Let’s be honest: When it comes to dating, the potential for bad or boring is huge. Even when you bring your A-game or have a great connection, not every date can be The Best Date Ever. The most romantic among us still has to occasionally settle for the staples: dinner and a movie or a quiet night in—even if you do have a million romantic date ideas. And that’s not counting all those dates that are just devoted to the 21 “Where are you from/What do you do/Do you have any hobbies” first date interview. It’s a part of life!
The statistical probability of having an average date is what makes those precious “perfect” date moments so extraordinary. Whether it’s memorable due to perfect planning, thoughtfulness, or just pure connection, the perfect date can stick in your mind for years to come.
StyleCaster reached out to people to hear some of their favorite date stories, and they definitely delivered. From pet adoptions to road trips to a little role playing, these GOAT dates are as varied as the people who shared them. Enjoy their stories, and maybe incorporate some of them the next time you’re looking for a way to make an occasion extra special.
Alaina, 26 — Animal Shelter Date
“One night, my partner asked me if I wanted to go on a date to the animal shelter. We hadn’t planned this in advance. We’d just moved into our first apartment together earlier that week after several years of dating. We looked it up, and the animal shelter in our new city was open. So we went! We fell in love with a bonded pair of two-year-old cats. We talked about it after we left and decided we wanted to adopt them, so we went back later that week to pick them up. We have had Blue and Gansey for almost four years now and that was one of my favorite dates because it brought us our cats, who are seriously so loved.”
Cheyenne, 28 — Camping Mishap Turned Romance
“We had plans to go camping for Fourth of July a few years ago because both of us were dying to get away from the city and just be in the outdoors without anyone else around. We had planned it for weeks and were so excited, but the day before he unexpectedly got called into work and his only options were to A: show up or B: be fired. We were sooo bummed that our weeks of planning were just thrown out the window because of some error on his boss’s end. But at that point we didn’t really have a choice so we chalked it up to an ‘it is what it is’ situation and just went about our week: him going off to work on the Fourth and me at home throwing a pity party. When he asked me to come over later that day I was hesitant because I was pretty bummed, and since our relationship was fairly new, I didn’t want him to be able to see that emotion in person. When I got to his house, he brought me to his deck where he surprised me with his city version of camping under the stars. He put up a tent, brought out an air mattress and made it super cozy inside, then added a finishing touch of sunflowers (my favorite!) in and around the tent. He even brought out his camping grill and had an entire “campfire dinner” planned – of course there was beer too!”
Kathryn, 26 — Snow-Covered Love
“When my now-husband and I first started dating, we went to college in the very cold, yet beautifully snowy Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our most memorable date was a beautiful nighttime walk on a trail that wound through a snow-covered forest. The snow was falling in big, puffy flakes and sticking to the each and every branch of the trees. Every time there was a break in the trees, we could look up and see millions of stars. We just walked and talked for an hour or two as we trudged through the snow together holding hands. You can’t put a price tag on something as beautiful as that! That date happened when we were 18. We were just kids, and yet it was the start of something truly magical as we have been happily married for 4 years now! It felt like something pulled from the pages of a romance novel.”
Ariel, 24 — Peaceful Nature Moment
“One of my most memorable “dates” (if you can call it one) was with my now-boyfriend, who is the wild adventurer type and always wants to try new outdoor activities. When we were in Arizona, we found a dirt road in the mountains and decided to see where it lead. He took me on his motorcycle, and we went up the mountain, through a river and between trees until we found a beautiful clearing with no other souls around. It was by the river on a lovely sunny day, so we laid down in the sun and listened to the water flow and watched birds up ahead. It was a perfectly peaceful moment — nothing else mattered in the world. We shared childhood memories, observed the outdoors and talked about the simple joy of life, like this moment. After sunbathing here for a long time and maybe falling asleep, we went to a high rock and meditated, soaking up more sun and feeling nature’s energy sink in. There was no money involved in this date and it was the best one I’ve ever had!”
Nick, 27 — Candles & Conversation
“We drove about 15 minutes outside of the city through trees and fields to get to a restaurant that used to be a farm house. The table we got was in the back and very private. We had the most amazing candle lit dinner. There was good conversation the whole time, even on the car ride home. We took a minute to stare at the moon and the stars and that was it.”
Maddy, 24 — Fireflies Fluttering
“One time in high school my then-boyfriend took me to this huge field in the middle of nowhere that lit up with a WILD amount of fireflies at night. He knew I liked seeing one or two fireflies so the thoughtfulness and how beautiful it was was amazing!”
Amy, 26 — Christmas Lights Abound
“When my partner and I first started dating (early December), we spent one night going to get Starbucks hot chocolate and driving around looking at all the Christmas lights and talking. It’s still one of my favorite dates we’ve ever been on.”