Don’t You DARE do Dinner and Movie!


I love a man who can plan a great date! I can also be rather competitive in what I call “love show downs”. The idea of “out-dating” one another is fun because…well, just because it is. Planning a great date has all of the elements of love – surprise, the opportunity to be selfless and think well about the other person, the opportunity to let him or her relax, to see their face light up, and to set the bar in terms of expectations. Essentially, you’re teaching one another how to treat the other.

Here are a few ideas to get you started!


If you live within striking distance of the beach… Go to the beach to watch the sunrise. Have a stash of nuts, granola bars and other snacks in the car so that you’ll only need to stop for coffee. It’ll be kind of dark, so taking pictures might be hard. More than anything, simply take in the moment! Then, kiss each other. Kiss each other lovingly and slowly. For the love of God, I hate those, “the date is over” kisses. Those are so mechanical.

After getting totally worked up from all that kissing, hold hands and walk the beach (You know you need the exercise!). Afterwards and depending on your mood, you can decide whether to get breakfast or go back home and sleep (after all, you have been up since 4am!).

Note: the point of this date is simply to kiss without interruption and be in the moment with your partner.



Mutually decide on exploring a thing that you’re both curious about. The trick is that the thing must be a thing that requires on-going effort and give you opportunities to go somewhere. Here are some examples:

1)  Visit all of the following types of establishments within a certain radius, i.e., flea markets, antique stores, New Jersey Light Houses, all of the museums of a certain type natural science, African America History, etc. Finally, you can choose one of those “the best of lists” and aim to check out each destination on the list (you can also create your own list of destinations!).

2)  Attend at least one professional sporting event for every franchise within driving distance.

3)  Identify the annual festivals and shows that come to your region and attend as many as you can or decide that you’re going to attend at least a certain one every year or so many each year. Personally, I enjoy the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention (you can keep The Flower Show). Essentially, you’re creating your own tradition.

4)  Every Sunday or every other “which ever day you pick”, you two do something simple; but make a commitment to NEVER break the date.

As you look at this list, you are probably thinking that completing any one of these suggestions will take years; that is the point.  Love take times, and you must keep it interesting and fun. Otherwise, the work of you overshadows the joy and promise of you.



Make the postman your ally. Prove that you aren’t the “out of sight, out of mind” kind of person and send gifts when life gets in the way of spending time together. Focus on the “thinking of you” aspect of the gifts, not the cost.

Once, a guy sent me all of the non-perishable ingredients for chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. Literally, he sent everything except the eggs and butter. The package included a request to be notified about the earliest possible date on which the cookies could be picked up. Of course, the pick-up included the cookies and me!

Gift Suggestions:
1) Days of the week underwear (a pair for everyday of the week).
2) Although you can’t be with your partner, send them to dinner by sending a generous gift certificate to their restaurant.
3) Help them take care of their body and send bath salts, body lotion, or small bottle of cologne or perfume.
4) A gag gift followed by a sentimental one.
5) A bag of his or her favorite candies.
6) Make a video and upload it to Youtube!
7) Go to and make them a little animated entertainment!


Be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! This one is a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt! The trick to this date is knowing your significant other’s schedule ahead of time. You don’t want to plan a scavenger hunt when either of you is pressed for time. After that, once you’ve gotten him/her started with the first clue, the rest is history.

What I did:
Step 1:  My guy was at my house, and I told him that I had to get something out of my car. I actually had one of my friends waiting down the block to pick me up. Once, I was in my friend’s car and had been gone for enough time for him to miss me, I sent a text telling him to go look at the note on my refrigerator. Once, he texted back, I had confirmation that he was all in!

Step 2:  His first set of instructions was to look for an out-of-place object in the basement that contained his second clue. I placed it (a huge plastic heart) in an obvious spot. Once he found the heart, he was instructed to take a shower and to put on specific garments and to press play on the CD at a specific time. The song that played was, “I’ll Be Seeing You” by Billie Holiday. ALWAYS SET AMBIANCE! Once he got to the CD player, there was a note instructing him to pour himself a glass of wine. On the bottle of wine, there were driving directions to location where he was to meet me. I made sure that he drove my car: ALWAYS SET AMBIANCE…my car was clean (for once), and there was a CD waiting in there!  While he was doing all of that, I went to my friend’s apartment to change my clothes.

Special Note: You have to check in periodically to make sure your boo-thang is on track time-wise and is finding the clues. FYI – if you’re like me, you don’t like to rush, so plan for the type of “date energy” that you want. I set aside more than an hour for Step 2.

Step 3:  The drive to the location must be precise, particularly, if you’re not telling the person where they’re going. You also want to plan for a little time for traffic and missed turns.

Step 4:  I had a photographer pick me up from my friend’s apartment. From there, we headed to a park where my guy was to meet me to take pictures at sunset.

Step 5:  HE FOUND ME!  LOL. From the park, we left together, we went to a hotel to kill time before our dinner boat reservations. I had worked out a deal with one of the hotel staff members (I’m sure that employee would be fired if his boss knew about our arrangement). For $50, the employee gave us access to the hot tub and let us use a room to get dressed afterwards. We had wine and nibbles while we sweated.

Another special note:  Don’t forget that you have to plan more clothes and towels and everything else for this type of “layover”.   This was also part of the reason that driving my car was necessary!  I had everything that we’d need in the trunk.  Also, don’t under-estimate travel time and time needed for valet service and parking. If you’re generous with your time allotments, you can flirt and enjoy lots of giggles along the way rather than rushing from activity to activity.

Step 6: We finally made it our final destination and had a great time.


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