The world of dating has changed dramatically in recent years. Thanks to the introduction of cell phones, text messaging, Tinder, and online dating websites, the things that bring partners together today are not what they were 20, 15, or even ten years ago. This fact has led to a lot of confusion regarding exactly what types of activities make for an exciting date.
For many partners, even deciding on simple activities that both will enjoy can be difficult. For others, a lack of knowledge of their new partner keeps them from suggesting an activity that he might not enjoy. Luckily, in the interest of making your next date (or dates) a rousing success, we’ve compiled this detailed list of things to do with your boyfriend.
On the Subject of Dates
Before we get into listing some of the best things to do with your boyfriend, it’s essential to establish how and why this can’t be a “comprehensive” list. After all, everyone is different, and every couple is different too. As such, there’s no guarantee that any of the activities on this list will be a hit for every person that tries them.
If you’re already in a relationship with your SO, it’s fair to assume that you know something about what your boyfriend or girlfriend likes or dislikes. When reading the suggestions on this list, ask yourself: would they enjoy this? Furthermore, don’t feel too pressured to make every date a “movie experience.” Pick an activity and allow the experience to take on a life of its own.
Honesty and Online Dating
Unlike years ago, it’s possible that you and your SO haven’t spent much time together. They could be someone you met online visiting from out of town, or they could be someone you’ve met through a dating site or app. If this is the case, you’ve likely had a fair amount of conversation with this person, but might not have spent much any time with them in person.
When it comes to online dating, many people feel pressure to make themselves appear more successful, more attractive, or more interesting to their potential partner. Unfortunately, exaggerations and outright lies are a terrible way to begin a relationship. If you plan on doing any of the activities below, you’ll want to hold off until you’ve established an honest and respectful dialogue with someone.
Preparing for a Date or Activity
Before you rush headfirst into this list of things to do with your boyfriend, you’ll want first to make sure you know how to prepare for a date correctly. Of course, not all activities are created equal. A long walk on the beach, for instance, will require completely different preparation from a ten-mile hike. Likewise, a fancy dinner party will require a completely different look from a trip to a local pizza joint.
No matter which of these activities you choose, you’ll always want to be sure of the following:
Every activity will require appropriate clothing. If you suggest something that’s outside your normal range of activities, be prepared to buy whatever you’ll need to do it safely and comfortably. Wearing flats on a hiking trip will save you from buying boots, but your partner won’t appreciate having to carry you down the mountain.
The same is true of simple dinner dates. If you’re about to hit a brand-new restaurant downtown, a simple Google search will give you an idea of the dress code. Where overdressing is usually just a matter of feeling a bit awkward, underdressing can result in you being forced to go home and change.
Pick Up After Yourself
Making a good impression isn’t just reserved for the first date, nor only your personal appearance. Make sure your car, apartment, and any other place you and your partner might end up will look presentable before you leave for your date.
Getting in this habit can be a great way to solve your messy tendencies, and the relief you feel when you bring your partner home to a clean place will be well worth it.
Give Them Your Full Attention
If you’re a serial texter or can’t pry yourself away from a good meme, consider silencing your phone or completely turning it off before your date. Not only is it polite to give your partner your full attention, but it will result in a better connection between the two of you down the line.
Look Your Best
It might seem obvious, but regardless of the activity, you’ll want to look your best. Of course, not everyone is a supermodel, nor should they be. Looking your best means dressing in a way that highlights your best features and allows you to be confident in yourself.
Things to Do With Your Boyfriend
Below is a list of activities that we think make for a great date. While not all of them will be perfectly suited to every couple, they do represent an excellent opportunity to get to know one another better and have a great time.
Batting Cages / Driving Range
There are entire scientific articles devoted to why some people click, yet others do not. One thing that has nearly always held true, however, is the way people bond over the friendly competition. The best part about trips to the batting cages, driving range, or other sports-related activities are that both partners don’t have to be good at the sport for the date to be successful.
In fact, some of the most memorable sports-related dates are one where a skilled person introduces another to something they enjoy, or both partners learn together.
Go the Arcade
Arcades are making a big comeback all across the U.S., with many of them featuring fully-staffed bars and even food. Not only does a trip to the arcade offer yet another opportunity for some friendly competition, but it is an excellent chance to spend some quality time together (be it just the two of you or in a group).
Competitive games like air hockey or skee ball are always a big hit for dates, while fun games like Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution can be a lot of fun to play together.
Take a Bike Ride
Some of the best things to do with your boyfriend involve a trip into the great outdoors. One activity that many different types of couples often enjoy is a bike ride. Even if you don’t own a bike, you and your partner can often rent them at destinations like beaches and boardwalks. Best of all, biking doesn’t have to be a “high-energy” activity, so it is suitable for people of all fitness types.
The Classic Dinner and a Movie
What could make for a more iconic date than an old-fashioned dinner and a movie? A staple of first dates for decades, there’s no reason you and your boyfriend can’t relive the “first date’ experience by treating yourself to a great dinner and a film you’ll both enjoy.
While the dinner portion of the date will give you a chance to catch up without too many distractions, the movie portion will provide you with an opportunity to be in each other’s presence while experiencing something romantic, thrilling, or even spooky.
Take a Hike
Even if you don’t live in the Pacific Northwest, you’re never too far from a great nature hike. These types of walks give partners a chance to get their blood pumping, enjoy the great outdoors, and get to know one another better. These are especially great for those who don’t fancy themselves to be skilled conversationalists, as the things you spot along the way will always make for interesting discussions.
Surround Yourself with Friends
If you’re looking for new things to do with your boyfriend, why not help him expand his circle of friends? While many partners like to keep their friend groups separate from their significant others, some prefer to let their friends meet their SO in a variety of situations.
While this friend mixing may cause some understandable anxiety, it can also help take the pressure off of social interaction with your SO. It will also give them a chance to meet the people who know you best. In most cases, your boyfriend will end up with a newfound respect for who you are as a person.
Visit a Theme Park
Though not for the faint of heart, visiting a theme park can be a great way to spend the day with your boyfriend. Aside from the thrills, chills, and spills that come with amusement park rides, there will also be plenty of time to talk, lots of walking and exercise, and the occasional funnel cake to split amongst one another.
Enjoy a Picnic
If you ask a hundred people about their most romantic date ideas, it’s a safe bet many of them will list a picnic among their top choices. Picnics demonstrate attention to detail, devotion, and effort, and – best of all – you get to eat!
Planning the perfect picnic is a great couples’ activity. For the best results, prepare the food, beverages, and site location ahead of time to ensure you won’t forget anything. Even better, follow up your picnic with a walk to a secluded lake or grove. Planning the perfect picnic is a great couple’s activity. For the best results, plan the food, beverages, and site location ahead of time to ensure you won’t forget anything. Even better, follow up your picnic with a walk to a secluded lake or grove.
Stay in for the Evening
Sometimes the best things to do with your boyfriend require no effort at all. Indeed, sometimes it’s best to skip the bar and have your SO join you on the couch for a movie marathon or Netflix binge. Add some pizza or popcorn to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for an excellent bonding experience.
According to some studies, these evenings at home are particularly beneficial because they allow couples to be close to each other without interacting. In non-scientific terms, we call this “cuddling.”
Long Walk (Beach or no Beach)
You don’t need to be sweating through a hike or darting around a theme park to make the most of a long walk. Sometimes just strolling along the beach is a great way to strike up a conversation with your SO. After the walk, consider resting somewhere for a drink or a snack. One of the best things about activities like these is that you can chat the whole way or simply enjoy the scenic views together.
Have a Spa Day
Everyone loves being pampered now and then, even the manliest of manly men. If you have the budget to do so, a spa day can be incredibly romantic and help both partners de-stress. From a massage and facial to some time in a hot tub together, many spas offer romantic getaways for couples that both partners will love.
The best part about treating your boyfriend to spa day like this is that you’ll both be extra relaxed for whatever you have planned for the rest of the night.
Cook Dinner at Home
Everyone appreciates having a partner who can cook. Heck, even in you can’t, there are thousands of Youtube videos and millions of online recipes that you can follow to the letter. Cooking for your SO at your place demonstrates how much you care, and they’ll appreciate the lengths you went to ensure they have a great dinner.
For added romantic effect, you can learn your partner’s favorite food or meal and prepare it for them in secret. If you’re more into “team building” with your partner, find a recipe you both enjoy and make it together. The only thing you have to avoid are arguments over the dishes.
There are several reasons why bowling appears on nearly every list of things to do with your boyfriend. First of all, most men enjoy bowling. Second of all, very few of them are actually good at it. You see, unlike golf and baseball, bowling is a sport where experienced players and novices can both compete on the same level. This fact makes bowling a lot more fun for both partners.
Also, it can be made even better with friends.
Take a Class Together
As the title of this article might imply, what matters most when choosing things to do with your boyfriend is that the two of you are doing something. However, learning something together can also be a great way to form a stronger bond.
Most cities and towns offer adult classes of all kinds, from painting and other art activities to sports like skiing, golf, and bowling. If you have a partner who’s interested in learning a new skill or participating in a new activity with you, it can be a lot of fun to learn it together.
Go to the Petting Zoo
Everyone could use more cute and cuddly animals in their life, and petting zoos are a cost-effective and fun way to spend the afternoon with your partner. Most zoos and wildlife centers offer some sort of interactive activity, so it’s usually pretty easy to find something you’ll both enjoy. One thing to take note of, however, is any allergies that your partner might have.
The Stand-Up Comedy Standby
Few things can bring two people together like sharing a hearty laugh, so going to a standup comedy show is an excellent way to spend an evening with your SO. Most towns have some type of improv or comedy club, and many will let you know if the shows will be clean or dirty (you’ll want to take both of your sensibilities into account).
Another activity that can open up new doors in a relationship is volunteering. Few things are more attracting than altruism, and seeing your boyfriend volunteering at a soup kitchen, helping build a home for the needy, or performing some other selfless activity could provide a significant boost to your relationship.
No matter where you live, there are always people in need, so finding volunteer work won’t be hard. Start by looking for local outreach centers and then see what sort of skills you and your SO can bring to the table.
Turn Your Date into a Contest
This one requires a little bit more work, but it can be enjoyable once you get it going. This activity involves setting up date “challenges” for yourselves and then trying your best to accomplish them. One might be to have a whole dinner for under a set amount of cash. Another might be to go to three restaurants in a month that you haven’t been to before.
Depending on what you like to do, the possibilities are endless. Also, by trying new things and setting goals for yourselves, you’ll add a little spice to an otherwise average date night.
Hit the Gym
The couple that slays together stays together, so head to the gym and get those “going out” bodies in shape. Exercise releases endorphins, which can make working out with your partner an excellent bonding experience. Even better, having a regular gym buddy that you care about can help people in not-so-great shape get motivated to make some life changes.
Go Fruit Picking
Fruit picking is a great activity in spring, summer, and fall. From strawberries to blueberries to pumpkins, there are almost always farms and fruit patches where you can fill your own basket. Not only is this a fun way to get outside and have some fun together, but you’ll both have fun cooking, baking, carving, or just devouring what you bring home.
Play Tourist in Your Own City
The problem with living anywhere is that it’s very easy to get into a rut. However, if you look closely enough, you’ll often find that your city holds a lot of amazing secrets. Grab your SO and go exploring. If your city has a tour service or similar activities, give them a shot. If there’s a park or area of the city you haven’t been, go there. You might learn something about both your city and your partner.
Set Up a Scavenger Hunt
A great way to inject a little excitement into your routine is with a scavenger hunt. Whether playing against your partner or on a team against other couples, scavenger hunts can turn a simple Saturday into an episode of the “The Amazing Race.” If you’re not feeling too creating, you can find hundreds of scavenger hunt ideas online.
Set a New Record
Believe it or not, those infamous Guinness World Records are broken all the time, sometimes by bored students looking for a bit of fun. If you and your partner are the competitive types, consider searching the Guinness Book of World Records for a challenge you can break – then do your best to break it! Wouldn’t it be romantic to be enshrined together for all time as the best of the best?
Relive Your First Date
Couples down for a little bit of role-playing will love this idea. For creative couples, the ability to “meet” for the first time and relive their first date is a great way to inject some much-needed romance into your lives. If being yourself isn’t your thing, you can always pretend to be someone else and have a little adventure with your partner. It’s up to you where you take it – just have fun!
The Final Word
As long as this list is, this is just scratching the surface of things to do with your boyfriend. Though the items here are tried-and-true, they might also inspire you to come up with creative activities, dates, and interactions of your own. If you find some activities too timid or too adventurous, it’s easy to alter them until you find your comfort level.
As we’ve mentioned, what really makes a relationship successful is compatibility. The best part of many of these activities is that they will help you determine where you and your partner are compatible and where you are not. That knowledge, in the end, is the key to a long-lasting relationship built on mutual respect.