Depending where you live, whom you are dating and your interests, art may not be on your radar as a date idea, but it is my top hit. Why? I guess because art creates conversational topics and prompts people to interact. Art makes room for open communication about the work, not personal stuff. This is not an original date theme. Movies have featured couples at art museums over the years like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or When Harry Met Sally. So, steal it!
Buy In: First, scan your partner’s interests. You compute: he is a huge comic book fan. My brain thinking: Comic book equals pop art. When you include your partner’s interest in the planning, I promise their buy in will be greater. You may have to wait for the date, but it is better to wait then torture your mate through watercolors and hear about how much he dislikes the style.
A Short Story: From there, start planning the date. First, research local event sites, art museums, festivals, art galleries, colleges and universities, parks and outdoor exhibits for the retro Pop Art. Then, investigate cost, travel, hours, and time. If you go on the fly, you will prevent the “long story”. Pre-planning is key.
Pacing: If it is your first time at an art anything, don’t push for 2 hours, but more like 30 minutes to an hour. For any new experience, don’t kill your date with the concept (I did that once, it turned quite ugly quick to ice packs and bruises). I strongly advise for you to break your partner in slowly. If you don’t pace the date, your partner will never go back. So, gently ease the idea into the date and you may guarantee another visit.
Wide Angle Lens: I would highly, highly recommend making the date have two parts such as: art gallery and drinks, dinner or coffee break. If the art thing is a disaster, then at least you can recover with a nice after outing to pick up the pieces. Please, have a spot in mind or casually suggest two other options. Don’t show your cards all at once! Play your game within the date. That’s what makes you look like a dategician. Your planning will help you say, “Oh, I heard there’s a great coffee shop around the corner. Do you want to check it out.”
Budget: Well, it depends on your pick, but I always go for the least expensive option. Most art museums are open one day a week for free date or ask only for a donation. Also, there are tons of outdoor art galleries around, too. By me, Easton has a cool Art in the Park, an outdoor exhibit by the water. Never forget to dig through Group On to jump on local deals, too. If you are a great surfer, you may find an event page listing pop art exhibits or openings of an art gallery. All those options can be a budget-friendly outing for two.
Genius: If you are unfamiliar with art, take a moment over your lunch break to gather background knowledge about the exhibit you will be seeing or the artist featured. Your research will allow you to enjoy the visit, have something to give to the experience, and feel confident in the new setting. If you choose to just jump in, that’s great too.
The Close Up: While you walk around, smile. The act of smiling carries a warmth and relaxed expression. It can soothe the most nervous soul. Then, try to engage your partner in conversation. At the right moment, make eye contact and reach for their hand. More details on engaging your date later…
Talking Points: For example: Look at this photo. Right now, describe 5 features of this piece. Then, create 3 questions in your head about the art and finally 1 WOW statement like I really love that….
OKAY. You may not be an art guru, but you probably said it is shiny, yellow, a balloon animal, huge and creative. Possible ?s: Why would someone create that? Who is the artist? What is it made of? WOW: I really love that…it is a fun piece to look at.
It is very helpful to have prepared talking points ready so you don’t seem like a blubbering idiot and you can express your thoughts clearly.
Always: Try this hint!! I can’t promise the ideal picture perfect movie date, but it will be entertaining and filled with culture. If it is an epic fail, then you have a silly story to tell your friends that you read this blog, tried an art themed date night and it flopped. Or you will have a blast and will put the next art exhibit in your Google calendar. In the end, I hope you find a new appreciation for Art, your partner and just maybe create a memorable date!