I would in no way consider myself a dating expert, but I have recently been working on trying to recreate the excitement of those first few dates with my wife. Over the course of our relationship, we have gone out to dinner an irrationally high number of times, but it really became more out of the necessity of eating to stay alive than eating for the pleasure of each other’s company. At one such dinner recently, we began to talk about the excitement of those first few meals we shared together and how it would be great if we could find a way to recapture the energy and the connection that we shared. We had so much to learn about each other and everything was new. The food was new, the company was new and most importantly the relationship was just beginning to bud. We both felt like we were auditioning to each other in a way, and those nerves helped to make the experience not only exciting but incredibly memorable.
The Actual First Date
Even 11 years later, we both remember our first meal vividly. I took her to a local Chinese restaurant that my family had been going to for years. Even though the atmosphere, food, and surroundings in this particular restaurant were very familiar to me, everything felt like it was happening for the first time. It was amazing how a change in company had such a dramatic impact on the dining experience. To this day (11 years later) I still remember what we ordered.
She, on the other hand, remembers almost nothing of the actual meal, but vividly recalls our conversation. Apparently the highlight of the night for her was an argument over a mutual friend’s name. We were both fascinated by the different memories that we took away from that experience, but we both had a similar take away from the entire meal. It was new, exciting and we could not wait to do it again.
That brought us back to our current dilemma. How do we recapture that excitement and make dining out together feel new again? I wish I had a definitive answer, but we do have a plan and perhaps we can all learn together.
Step 1: Go to a new restaurant instead of the same familiar places.
(Restaurant.com makes it pretty easy to find new places around us, and perhaps the new atmosphere will help to spark the same feeling s of newness we had 11 years ago.)
Step 2: Step out of our comfort zone when dining.
(This could be as simple as trying new cuisines, or even cuisines that we used to balk at. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is the definition of a first date, so perhaps we can reclaim some of those emotions by trying new dishes or cuisines.)
Step 3: Most important, make an effort in your conversations to learn something new about each other.
(We will avoid the “how was your day” conversation and push each other to open up about what is going on outside the daily routines we are so familiar with.)
The Next Steps
I know this is not a fool proof plan by any means, but we are going to give it a try, and if anyone is interested, I will report back with my findings. Worst-case scenario, we get to try some great new restaurants. Best-case scenario, we can recapture some of that dining magic from way back when. Who knows, maybe we will land somewhere in the middle, and that is definitely good enough for me.
What other steps or ideas do you have to recreate the first date experience with your significant other? Share in the comments below.