DAY 104 He lent in to kiss me and for a minute my heart was beating so fast, I thought I might faint. Then I kissed him back. It was perfect. The perfect end to a perfect day. The sweetest first date ever. We had met on the steps of the old Melbourne GPO. I honestly didn’t think he would be there. Later on he told me that he didn’t think I would come either. He had asked me out in a minute of madness thinking I would say no. But in my own minute of madness I said yes. I still, to this day, have no idea why, but eighteen years later I’m really happy that I did. Our first date started on the steps of the old Melbourne GPO in the city. His suggestion was that we take each other to our three favourite haunts. It turned out to be one of our best dates. We went to Minotour, his favourite comic/book/anime store and ended up in my favourite cafe drinking coffee and talking as the Winter day stormed around us. In between we visited the Virgin Mega Store, checking out underwear and CD imports from the UK, Myer (a family favourite) and a few more book stores. We talked all afternoon and we learnt a lot about each other. By the end of the date we both hung onto each other until I literally had to run for the train. The kiss happened when he pulled me back, not wanting to let me go. In that moment we knew, and we have rarely been apart since. First dates can feel incredibly stressful, as if it’s your one chance to make an impression. There can be a lot riding on what you choose to do and how well you can get to know each other in a short amount of time. You want enough time to test the waters to see if the chemistry is there, and a chance to find out if you have some things in common. You also want to have a bit of fun and a few giggles. So it needs to be something that has you both curious and laughing out loud! So here are some of my favourite ideas for first dates…and perhaps the second, third and fourth. I’ve tried them all, and there was definitely some kissing in the mix!
- Take it in turns to take each other to your 3 favourite places to visit in the city…or in the country. Try to end up somewhere were you can talk with each other and grab a bite to eat or a drink.
- Go to a night football match (or similar sport), preferably where neither of your teams are playing. Take a good rug and organise a picnic dinner of finger food and beer/champagne. Have some fun working out the rules, and which player is which. Make sure you cheer for both teams so ultimately you win!
- Book a personal encounter with the elephants at the zoo. Believe me you will get big brownie points! Make sure you book lunch/brunch or morning tea afterwards, so you can both check out the photos and talk about the experience together.
- Have a royal dinner at the Queen Victoria Night Market. (Hopefully you have a similar market in your city or town). Every summer our local city market runs a mid week art and craft market with live music, food from around the world and art and craft stalls. It has grown to be a huge cultural event that Melbourne loves…You can literally have a 3 course meal with some great wine or sangria and a live show for under $20 each! Depending on your date you could go wild and taste different foods from each stall. There’s everything from fresh paella to organic ice cream! It’s a foodies paradise!
- Go and see a Burlesque Show. Treat your date to a night of circus performers, comedians, the odd magician and some very tasteful burlesque. Some shows also have dinner or pre-dinner drinks. Completely decadent and so much fun!
- Book a half hour dance class. Put on your dancing shoes and try some rock and roll or street Latin. You might like to meet for a cocktail beforehand to get rid of the jitters, and afterwards take your date out for burgers and a shake. Make sure you dress up a little to get into the theme.
- A night at the symphony orchestra. Melbourne has some fantastic orchestras and often there are free concerts in the parks throughout the Summer months. Pack a picnic and a rug and hang out under the stars or book in to a live concert. Once we flew to Sydney for the day to see our friends play in the Eminence Symphony Orchestra (well known for A Night In Fantasia concerts) and then went out for Japanese food in Chinatown.
- Take your date to your favourite spot in the city. Perhaps it’s at the top of a building with an amazing view, a bar with a view over the river, or an exquisite garden. Share your headphones and listen to your favourite tunes while you eat snacks, or drink hot chocolate.
- Visit your favourite exhibition or arts centre. We love going to ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Images), or to the Melbourne Museum. They always have some awesome and inspiring exhibits, from some fantastic creators and artists. We always see an exhibition and then go out for afternoon tea or dinner to talk about the exhibit.
- Take a circus class. This doesn’t have to be about hanging from a flying trapeze! Many people circuses have tumbling, juggling, diablo, or basic intro to circus classes for adults. They’re lots of fun and a little bit quirky~so make sure your date is up for it!
- Perhaps this is a date for later on, but grab some fish and chips, drive to the beach, pop on your favourite music mix on the ipod and watch the waves. If it’s Winter you could go for a walk or stay snuggled up in the car together. If its Summer sit out on the sand and watch the sun set.
- Go rollerblading or get your scooters out and ride along the beach, or promenade. This is a great one for late summer nights. You can always finish with fresh ice-cream or hot chips on the beach.
- Cosplay at a Con! Seriously it’s just so much fun to pop on a wig and dress up. Go as your favourite super hero, or comic book character at one of the great Western Con’s like Supanova or Oz Comicon. Or you could be a little braver and transform yourself into one of the Japanese anime characters. There’s always a competition or two to watch, and plenty of people watching to be inspired by!
- Dress up in your best gear and take your date out to a fancy cocktail bar…at midday. Take it in turns to choose the next place to visit…make sure you eat something! Oh and have money for a cab home!
- Dress up in your Sunday best and head to one of the many five star hotels for a posh afternoon high tea. My two favourite’s are the Sunday high teas at the Windsor Hotel or the Langham in Melbourne. They provide a spread that ensures a completely decadent afternoon of chocolate, champagne and yummy morsels that will have you moaning in no time! Normally these events run for a few hours and come with some live music such as a pianist. The more up market hotels are great because they usually include a stunning view of the city. Just a heads up, there is always plenty of food so don’t eat lunch beforehand!
- Hunt down a good local book store that encourages reading. Find your favourite childhood books and share them with each other. Check out the travel section and talk about the lands and cultures you each want to visit. Head into the recipe books and discuss your culinary prowess! Buy each other a copy of one of your favourite books to read…then head off to a local cafe, preferable one with an open fire place and good coffee, to sit and read by.
- Organise a night in with a few good movies (you could each choose your favourite one) and each bring some food to share. You could add to the fun by wearing your favourite slippers, dress up in a onesie, or your best pyjamas and have a sleep over…sleeping of course!
- So hopefully you will get to celebrating an anniversary of sorts with your new love. Make sure its a special celebration for both of you. Book a really good hotel for the weekend, (in either the city or the country) and make sure you book the CLUB option. Apart from the endless food and access to the business centre, most CLUB options usually have evening drinks with canapes. It’s seriously fun meeting new people, who are usually celebrating something and there for the free food too, over a few glasses of bubbly and some yummy finger food. When you have had enough socialising on the 85th floor, you can always head back to your room for a bubble bath and a game of backgammon…
The trick is to leave the movies and dinner option for another day. Get to know the person you are dating, have some fun and don’t be afraid to be you. Who else are they going to fall in love with?
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
― Dr. Seuss
** Pic by Deviant Art!