Dating, Etiquette & Social Interactions

Top Date Ideas

In this video and article, I wanted to discuss some of the best dates I’ve ever been on that are also budget-friendly and are enjoyable for both you and your date – no matter if they’re a long-term partner or you’ve recently met.

It doesn’t matter if you’re single or in a relationship, taking someone out on a date is enjoyable for both of you and gives you the chance to enjoy each other’s company and get to know each other on a deeper level. Experiencing new things together, or introducing one another to new experiences is how you both grow as individuals and as a couple, so don’t neglect it!

For the first few dates, especially, you want to keep things lively and literally moving, otherwise there’s a chance to have some awkward quiet moments, which you want to avoid. It also shows that you know how to plan for an occasion, which my girlfriends and I find very telling about someone.

You’ll notice that most of these dates are incredibly cheap, but they’re also some of the best dates my girlfriends and I have been on. So keep that in mind. Now, don’t get me wrong, a beautiful meal at a high-end restaurant is also nice but it’s really not a deal breaker, or maker – for that matter.

A walk through a museum

Dorian and I’s first date was at the Natural History Museum. They have a few times in the year where they open it up at night and have cocktails and music and you can walk around the museum chatting and sipping a drink – it was a lot of fun and is definitely a great choice. Any decently sized museum, even quirky ones, will be great because you always have something new to comment on and discuss if the conversation lulls.

Stroll around a town center

Most towns have a little center or street with little stores, restaurants and coffee shops where you can grab a tea or coffee and just walk around and see what’s going on. Here in LA, we have a few of malls where they have parks and fountains in them that are great for a date. It’s actually very enjoyable to sit on a bench and chat and people watch.

If your city has a bike rental service and you’re both proficient riders, then that is also very fun to do as well. Dorian, who’s an experienced road cyclist, made me do this in Paris and it was so much more fun than I thought it would be. So that’s another great option.

Playing an easy-to-do sport

Going to a golf driving range or mini golf course is a blast, even if neither of you play, since it’s fun to watch each other struggle to hit the balls or sink the putt.

Bowling, while a little cliche, is also good, as long as your partner doesn’t have long nails – that’s when it’s no fun.

Botanical Gardens

Everyone can appreciate a beautiful garden on a nice day. Bring a chilled wine, if you’re allowed, or grab some tea or coffee and take a stroll through one. They normally have little placards by the plants, so you can read about the interesting ones together and discuss them.

Interactive meal

Korean BBQ or something like a Benihana is great because it requires you both to be engaged with either cooking the food or watching someone do it,  instead of just staring at each other the whole time.


We’re lucky in LA in that the weather is good year round and we have really amazing hiking spots nearby, so an evening or morning hike is always fun and healthy at the same time! You can also out for a quick breakfast or dinner afterwards, if things are going well, too.

Fine Dining

This is kind of a no-brainer, but it’s still a good option from time to time. This really isn’t required for a first date, but definitely on dates where you’re interested in him or her and want to make it more known you’re serious about your intentions. This is also great for long-term relationships.

Call, text or email your date and tell them to be dressed in their best clothes and be ready at a certain time and then take them to a fine dining experience. Go outside your norm a little and read reviews about restaurants and find something that fits your budget but is classy.

Sporting Event

Dorian is a big baseball and hockey fan and before meeting him, I was neither of those. So for one of our first dates, he took me to a see an LA King’s hockey game and it was so much fun! Plus, as he told me while I was working on this story, he used the opportunity of explaining the rules to get a little closer to me without it being obvious or creepy.

Baseball is still a work in progress, but I’m slowly coming around. 🙂

Lounge or wine bar

If you’re a good conversationalist, you can do this as a first date. But if not, then wait until you’re a little more comfortable in each other’s presence and go to a wine bar or cocktail lounge. Just make sure it’s not a regular bar that blasts music or is showing sports – unless you’re both super into sports. Ideally, you want to keep it as classy as possible. Lots of candles and a little jazz music will make this even better and more romantic.

Dorian and I have a little french wine bar we loved to go to while we were dating and still go to this day. It’s all candle lit and so romantic,  we’d get a little plate of meats and cheeses and sip some wine and just talk about our days. I’m ready to go there now, actually!


Hope you enjoyed this article/video! Now go get ’em, tiger!

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