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Perfect Date: 36 Secrets to Be a Good Date, Plan an Ideal One & Impress Them

You finally got your crush to go out with you – how exciting! But now you need to plan the perfect date. Where do you start? Here’s all you need to know.

how to plan a perfect date

Every girl fantasizes about the perfect date, but what guys don’t know is that a girl would be perfectly happy with simple acts of thoughtfulness instead of a grand show. 

The only problem is that some guys can’t seem to live up to even the lowest of expectations.

On a dating show, the host will ask a female player, “What is your perfect date?” The most generic answer you can hope for is a nice dinner at a restaurant, followed by a moonlit walk along the beach, and a perfect good-night kiss. 

Who wouldn’t want that, right? And it sounds pretty simple too, of course, unless you don’t live by the beach! 

So, what are the guys’ options these days? A lot, if you design your next date based on this feature. Because almost always, the little details make all the difference between a bad date and a perfect date. 

A perfect date isn’t about the ability to provide her with everything on her dream-date checklist, but it’s genuinely the thought and effort that counts. [Read: 30 fun first date ideas that leave them wanting more]

Why does giving her the perfect date matter?

The perfect date for her isn’t just important for taking perfect Instagram photos to boast to all her friends that she went on this remarkable date. It’s more about feeling loved and cared for at that moment. 

A perfect date lets her see and feel all the essential things she is looking for in a partner, such as thoughtfulness, romance, effort, and quality time.

All a girl wants on any date is to get to know you better while having fun in the process. Also, by helping her experience a perfect date, she’ll want to continue dating you to deepen your connection further. [Read: How to be a good date every single time]

The potential of your relationship is based on how perfect your date is, which makes this a crucial aspect of any new relationship. 

If you want her to agree to date number two, and way more, pay attention to the little details she hopes to experience on a really good date. 

What makes a date romantic and perfect?

If you watch anything from Hollywood, you probably think that first dates have to be swish and hugely impressive to make it to date number two. [Read: 20 things that will completely perfect your first date conversation]

This is not true. A great first date is about connection and having fun together. It’s not about money or huge effort.

Of course, do your best to impress, but impress with your personality above everything else. Some of the best dates are simple in nature. 

For instance, a walk through a national park, followed by lunch in a cozy country pub is a wonderful way to spend your first date together! [Read: Top 50 amazing first date ideas to wow your date!]

If you go too over the top, keen and eager to impress, chances are that you will come over as trying too hard. That’s never a good thing. 

Most men and women are turned off by someone who’s clearly trying to impress with money and flashy items, rather than their sense of humor, warm personality, and wit.

The perfect date – What do girls want on a date?

Before you decide where to take your girl and what to do with her, you have to know what it is she’s generally expecting from a date. [Read: What do girls like in guys? 30 desirable traits and turn offs women hate]

Women are not that different from guys, which makes it easier to know what makes them happy and what doesn’t when they’re spending time with you. 

Here are some things that can help you give a girl the date of her dreams.

1. She wants to get to know you

This is the most basic necessity of them all. It is the sole reason why she agreed to the date in the first place. [Read: The 24 worst things you can say on the first date]

No matter what happens by the end of the night, the date is designed to make you feel comfortable around each other enough so that you can both progress to a higher level of intimacy.

This is the primary reason why girls love going on dates. It gives them a chance to get to know you and see if they like who you are.

2. She wants to have fun

Although it’s necessary to talk about each other while on the date, there’s no rule saying that you can’t have fun while doing so. [Read: 30 really fun first date ideas that’ll leave your date wanting so much more]

There’s a reason why the honeymoon stage is the most exciting stage in dating, and it’s because dates will always be fun! 

Whether perfect or not, this is what girls seek on dates.

Even if you’re just having dinner, you can still have fun just by talking about the things that make her laugh and smile. You can make your date exciting and different by taking her hiking or to an arcade! [Read: 51 warning signs of a bad first date and BIG red flags in the first few dates]

The possibilities are endless when it comes to making sure both of you have a great time, and a lot of fun as well.

3. She wants to eat

Hell hath no fury as a woman starved! Some girls don’t like having dinner on a first date, but a three-hour date usually necessitates some form of sustenance. 

You can get coffee with dessert, a burger after getting drinks from a bar, or even a tub of popcorn while watching a movie. [Read: Foodie dates – 15 trendy dinner ideas for new couples]

You know what they say, if you want to make her happy, then let her eat! Taking her to a good restaurant with all her favorite foods is a bonus for your dates.

4. She wants to tell you about herself

Everyone wants an audience. They want to be heard and they want to be reacted to. So, don’t just talk about yourself in the hopes of impressing your date. 

She’ll be able to tell whether you’re listening attentively and if you care about what she’s saying. So don’t just pretend to hear her, but genuinely listen to what she’s trying to tell you. [Read: 18 things to avoid doing on the first date]

Don’t just use the date to brag about yourself, assuming she wants to know all about how awesome you are. Remember, conversations are a two-way street. You wouldn’t want to come across as selfish, would you?

5. She wants to know that you like her

Compliment your date. Acknowledge what she’s saying. Make her feel special. It’s not that hard. This is also another significant aspect of a date, especially a perfect date. [Read: The 25 best compliments for girls and genuine lines she’ll love to hear from you]

If you want to make the date as special as possible, make her feel liked and adored. Make sure she knows that you’re actually interested in her and getting to know more about her.

6. She wants to be treated like a queen

Of course, this should be on the list of what women look for on a perfect date. Generally, it’s not about how much you spend on the date, but how well you treat her. 

Girls love going on dates because it makes them feel special, and if they’re with a chivalrous guy, it makes the date all the more special! [Read: How to treat a woman right – 21 ways to make her want to stay with you]

Since you’re putting your best foot forward with this date, treating her with chivalry should come naturally.

This means opening car doors, picking her up, gently placing your palm on her back when crossing the street, and giving her your jacket when she gets cold. These are very small gestures, but ones that she’ll appreciate.

7. She wants to see if you’re a good guy

Obviously, the purpose of a date is to get to know you better. So, girls go on dates to do what they can’t over text: see if you’re really a genuinely good guy. It’s also her chance to check if there are any red flags, such as being disrespectful to you or anyone.

The purpose of a date is to get to know one another, and in order for you to land another date with her, she needs to see if you’re a nice guy first. Otherwise, what’s the point? [Read: First date red flags that reveal a lot more about you than you think!]

8. She wants to see if there’s a follow-up date

Again, this should be pretty obvious by now. All a girl wants from a date is to see whether you pass her standards or not. She wants to know if you’re the kind of guy she sees herself dating for a prolonged period and if there’ll be a follow-up date.

She’s testing if there’s enough compatibility and chemistry to keep seeing you, regardless of what happens on the date and how much of a perfect date it is for her. [Read: 10-second date rules you need to follow to know if you’re a match]

It’s easy to give your date all of these things, but it has to be accompanied by a great atmosphere, a nice location, and excellent company. 

You can’t just go out thinking that you can provide the things on this list with your wit and charm. You need to give a girl the impression that you’ve actually put in the effort to woo her on the date.

How to plan a perfect date to remember: The dos and don’ts

Let’s explore this subject a little more deeply, and touch upon the dos and don’ts of a great date. [Read: Nice guy syndrome – 16 things nice guys do and how to fix them ASAP

1. Do avoid checking your phone

Okay, you might need to leave your phone on just in case of an emergency, but do not keep checking the damn thing!

There is nothing more annoying than not being present. Your date will notice it and wonder whether you’re wishing you were somewhere else.

Think about how you would feel if your date was doing the same. Incidentally, if she is, it’s probably time to find another date altogether! [Read: Don’t ignore these subtle red flags on your first date]

2. Don’t stick with the regular routine

Dinner and drinks? Boring! Cinema? No time to talk! 

When it comes to knowing how to plan a date well, the best tips all center around doing something different. So rather than sticking with the regular tried and tested routines, do something exciting and fun!

Go to the zoo or a festival. Check out a local event or see a comedy show. [Read: Signs you’re unintentionally ruining your first date]

Basically, go somewhere that interests both of you, and avoid the regular haunts which put far too much pressure on how a date goes. By being creative, you’re setting the scene for conversation and quirkiness, not regular boredom!

3. Do find out if they have any specific fears, irrational or otherwise

It’s a good idea to do a little delving before you plan the date. Find out if there is anything she really doesn’t like or is fearful of. 

For instance, we mentioned going to the zoo. What if your date hates animals? Unlikely, but it’s possible! [Read: 55 tips and things to do on a first date to leave your date smitten and in awe!]

You might plan a butterfly sanctuary visit, but she’s really scared of the little creatures! 

By asking questions about the things she likes and doesn’t like when you’re generally chatting and texting, you’ll avoid these kinds of minor disasters.

4. Don’t have a friend obviously lurking nearby

There is a difference between letting a friend know where you’re going for safety and actually having them sitting at the next table! [Read: 46 BIG first date tips and rules for men to charm her and make her fall for you]

Your date will notice and it certainly won’t make her feel comfortable! If you don’t feel safe with your date, whether you’re the one planning it or not, don’t go. It’s that simple.

5. Don’t think you need to splash the cash

You don’t need to spend a fortune to plan a great date. If she is only impressed by money, she really isn’t the type of person you should be dating anyway. 

Of course, it’s nice to offer to pay, and it’s nice to go to quality places. But if you’re really low on cash, don’t feel pressured into heading to a fancy bar for cocktails. [Read: 18 signs your date really likes you on the very first date]

Sometimes, the small touches really mean more. We’re talking about things like holding out a chair, holding open a door, taking a coat, etc. These things are far more valuable than anything money-related.

6. Do attempt to impress with your sense of humor

The number one thing which most men and women find attractive is a sense of humor. Don’t turn the date into a stand-up comedy routine, but make her giggle a few times. [Read: How different types of humor impact relationships]

This disarms your date and puts her at ease. Bonus, it also makes you feel more comfortable. When you make someone laugh, you’re showing your true personality. Who you are is what will really shine through.

This leads to our next point…

7. Do be yourself

The biggest piece of advice on how to plan a date, above everything, is to always be yourself. Never try to be someone you’re not simply because you’re nervous about how it will go. [Read: How to be yourself – 26 steps to unfake your life and love being you]

Remember, if things do go well, you’re going to need to keep up the pretense of being someone different for any dates following. That’s just downright exhausting! Be yourself and you will shine. It’s really that simple.

8. Don’t choose a venue too far away

For the perfect first date, choose somewhere relatively close to home for both of you. This is not only for convenience but also for safety. 

You don’t know this person well. You don’t want to be a million miles away from home if things don’t go as well as you would like. In addition, the drive there and back may be awkward! [Read: How to make a good impression on the first date]

9. Don’t put too much pressure on the first date

If you place a huge amount of pressure on yourself and the outcome of this date, then you’re not going to enjoy it. You’re not going to be the best version of yourself, and it’s probably going to be a disaster.

On the other hand, if you relax, enjoy your time, and simply be yourself, you’re more likely to not only have a great time but also bag a second date!

10. Do give your date options

Most people have busy lives, so you’ll want to give your date some options. Say something like, “Which day is better for you… Friday or Saturday?” 

By giving her options, you are showing that you really want to take her out. And you’re also showing her that you respect her time. [Read: Meaning of dating – how it works, types, 42 signs and ways to date someone right]

You can even give her options for what she would like to do on the date. For example, you could suggest dinner and a movie or going to have a few drinks and listen to a band. From there, she can choose.

11. Do make reservations

When you have chosen a day and time for the date, then you should make reservations if possible. [Read: Romantic dinner date ideas -17 fun dates you will both never forget]

Whether you are going to a restaurant or going to play laser tag, having a reservation will assure that nothing unexpected comes up.

Making reservations also shows that you plan ahead and are putting a lot of thought into the date. You’re not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person. It shows a lot of thoughtfulness.

12. Do tell your date what you will be doing

You also need to communicate with your date and let her know what you will be doing.

If you planned a meal at a fancy restaurant and she thinks you’re going hiking, that will make a big difference in how she dresses. [Read: 30 first date rules for guys and girls that’ll make your date adore you]

Also, it’s nice to not be in the dark when you’re going on a date. Everyone should know ahead of time when and where they are going, and what they will be doing.

13. Do be on time

It’s a terrible idea to show up late to a date. Your date might think that you will be a no-show and ghost you. 

And depending on just how late you are, she might leave if she thinks you aren’t coming. Even if she doesn’t leave, this makes a horrible first impression. [Read: 35 must-knows to impress a girl on a first date and win her over in 30 minutes]

Of course, unexpected things happen. 

So, if you do end up in a traffic jam or something else happens, then you should at least keep your date informed about what is going on and why you will be late. 

Some things are out of our hands, but always, always, be on time if you can. [Read: What makes a man attractive? 38 traits that make women desire you]

14. Do call, don’t text

Yes, we live in a world where people seem to have forgotten how to make a phone call. It’s all about Snapchat, texting, and other ways to communicate via technology. But nothing can replace hearing someone’s voice.

Hearing a voice and actually talking is a much better way to really connect before the date. Plus, it shows that you’re not lazy. It’s too easy to shoot a text to ask a girl out on a date. You don’t want to seem like you’re putting in low effort.

15. Do plan ahead

Do not – and we repeat – do NOT just “wing it” if you want a perfect date. Sure, you might be a spontaneous kind of guy, but don’t just let the night see where it takes you. [Read: How to behave on a first date – 28 tips to impress anyone in minutes]

You have to plan ahead. Have some specifics for exactly what you will do.

While it’s nice to ask the girl what kind of date she’s interested in going on, you don’t want to make her do all the planning.

That’s your job. Girls like it when guys take the lead, so do it by making plans for the perfect date that she’ll never forget. [Read: Proper social etiquette – rules that redefine modern manners]

16. Do plan the second date

If the date is going really well, and you really like her and she seems to like you too, then you should let her know that you want to see her again. Don’t be “cool” and wait a few days. Girls hate that.

So, toward the end of the date, you should say something like, “I’m having such a great time tonight and I would love to see you again if you want to.”

And when she says yes, then talk about what you might do on a second date. Girls like reassurances like that. [Read: How to ask for a second date and not fumble or appear too eager]

17. Do stay spontaneous 

While it’s important to plan your perfect date, you can’t be too rigid either. Have the plans set, but if something else comes up, then don’t be afraid to deviate from your plan – especially if she wants to.

For example, let’s say you are planning on going to a movie after dinner.

But perhaps your server said that they are having karaoke in just a few minutes and she gets excited about it. Then it’s time to pivot on your plans just so you can make her happy. [Read: 18 ways to become more spontaneous in life]

How to plan a perfect date – the specifics

Before you decide to take her out to a nice, romantic restaurant because it’s easy, stop for a second and think about whether it’s really what she wants. A first date can make or break your relationship. 

You don’t have to pull out all the stops and charter a jet to Paris just to impress her. All you need to do is be conscientious of what your girl likes.

As you know, there are a lot of options out there for what kind of date you can have. In fact, there are so many that it could overwhelm you. [Read: Where to go on a first date – 85 best first date ideas that are fun and romantic]

So, here are the things to consider when you are planning the perfect date.

1. Location

Location is everything when trying to plan the perfect date, so this isn’t something you should take lightly. Don’t just take her wherever, but make sure it’s a location that sets the mood of romance in the air.

A romantic restaurant is your safest bet, but there are other places where you can take your girl to impress her even without foie gras on the menu. Do your research. Find out what she likes. [Read: Where to go on a first date – the 23 best and worst first date ideas]

She might prefer a different setting or a different food group. 

Remember, don’t take her to places you’d like, such as a bar *unless she’s specifically told you she wants to go there*, but take her somewhere you think she’d like.

2. Presentation

Presentation is everything when trying to provide her with the perfect date. You can take her to a regular restaurant, but if you plan it right, she’ll automatically love it. [Read: 50 amazing first date ideas to wow your date]

If you don’t have the means to dazzle her, just make sure that you look attractive doing whatever it is that you do. 

Make her laugh and smile. Keep her happy. If there’s a vibe in the date, she’ll instantly get hooked on getting to know you and conversing with you. 

Time would fly fast, and she wouldn’t even notice the date had already ended. [Read: How to be charming – 15 adorable habits of really likable people]

Be confident in your work, your life, and the way you handle yourself, and all your dates would turn into romantic successes.

3. Appearance

Be as neat as possible. No matter how strange your usual attire seems, make yourself presentable. You can still be yourself, but the least you can do is show your date that you made an effort to look good for her. 

Your physical appearance might not be the basis of a perfect date, but it’s plus points if a guy looks presentable and neat. [Read: How to dress to impress a girl & get more than just a second glance]

It means you know how to take care of yourself and look nice when it counts. Also, first impressions do matter, especially when you’re just getting to know each other.

4. Eating

Some people think that this is a typical boring date – going out to eat. But it does have its advantages too. 

Having a meal together gives you the time for you to sit down together and have a relaxed opportunity to talk and get to know each other. [Read: Foodie dates – 15 trendy dinner ideas for new couples]

Be creative and plan a restaurant or other spot that is unique to make yourself look like you put a lot of thought into it. People love it when someone takes the time to plan out a meaningful date.

When you are trying to figure out where to go, you should consider a few things. First, is it quiet enough for you to talk? If you can find a place with a view or trendy, that is the best way to go. 

Also, you should ask a lot of questions and be a good listener. You want your date to know you’re interested in getting to know them. [Read: Annoying things men do on dates that women hate]

5. Activities

Doing an activity on a date is always fun too. It’s not as stereotypical as it is just going out to a random restaurant for a meal. 

What kind of activity it is doesn’t really matter. It can be almost anything as long as it involves the two of you being active together.

Some ideas include bowling, mini-golf, horseback riding, ice skating, hiking, or anything else you think your date would enjoy *and you too*. [Read: 15 of the most memorable things to do on a first date]

Doing an activity will set you apart from other people who plan dates because it’s not as common to do something like that.

It might be the best idea to combine a meal and activity for a date. That way, you will have quiet time to talk and get to know her over the meal, and you also get to have some fun doing an activity.

6. Music

You could incorporate music into the date by actually going to listen to a band or a concert. Although it doesn’t allow you to talk very much, it is a great date option if you and your date are both into music. [Read: The most romantic songs to play during a dinner date]

You could also incorporate music just to set a romantic mood too. If you’re riding around in your car, put some of your favorite songs on. Either jam out to something upbeat or put on something that will make your date want to kiss you.

7. Conversation

Ah, yes. This is the heart of a perfect date. You can wing everything else, but if you don’t have great conversation skills, you’re already losing her attention. [Read: 72 first date questions, conversation starters, and things you must never ask]

You don’t have to oversell yourself or what you’re doing to impress a girl. Talk about anything that comes to mind and make sure that it’s something that you’re comfortable with.

Girls just want to have a nice conversation with a nice guy. You can also make her laugh and smile! 

Remember, girls love dating guys with a sense of humor, so don’t shy away from using jokes or funny anecdotes to impress her. Just make sure they’re not disrespectful or offensive, of course! [Read: 20 ways to have the perfect first date conversation]

8. Chivalry

Be the proof that chivalry isn’t dead but is very much alive. Most girls love it when you hold doors open for her, or even offer her your jacket when it gets cold. 

It might seem like a trivial gesture to you, but it means everything to her. Women notice these things and they notice when you don’t do them.

So, if you want your date to go exceptionally well, be chivalrous to her and treat her like the queen she deserves to feel like! We guarantee she won’t forget you once you do this. [Read: Charming ways to impress her on the first date]

9. Respect

Some girls like aggressive guys, but that doesn’t mean you should treat a woman badly. Take control of the date and steer it if you think she’d want to take a back seat, but don’t make a woman feel small. 

Step up, but don’t treat your date like she can’t carry herself. If there’s anything a girl tests immediately on a date, it’s if you know how to respect people, not just her.

So the minute she sees you’re nice to her but disrespectful to the waiter at the restaurant, you already lost her.

Respect is a huge deal on a perfect date, so it’s essential you get this right. Also, respect isn’t something you learn but naturally have. [Read: How to show respect in a relationship and love each other better]

10. The “move”

The thing about first dates is that it happens only once in your lifetime with a specific someone! 

If you’re going to plan something unique with every new girl you date, not only is it exhausting and tedious, there’s a good chance most of your new and “unique” moves may backfire on you.

So instead, stick with the tried and tested. Be original. Be creative. And use your “move” to impress a girl on a first date. [Read: Should you kiss on a first date? A guide for girls and guys to plan it right]

Do something that’s in line with who you are. Take them to your favorite billboard sign and tell them about it. Show them your dance moves at the club. 

There should be something you do *or something about you* that deepens their interest and curiosity for who you are. 

This is also where she sees how much effort you’re making into creating the perfect date for her, to make her happy. [Read: Classic moves guys always forget to do on a date]

11. The kiss

Ah, yes. The kiss at the end of the date. It needs to be good. 

For your sake, it has to be something out of the movies. No pressure at all. But if movie magic kisses aren’t your forte, just make sure that it’s sweet.

Women just want to be kissed sweetly. Don’t just rush it and go intense right off the bad – women don’t like that. [Read: When to kiss a girl – 20 subtle signs to predict the magic moment]

You need to kiss her gently, genuinely, and passionately. With feelings, of course. 

If you want to seal the perfect date and make it one that she’ll never forget for the rest of eternity, give her the best end-of-the-date kiss. Own it. Revel in it and make it count.

But here’s something you need to remember first, make sure she seems interested in kissing you. Better yet, watch for cues that she’s actually eager for you to kiss her. [Read: First date moves that will guarantee a second]

Never force your face on hers or assume she’s obligated to put out just because you bought her dinner.

So, how do you give the perfect date?

The perfect date isn’t just about taking her to the most romantic restaurant and making sure a firework display sets off in the background the minute you kiss her at the end of the date. 

This isn’t like the movies! It has more to do with your effort, charisma, and intentions for her. That’s what makes it perfect. [Read: 30 first date rules for guys and girls that’ll make your date adore you]

Do you know why we didn’t give you specific instructions on how to plan a date? It’s because no two girls are the same. 

No matter what romantic comedy she’s obsessed with, she will forget all about it once she realizes how much she likes you. All she’s asking for is a little time and effort from the guy she likes.

[Read: Deadly signs you’re ruining your first date]

Giving her the perfect date isn’t about spending all your money on that date. Instead, it’s making her feel like the most beautiful girl in the room, as if she takes your breath away the more you get to know her. Now, how’s that for a perfect date? 

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...