Planning a First Date on Valentine's Day?

The impending threat of a dateless Valentine's Day might make you braver than normal when it comes to asking someone on a date, but is it a good idea? As February 14 approaches, and you admire your crush from afar, consider the benefits and consequences of having a first date on Valentine's Day.

A successful first date on Valentine's Day would be a positive omen for the potential relationship. With all of the societal and internal pressures involved in celebrating Valentine's Day, any couple who emerges from the evening with a desire to see each other more is bound to enjoy at least a few more dates together, if not a longer-term relationship. However, the expectations of romance on Valentine's Day can be unrealistic, leading to a more profound disappointment if the first date doesn't go well.

Asking someone on a date for Valentine's Day is certainly a romantic gesture. If your love is requited, your crush is probably daydreaming about the hundred ways you might confess your affections. Even fulfilling the most cliched gestures on Valentine's Day can be charming for a first date; a dinner reservation, chivalrous behavior, and a bouquet of roses are familiar gestures with a clear message of admiration. But if the person isn't interested in you, your invitation for a first date on Valentine's Day could be akin to an intimidating declaration of love. If your crush is not already convinced about dating you, the answer will be no, and you won't have a second chance.

For any date on Valentine's Day, the mood is already set. There will be no asking yourself, 'Is it a date?' or 'Are we just friends?' A first outing on Valentine's Day is an unmistakable date. As such, the stakes are high. If the date falls short of expectations, or if the chemistry isn't there, you can't pretend (even to yourself) to have had only a passing interest in your partner in the first place. A failed first date is all the more painful in the wake of Valentine's Day hype.

To ensure the best possible outcome for a first date on Valentine's Day, only ask your crush on a date if you're sure your feelings are shared. Instead of creating a high pressure situation with a fancy dinner, plan an activity to bring you and your date closer together or to lessen the blow if you find you have little to talk about. For example, bowling might inject some healthy and humorous competition into your date. Alternately, ice skating could allow you and your date to show your more vulnerable or reckless sides, with the promise of cuddling up with a hot chocolate afterwards if things go well. Minimizing expectations while maximizing opportunities for conversation and laughter will remove the pressure of Valentine's Day dating. Finally, if your confidence is inflated by the approach of Valentine's Day, but you're not sure a date that evening will be successful, use your newfound bravery to ask your crush out - for another night.




author: Lauren Smith Janzen

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