Guys, if you want to have a memorable date, then the tired old “Dinner and a Movie” routine is dead. I would never recommend that as a first date. That’s what everyone does, and you don’t want to be like everyone. You want to make yourself stand apart from the crowd. You want her to be telling her friends about the date you took her on for weeks to come, and perhaps even longer than that.

The very best dates are those that take the person you’re going out with slightly outside their comfort zone. Not far, mind you, but just outside that comfortable envelope. The reason? That creates excitement. It gets the blood pumping, and your date will associate that excitement with you. Bear in mind that excitement doesn’t always have to mean an adrenaline rush. It can mean that, but it can also be terribly, terribly romantic. Here are a trio of ideas you can try that create very different sorts of excitement.

  • ButterfliesIf you live in a city with a zoo, garden, or a bird exhibit, oftentimes, they’ll include a butterfly garden. They’re wonderfully romantic places to go on a date (especially a memorable first date), but here’s how you take it to the next level. Buy a spray bottle and fill it with sugar water. When you enter the exhibit, spray your date with the water – not too much! The butterflies will be drawn to it and land on your date to enjoy the tasty treat and you can grab some killer pictures. It’s a simple but utterly amazing experience.
  • State Fairs/CarnivalsMost people love rides that get their blood pumping. If you know your date has a fondness for roller coasters, this is a good, fun outing, and it has the advantage that if you’re any good at carnival games, you get another opportunity to be the hero and win some cute prizes. Sure, they’re mostly fluff, but it’s still good fun. And there is something very romantic about doing corny things, like riding on the carousel.
  • Music FestivalsOutdoor concerts are not only a lot of fun to attend, and a bit apart from the idea of a usual date, but they also tell your date a lot about you by the type of music you’re taking her to hear. It’s a good way to establish whether you’ve got that in common or not. If music is an important part of your life, then that’s an important detail to know. Just check that you’re in the right ball park before you take her to a thrash metal revival.

The bottom line here is that while dinner and a movie type dates are fine for later, what you want to do early on is to set yourself apart from the other people she’s dated and the other dates she’s been on. That’s hands down the best way to be sure you get a second date!