Relationships

A Date Moment I Still Think About

I was a ball of nerves walking up to the friendly neighborhood bar…

I’d recently ended a messy relationship and decided it was time to get back into the swing of things, so my date (let’s call him Drake) and I agreed to meet for drinks. Drake was warm and chatty and had the most gorgeous head of salt and pepper hair I’d ever seen. We talked about everything from writing to family dynamics to world travel.

After an hour or so, we were on our second beers and deep in conversation when the bartender suddenly turned off the jukebox and flipped on an old black and white TV above the bar. To my delight and confusion, it was Jeopardy!

“I don’t think I’ll know any of these answers,” Drake said. “I bet you’ll get at least a couple!” I encouraged him. After the first round, we were tied on correct questions, while the rest of the bar was huddled around and playing along. Somewhere between high fiving strangers and laughing at wrong answers, we both started to loosen up a little — it was one of those magical experiences you can’t fully describe. As we listened to the Final Jeopardy question, I put my arm around him, and placed my chin on his shoulder. He put his hand on my leg, whispered something into my ear, and we kissed. Ice broken. We looked at each other, smiling — relieved to be at the kissing portion of the evening. Who would’ve thought all along, an episode of Jeopardy would be the thing to break the ice and get Drake a (great!) second date?

Do you have a date moment that has stuck with you? I would love to hear it!

P.S. What do you order on dates and a first date ritual.

(Photo of Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon.)

  1. Alyssa says...

    These stories are amazing. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. CS says...

    Anon. Yikes! I seriously read every one of these comments. So romantic and so fun! Xo everyone, thanks for sharing your stories.

  3. Polyana says...

    After two incredible dates (at least I had thought so), while chatting over text, I mentioned I wanted to buy a hammock for my bedroom, but couldn’t find one anywhere, and planned to go looking the following weekend. He then said, “Beaches are good places to find hammocks, let’s go looking there this weekend.”

    I quite honestly was so moved this guy I barely knew took my hammock shopping so seriously, enough to drive over an hour with me to find one. I would find out later he was more interested in seeing me in a swimsuit! And so we took an incredible day trip to the beach, had lunch at a seaside restaurant, swam for a bit and had a few beers while chatting on a sarong spread out on the sand, before even remembering we were there for hammocks. In the end, we didn’t find my hammock, and he dropped me off at home with a sweet kiss. This was around mid-December, and I was going to spend Christmas with my family in another state. We still chatted, but didn’t make plans to see each other until after the new year. Turns out, he spent Christmas at the beach with his family, and bought me a hammock as a gift.

    This was almost 6 years ago, and now that hammock sits in our backyard :-)

    • CS says...

      Oh that is so sweet! 💕

  4. KatieSue says...

    I met a guy online and we set up a dinner date. An hour before we met he texted that he had to move it back an hour, so I stayed at work. Then he texted again that he had to move it again later and expressed how he hated flakes and if I wanted to cancel he’d understand. I was fine staying at work longer so I waited. The third time he explained that he worked for the newspaper and sometimes filled in for the radio guy that read the local new on the hour. The radio guy had been in a minor accident on the way back from a live story so he had to read the news one more time and if I didn’t believe him I could listen to the radio and hear him. Which of course I did as I drove to the restaurant! By that time the roudy nightly show was coming on and after he did the new the two radio hosts were teasing him about his long day and how he wanted to go home. He then explained in exasperation that he didn’t want to go home, but he had a woman on a first date waiting on him for over 2 hours and if he didn’t go soon he’d miss it completely. The radio hosts laughed and laughed and said, “Dave’s mystery woman if you’re out there listening give him a second chance it’s not his fault!” It was so odd to know they were talking to me on the radio and other people were hearing this! He arrived running to the restaurant and later that night sent me a sound clip from the show. We didn’t end up dating but we did become good friends now for 8 years and due to the fact that I’ve dated 7 Daves in my life, he’s known to my friends as Radio-Dave.

  5. Alex says...

    Five years ago (almost exactly) I met my now husband on a blind date. Our afternoon coffee meet up turned into a 6 hour coffee, walk, dinner and drinks date. On our walk he took a photo of me with his polaroid camera. I was so embarrassed at the time because when it developed, the nerves and butterflies I was feeling was plainly visible on my face (I’ve always worn my feelings on my sleeve). I love that photo so much now.

  6. Nicole says...

    It was a cold Sunday in late October and I needed to get out of the house so I took my book to a cafe in my neighborhood. We knew each other already, sort of friends of friends – he brought an OKCupid date into the cafe I was at. We saw one another and waved hello and I didn’t think much of it, “there’s that cute guy with the swimmer’s body”- I thought to myself. When he and his date went to leave he broke away and stopped by my table. I told him I was avoiding being cooped up at home and was going to get a beer and dinner at a nearby bar so I could finish reading my book. It was a polite conversation and he left.
    Shortly after I went to the nearby bar, ordered my beer and dinner and then he showed up. “what happened to the date?” I asked, “no good” he answered. He sat at the open bar stool next to me and we got into a really easy going relaxed conversation- how his post recession career was just getting back on track, how there’d been a few good dates but nothing notable. I told him about the fallout of my separation from my ex-husband, how I was enjoying being alone but also having trouble dealing with the divorce leprosy (some people treat you like you have a communicable disease because you are divorcing. it happens). It was a really good conversation about some heavy things, and some fun lighter things and I totally did not see it coming.
    After another beer I remember there being silence between us- maybe he didn’t see this coming either? Sitting next to him, he had his arms kind of resting up on the bar in front of him. I put my hand on his hand. I waited. He reached his thumb up and rubbed the side of my hand. We gave one another a look that said, “really?”. We kept talking, paid our bills and when we got outside we kissed one another. Like, really kissed one another. He walked me back to my post-divorce apartment, kissed me again, said goodnight and went home. The next day we made plans to have an actual planned date and that date had the same easy-going magic as that night had.
    We just celebrated our six year anniversary – in those six years one of us has kicked a drug habit, we’ve supported one another while mourning so many tragic deaths, we’ve changed careers, moved homes (twice!), trained for and run a marathon, taken dozens of vacations, shared books, dealt with anxiety and depression, cared for one another after surgery and so on. I’m so glad I grabbed his hand.

    • Rebecca Orr says...

      Nicole, I cried reading this. Beautiful little love story!

  7. I met my boyfriend of seven years, Tyler, at a party of a mutual friend when we were both 24 years old. I was coming off a terrible breakup, and my therapist and best friend decided that I needed to focus on being friends with great people — not looking for romance. And so, despite how cute this guy was at this party, I decided we would be friends. We ate cheap Mexican food one night, and after texting for six weeks, I asked if he wanted to get together again. We lived in Boston, and he suggested we go to the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts) on a Saturday afternoon. Of course, there was an exhibit full of nude photos, which was terribly awkward, but he was sweet, charming and okay with the fact that I arrived very late. I had plans to go to a chili cookoff at an old Irish pub nearby after, and I invited him to come along with some friends. It was a bitter February day, and we were freezing on the walk to the pub. On the way, he saw a teenager with a flat tire. The kid was putting the spare on wrong, and Tyler told me it would ruin this guy’s car. And so, he gave me a sad, awkward, would-you-mind-if-I-helped-this-guy-put-on-a-spare-tire look even though you’re freezing your ass off on the sidewalk. I said, of course! Tyler patiently taught this kid how to put on a spare and I watched in awe. His patience in describing everything from lug nuts to how to jack up the car was deeply kind — he was so bashful and humble about it. No bravado. I can’t even use a screwdriver. Needless to say, we had so much fun with my friends it became a day-long date and led to the best first kiss of my life.

  8. Geraldine Timperley says...

    My first official date with my now-husband was actually our second date! It’s a funny but sweet story, and thinking about it makes me smile. We had met while walking to a mutual friend’s birthday party — a party that I had changed my mind about going to — and we just ended up talking to each other the whole night. It turned out that he literally lived in the dorm apartment next to mine and as luck would have it, I had never met him despite going over so many times before! The night ended with just the two of us at a local party place, dancing and kissing, until the place closed. When I woke up the next morning, I thought I had dreamt everything! But he texted to ask how my day was going and we decided to go on an official coffee date (the second one!) that stretched into a discussion of our lives, which trees were best for climbing, what we would name our wrestling troupes and finally, a cat walk where we spent 3 hours walking around the city to look for little cat statues and figurines that were on walls and roofs! Needless to say, I was smitten after that.

    5 years since and after 3.5 years of long distance, I am so glad I decided to go to that party after all.

  9. Laura says...

    As usual, you all are the best. I’ve been divorced for a year, separated for a year and a half, and you’re giving my broken heart hope. I will share one story, even though it didn’t end in romance:

    Just as I was separating from my husband, under absolutely horrible circumstances, I became friends with a dad at my son’s preschool. He was very supportive as I was going through my split, but moved across the country soon after to be closer to his son’s mom (not together, but coparenting). He visited my home state a few months later without his son to see family, and asked me if I wanted to hang out. We spent 6 hours walking, eating takeout, talking about our lives, and watching the Great British Baking Show. It was the first time I had feelings for someone since my husband left, and it brought some hope to my cold heart. We’re still friends and visit one another, and I continue to feel grateful for the reminder that there will be better times ahead.

    • Youngdirectionless says...

      This is so sweet. You deserve and are worthy of love. Be kind to yourself this year.

  10. Lizzie says...

    This is too sweet.

    On a first date 3 years ago, I was stepping out of my date’s car when he said “I feel like I should give you something.” I remember thinking how thoughtful the mere sentiment was… and wondering where he had been my last 4 years in this city! He reached his arm into the backseat and produced a shiny, crisp apple – “Here you go, this is an apple from my home in Wisconsin.” My heart burst. Three years together later, and I love that this first date story is so reflective of who he truly is – a thoughtful, generous, and kind Wisconsin-loving boy!

  11. AC says...

    This is not a typical “date”. But it is the moment I knew we would be friends forever. We are both partnered up now, but over 12 years ago I met a girl at work (we had a common friend). We were from the same home state and had both traveled home to our families for the holidays. I had a long layover at SFO and randomly posted on Facebook about it. She responded that she would pick me up and take me out to eat. She showed up with her 2 childhood best friends and took me out for tacos and beers. We each have our own families now, but still trying to find ways to live closer to each other. I cannot do this life without her <3

  12. Kay says...

    I’d just moved from Yorkshire, England to London and was all set to meet a guy for a third date when it began to snow. Central London transport tends to shut down almost as soon as the first flake hits the ground and most people rush home as fast as they can. We figured out that both of us could still get to The Tate Modern so we met there and it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. We wandered around choosing which art work we liked best in each room and, because no one else was about, we even went down the slide in the children’s play area. We had dinner in an empty restaurant on the top floor with a rooftop view of London as it slowly became blanketed in snow.
    After dinner we walked across the Millennium Bridge. Half way he reached out and took my hand. When we got to the other side we kissed under the shadow of St Paul’s cathedral.
    It was THE most magical date I’ve ever been on. It didn’t work out with the guy but it’s safe to say I totally fell in love with London and have lived here ever since.

  13. Tara Sharp says...

    I was over the moon excited for my first date with a man who I had known and admired for years. I spent hours figuring out what to wear and getting ready. We already knew one another pretty well so the conversation flowed easily and we were having a great time at a romantic restaurant. We were both trying to impress one another.

    The tables at the restaurant were very close to one another, and the couple next to us was celebrating an anniversary. We chatted with them a bit, congratulating them on their anniversary. After a glass of wine or two… They propositioned us! They were swingers and they wanted to see if my date and I wanted to spend the night and have sex together!!! I was trying to let them know that I was NOT interested, but also didn’t want to kill the vibe because we were all still seated next to one another! And of course I was trying to act very mature and worldly in front of my date. 🤦‍♀️ Cringe.

    Luckily the other couple finally got the message that we were NOT interested in swinging with them, and left shortly after. Once they were gone my date and I looked at one another with shocked faces and then both started laughing really hard. All first date tension was magically gone! We still laugh about it today, 16 years and two daughters later. :)

  14. Amanda says...

    After I graduated from high school my parents took my sister and me and a friend on a trip to Wisconsin and Michigan. We took a ferry to Mackinac Island and it was pretty empty except for us and a guy that worked on the ferry. He sat in front of us reading a book, The Symarillion. At the time I was very shy and would have never started a conversation with a cute guy I didn’t know. But something came over me and I asked him how he liked the book. (My dad was really into Lord of the Rings and so I knew about it.) We would up talking the rest of the ferry ride and the next day when we went back, the ferry was crowded but he came over and said hi.
    Fast forward 7 or 8 years later and I had a random Facebook request from a guy I didn’t know. I am from Southern California and he lived in Michigan and I had no idea how he would have known me other than the fact that we had one mutual friend, my best friend. I asked her how she knew him and she said that the two of them had both commented on a blog post and had similar views on a topic. They started chatting and he told her he was going to be moving to Northern California so she told him about me so that he could know one person in California.
    As I was looking through his pictures I saw one from an album of old pictures he put up. One was of him and his little brother visiting him at work. Something looked so familiar about it but I couldn’t figure out why. Finally it hit me that it looked like the guy I met on the ferry! I looked more closely at his shirt and it had a logo of the ferry line. I messaged him about the whole thing and it took a week or so for him to get back to me because he was traveling with no internet access. When he finally responded he said that it was him. He said he didn’t remember my face but he remembered talking to a girl about the book.
    We started chatting for months and he finally decided to come down and visit me. It seemed like one of those stories you only hear about in the movies. What are the chances that we would meet again like that. But when he came it was one of the worst first dates I’ve ever been on! If I hadn’t asked any questions the conversation would have gone nowhere. We really had nothing in common and the years had definitely changed him if you know what I mean!
    My husband and I have now been happily married for 6 years with our fourth girl on the way. While our first date wasn’t extraordinary, it was great in the fact that we talked for almost three hours and it felt like no time had passed. You don’t always need a “movie type” story, although it’s been so fun reading all the other comments. True love is the kind that lasts even after all the big sparks are gone. My husband faithfully serves me and the girls with joy and I am so thankful for him.

  15. Lauren says...

    You know how some restaurants give you postcards with your bill? Well
    after a really nice 3rd date with my now husband I grabbed the postcard as a memorandum (I didn’t think he saw this). Our 4th date he had me over for dinner at his place and a couple of days later I got a postcard in the mail from him with #4 and four exclamation points written on it. That postcard is now framed in our living room :)

  16. Mims says...

    I was visiting a college roommate at their ranch in Wyoming and my husband to be was invited for that same weekend by our mutual friend.
    Everyone went horseback riding, but not enough horses for everyone, so he invited me to go on a mountain bike ride around the ranch. It is a 6,000 acre cattle ranch and we got lost….rolling foothills of the rockies with aspen groves and literal herds of antelope loping by. Of course, I had my period and after sometime indicated I really needed to get back for a bathroom. We eventually made it back (thank you power lines! and railroad tracks!) but not before we had talked about so many interesting things and I was so impressed with how calm and helpful he was in what could have been a disaster, but turned out to be our first adventure of many, many to come.

    • Alyssa says...

      These stories are amazing. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  17. Kimberly says...

    In grad school, I spotted a cute guy teaching students outside on the campus lawn. He was young but wore an old, brown, grandpa cardigan. It turned out the regular classroom he taught in was right next to the English TA’s offices. For an entire week, my cadre of fellow English TA’s sleuthed out for me (pre-Internet) who he was: they took turns walking back and forth past his class to eavesdrop on what he taught (Latin), and they even called his department secretary to get more information on him.

    Encouraged by all the supportive guys in my office who were cheering for me, I waited one day until Brown Cardigan Man was done teaching to talk to him. Turned out he walked incredibly fast and listened to music loudly on his headset; he power-walked across campus to the Romance Languages Building where he went into the graduate office. I was out of breath as I forced myself to knock. He opened the door, and I stammered something about trying to catch up to talk to him but couldn’t and if he was interested we should maybe probably someday sometime have coffee together. Then I turned around and walked away before he could respond. I was shy and what did I just do?

    But right after I crossed the street outside the building, he ran after me, and right there, breathlessly, suggested, yes, we should have coffee, but asked if I had plans for dinner instead. He said he had chicken defrosting in his refrigerator, would be happy to cook, and lived just a couple of blocks from campus. (A cute, early 20-something, grandpa-cardigan-wearing, Latin-teaching, graduate student who defrosted chicken in the morning to cook his own dinner?! Smitten & swooning.)

    He politely excused himself to go back to his office to get his stuff, and then he walked me to his house, which he shared with a bunch of guys. We chatted effortlessly about our common interests as he prepped and cooked dinner. I had another class that evening, and he offered to drive me back to campus since it would be dark.

    He was so perfectly gentlemanly, intelligent, and sweet. Despite our first “date” and an uncharacteristic shot of courage, I wound up unintentionally ghosting him because I was so painfully shy and awkward and didn’t know what to do when, before thanking me for sharing a meal with him and saying goodbye, he invited me to his housemate’s costume Halloween party that was in a few days. I’d never dressed up for Halloween even as a kid . . . I never showed up and couldn’t find a reasonable way to explain myself after he emailed to ask why . . .

    Even after almost 20 years, I still think about Mr. Brown Cardigan Man who taught Latin and defrosted his own chicken. And that one time in grad school I had the courage to ask a guy out and what a thrilling first date it was.

  18. rach says...

    swoon! magic.

  19. NH says...

    I remember my first date with this guy I had a HUGE crush on. He was leaving overseas the next day and I didn’t know when we would ever next reconnect. We always went on sort of group dates but never one on one, even though we both deeply liked each other.

    He was my male cousin’s best friend and we had to downplay our relationship. We were of different faiths and our relationship couldn’t really go to the next level in a long-term manner. Neither one of us was willing to convert for the other. It was out of the question.

    He had the most incredible laugh lines, warm eyes, and smile. When he looked at me, it was as if I was the only person in the world. But I knew I would marry someone of my faith later.

    The night before he left for overseas I invited him to my university dorm room when my roommate was gone that weekend. It was my one and only chance to see him. I took it.

    We spooned, he gave me my first kiss(es), and we slept fully clothed next to each other all night in each other’s arms, fully content, knowing that this was our sweet goodbye.

    I had never been kissed and was so nervous. We were cuddling in the dark when a train whistled by and he told me after the train we would kiss. And indeed we did. He had the most beautiful pouty lips too and knew exactly what he was doing. I still get butterflies thinking of it.

    It was our first date in that we were together in private, and it was so special. We had our eyes on each other for YEARS.

    He married his first love and
    lives halfway across the world in Australia; I am happily married to someone of my faith . Our offspring are born days within each other. I wonder about him from time to time.

    No other date has come close.

    • Alex says...

      beautiful story!

  20. Anna says...

    What about worst first dates? Like the time the guy insisted on sushi even after I told him I didn’t eat fish, sized me up after I mentioned not going to the gym after college, and very generously offered to pay the bill “since he ate most of it?” I choked through half a piece of sushi before getting McDonald’s on my way back home (partly because I was starving, partly as an act of rebellion because he kept going on about how healthy he always eats).

  21. BB says...

    I’ve never written a comment here, but the clarity of these memories is inspiring and I’ve never thought to pin mine down. My husband’s and my first “encounter” is long memorialized/mocked in our families — we had a graduate seminar together despite being in different disciplines, and ran into each other one day on campus. I was headed to the gym, and had with me my bright yellow Aeropostale (TM) gym bag. He stopped to say hello, pointed and said “cute tote.” He’s a real tote-man.
    Instead of going to the gym, we went to get a spontaneous coffee, and chatted on some benches (rocks? faulty memory) on campus. I had just gotten back from a trip with my colleagues and described my frustration at their immaturity, and he asked (at the time I thought it was innocently), if they were “his age”. Turns out they were WAY older than him, and he was WAYYYY younger than me. I saw him in seminar the next day, and because I had recently left a too-serious relationship, drinks obviously seemed like a good idea, already crafting in my head how I would tell my girlfriends I went out with a 25 year old. He says he knew it when I told him I drove the same car as him — a stick shift Honda Fit. I remember how he sat easily on the edge of his bar stool with his hands in his lap; I can still see his fingers reach out and touch mine. The bartender, when we both offered our credit cards to split the bill, only took his, saying to me something like “sweetie, let me tell you, I’ve been married for years and this doesn’t happen all the time …you let him pay.” We’ve been married for years and he still jokes that she cost him half a bill. Cute tote indeed.

    • Joy says...

      Love this story, and all the little details you remember make it so sweet.

  22. meghan says...

    On our second date, we were supposed to meet in Adams Morgan (DC) at a Metro stop to take a leisurely walk up to the National Zoo. I was coming from one part of the city, and my date came from another. As I was on the Metro, the car broke down. Now, this was before “good” cell phones and regardless, nothing would work underground. I was stuck for an hour and was sure he would have just left, thinking I blew him off. Well, over an hour later and VERY late for the date, I finally emerged from the Metro and as I got off the extremely long escalator, there he was… perched in the sunshine, reading the paper and, cool as a cucumber when he saw me said “well, I knew you’d be here.” We’ve now been married for 10 years and have 2 beautiful children :)

  23. Anonymous says...

    I would call my first date with my boyfriend on a plane. I was sitting next to him and asked him the time or he asked me…

    I remember his voice deep and baritone, with British undertones like Clive Owen. We spoke the ENTIRE flight. I don’t even remember landing. I do remember how badly I wanted to sit in his lap. He asked me for my number once we did land.

    We dated and when I left, had the most amazing phone sex. Alas, Reader, the long distance was too much and he broke up with me.

    I am now happily married with 4 boys to another man, but thinking of him and his voicemails make my knees weak. Oh to be young and single again.

  24. Irati says...

    Jake and Reese! I had forgotten about them, they made a very cute couple. I spotted them in Marrakesh once, I now recall…

  25. Yulia says...

    A guy I met through a work training emailed me afterwards for a coffee date. Later that week as I was walking to the coffee shop from my parking spot, I came across one of those black-and-white speckled composition notebooks and picked it up. It was full of the most teenage-y teenage stuff you could ever imagine: poetry, Wiccan spells, angsty diary entries, moody mystical drawings–a total gem of a find. There was no way to get it back to its owner (or even discover who it was) so we spent the date having a grand laugh and enjoying the notebook. There was a love spell somewhere in those pages… and we ended up staying together for three years. I guess the spell wore off!

  26. Hanna says...

    I was so embarrassed on my first date with my now husband. While eating, he reached out his hand to my mouth and I didn’t realize at the moment that he was wiping food from my mouth so I kissed his hand!!! Felt so stupid at the moment but I was quiet memorable :)

    • Alex says...

      Hahaha so sweet! Love this :)

    • Lana says...

      Hahah! This made me laugh out loud. So cringeworthy and we’ve all been there.

  27. Amy says...

    I’m loving all the reader comments :)
    My best first date was a very impromptu New Year’s Eve date.
    We met on a dating app earlier in the day and while chatting, realized neither of us had plans for NYE. We decided to keep it casual and meet for coffee, only to find out that Starbucks closed early! We ended up at the local pub, not the nicest spot, but we could have been anywhere. The conversation flowed so easily and we were lost in each others’ smiles. Suddenly we realized that it was 11:59 and when the countdown was done, we shared our first kiss. It was so sweet! We dated for about a year and although it didn’t work out, I think about him every NYE.

  28. Libby says...

    Our first date was in an Asian restaurant with an unfortunate name, and no one knew how to pronounce it so it wouldn’t sound like a really awful swear word. It was called Fu’kem, and is long gone. That date turned into another date, and another, eventually leading to him visiting me in Florida when I was assigned to work a Space Shuttle launch. We’ve been married 18 years now, and we still laugh about our first date at Fu’kem :-)

    • Deana says...

      LOL – good story!

  29. That is actually very, very romantic.

  30. Jen says...

    More!!! So romantic!!

  31. Kristin says...

    On my first date with my husband we had dinner in Soho and then headed to Sweet & Vicious for a drink. Our first kiss was there at the bar but then we took it outside and made out all over Jay Maisel’s old graffitied studio/ home. Appalled at myself, I was like “we need to stop and I need to go home”. He responded with “it’s not like we’re going to see anyone we know”… Not five minutes later a cab pulls over and his friend hops out and sees us! Word spread fast and within hours my husband’s whole group of friends were texting him about the leggy brunette he was making out with! Ha.

  32. Liz says...

    Setting the stage, I’m divorced in my mid 30s and in that Match.com phase of going on 2-3 first dates a week and I wasn’t even really getting nervous anymore since they all went nowhere.

    My first date with my now husband, Sean, was at one of those restaurants where the tables are so close together, you essentially have to move your table out of the way for someone next to you to get up. Anyway, he got there first and was at our table when I came in. One second after I sat down, the table next to us finished up and was leaving. An elderly woman was seated on the bench side next to Sean and it was obvious she needed some help shuffling out. Sean offered her his arm and pushed tables out of the way so she could get through.

    As she’s leaving she looks right at me and says, “What a handsome nice man. Oh such a gentleman. He’s just so handsome!” After she is gone and out of earshot, I said, “You planted that old lady here didn’t you?” Sean: “Sure did.” :)

  33. Em says...

    AWH that was the sweetest first date story and the salt and pepper hair detail made me swoooon. Makes me a little excited to think about dating again. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Amy says...

    My schmoopy self can’t wait to dig into these comments – but first, mine!

    It was our third date, and we hadn’t kissed yet, despite having great chemistry on our first and second dates. When I got home from our second date, I worked up the courage and told him that I was kicking myself for not kissing him. He sweetly answered, “Next time,” which made me giddy and happy, but also so out-of-control nervous on our next date. At dinner, my fork and knife skills were all over the place. I knocked over a glass of water. I asked him about his favorite Excel formula (WHY?!?). The night felt ill-fated.

    We finished the dinner, and, to my surprise, he asked if I wanted to grab a drink at a spot nearby. As we started walking down the street, he put his arm around my shoulders, and he sweetly kissed me on the head. And then, I realized that I had no reason to be nervous, and we ended up making out on the street later in the night. That first affectionate gesture was so tender and gave me all the reassurance that things were good.

    • Kristen says...

      Amy! “I asked him about his favorite Excel formula” literally has me laughing at my desk. Thanks for that gem ;)

    • Abigail says...

      Favorite Excel formula. Having one of those irrational moments where I’m laughing way too hard at this. So, so good.

    • Kim says...

      The Excel formula bit made me snort so loudly; I almost choked. Dyyyyying! Oh. My. Gosh. I’m going to remember your gem forever! Thanks for making my day, Amy!

  35. Victoria says...

    Super sexy post!

  36. Kahani says...

    My husband and I joke that we never had a first date. We’d met in university on an exchange semester in Amsterdam and stayed in touch as I went on to complete my course in London and he returned to his home in Milan. Fast forward a year and I was on my farewell tour of Europe. He hosted me for 4 days, taking me around his city on the back of his scooter. By the last night we’d become more than friends. It’s been 11 years and three countries since and we’re still not sure if we ever had a “first date”.

  37. Tiffani says...

    In truth, I was on the fence about him initially. But on our first and second dates he was sweet, polite and endearingly awkward. But it was the third date that got me. He invited me to watch a meteor shower in a nature preserve. I couldn’t think of anything more romantic. We huddled next to each other under a blanket on camping chairs I kept in my car for my daughter’s soccer games and he awkwardly put his arm around me. It was freezing so we ended up watching the shower through the sun roof of my car. I knew then that he was the one and I was going to fall in love with him and I was right.

  38. Helen says...

    A few months after moving back to the US from the UK I went on a date with a friendly, quirky Englishman who lives in my city. The first date went well enough that we set up a 2nd date a few days later. On that date, we had a chat about the things we missed from one country while living in another country. Most of my items were British snack foods. We moved on to other, more interesting topics quickly and I forgot about that part of our conversation. Fast forward a few weeks when the Englishman was getting ready to return to the US after visiting his family in the UK for the holidays. He sent me a text with a list of each and every one of my favorite British snacks, just to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything. Besides snacks being the way to my heart, it was at that moment that I realize that this guy listens…REALLY listens. We’re still together a year later (and I have a steady supply of hula hoops and hobnobs:)).

  39. W says...

    This story and these comments are truly tugging on all of my heartstrings in a way I didn’t expect them to! I love reading through all of these so much, but they unexpectedly made me feel very sad. I’ve been in a very stable relationship for almost 4 years, and to be honest, I wish that those first date sparks were still there. Am I alone in feeling this way? Should they be there? And if not, does anyone have any advice on how to rekindle that electricity?

    • Marina says...

      Hey W! How about calling your partner for an unexpected date? Maybe call him/her at work and ask for a drink or a dinner? Try one of the games that result in interesting conversations (as suggested here on cupofjo)? Maybe being sincere about your feelings telling him/her that you miss those sparks. Maybe asking him/her to take a shower or bath with you. I dont know, just start to think about it and choose to light this fire again.
      Hope you do.

    • Laura says...

      Sometimes, a steady love is the best thing. I’m newly dating someone, and I don’t always have the sparkly feelings. And we are all different but I understand, some of these comments made me compare and question. Not that they aren’t lovely!
      CS Lewis writes a wonderful thing about love…. I’ve shared it but it’s lengthy:

      probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. it is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.

    • M says...

      Laura, this is beautiful and I think very honest and true for long term relationships. Things for me with my partner of 18 years (married for 12) aren’t always electric now (there are certainly still moments) but the love and loyalty is a constant and for that I am so grateful because that is what makes our life so lovely. Thanks for sharing :)

    • M says...

      What a lovely and honest comment. (Hey Jo – how about a post about great moments of deep love from long-term relationships?) I’m approaching my 20th wedding anniversary during a nearly 25 year relationship. That first date was a quarter century ago, before cell phones. Try this: Think about when you were very young, maybe a teen or barely twenty-something, and you were worried about whether you would ever find your true love. And in that moment, I’m guessing you weren’t thinking about the fireworks of a first kiss, but the deep comfort of holding hands or falling asleep next to or sharing a meal with someone who has loved you for years and still does. If you could tell your young self that you found that person, wouldn’t she be over the moon?

    • Lauren says...

      W, I think most couples have those feelings; there’s a reason for the saying “the honeymoon’s over”!

      I’ve read so much about it, from science and psychology to poetry and novels (kind of dorky I guess), but the best I’ve come across is just what the pop psychotherapist Esther Perel says about how much our expectations of marriage have increased (from financial security and child support to emotional fulfilment and even self-actualization), especially considering how much less we rely on larger family and social networks that exist outside of marriage. “Contained within the small circle of the wedding band are vastly contradictory ideals. We want our chosen one to offer stability and predictability, but also excitement and mystery.”

      “Divorce happens now not so much because we’re unhappy, but because we could be happier.”

    • Amanda says...

      Laura, love this!

  40. Micah L Lambert says...

    I just wrote a restaurant in Paris that my boyfriend and I visited, asking them to send me a menu. The owner responded right away and said she would send the menu from the week we were there! I am so excited, thank you for this idea!

    • Ivy says...

      Great idea! My fiance and I are getting married in March and I think the menu would be such a neat idea! :) Thanks!

  41. Paige says...

    My first date with my husband was at the airport. When he asked me out the week prior, I was just about to leave for a trip. I told him I’d be back on Saturday. He told me he was leaving for a trip on Saturday. I was sad, but I suggested we meet up when he got back in town. He instead told me he couldn’t wait that long to see me and suggested we meet at the airport for a coffee, he was leaving only 2 hours after I arrived as fate would have it. The sense of urgency we both felt to see each other was electric. It was the most magical first date, and I still smile every time I walk by gate C2 in the SeaTac airport.

    • Jenny says...

      I went on a 12-hour date all over Oakland with this cute, tattooed guy in horn-rimmed glasses. We went to a blacksmithing demo, drank coffees, ate ice creams, And talked about our dreams for our lives on a hill at the cemetery as the sun set. We kissed for an hour, shocked to find it was dark and we had to climb the fence to get out of the cemetery. He placed the last kiss on my forehead. THEN HE GHOSTED ME.

  42. First date with my partner was over coffee in a mall. It was his first time to have cappucino. He stared at me for the whole 15 minutes like I was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his entire life. I ended up burning my tongue as I dunked the hot cappucino. I needed to do something. He would later tell me that I was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen his life. We ended up in the main department store. Stood in front of the fresh vegetables. I looked over and saw shiitake mushrooms. He then proceeded to tell me all about shiitake mushrooms. I later found out that he did a project on these mushrooms in his final year in University. On December 29, we celebrate 5 years of being together.

    • Helena says...

      Reading this was amazing! I had a similar story. On my first date with a guy I really liked I thought he is not interested in me at all. He was quiet (which he was not usually) and he was staring at me all the time. It was weird and made me feel not confident at all. Nothing happened, it was late and I went home to sleep totally sad becouse things seemed to be off. The next morning I woke up to the long message from him and he told me that I was the most beautiful thing he saw and that his whole future life passed in front of his eyes the moment he saw me. Man, life is weird and guys are weird creatures.

  43. Amy says...

    From my perspective, my first date with my fiance was just magical. I thought “I’m gonna marry this guy” (disregard the fact that I thought that on several first dates with other guys where it turned out NOT to be true). From his perspective, it was just kinda meh! He says it didn’t seem like I was into him, and he was so nervous he could barely even eat. Meanwhile I was all gooey eyed across the table imagining our future together.

    • Mamabird says...

      It’s like that in reverse with my partner! He knew it was special, I wasn’t that sure- he was really nervous and it felt a little stilted. I asked if he’d like a kiss at the the of the night anyway, and the rest is happy history!

    • Jen says...

      Hahaha! Love this!

  44. Tara says...

    I was w /my ex-husband for 10 years and after a traumatic end, I decided it was time to make out with someone after SO many therapy co-pays. I stalked my prey so hard on my first online date ever that we made out within an hour. Mission accomplished. I felt alive.

    Last fall I was going to Cape Town to present my research and I had just signed my divorce papers. I booked the honeymoon suite for myself overlooking the ocean. I was like fuck it this view is TOO good and expensive to share it. We met at the beach in Cape Town. We spent the day exploring, showing me local spots and learning about his town. He was beautiful, we talked of life, the death of his mother, my miscarriage and the trash of dating. We drank South African wine and I saw the African sunset for the first time.

    He was a beautiful soul and of course, he watches all my stories on Instagram. Cuz 2019.

    Men not named that were awful: Jeff one ball, man bun, secret Italian Republican, and all the men from Canada. (sorry). All the men I’ve dated have secret names and it is maybe the most fun part of dating.

    I’ve been dating my bf for a year. I showed up a little tipsy and late. OOPS. He told me months later he could feel my walk into the bar. Dating reminds you we are all connected even though it feels doomsday. Once in a while, you watch a sunset with a stranger from the honeymoon suite celebrating your divorce..This isn’t the life you imagined, but dam it’s good.

    • Annie says...

      If you need to add “(sorry)” to something in your comment maybe you should take that as a sign that you know it’s offensive and edit it out.

    • Em says...

      I just want to say thank you for sharing this comment, it made me laugh and miss my girlfriends!

    • Nicole says...

      This really illustrates those beautiful small moments.

    • Molly says...

      “Jeff one ball” hahah thanks for this laugh, Tara

  45. Reading these…they’re just so beautiful. I’ve only been on one date in college, and 15 years later I haven’t been on a date since. It’s not that I’m not interested in dating, I just haven’t met anyone I’ve felt any real kinship with. Oftentimes I really think I’m meant to be alone and that being with someone isn’t in the stars for me. But I do still wish I could feel and experience what it’s like to mean something to someone. For now I’ll live vicariously through you all, thank you for your stories.

    • Alex says...

      Elaine

      I don’t know what to say. But I wanted to know this struck me.

    • Annie says...

      Oh Elaine, I know how you feel! I was the same as you, except I NEVER went on a date in college. It’s about quantity now. Just go on as many dates as you can find. Online, in a bar, whatever. If you find him (or her) even mildly interesting, go on a date. Ask friends to set you up. You just need to find one person, if that’s what you want. Ignore all rejection and thank it even, because it means you didn’t waste your time.

      One story. My best friend is the most extroverted person I know. She struggled to find guys she connected with, even though she definitely had a type. Finally she went out randomly on an internet date with a quiet, short, deeply introverted, non-athletic guy (she is unbelievably into sports) and it was absolute love. Literally, the LAST person I would have seen her with, but they are so happy and have a one year old.

      Also, I am now in my forties, and really enjoying a second wave of weddings from people who only now met later in life. The love seems even sweeter than the weddings I went to in my twenties.

      I guess what I’m saying is enjoy singledom, but if this is something you want, try to go at it from all angles.

    • Me says...

      Elaine,
      I spent the bulk of my 30s and early 40s watching my friends get married and have babies, telling myself that I was just meant to be alone because I dated so rarely and when I did the experiences were underwhelming. At 37, I decided to move abroad and spent the next 5 years living, working and traveling to just about every corner of the globe (often alone). When I returned to the US, I decided to prioritize dating and went on LOTS of mediocre dates in a short span of time. I finally realized that I was actually quite happy on my own and didn’t need to torture myself with these dates (I’m an introvert and find meeting too many new people exhausting). I had two more dates booked at that point, so I decided to go through with them. The next to last one turned out to be a gem and we’ve been together for a year now. I was already happy and complete when I met him, so our relationship is just icing on the cake (albeit, very sweet icing :)).

      When I look back on all those years of solitude, especially the years in which I was globetrotting, I realize that those were the years that made me who I am today. I wouldn’t trade them for anything from where I sit now. All of this sounds incredibly cliche, but I really have come to learn and believe that life works out in ways we can’t anticipate.

    • Sarah says...

      Elaine – while I can’t relate to only having been on one date, I do relate to the feeling that I am meant to be alone and can’t meet people who I connect with. I read through these comments and I too wonder what it would be like. It really seems impossible and strange that you and I shouldn’t have that (I’m wonderful and I’m guessing you are, too!) When you feel lonely, just know that there are more of us in the same boat, and that relationships don’t bring ultimate meaning to life. Only we can do that for ourselves :) Hugs to you!

    • I wanted to catch up on new stories, and I saw these responses. I wasn’t expecting any replies to my comment especially among all these beautiful date stories so I just want to thank you for your advice and encouragement! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone on this. I’ve bookmarked this page so I can keep coming back to read these when I need a pick-me-up.  xoxo

  46. Olivia says...

    I’m a singer/songwriter and my boyfriend (who wasn’t yet my boyfriend at the time) is a photographer, so I had invited him out to shoot my show. I had offered to pay him so it was strictly professional, but I had a major crush on him. (We’d met before through the music scene.) He came to the gig early to help me set up, and he photographed me on his Polaroid camera during soundcheck. There was something special about that moment in time – smiling for him, mic in hand, under a disco ball with him smiling back at me – that felt equally vulnerable and electric. I guess you could call it magic. After my set, we watched the main act and I thought we’d call it a night, but then he asked me if I wanted to get ice cream and my heart nearly burst. We sat at the counter in the scoop shop and I couldn’t keep from smiling ear to ear. Everything felt so natural. He offered to drive me home because he was grabbing a Car2Go, and I, of course, agreed. We strolled to the car and as he opened it, we saw all of the seats were COVERED in white dog hair. We laughed and got settled into our seats, then he looked over at me. We locked eyes as he said, “You did so great tonight. Can I kiss you?” I said yes. After he dropped me off, I texted him to thank him and asked for his Venmo to pay him and he refused. Instead, he said “how about another date?” Something tells me I’ll keep that Polaroid for a long time :)

  47. Anna says...

    My boyfriend and I met on a press trip in Europe, far from our respective countries. On the penultimate night, we were at a piano bar with some others and he asked me to dance, which turned into a kiss. At the hotel later, we kissed goodnight. I didn’t see him again until after the press briefing the next morning. Catching my eye, he walked over and gently put his arm around my shoulders, in front of our surprised group. That warm, open gesture struck me, somehow. Three years on, this still feels good.

  48. Anon says...

    My most memorable “date” is when I met the guy while on a date with someone else! Ha. It was the second date with someone that truth be told there wasn’t really any spark with, and when he suggested we stop by his friend’s place to meet his friend’s dog, I thought, “Yes, a dog would make this date more fun!” Lo and behold, we walk into his friend’s apartment, I see a beautiful dog and even more beautiful man sitting on the couch. Long story short, the whole night was spent hanging out at the apartment and I ended the night with the friend instead of the guy I was originally on a date with! (I hope that doesn’t make me sound selfish! Date guy and I really had no spark, and the friend and I IMMEDIATELY hit it off. I invited a friend over (with a stealthy text laying out the situation) to make things less awkward, and she and date guy ended up getting together…what a wacky world!)

  49. Tina crisas says...

    This one is about the power of shoes, ha!
    I had my first date coming up and I was on the hunt for the PERFECT pair of shoes to go with my short green flowy silk dress. I found the perfect pair, high heeled black sandals with a smart bow on the back heel of them. I was mortified when my size was completely sold out and wouldn’t arrive before my date were they to order from their head store. So,I bought one size smaller (that’s how determined I was!) and put on heaps of lotion and socks after my bath so as to slink into to them later on! When my date saw me put one foot out of my car as I parked, he told me later on that his first thought upon seeing me and those shoes was, “I’m going to marry that girl”. We went on to have an epic first date at an annual bash of a mutual friend of ours and made out at 6:00 am along a desolate road afterwards. (We did get married, but it was quite short lived and am now happily married with a baby girl).

  50. Anna says...

    It’s so fun to think of all the amazing dates outside of the lens of what happened – or didn’t happen – next. :)

    Some of my favorites….

    A snowy walk with my high school love. The quiet of the snow and the feeling of being the only people in the world. Afterwords cuddling under a blanket listening to The Postal Service’s entire album and thinking “I’ve never felt so happy.” Getting snowed in so he couldn’t drive home (obvs he slept upstairs next to my parents’ room but still SO EXCITING).

    Lazing on the couch of a cellist as he practiced a concerto for a performance later that evening. The sun filtering through the window, the fall breeze, the music mingling with the street sounds. The sublime languor of the moment.

    Riding on the back of a motorcycle through the Missouri countryside. My first and only ride – only trusted him because he was a pilot. Wind in my hair, getting to feel his body and smell his neck in a situationally appropriate way even though it was the first date (!).

    Dancing in the now-defunct Bunker Room in the Meatpacking district with my now-husband, who is an amazing dancer. Getting buzzy. Singing loudly to “Walking on Broken Glass” and seeing the way he looked at me – totally enamored. My best friend loudly whispering in my ear: “HE MIGHT BE THE ONE.”

    • Jess says...

      so beautifully written, I can imagine each moment!

  51. Cara says...

    My husband lost his wallet a few hours before our very first date. He had planned for us to go grocery shopping together and then cook some fancy chicken dish, but instead he handed me a packet of grocery coupons for free food that he got from his roommate. “Pick what you want,” he said. I asked him if the coupons were legit, and he said “We’ll find out.” We ended up getting a frozen pizza and flavored seltzer water—for free! It felt so weird to walk out of the grocery store paying absolutely nothing, but the coupons were legit. When we got back to his apartment, we danced to “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole in the kitchen while the frozen pizza cooked and made out on the couch later that night, so it all turned out in the end.

  52. Jeannie says...

    On my first date with my now husband, I was super nervous. We met on Match and exchanged messages, and I already knew I liked him a lot. The thought “do I look okay/cute?” was humming in the back of my mind for the entire first half of the date… then, he went to the restroom and, while I was waiting, a random older guy came up to me and said “you look really pretty” (in a sort of sweet grandpa way) and walked away. I can count on one hand how many times something like that has happened to me in my LIFE, so to have it happen in that moment was magical. It made me feel like how I looked right then wasn’t something I needed to think about and totally put me at ease.

    I think about that guy every time we celebrate the anniversary of our first date (which, later, became our wedding anniversary too!)… I wish I could send a message to him that his compliment was really special.

  53. Emma says...

    I want to go to that bar!
    My first date with my now husband was in a local Melbourne bar. Out of the way, intimate, great first date venue. We were nervously chatting, slowly warming up, when who should walk in but his cheeky little sister and her equally cheeky friend. Instead of making us more nervous, we both burst out laughing at how absurd the situation was. Married now and we still laugh about that night.

  54. This is so sweet! Usually, I’m way too nervous to think on dates!

  55. Betsy says...

    I secretly had a huge crush on my neighbor in college. Of course seeing him 6 times a day did nothing to lessen this crush. We flirted a LOT, and did some partying, but nothing. One day I was cutting up an apple, and of course stuck the knife tip directly into an artery in my hand. Blood shot everywhere. After 15 minutes of it still gushing, I decided I probably should go to the campus infirmary. With my hand wrapped in a big towel, I proceeded to walk to the clinic. As I headed down the steps, “Bob”, was headed up. Of course he asked about the big towel wrapped around my hand. I explained, and he said he would come with me. We ended up dating until he graduated, and moved to Canada for a job. I was a year younger, and still in college.. But it was the most amazing year and a half. He may still have been the one that got away. But we always had a good laugh about our “first” date at the college infirmary. He also helped clean up the bloody kitchen, once we got back to my apartment.

  56. Jane says...

    Had the best first date of my (admittedly not that experienced) life last night. We chatted over beers before going to a concert, and pretty quickly I realized that I never want to stop talking to this guy! When I told him my goal one day is to learn how to play the drums, he handed me the straws from our water glasses to demonstrate my beats, and we laughed so hard I forgot he had been a stranger up until an hour ago. The highlight of the night was when drove me home and had to move a stack of CDs (CDs!!) to make room for me in the passenger seat of his stick shift station wagon.

    He texted to see about #2 this morning . . .

    • Jeannie says...

      This makes me giddy for you! So exciting!

    • Sarz says...

      Cute! I’m curious as to the concert, but that’s not the focus, of course. Two music lovers, CDs and a stick shift? You guys already sound like a song. 😉

    • Taylor says...

      Met my husband at a concert, talked/kissed all night, he went out of town on a trip with friends the day after we met and I texted him “when you come back I’m going to woo the hell out of you” and I did! We’ve never stopped being smitten with one another!

      I’m excited for you :)

  57. katie says...

    When my husband and I first started dating, neither of us were looking for anything serious. I was embarking on a nomadic lifestyle around the world and he was fresh out of a long-term relationship. But then one afternoon we met up at the lake. It was september and cool but the sun was shining. We were the only ones there and were laying on the grass. I had my head on his stomach and his shirt lifted to reveal a big scar (which I hadn’t noticed before) so I casually asked him about it. I was expecting an epic crash on a dirt bike, but he told me about how he had had cancer that nearly killed him a few years before. I will never forget the look in his eyes when he was looking down at me, the quietness in his voice and the very sudden and real urge I felt knowing that I wished I could have been there during his treatments. We got engaged 2 months later and have been married for over 14 years.

    • Lana says...

      this is so beautiful! Made me think of one of the Modern Love episodes. Thank you for sharing

    • Anna says...

      This is beautiful. Wishing you both many more years of health and happiness.

  58. EC says...

    The first time I spent the night in my first boyfriend’s dorm room we woke up to what sounded like a parade outside his window. We got up and peeked outside to find the whole college marching band standing there, playing in the street directly across from the residence hall. A total coincidence, but a very memorable way to commemorate our night together!

  59. Ruth says...

    I had just graduated from college and had broken up with my boyfriend of 5 years and was NOT looking for anything. I moved back home with my parents and I reached out to friends on facebook who lived in NYC, as I was trying to move there, and an old boyfriend (who I dated for 3 weeks when I was a sophomore and he was a junior) replied and we met up for dinner at an old haunt of ours in our hometown and I was taken aback to find that sparks were still there. Our date lasted 8 hours and ended up with a make-out session in my parents basement like the old days! That was 14.5 years ago. I’ve now been married to that to that sweet man for 6.5 years and we have 2 beautiful daughters. :-)

  60. Barbara Jane says...

    My husband and I met on the local train, and at the end of our conversation (during which we discovered the shared interest of running) he said “Well if you ever need a running buddy… call me” and I replied “I don’t have your number” and so he gave it to me.
    That was a Friday night, I heard from him the next day and we set a date to run together on Sunday morning. Let me tell you, it was not easy to pick the perfect “cute running outfit” and style the best ponytail, but it was so worth it. We were both at ease, chatting lightly as we ran, letting natural silence come and go (because breathing!). It went so well, he asked if I want to get breakfast, too!
    We’ve been married 5 years now, and we still tell everyone it was the best first date (and what a move to give me his number, too!)

  61. Hillary says...

    Same!

    First date with my now-husband was pub trivia — in Cambridge, MA where all the smarty-pantses live so it’s super-competitive but in a fun way.

    We played pretty well — and it led to a kiss, a second date, and eventually to a wedding :)

    It’s kind of a risky first date because it’s a big commitment, time-wise, but it’s such a perfect date idea! Provides some structure while also allowing ample time for free conversation. And you can learn a surprising amount about someone–and quickly–by playing trivia with them!

    • Eleanor says...

      Absolutely agree. Trivia First Date is a stellar idea. It’s a good test of random knowledge, teamwork, and gives you the chance to do something interesting while also having fun.

      Did I have a first date last night at trivia? Yes. Was it great? Yes.

  62. Lee says...

    Once when I In high school my teenage boyfriend and I snuck under a fence to enjoy a picnic by a reservoir. Not much food was consumed but lots of kissing tooK place. Time got away from us and before we knew it, night had fallen. Stumbling in the dark we could not find our way. That small portion of the fence that was liftable was nowhere to be found. Scaling it was impossible because of its height. Literally hours after trailing the line of fence for what felt like miles, we felt the fence give. We looked at one another with such relief. At that moment I knew we both had experienced real fear. Our parents were frantic and were on the cusp of calling the police, it was hours past our curfew. Getting so lost in a kiss we got literally lost is something I’ll never forget.

  63. Abbey says...

    I am living for these comments *heart-eyes*

    One really memorable date moment happened for me on an absolutely sublime first date which lasted approximately 24 hours. It began with a hike, and included a first kiss/makeout session in a beautiful picturesque lake on the California coast. We returned to the city in the evening to go back to his place and we stopped at a quaint neighborhood market to pick up food to make dinner. And the most magical moment occurred here: as we walked down the sidewalk, arms around each other, an old man walking toward us stopped in his tracks and, with sparkling eyes, beamed and said grandly “Ah, LOVE!”
    He was right. It was love. It felt freeing for him to acknowledge it for us. Anyway, we were together for several years and are still good friends today. It totally “worked out” :)

  64. MK says...

    What a sweet story! It reminds me of driving my now-boyfriend back to his apartment after one of our first few dates. I was very weird about physical intimacy and had awkwardly avoided it a couple of times even though I really liked him (incidents included a massive head swerve when he first tried to kiss me – mortifying for us both!).
    After I stopped in front of his place I reached for the shift to put the car into park. I was internally panicking about how the hell I was supposed to say goodbye to this boy I really liked without a kiss (How do you encourage a romantic prospect without touching them???) Luckily he had figured I would be stressed at this crucial moment, so he saved me from deciding. He plucked my hand out of the air, kissed it, and said goodnight before I could move. He left without letting me say anything, which was exactly what I needed. His earnest, affectionate initiative to truncate my turmoil was relieving and endearing. It’s a quality that I appreciate very much now that we live together and share so much time and space.

  65. Maggie S says...

    I vividly remember a date I went on years ago because we had so many magic moments – if life was a movie, we’d have fallen madly in love on that date! It was pouring rain – really, it was teeming. And he showed up with a golf umbrella to walk me down the sidewalk. We puddle jumped our way into the coziest neighborhood restaurant – a wood-fired pizzeria with steamed up windows and a roaring fire. He ordered wine for us while our clothes dried off, and we split pizza and a bottle of wine and two decadent desserts. All of that made-for-tv magic, and no chemistry between us! He walked me home, kissed me on the cheek, and we parted as friends. Ha!

  66. Ramona says...

    aww this is so sweet!….🥰

  67. Kelly says...

    my great first date story involved going out to dinner with my best friend and getting sloppy drunk 😂 but having the best time… he kissed me at the end of the night and i went inside, slumped to the floor and thought “WHAT JUST HAPPENED” …. i married him 3 years later :)

  68. AK says...

    I must be a prude, none of my first dates ever received a kiss…only a handshake :)

    • Jan says...

      Cool!!

    • Meredith says...

      Same! Took my now husband 4 whole dates to even get to a goodbye hug. Which then had me so giddy I accidentally ran a red light on my drive home!

  69. Jess says...

    On a first date with my now boyfriend, we went to a trivia night at a bar. One of the categories was Literature, and I was “humbly” bragging about how I was an English major I GOT THIS. Turns out, I knew none of the answers and my boyfriend knew a couple and we got them right because of HIM. I was embarrassed and we still laugh about it : )

  70. My date and I were kissing on orchard st on the lower east side. As we kissed, a group of laughing teenagers walked by. When he pulled away from me he said, “I just saw this Onion headline today that said, “Teenagers…are they laughing at YOU?” We never had a second date, but I think of this often and laugh. It was definitely the best part of the evening.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      omg an Onion headline on the fly! I love it.

    • Julie says...

      You’d be amazed at how often I wonder, “Are those teenagers laughing at me?”

  71. Claire says...

    On my third date with my now boyfriend, we met at my favorite bookstore and had a couple fun moments looking through a book about the best movies of the 20th century. We then walked around the neighborhood and ended up going to a coffee shop. We talked there for hours about so many different things–frankly, all the things you’re “not supposed to talk about” on a date–like the Israel/Palestine conflict, religion, and politics. He listened so thoroughly, genuinely wanted to know my opinions, made me feel smart, and was so knowledgable. We then decided to get dinner and he said I could pick whatever I wanted, but it had to be something new to both of us. At the Mexican restaurant, he was so excited about the strawberry margarita on the menu (his favorite drink, I now learned), which I thought was super cute.

    During dinner, the conversation shifted to be more personal and I remember him asking me about what I was looking for in a relationship. I answered honestly and so did he. Very nervously, I asked him a deal-breaker question of mine: are you really outdoorsy? (This was important because we live in Seattle and everyone, my last boyfriend included, loves to take off all of a sudden for the woods which is not my thing at all.) He hesitantly replied in his signature honesty: “I really like the scenery and would do it if a friend wanted me to, but I’d be totally fine with driving up to the top to enjoy the few then heading home to sleep in my bed. I don’t really like sleeping outside away from a bathroom.” I found that SO attractive.

    Later, he told me that he had a flight to catch that evening for a work trip (he hadn’t mentioned it sooner, likely not expecting the date would last from 11am to 6pm!) but he was debating canceling it so we could spend more time together. I told him that was crazy; get on the plane. We finally left the restaurant and had *such* a great first kiss right on the street. I kept thinking it would end, but he’d keep kissing me longer, so gently and tenderly.

    Little did I know, a woman he’d casually been seeing before meeting me would ask him that week if he wanted something serious. Thinking of that kiss and our conversations on that date, he said no. I feel so lucky. He loves me the way I deserve to be loved, so differently than in my last relationship where I never felt sure of his feelings for me.

    It’s been almost a year and we’re still going strong. Next week, he’s coming to Thanksgiving with my family. In a few weeks, I’m flying to Chicago for Christmas with his. :)

    • Barbara Jane says...

      So sweet! Good luck on those family holidays!

    • Sarah says...

      I really appreciate both of your feelings about the outdoors. I am way too afraid to admit it but I feel the same way! Not helpful when every dating app profile is a self-proclaimed outdoorsman!

  72. Elizabeth says...

    Do or Dive in Bedstuy!

    • Tan says...

      Do or Dive!!! My all-time first date route: start at Do or Dive, and if it’s going well, walk to LunÀtico and listen to their killer live music.

  73. Angela says...

    When we got up from the bar to play darts and I noticed, wow he has a really nice butt!

  74. Anonygirl says...

    This was so fun to read. Jeopardy is the best.

  75. Meg says...

    I was working late on my last day at my first professional job. I wanted to have everything tidied up for the next person, and my work day had stretched to about 8pm. I called my on-off guy/boyfriend and asked if he would pick me up to save me from an L ride home. I was so tired, and he had a really nice car that really liked to drive.

    More than an hour later, and a little worried after not having heard again from him, he arrived. On a bicycle. He worked at a bike company and had borrowed one of its Amsterdam-style commuter bikes. He thought, you know, it would be a good idea to invite a stressed out person at the end of a long day to ride side saddle on the back of a bike the 13 miles home via city streets.

    I did yell at him. The whole bike thing really broke me. But I hiked up my skirt and hugged my bag with my last-day work stuff with one arm and wrapped my arm around his waist with the other. And it was so scary, and I kept yelling at him as we chugged along the side of a major street next to a highway with car lights approaching us from the back. After a few miles, we turned onto quieter streets, and I think I literally ran out of adrenaline and accepted my role as rider behind this guy who was working really hard to get me home. It was kind of sweet? And everything became kind of magic. We passed through parts of the city that I knew about but had never been, with hazy yellow streetlights and hushy quiet and Polish bakeries and delis and radio stations and stores and all of the sudden, I was in the middle of a grand adventure. It remains the most romantic experience of my life/adventure category.

  76. Lauren says...

    My boyfriend and I have started a nightly ritual of watching Jeopardy while fixing dinner. We’ve been together for 2+ years, but somehow each episode brings some sort of new facet of him to light. Like, wow, he really knows his Greek mythology, and eek, he doesn’t know Jane Austen?! What started as a something to have on in the background has turned into a beloved routine. Hearing my sports-loving partner yell “BET.IT.ALL” during the Daily Double never ceases to make me giggle. And, of course, we now have an imaginary friendship with Alex Trebek. Highly recommend a Jeopardy hang–whether it’s your first date or fiftieth :)

    • Meg says...

      my mom and dad watched jeopardy every night together for years. I think it was their favorite ritual. when he died, I remember her crying that she’d never watch it again. it’s been 8 years now, and she still watches. xxx.

    • Tara says...

      My Aunt dated Alex Trebek back in the 80s!!!! Seriously, she did! She said they had some very strange dates, though (and although he was much too old to do so, he lived with his mom, which was also very weird).

    • SC says...

      Aww… I don’t know… i am probably totally alone in this opinion, but i think Alex Trebek living with his mom is kind of sweet. Lol!

  77. Jacqueline says...

    My now husband and I were out at a funky little restaurant in a cool part of town for our first real date. At some point he got up and used the restroom. When I did later, I noticed that (1) there was only one bathroom for everyone to use, and (2) the walls were covered in chalkboard paint (chalk provided). Next to the sink was a message: “Jacqueline, how is your date going?”. It was so cute and out of the blue. I wrote back “Great! Hoping for another one…” and hastened back to the table. He was so excited to have his gesture play out, he ran back to the bathroom to see if I’d played along about 2 minutes later. Sweet man.

    • Julie says...

      This is adorable. Love this.

    • Megan says...

      Ummm…winner.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      WOW! I love this!!

    • Sadie says...

      So sweet :)

  78. Tammy says...

    My first serious boyfriend was my best friend in college for almost a year before anything happened between us. I will never forget the night it changed, when sparks were flying while a group of us were out drinking. Late in the evening, when the designated driver drove us all home in his mom’s minivan, my not-quite-yet boyfriend sat behind me, leaning on the back of my seat, secretly stroking my earlobe in the dark. It was the most romantic moment I had ever experienced and I still think about it more than 20 years later.

  79. Nina B. says...

    Loving Kim’s contributions thus far, but wondering when we’ll get a staff update.

    Franny was here and gone in a flash. Maybe you think we don’t notice people coming and going, but we do and I’d love for the “comings and goings” to be acknowledged more regularly.

    I tried my best to communicate tone in this comment, because I’m not at all angry, just overtly curious !!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, we’re working on a staff update and will be posting one soon! xo

  80. Carolyn says...

    I walked up to a friend’s porch for a summer party and there he was – brown, curly hair with a little salt and pepper mixed in for good measure, piercing blue eyes, and the warmest smile I’ve ever seen. We locked eyes right away and laughed the whole night. I didn’t want to admit it to myself, but I liked him. By the time the sun went down, the party moved inside. We stayed on the porch and slow danced to Willie Nelson. And in that moment I just let go. He held me and the world stopped. We kissed and to this day it’s not only the best first kiss I’ve ever had, but the best kiss ever period. Life had different plans for us, but I still see him driving around town in his old green Bronco and my heart can’t help but skip a beat over that perfect moment in time.

    • Sarz says...

      Oh jeez, Carolyn, that’s too romantic. You’ve reminded me that a perfect moment with someone doesn’t necessarily require a million more moments thereafter. And Willie was just the clincher; reminds me of that Tragically Hip lyric “could have been the Willie Nelson, could have been the wine”. 😊

  81. Nicole says...

    My favorite first date was with my now husband. We had dinner at a sushi restaurant & sparks. were. FLYING. Even the waiter noticed. He’d come by & say, “Want another round of drinks to keep the magic going?” and now that “keep the magic going” quote is the motto of our marriage ;)

    We’ll be celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary this Saturday! Since that magical first date, we’ve moved across country, rescued a dog, bought a house, and brought 2 amazing daughters into the world. This year, for our anniversary, I reached out to that sushi restaurant where we had our first date to see if they could mail me one of their menus (this gift idea was actually inspired by a CoJ post!). I was wondering if I’d even hear anything back since it was an odd request. I got an e-mail reply almost immediately from a woman who was thrilled to help make our anniversary special. She had their graphic designer CUSTOM MAKE a special menu with the date of our anniversary, our names, and fictitious menu items that reference our adventures. I was floored & I absolutely can’t wait to give my husband this gift on Saturday <3

    • Alice says...

      that is so sweet, and MAJOR props to that restaurant!

    • Meigs says...

      this is giving me butterflies!!!!

    • Kelsey says...

      This is amazing!

  82. Taylor says...

    on my first official date with my husband there were a ton of memorable moments, him texting me a very formal “is it okay if I kiss you when I say hello?” which I thought was adorable because we very not-formally slept together the night we met (it worked out!), him POURING sweat at the bar before dinner dabbing his forehead with napkin, his pronouncing “gnocchi” wrong at dinner and making funny mispronunciations of other words to pretend he was doing a bit, us both delighting in the fact that we decided to get each other GIFTS despite the fact we had only met once before (a cactus from me, toffee from him, the cactus is still doing well in our living room!), him telling me “i think you’d make a great mom” and not finding it a lot when I very weirdly insisted on playing the song “Elenore” by the Turtles for him to explain why I like the name for a future kid

    I remember consciously thinking “this is the best first date I’ve ever been on, I don’t want to go on anymore.”

    • Owl says...

      This made my eyes a little misty. So touching.

  83. Kerry says...

    On my 2nd date with this really cute guy, he grabbed the seat of my chair and pulled me in close, chair and all, for a kiss. No one had ever done that. I’m not the dainty type. And the kiss — shocking and warm and sexy and mid-sentence — a kiss had never hit me like that one, in that place, in that moment. I was 44 years old, a newly divorced mother of two, making out in a crowded bar, with a couple beers and a pizza on their way to our table. The heat is still going strong, two and a half years later.

    • Becky says...

      Geez louise as a 45 year old not dainty type myself, that was hot!

    • Kate says...

      OMG that’s so sexy.

  84. Awads says...

    My neighborhood divey bar (before it closed) would hand out pieces of paper from a small pad so that bar patrons could write down their final jeopardy answers. i miss that place! (it’s now a CVS. boo!)

  85. Christine says...

    Not alone!

  86. CB says...

    i was on this great first date that evolved from a drink to dinner, and we were really vibing. When he asked what I wanted to eat, I accidentally called the “early girl tomato salad” “EASY girl tomato” and well, it took about 2 seconds for my face to match that tomato. When my date ordered, he made sure to call it “easy girl,” too–not sure if it was to make fun of me, make me feel better, or make sure he was going to get lucky.

  87. Jackie says...

    Is there a followup to the Drake story?! :)

    • Christina M says...

      Yes, I need to know!!!

    • Joanna M. says...

      Second this!!

    • isa says...

      OMG! Right?! Are yous till with Drake? Please do tell!

    • Lisa says...

      yes, I want to know too! :)

    • Taylor says...

      You read my mind, Jackie!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      thanks for asking! It didn’t work out between us, but “Drake” is still a dear friend! :)

  88. laura says...

    CoJ, how do you find the pictures for your posts?

    I always really like them!

    P.S. sweet date story.

    • Alison says...

      I was wondering that too! I love the pictures!

  89. Jess says...

    No matter how cute this story is it makes me thrilled that I’ll most likely never have to kiss someone new ever again.

    • jules says...

      I thought the same thing!

    • Amy says...

      One never knows.

    • Joaquina says...

      Good for you.

    • Katha says...

      For me it’s quite the opposite. It’s a pity that I’ll most likely never get to kiss someone new ever again.

    • Em says...

      Same, Katha! The unfamiliarity of kissing somebody new always made me feel super electric and alive.

    • Owl says...

      I am happily married for a long time now, and still have wonderful chemistry with my husband. But I must confess that I always loved a “first kiss”.

  90. Rachel says...

    I had a great first date with someone I’d had a slight peripheral crush on for years. So much banter and genuinely interesting conversation. The date was the result of me making the first move and asking a dude out for the first time ever (at 34!), so towards the end when there was a natural lull in conversation and he asked what I was thinking, I decided to be honest and said I was wishing the waitress would bring the check already so we could go make out in the parking lot. Which we did, and it was so delightful. Several good dates followed, and even though we didn’t work out in the end, was still a stellar first date and empowered me to keep making first moves and telling dates what I want.

    • Yes! This is SO GREAT!!

    • Jill says...

      Oh I love this!! ;))

  91. Am I alone in wanting a where-are-they-now update? Or should I just leave it for the sweet little moment that it was?

    • I’m right there with you! Give me the closure!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      haha it didn’t end up working out for us, but “Drake” and I are still great friends! :)

    • Andrea says...

      And by “Drake” you mean Drake!

  92. MA says...

    What a sweet, sexy story.

  93. celeste says...

    I forgot they dated! Wikipedia says March-Dec. 2007.

    • dana says...

      My first thought when I read this comment was: “Kim and Drake REALLY dated in 2007?!??”

    • Joaquina says...

      Totally forgot about that too! I thought for sure that was Kirsten Dunst.