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Here Is Another Crazy First Date Idea

October 13th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

For those who have been reading the blog for a while now, I am the undisputed King of wacky date ideas. To this day people poke fun at me for a post I wrote last Winter about taking women out for soup; an idea I believe is still genius. Then, I wrote about “PBS and Service Dating”; again, two ideas I would urge anyone to try themselves.

In both instances, many women called me out for being cheap; accusing me of coming up with these dates as some sort of ploy to avoid coming out of my pocket. Now I suppose to a degree that is true, after all, I am a kid who grew up with parents who said I don’t need milk for my cereal, water is just fine. Excuse me for wanting to avoid a cliche date all in the name of saving a couple of dollars. What some women call cheap, I call creative, and what some women call a good time, I call boring ways to spend money.

Thus, I continue to find new and interesting ways to spend time with a woman I want to get to know (that is the definition of dating: going out with someone you want to get to know, not someone we like already, but I digress) without spending a whole lot money. Here is my latest one.


I want to show up at a woman’s place with a to-do-list in my hand filled with a bunch of places I have to go and tasks I have to take care of, and I would like for her to not only join me, but also bring her own to do list too. Maybe we can knock things out together and if things are really going well, we can get a bite to eat at the food court in the mall, where most errands need to be ran.

The reason errand running as a first date is so ideal is because it immediately puts both of us in a comfort zone and if there’s one thing I have learned about dating it is comfort is king. I don’t like to seduce or charm a woman through romance. I like to make her laugh, smile, and feel like we’ve been hanging out forever. In my experiences, the most effective way to make her feel this way is by going to Target with her.

I know, it’s crazy, right? Target? Are we going to slow dance to a demo of Sounds Of Nature over in the candles aisle of the Housewares section? Well, only if she’s into that sort of thing! But even if she isn’t, there’s romance in Target, people.

Just think of all the things a person has to do in Target and what those things can reveal about a person. If we’re in the greeting cards section and she says, “Oh wait, my co-worker just had a baby, I need to get her a card.” I can tell she’s thoughtful. If she is browsing for an extra long period of time in the cookware section, I believe it’s safe to assume she enjoys cooking, and since I enjoy eating, a whole conversation about the kitchen can ensue. Every time I’m in Target, I enjoy grabbing one of the big balls and shooting it in the basket, so clearly she has gone out on a date with a big kid. The list goes on and on.

But I’m only using Target as an example of how effective errand running can be. What makes errand running dates really the best way to spend time together is they represent what is ultimately going to be the way her and I spend most of our time together should we ever end up in a relationship.

One of the most genius scenes in the movie Old School is when Frank (Will Ferrell) describes the weekend he’s about to have with his new wife. Frank’s friends ask him what he’s doing for the weekend and he starts talking about all the paint they’re going to buy and how excited he is about a trip the two of them are taking to the Home Depot to pick up a bunch of stuff for the house. I love that scene so much because I always thought it epitomized what qualifies as dating in a monogamous relationship.

Couples who have been together for a long time look to certain life projects as a way to spend quality time together. In any relationship I have ever been in, the times I remember the most are when we would do something like go grocery shopping together. Another movie, 500 Days of Summer, shows the two main characters having their most fun running around an Ikea as one of their first dates, and though my experience with an ex-girlfriend at Ikea was nowhere near as fun (maybe I’ll write about that one tomorrow), the scene demonstrated how even in the beginning stages of a relationship, the comforts of a place like Ikea bring two people closer together.

When I went to Little Rock, Arkansas earlier this year, I met a girl at Little Rock’s annual First Friday. I didn’t have a lot of time in town, so I needed to move fast and asked her what she was doing the next day. She said she had to go run errands, so I asked if I could join her. At first, she thought I was crazy for wanting to do such a thing, but I explained to her since I’m from out of town it would be a good way for me to see the city and spend time with her. Kill two birds with one stone. She obliged and we had a fantastic time running errands, so much so the two of us stay in touch to this day.

Any two people can enjoy each other over a good meal, but the real question is am I with a woman who knows how to be patient and pleasant in the long line at the exchange counter, or am I with the woman who goes off at customer service all because they will only give her store credit because she lost her receipt? I’d rather know the answers to those questions sooner than later.



I signed up for Toastmasters and my first meeting is tomorrow. One of my goals is to be a more effective speaker, so this should help me with that.

The EIGHTH Edition of the Poppin’ Questions Podcast is now up, so please click here to listen

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  • Danigurl207

    I love that saying the Representative so many people have them and I don’t know why. The real you will come out eventually. And yes Target is a great first date. I love me some Target too! Just don’t go into Walmart, s/he would probably never date me again. Walmart makes my twitch.

  • LaVida2

    ITA with this first date idea….it’s realistic and what a regular ole relationship represents.
    if the relationship continues, you wont always be going out and doing things you dont normally do.
    it goes back to what Chris Rock said, first dates are “representatives” not the real person.

  • Brwn_Butterfly80

    I have to admit I think that it’s a great idea. When I go on a date with someone I want to take time to get to know them. First dates are always awkward for me. This sounds like a lot of fun.

  • swoowooopblooded

    Based in truth. I never like conventional dates because they are based on pretense, too awkward and fake. The best relationships always start of with you getting to know someone and you can get to know someone in target lol. I think target is good actually lmao.

  • Coco

    Why are you putting black women in a box? Stereotyping us? It is the type of woman, not the color. I dare say the majority of the women who have replied favorably are black. Just say the black women YOU know wouldn’t go for it.

  • deep.honey

    TKJChef: A sister of quality would know that this b.s. is NOT A DATE. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to raise their standards and talk with the older, wiser women of their tribe…

    Women want to be taken out and made to feel special. Hanging out at Target is something you could do with your mama or your boys. Inviting a woman out for dinner, coffee or drinks is the best way to encourage conversation, show that you’re interested and not a cheapskate. Propose a Target run as a first date to an intelligent sister and she will likely ignore your texts/calls and move on to another guy who shows much more relationship potential.

  • Tk BacktotheBasics Orekoya

    It’s a real cool idea, you don’t have that whole pressure of let’s do this fancy date and make sure that I impress her and all that stuff. You just say let’s hang out, run some errands, grab lunch and then find something to get into.

    I love casual dates like this, where you have time to talk and laugh without worrying about if you’re keeping her entertained. I’ll definitely incorporate this into my future dating. I may want to push this to a 2nd or 3rd date just because I’m not sure how your average woman would react to the idea of running errands on the 1st date, but I’ll see if I’m slick enough to make it work for the 1st one.

  • Cali

    I’m always running errands, & frequently wishing I had someone to run them with. I think if we can both accomplish some things on our “to do” lists, it’s a great idea. I’d definitely be down w/ it 🙂

  • renee

    Awesome idea, although you might have to watch the phrasing when proposing the idea and frame it as an actual date because it could be misconstrued as not giving enough of a damn to take her out or being too comfortable/casual too soon…depends on the woman

  • renee

    * not frame it

  • PYT

    I actually do a lot of errand running with the guy I’m currently dating. Although we didn’t go to Target on our first date, by date three we were furniture shopping for his new townhouse. I feel like we really got to know each other in a short period of time. Two weeks and four furniture stores in and it felt like we’d been dating forever. I also enjoyed the fact that he felt comfortable enough to share the experience with me. Of course we still do conventional dates but there’s something about looking for coffee tables at West Elm that allows you to open up and reveal the “real” you :). Nice post, Jozen.

  • citygirl22

    I love casual dates. Once, a man took me to breakfast and then brought me with him as he shopped for a car. He knew what he wanted and that was sexy as hell. But he asked for my opinions too… even more sexy. A few times he got frisky and pushed me up against some of the cars. And of course we spent plenty of time testing the seats, checking out the features, etc. When he left to negotiate with the dealer, I sat and occupied myself with a magazine until the deal was done.
    I completely agree with you… finding fun in the ordinary, mundane things can be a great indicator of what everyday life with someone is like!

  • Sweetnancy

    I just asked a guy out. We are both ex-catholics and we’ll be attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve while completely intoxicated.