Sometimes, the best dates are free (or at least cheap and easy). If that’s the case, you can’t beat a killer date night at home. While you may love dressing up for night on the town, sometimes busy schedules or tight budgets make the reality a lot less glamorous. Fear not – you don’t need $100+ dinner and elaborate plans, you can impress your date without leaving the house.
If you’ve been dating for a while, at-home date nights probably happen pretty often. But, if you’re still getting to know each other, inviting someone back to your place at 7pm (rather than 3am) can be both exhilarating and intimidating. So, next time you want to swap a night out for a romantic night in, here’s some tips and tricks to make sure you do it right.
Because the date is in the comfort of your own home, you might be tempted to just wing it. But, without at least some planning, your big night may end up fizzling. So, before your date, take care of the basics. Go grocery shopping, ask your housemates to make other plans for the night and please, PLEASE, make sure your place is clean. Nothing’s a bigger turn off than showing up to a total pig-sty.
Read Up On Your Wine
Since you’re at home, you don’t need to drive, so kick off the date with a nice glass of wine. There’s nothing more impressive than someone who knows their Shiraz from their Pinot. And it’s a great conversation starter, too. Make sure you do your research, so you can whip out some facts about the drop. As a general rule, pair whites with chicken or fish and reds with bolder meats, like steak. When you know what you’re looking for, you can easily find a delicious bottle that won’t break the bank.
Set The Mood With Candles
Who doesn’t love a good candle (or five)? Heck, I’m of the opinion one can never have too many. Sometimes I light ten candles all at once. If you follow this approach, your date will either love the clever concoction of smells (and in turn, you) or become woozy from the intensity and not even notice that you burnt dinner or forgot to clean up. Either way, it’s a win-win.
Serve Up Your Best Home-Cooked Meal
Dining at home is way more intimate than eating at a restaurant, which can be amazing if you’re hitting it off or absolutely terrible if things get awkward. If you’re lucky, you’ll whip out your fave dish and your date will be head-over-heels.
If your cooking skills aren’t quite at MasterChef level yet, or you don’t have a lot of experience cooking for other people, stick with something simple. It’s not the best idea to invent a brand-new dish the first time someone steps into your kitchen. No matter what you cook, preparation is key, so try to make the bulk of your meal ahead of time. Salad dressings, onions, garlic and veggies can all be prepped in the morning or even the night before.
Create A Killer Playlist
When you’re planning the perfect at-home date, you’ll want to think about the five senses. Smell (the candles have that covered), sight (make sure your house is spotless), taste (choose your menu with care), touch (this is a no-brainer) and finally, sound. Music can help set the mood in any situation. So, flex your playlist-making muscles, pick the best date night songs and let the romance unfold.
Follow these tips and your date night might even turn into breakfast the next morning.
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