Getting your hair done seems like hard work, you know. When last have you triple-checked your outfit, reminding yourself not to order any dishes with garlic or spinach in? When last have you felt butterflies in your tummy in anticipation as you leave the house? It’s been a while? No? Just me, then. Highly likely, as I have previously been accused of being a hopeless romantic. But trust me, first dates can be a great experience if both people put in the effort.
A friend once told me that he hates asking someone on a proper date, because “What if they say no?” This is, of course, always a possibility. That being said, when you think about it, rejection is a routine part of life. Not getting that job or promotion you really wanted is a form of everyday rejection. Not getting into your favourite university. Not getting the loan for your dream car. If you’d like to live a life free from rejection, it’s not a bad idea to never leave the house, but that wouldn’t be any fun, right? Rejection always sucks, but at least you immediately know where you stand and can move on to something better.
So, you’ve finally plucked up the courage to ask the person who turns your knees to jelly out on a first date, and he/she said yes! Okay, now what? Now you have to decide what the date would entail. Dinner and movie? Yawn, boring. Drinks at a bar? Too casual. Morning hike? You’re going to be single for the rest of your life.
What you choose to do on a first date is vitally important, because it shows the other person who you are.
Picnics might be old school too, but it really is a game-changer exactly because it has become a rarity.
Pack your picnic essentials
- Basket (or a big cooler box)
- Large, comfortable blanket
- Wooden board
- Toothpicks (in case something gets stuck between your teeth, ruining the prospects of a first kiss)
- Plastic glasses (make sure they’re nice!)
- Napkins or serviettes
- Wet wipes
- Sunscreen (for a hot, summer’s day)
- Two throw blankets (in case the weather changes and it gets chilly)
What to drink
- Chilled, sparkling and still water is always a safe option.
- A chilled cranberry juice and vodka cocktail is even better though. It’s quite simple. Just mix 6 shots of vodka with a little cranberry juice (keep it light), add some cut-up fresh fruit, chill in the fridge overnight and keep it cool in a big flask. For a non-alcoholic alternative, simply remove the vodka.
What to eat
- An array of fresh fruit. It’s stone fruit season, after all. Peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and nectarines are all considered stone fruits.
- Sliced ciabatta bread (slice a loaf at home, it’ll be easier to eat)
- Mild cheeses (cheddar, gouda, mozzarella, or a soft goats’ cheese)
- A chunky jam (fig is classic, watermelon is a delicious alternative)
- Biltong and droëwors
- Mixed roasted and salted nuts
- Dessert? Cupcakes. Most people can’t say no to cupcakes.
It’s also a good idea to ask your date if they have any food allergies or dislikes. Nothing cuts a date short like someone going into anaphylactic shock from eating a nut, or tummy runs because of a food allergy. It also shows that you’re attentive and conscientious.
Most importantly, have fun, because you might just be picnicking with The One.