How to take your partner on the perfect date

Photo by Abigail Faulkner

Valentine’s day looms, expectations are high (and probably uncommunicated) and since it’s February, I bet you’re wondering how to take your significant other on a romantic date. So here are my tips on how to spoil your girl this week if you’re on a budget, want a creative idea, or ready to do something extravagant. Some of these may be better fits for a long term relationship, but there are a lot of first date ideas on here, too! 


These are general tips and tricks to help you celebrate an important relationship this upcoming holiday but, these tips and tricks could also apply to all kinds of relationships and to an upcoming galentines’ day if you’re a single pringle this holiday. The most important thing you can do for your significant other is listen to them. If they don’t like roses, then you probably shouldn’t  get them roses for Valentine’s. The idea is to go above and beyond for someone you love and go the extra mile this week, but these tips will work better if you apply something specific that your loved one has been hinting at for a few weeks now. 

On a Budget 

Let’s be real, we are college students. The majority of us aren’t rolling in dough and aren’t able to afford something insane like renting out a theme park for our girlfriend or boyfriend. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re out of options. The most important parts of pulling this off will be intentionality and thoughtfulness. Be intentional to set aside time for someone you love and do for them the things they like. So, if you’re on a budget here are some options. 

Make your s/o (significant other) dinner! This can be a relatively inexpensive way to make your date feel special by going the extra mile to hand prepare them food. Bonus points if you cook them their favorite food, and double points if it’s candle lit. By choosing their favorite meal and cooking it, you’re communicating to your partner that you care about their likes and dislikes, and that you are willing to do an act of service by cooking. Candle light can create intimacy. 

However, there are other ways to make this classic date idea more unique. You could make heart shaped pizzas together. Or maybe you want to dress up to make it feel fancier. Take the basic idea of a dinner date and run with it to do something special. 

Another cheap date idea that works well with the previous suggestion is an at-home movie night. You can take this a step up from a regular at-home movie night by getting a snack tray ready with some of your partner’s favorite snacks and picking out a rom-com, or something you have both been wanting to see but haven’t had the time for inbetween working, school, and all your other obligations. Some other ways you can make this special is buying you and your s/o matching pajama bottoms from Walmart. It’s not overly expensive, but with a little thoughtfulness could turn out to be an so much fun and a great memory for the two of you, 


Now some of these suggestions may be a little outside of your comfort zone, but this is where you can really do something outside of the box that you and your s/o have maybe talked about doing and just never had the time for. 

You could do a painting night and do the tik tok trend where you pass the canvas every 5-10 minutes. In about an hour, you will both have hand made gifts for one another that you got to hand make. There are also places like Clay Your Way where you can go on a date and paint a ceramic piece: mug, plate, bowl etc. and glaze a piece. In a week’s time you can pick up your hand painted piece and have something that represents another lasting memory. 

This is just the start of all the things you and your gal could get up to for fun around town. You could check out Brewhalla, which is an indoor market. They have a few really cute shops (including a plant shop!) , a black bird pizza for a little snack, ice cream for dessert and sitting areas for you to just sit and talk if that’s more your speed. Also, fanatic ways to support local businesses and such a cool space to just be in. You may also impress your date by knowing that there are actually some cool spaces in Fargo to be in and around. 

If you really have time, and want to go above and beyond, you could also make a scavenger hunt for your date! I wouldn’t recommend this if it’s the first date. However, if you really know the person, then this could be a really special way of letting them know that you remember all the little moments and memories together. For more info on how to pull this off successfully, read some articles and do some research. 


So lets say, hypothetically,  money is no object. You have been scraping together some cash and saving so that you can do something really special for your boyfriend or girlfriend. Well, first things first, make a reservation and don’t wait till the last minute to do so, either. While Fargo isn’t the food capital of the world, there are some really yummy restaurants you can go to that are a little bit more “high class” then the McDonald’s drive through. 

Porter Creek was my dad’s favorite restaurant when my family still lived in Fargo and I would have to agree with him. It’s got a cozy, million dollar log cabin-esque atmosphere.  Every time I have been there the food has been good and the staff have been friendly. Who knows, maybe you’ll see me there on Valentine’s day. 

Another great option is Rosewild in the Jasper Hotel downtown. When I went there (over a year ago), I found that I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. They use a lot of local ingredients and the menu changes based on what’s in season. It shows Midwest cuisine at its finest but it’s definitely going to be in the upper echelon of price points for us college kids. 

If you want somewhere a bit more casual, I would encourage you to check out Wurst Bier Hall, Blackbird Pizza, The Toasted Frog, or Pounds. Some of these restaurants are bars, so check their hours and make sure you can actually go if you’re underage.

Long story short, eat some good food. Second thing, make sure you got a gift. This is going to be different for each girl, maybe she’s into jewelry, or she wants a 100 dollar flower arrangement (which is midrange for the cost of flowers nowadays), or maybe she’s really into Legos. I have no idea. Whatever they like, go the extra mile to make it customized to something she likes. You could get a necklace with her name on it, for example, and there are all kinds of options on Etsy for something like that. 


But even if you buy her a 1000 dollar gold gold dipped rose, it’s not gonna matter and she’s not gonna like it if she told you she doesn’t like or want flowers. You could rent out a theater and take them on a helicopter ride, but it’s gonna be meaningless if they told you they don’t like films and are afraid of heights. 

The date and the price point don’t matter nearly as much as showing your partner that you care about them and really listen to them. Something crucial to planning a date is knowing someone, because really, we just all want to be known. 

It’s not about the money. It’s about being intentional. Your spouse would probably prefer a handwritten letter over an expensive dinner anyways. 

Leave a Reply