Having Your First Date on Valentine's Day Might Be Scary, But Also So Worth It

Ah, Valentine’s Day. A day of love, romance, and little meme-worthy Valentines. In all of its champagne popping, heart-shaped cake, oversized teddy bear glory: this is a day of love. If you’re single, you’ll most likely be binge-watching rom-coms or making cupcakes with friends for Galentine’s Day. Or, maybe you’ll watch Monica and Chandler fall in love on Friends for the thousandth time. 

But Valentine’s Day isn’t necessarily a holiday dedicated only to seasoned couples. In fact, February 14th could be the perfect opportunity for you to get to know someone new. While V-Day is oversaturated with archaic traditions that most people practice, your day doesn't have to involve over-the-top romance. Having your first date on Valentine's Day could mean taking advantage of the numerous deals in honor of the holiday, expansive date ideas, or an endless amount of romantic movie marathons to binge with your new suitor.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself 

Having a first date on Valentine’s can be casual, low-stakes, and fun. First and foremost, communication is key. Communicating with your date will have both of your expectations aligned so that both of you are comfortable. This way, nobody’s caught off guard by big romantic gestures or pricey restaurants for dinner. Just because you're having your first date on Valentine’s doesn’t mean it has to be cliché. There's no requirement for a dozen red roses or a giant new stuffed friend. Ultimately, first date jitters come with the territory so don't be ashamed if you're anxious for your "casual first date."  Don’t let the outside expectations of this day increase your nerves.

When preparing for the date, keep in mind that your outfit can set the tone for the night. Always put on what you feel most comfortable in and make sure to look presentable because first impressions are everything. Did you know that you only have 7 seconds to make a strong first impression? This means that timing is everything. Putting your best foot forward within the first five minutes can increase your chances of seeing them for a second date – duh.

Choose an activity

There's no doubt that your date can be memorable without the conventional activites that we usually associate with Valentine's Day. This is the perfect opportunity to try something new with your new date. Here are some ideas:

  • Go to a retro roller rink, do a round of mini-golf, or Dave and Busters type set-up for some easy-going, nostalgic fun. 

  • Go explore the local music scene. There might be fewer people than a crowded stadium concert, so the date can feel intimate.

  • Go dancing or find a club. This one can be more of a flirtatious activity, but still fun to be able to lose some of those nerves and loosen yourself up. 

  • Go to a step by step painting class. Most instructional paint classes offer beginner classes and some places even include wine, like Muse Paintbar.

  • Host a couple's game night. A game night with a few friends is the perfect remedy for when you're too nervous to have a one-on-one date for the first time.

  • Act like tourists who are new to your town./ Go to places you’ve never tried before or been to before – it can be a new experience for both of you.

  • Go to an escape room. Again, it’s another activity that you can do in a group, and it’ll take your mind off of trying to make the date run smoothly.

If you’re hungry

When it comes to choosing where to eat the decision can be difficult, but don’t get stuck overthinking about where to eat because there are always plenty of options. You never have to pick just one thing. 

  • As opposed to a fancy restaurant, plan an outside picnic or indulge in all of your fast food favorites for the both of you to try out.

  •  Pool your money together and choose a variety of desserts from the best local places in your city –I’m thinking ice cream, donuts, and cake. 

  • Restaurant hopping works too. If you don’t see a menu with everything you want, order appetizers from one place, entrees from another, and keep the party going from there.

  • You can go to a tasting of some kind – wine, cheese, or chocolate are all fun options.

How to handle gifts

If you're not sure about the protocol on gifts, don’t make a big deal out of it. If you choose to get gifts, do something small, like a box of chocolates or flowers. However, if you want to wait until the second date, that’s acceptable too. Having your low-pressure Valentine’s Day date allows you to have a more enjoyable time. It can be as fancy or as low-key as your heart desires. Imagine telling someone that you and your future boo met on Valentine' Day – iconic.