since your own games aren’t meant for the public.

You and your date will likely be hungry after an afternoon or evening of game play, so prepare a picnic beforehand. You can set out your picnic blanket and store your picnic items in a cooler so the bugs don’t get at them. Alternatively you might try a hot dog roast if you’ll have access to a grill or fire pit! Don’t forget to include some small romantic gestures like a portable music player, a flower for your date, or even some battery-powered candles or lights!

Some of our top yard games for dates include the wooden skittles set — skittles, or bowling, is a classic date idea! Bring the fun of skittles to your date!

If you want to get physical with your date, another fun idea to try are adult bubble balls! You’ll have your date laughing in no time when you introduce this bouncy activity. You can Sumo bounce off each other, play Bubble Soccer, or simply roll around!

Remember the classic game Jenga? Our next outdoor date idea is just that — only bigger. The giant wooden blocks tower set is one of our most popular outdoor games, featuring 58 giant wooden blocks. You and your date will have a grand time, no pun intended, trying to build your tower as high as you possibly can without it toppling over!

We also recommend our 4-player croquet set for double dates! A variety of games can make for a more interesting and unique dating experience! You and your date will not only have a great time, but you’ll make fun memories, and if all goes well, can play these games time and time again.

Collect your favorite yard games today at our online store! It’s never too early to start preparing for the most unique and fun date experience you’ll ever plan!