In recent years, there’s been a shift in dating trends. From video and park dates emerging as a post-pandemic trend (because who really wants to waste their time and money on a first meeting from a dating app?) to Gen Z trending towards unique dates that go beyond the typical cocktails and chit chat. To make dating even more fun, we’ve noticed a rise in double dating – with both established couples and first dates!
Think about it: bringing a friend along helps ease the nerves of a first date. You’re less concerned about your safety when paired (an unfortunate, but real, reality for women in the dating world). Plus, even if the date is a total dud, you can still have fun with your pal. Or maybe double your chances as a match by swapping dates at the halfway mark.
For more established couples, having other couple friends is a fun way to enjoy time together and bond. It’s also a great way to ease a new partner into your friend group.
Regardless of the status of your relationship, choose an activity that will be comfortable and fun for all. Double dates are about bonding with both your partner and friends.
First double date ideas
It can be a great idea to keep a first date low-cost and in a public setting, especially if it’s the first time both couples are meeting. Pick a central park (Toronto daters can head to Trinity Bellwoods) that has lots going on – it will get the conversation flowing as you people (and pet!) watch. For food, assign everyone a category like drinks, appetizers, mains and desserts for an affordable potluck gathering.
See more: Cute date ideas in Montreal, Quebec.
Board game night
Having an activity to get immersed in helps ease the stress and anxiety of keeping the conversation going. A board game café (or coffee shop or bar that you know stocks games) is a low-pressure way to get to know some new potential love interests while having fun with a friend.
Watch a game (any game!)
For the sports fan, why not get together to enjoy a game? Grab cheap tickets to a Blue Jay’s game for a Toronto double date, or support a local university team. Even if you don’t have stakes in either team, it can be fun to make silly nonsense bets on players. Of course, you can always head to your local watering hole and catch the latest matchup of your favourite sport, too.
Second double date ideas
What better way to get a little deeper than by hearing your potential love interest belt out their guilty pleasure pop song from the 2000s? And the potential for duets…
Find your local bowling alleys discount night and get ready to knock down some pins. Play on teams if you’re feeling competitive and have fun coming up with quirky bowling-themed names.
Visit an art gallery or museum
Most art galleries or museums will have a discounted night. Check ahead and go take in some culture with your friend and potential love interests. Museums and art galleries can be explored together as a group, but there’s also lots of potential to split off and get to know your date a little better.
Double date ideas for long-term relationships
Cooking a meal together
If you’re already comfortable in your relationships, gather at someone’s home and prepare dinner together. Give each couple a dish, or pair up your partners and have fun cooking with your friend. If your kitchen is tight on space, assign one pair the main and then have the other finish up with dessert (or prep it in advance).
You may also like: My story: Cooking is one of the most selfish things I do (here’s why).
Have a craft night
For an affordable and creative night, have a paint night, create air dry clay items, or bead jewellery. Make things for yourself or have each couple make items for their partner, or as pairs.
Go on a hike
For the outdoor lovers, a long hike is an excellent and inexpensive double date idea. Pack some snacks, slip on your Blundstone boots and hit the road. Make sure you select a route that’s a suitable skill level for everyone.
For a double date that costs nothing and will leave you feeling great, choose an organization that you’re passionate about and book a volunteer session for your date. It’s a great opportunity to deepen your connections by showing your caring, empathetic side and giving back to your local community.
You may also like: Gen Zers say Instagram is helping them date more ‘organically’: study.