Valentine’s Day is coming up, which means there are thousands of people waiting for their significant others to wow them with beautiful romantic gifts. This also means that the “gift givers” are likely in panic mode by now, wondering which present to buy and where to book dinner reservations.
If you’ve been with your sweetie for a while, chances are you’re looking to do something creative this year that will serve as a fond memory for the two of you for years to come. If you’ve just started dating someone new, an impressive Valentine’s Day outing could be just what you need to move the relationship further.
No matter what your reason is for wanting to make Valentine’s Day extra special this year, there are a few things you should avoid when you’re planning your date. While you pretty much can’t go wrong with dinner at a fancy restaurant and a box of gourmet chocolates, if you want to do something out of the ordinary, it’s best to know what to avoid. After all, a bad date could mean the end of a budding relationship—or weeks of arguing with your mate. Here are 12 of the worst date ideas for couples.
12. Wedding Date
It’s no surprise that a number of couples choose to get married on (or around) Valentine’s Day. If you’ve been dating your significant other for a while but aren’t quite ready to pop the question, do not take them on a “date” to a friend or loved one’s wedding this year. And if you do take your sweetie as your date, don’t assume that this counts as your Valentine’s Day outing, even if the wedding is actually on Valentine’s Day. The wedding “date” is also a bad idea even if you’ve been married for a while. You don’t ever want your spouse to think you take them for granted, but you especially don’t want this sentiment to cross their minds on Valentine’s Day. If you can, avoid weddings altogether around Valentine’s Day. Make your significant other feel special by doing something that makes the two of you fall deeper in love, instead of watching another couple express their love.
11. Arcade Date
This may seem like a good idea when you want to have a fun date that doesn’t put too much pressure on either of you. However, arcade dates rarely go as planned. Chances are you’re going to have to wait for all the 11-year-olds to stop playing the game you want, and a line will form behind you, pressuring you to play quickly. Also, you may think that it will be cute and hilarious for you to play a kid in Dance Dance Revolution, but this can get old really quick. Your date is likely to get bored, and may view you as immature. Maybe going to an arcade to hang out after you know the person well enough is OK, but this is definitely not first date or Valentine’s Day date material.
10. Beach Date
This may seem like a good idea, but when you really think about it, going to the beach on Valentine’s Day probably isn’t going to be all that romantic. For one thing, it’s still pretty cold outside in February, depending on where you live. Secondly, there really isn’t much to do on the beach. Sure, you can go for a swim, do some sunbathing, and take a walk in the sand, but that can take all of 15 minutes. Then what? After a small picnic and a champagne toast on the beach, chances are your date will want to go home. Also, what if your date isn’t a fan of getting sand between her toes, and doesn’t exactly want to build sand castles with you for Valentine’s Day? In most cases, you also don’t have to spend any money to go to the beach, which probably isn’t going to go over well with your date.
9. Friend Date
Even if your wife says that she doesn’t mind if the two of you hang out with your friends for Valentine’s Day, you should still plan a separate date for just the two of you. Even if you’ve been together for a while, there’s a good chance your spouse is excited to finally have some alone time with you on Valentine’s Day. Going on an outing with friends could send the message that you don’t value the holiday quite as much. If you’re in a new relationship, a friend outing on Valentine’s Day could send the message that you’re not that interested, which is just another reason it’s a bad date idea.
8. Zoo Date
If you’re in animal lover, you may think taking your date to the zoo is ideal. As a general rule, though, you should probably hold off on this outing unless you’re having a family day of fun with the kids. Yes, animals can be beautiful and fascinating, but the truth is, zoos can be pretty smelly, and most zoos have child-like themes in order to attract kids. So, you may want to hold off on the zoo “date” until you’ve gotten to know your date a little more. Or, you can save your trip to the zoo for when you and your spouse want to take the kids out for a special treat, in which case, it’s really not a date at all. So clearly, this is a bad idea for Valentine’s Day.
7. Extreme Sports Date
You may think it would be really exciting to take your significant other bungee jumping or skydiving for Valentine’s Day. However, it’s probably not a good idea. Even if the two of you are thrill-seekers, think romance when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Most people don’t feel romantic unless they are assured they’re not going to severely injure themselves, which is why an extreme sports date is a bad choice. If you still want to add some adventure to Valentine’s Day, try going to a new sushi bar, planning a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt that the two of you will enjoy.
6. Camping Date
There are a few people who think that spending the night under the stars is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is very likely that your significant other is not one of those people. Avoid camping trips for Valentine’s Day, since the weather will still be cold, and in some areas, you may experience rain or snow. Camping also involves warding off a variety of creatures and trying not to come home with poison ivy, and neither of those things is very romantic. If you’re sure that your mate will enjoy a nature-themed Valentine’s Day, you can start a bonfire in the backyard and make s’mores, but that’s about as far as it should go in most cases.
5. Family Date
We’re willing to bet that your significant other doesn’t want to see any members of your family on Valentine’s Day, unless the two of you are dropping the kids off with them. Valentine’s Day is not a family holiday. Sure, it’s perfectly fine (and really sweet) to give your children candy and stuffed animals during the day, but by the time evening rolls around, you better have some very fancy dinner reservations and beautiful jewelry ready. Going to a family dinner for Valentine’s Day will pretty much kill any chance of you having “romantic time” with your spouse when the dinner is over.
4. Shopping Mall Date
You may be thinking that taking your sweetie to the mall is a wonderfully romantic idea for Valentine’s Day. After all, it makes you look great, since your sweetie will be able to choose the clothing and shoes that he/she wants. However, this could also come across that you really don’t know what your significant other likes, and haven’t paid enough attention to their preferences—which could backfire. On the other hand, a date at the mall will likely mean that you’re going to spend way more than you anticipated for Valentine’s Day, which probably isn’t going to put you in a very romantic mood. So, it’s best to just stay away from the mall on Valentine’s Day—and most of the other holidays, too.
3. Sports Bar Date
Even if you and your sweetie both love sports, going to a bar and watching the game for Valentine’s Day is not a good idea. Yes, it’s important that your mate is also your friend. However, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show your romantic side. You can’t quite do that when you’re licking buffalo sauce off your fingers and ordering another round of beers. Show your sweetie that you really care. Trade your team jersey for a suit and tie and take her somewhere where there aren’t bowls of peanuts and pretzels on the table. It will make for a much better night.
2. Fast Food Restaurant Date
If you’ve been with your mate for years, and the two of you had your first date at a fast food restaurant when you were teenagers or college students, you may think it’s a cute idea to take her to that same restaurant for Valentine’s Day. It’s not. You can do this on a regular day when you’re just strolling down memory lane (it will come across much better). However, on Valentine’s Day, taking your date to a place with a drive-thru that offers cups with cartoon characters on them isn’t your best move. Those types of restaurants are not made for romance, and spending any portion of your Valentine’s Day there certainly isn’t going to change that.
1. A Home Date
Whatever you do, whether you’re married, in a committed relationship, or trying to see where a new relationship will go, don’t spend your entire Valentine’s Day at home. Nothing sends the message that you don’t really care about the holiday (or your date). It takes little to no effort to invite someone over, unless you plan on preparing an elaborate meal, lighting the finest aromatherapy candles and cleaning the house thoroughly. However, chances are you don’t want to go through all that trouble, which is why you considered a “house date.” This also makes you come across as pretty sleazy, and gives the impression that you’re only after “one thing.” Even if you end up at your place for dessert or cocktails at the end of the night, plan an outing to show your sweetie that you’re willing to put some effort into making her happy.