Dinner & Movie? Stroll At The Park? New Survey Reveals What Makes The ‘Perfect Date’

NEW YORK — Valentine’s Day is supposed to be one of the best days of the year for couples, but it can also be very stressful. The pressure is on come February 14th, and many people worry their Valentine’s plans are going to be seen as inadequate in the eyes of their partner. If you’re still undecided on what to do this year, 2,000 Americans were recently surveyed on the most romantic activities and perfect dates.

Looking for daytime plans? Respondents said the best daytime date idea is a romantic walk through a botanical garden. Not into flowers? The second most popular response was going to the zoo, followed by going on a river or canal cruise, visiting a landmark (Empire State Building, etc), and visiting a historical attraction (The Liberty Bell). The top 10 daytime dates were rounded out with going to an amusement park, going on a boat ride, seeing a castle or palace, going to an aquarium, and visiting an art or music museum.

According to the research, which was commissioned by Tiqets, the vast majority of people (76%) just want to have a new experience on a first date. As for those already in a committed relationship, 78% think new cultural experiences can really spice up a date. In all, 61% like to take their partner for a cultural date in order to appear “worldly.” Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the classics either; 11% plan on going out for a traditional romantic dinner this Valentine’s Day.

Speaking of worldly, respondents were also asked about the most romantic cities, and you guessed it, Paris came in at number one. New York City and Venice, Italy were also popular answers.

When it comes to matters of the heart, there is no moment quite as important as popping the question. When respondents were asked about the best places to propose, Central Park in NYC was the top response, followed by the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, the Gondola in Venice, and London Eye. Other frequent answers included the Empire State Building, Canal cruise in Amsterdam, Seine River Cruise, The Colosseum in Rome, and Windsor Castle.

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“The results have shown that Americans want to impress and enjoy soaking up a bit of culture along the way with a visit to inspiring locations to wow their date,” says Daniel Hackett, U.S. Director from Tiqets, in a statement. “It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut in daily life – so a date is an ideal opportunity to burst the bubble and try something a little different. Sharing new experiences with someone is always romantic. In 2020, we’re seeing these cultural activities become more popular not just when people travel, but when they’re at home looking for a unique date as well.”

Many people wonder when their relationship is ready for the next step, and respondents recommend that travelers wait until they’ve dated someone for at least six weeks before surprising them with a romantic getaway vacation.

Of course, no matter what type of date one has in mind, more than a third of respondents said they always like to plan well in advance so as to reduce stress. In fact, 20% said one should plan out a date at least a week beforehand. On the other hand, 26% prefer to keep things spontaneous.

There’s also financial matters to consider as well; the average American is willing to spend $153.14 on a romantic evening.

While we all would love to have the “perfect date,” reality often gets in the way. In all, 29% of respondents said they’ve never had a perfect date.

Still, if you’re in pursuit of the perfect romantic evening, respondents had some more advice: always arrive on time, listen when your date is speaking, and never bring up your ex. At the end of the evening, the vast majority of respondents usually go in for a goodnight kiss (83%), while 10% believe kissing on a first date is inappropriate.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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