Some things are just a matter of opinion: fashion, the best sports player of all time, politics, and so on.
What makes a good date definitely falls in the opinion category.
Googling the phrase “good date” yields over 4.23 billion results. With so many differences of opinion, especially between men and women, on what constitutes a good date, something gets lost in translation.
When it comes to dating, there is the good, the bad, and the ugly.
MU undergrad Todd Breitenbach says the worst date he had was in the clothing store Forever 21 – for three hours.
“She made me stand by the changing room and give my opinion on everything she tried on. I was the only guy in there,” said Breitenbach.
Dana, who asked that her last name not be printed, says her worst date was painful. Literally. While on her first motorcycle ride with her date, she hit the side pipe.
“By the time we got back to his house it was already a third degree burn and I was bawling, and it was just awful because it was our first date,” she says. However, even with the disastrous first date, they ended up dating for a few months.
Not all dates end in tears, though.
Senior Jack Gamber says the best date he ever went on was a milkshake date in the rain. The two ended up dating for two years and actually went back to the same milkshake shop on their anniversary.
For Breitenbach, it was less about the activity, and more about the connection: “We did a whole bunch of nerdy things together and enjoyed it. Which is rare.”
While guys might like to defer choosing date activities to the ladies, sometimes the women don’t mind a guy taking charge: “Best date for me is when the guy plans it out and you get to do something memorable like go to a sports event, amusement park or mini golfing,” said Dana.
While Valentine’s Day might be too cold for mini golfing, for many people, it’s more important whom the time is spent with than how it is spent.
“A good Valentine’s Day is not expecting someone to go all out and spend a lot of money. It’s nice to spend time together,” says Breitenbach
Sometimes getting away from the usual hustle and bustle of college life can be great for Valentine’s Day. Last year, Dana’s Valentine whisked her away to the beach for the weekend. “It was so cute and unexpected,” she said.
For those looking to find someone special, Jeremy Nicholson, Ph.D., and contributor to Psychology Today advises those looking for a relationship to focus on knowing yourself and what you want from a potential partner, as well as focusing on assessing the person you’re dating: can they give you what you want from a relationship?
Nicholson also gives warning about dating crazes that offer “one size fits all or a single personality test for happily-ever-after.”
Dating and relationships are often complicated and messy but also fun and exciting. It’s hard to put into words the idea of a good date. Like a lot of things, it’s simply just a matter of opinion. But you’ll know it when you find it.