HOW TO DATE OTHER PEOPLE (Even When You're Married)

Our post isn’t as scandalous as you might think, but we hope the title caught your attention.

I, Gretchen, recently had an experience that got me thinking: Regardless of our relationship status, we are always dating other people. Whether it is our friend, our mom or dad, our kids, or even our grandkids, we should be going on dates with the important people in our lives frequently.

My aha moment started with Father’s Day. Every year I wonder what to get the guy who has it all. After some thought it came to me - above all else, my parents value experiences and time together. It was right there, the perfect idea - a date night with just me and my dad.

My dad and I just went on our date and the evening included wine tasting, where I got to surprise him with a take home bottle that featured a picture of him and my mom. We followed that up with an amazing 5-course dinner at our favorite restaurant, Sarto’s Social Italian Eatery - thanks Chef Garrett!

And well, It turned out to be a pretty cool gift for me too - and not just because my Dad insisted on paying. Being a business owner, a mom, and a wife I find myself not making time for the other significant relationships in my life. It was such an incredible time connecting with my dad, and definitely something we’ll remember down the road.

So what is a date then if it doesn’t fit in the traditional notion of romance? We think a date could be defined as quality one-on-one time with a person you want to connect with. Ideally each date would be memorable and move your relationship forward. Of course it can be as simple as grabbing a burrito over a lunch date, but the bonding really happens when you and your date are doing something new together.

Date

noun

1. Quality one-on-one time with a person you want to connect with

2. A social OR romantic appointment or engagement

So if we think of a date as more of a social appointment rather than a romantic one, we think there are four elements of a well-planned date.

  1. A new experience. Seek out experiences that are new for everyone involved. Whether it’s a huge success or an epic fail, it doesn’t really matter. It’ll be something you’ll talk about for years to come.

  2. A multi-stop itinerary - bonus if each of the stops are walkable. Including dinner is great but there should be more. And there’s nothing worse than last-minute-yelping in an attempt to find that next stop.

  3. Take the time to seek out a new interest or an “I’ve always wanted to try that,” activity. I personally keep a running list of things my friends and family mention they’d love to try in my phone. It take seconds and really saves my butt when the holidays roll around.

  4. Throw in a surprise. It doesn’t need to be grandiose, just something to make them feel loved and show them that you thought about them beyond a dinner reservation. For example, call your dinner spot ahead of time and ask them to prepare a drink to toast upon arrival. Or buy a card, handwrite a note (ideally yourself), and give it to your date in the middle of dinner. This might only work once but those old-school gestures stand out in the age of Facebook comments and emojis that we use to express our emotions.

Every relationship is different, and you know your people best, but here are a few pro tips to get you rolling:

Grandparents & Grandkids

  • Consider tennis shoes, those kids are faster than you remember. Oh, and snacks, always have snacks.

Adult Kids & Parents

  • Pick something a little out of both of your wheelhouses. Reconnect on a different level and try something that’s new for both of you.

Parents & Kiddos

  • Try somewhere the kids have never been before - create a “remember when” moment. Think about some new hobbies or interests that you can bond over.

You & Friends

  • Out of town friends are easy - pick your personal fave. It’s fun to watch them experience places you love. It creates a bonding moment and you can rest assured it’ll be a place that consistently delivers. I like to keep everything within walking distance and major bonus if there’s a view of your city skyline. After traveling to get to you, the last thing they need is to be dragged across town. For me, I love Adelita’s on South Broadway, plus there’s a great brewery next door for a first top and an ice-cream shop around the corner for after dinner.

Remember, it’s not about how much you spend. The most important thing is experiencing something new together. Make the most of it. We’re all busy and these simple moments are fleeting. Extra quality time can be the difference between a new memory and a frustrating day.

So whoever you’re dating, we hope you love planning your time together. And if you absolutely crush it with your next date, remember to tag us with #adelskadatenight and we’ll feature you in our date night ideas posts on social!

Gretchen Bartek