Yves believes in creating charm, warmth, and romance in life. She gladly shares her favorite tips with all who desire quality relationships.
First Things First
This article explores the finer steps of creating a memorable, natural evening that is not awkward in any way and which feels as natural and stress free as a deep, soft breath. All you need to do is follow a few simple guidelines.
Understandably, having him over to your place for the first time can be a little nerve-wracking, but you honestly have no need to worry if you prepare well and keep your wits about you. On the other hand, we must not entertain false expectations in our minds about what constitutes a romantic evening.
As a precaution, please refrain from inviting any man over to your home early on in any relationship. Be very selective about who you date, and always take your time about important decisions pertaining to sex and intimacy. Your only goal on date night is to create a comfortable environment in your home wherein you will feel comfortable enough to deepen the connection you have formed so far.
But back to the matter at hand. You have invited him over. Now what? How do you make the night special and unique? Well, first things first.... always remember you are on a date rather than a challenge for perfection. Dates are meant to be fun and relaxing. They are a time to learn more about things you have in common, such as places you've been and interests you share. Besides which, if the chemistry is there, romance will follow naturally.
Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.
— — Carolyn Gold Heilbrun
Step 1: Prepare a Light, Scrumptious Dinner
If you do not know anything about cooking, always know that having a delicious meal is an intimate experience. So, even if you are not a whiz in the kitchen, just know that a homemade meal represents love and caring. Luckily for you, there is no way to go wrong with my fail-safe Crock-Pot Lemon Chicken. It takes approximately 17 minutes of kitchen prep work: You chop some veggies, sprinkle some seasoning, plug the cord in the outlet and set the cooker on low. My loved ones really savor this easy-to-make-dish. There is nothing wrong with using an easy recipe, so long as it tastes good.
On the other hand, if you already know how to whip up delicious meals, you’re good to go. However, I recommend keeping the menu simple. An elaborate meal is best suited for another time. Your first meal together should be light. Besides, you will need extra time during the day to paint your toenails, do your hair, and clean your house for the special night.
Alright, now that you've made your house shine and your nail pretty, it's time to think about the what you want to serve besides chicken. My recommendation is a simple, fresh spinach salad tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pinon nuts, black pepper, sautéed red or yellow pepper strips and feta cheese. Prepare the salad 15 minutes before dinner is served. As for the main course vegetable, that is where the carrots come in. If you feel inclined, some Basmati rice makes a nice bed for your chicken breasts. A rice cooker can help you with that.
Yves Crock-Pot Lemon Chicken
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
4 hours 15 min
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, sliced in half
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 3 T. butter
- 2 T. fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Rinse chicken well, pat dry.
- Cut chicken breasts in half and place into Crock Pot.
- Squeeze lemon over chicken. Place remaining ingredients into the Crock-Pot.
- Cover. Cook 4 hours on high setting or 6 hours on low setting.
- After two hours, taste broth and add salt or chicken broth as needed. Replace lid and cook for another 2 to 4 hours.
- Pair your meal with a red Spanish Rioja or a Chianti. (White wine contains too much citrus which competes with the lemon chicken.)
- Serve meal with a French baguette, spinach salad and 2/3 cup of cooked Basmati rice. Spoon 1/4 c. broth from crock-pot over each plated serving.
- If your home is small, open the windows while the chicken is cooking to let out the smell of onion, or use less onion in the dish.
Step Two: Create a Sensual, Interesting & Unique Music Playlist
Here comes the part where we discuss the finer points of making your home feel, well.... sensual, as well as inviting or interesting. First, you must select good music and own good speakers. If you do not have quality speakers and if you are on a budget, it will cost you about $100.00 to purchase a Bose II Mini Speaker. It's worth every penny. As for the music itself, it is best to choose tracks that allow you to focus on the conversation. The music should be subtly sensual, interesting and unique, kind of like you.
The following are a few selections to get your creative juices flowing:
More About Music
The idea is to select music that is a bit "outside the box" and which can easily flow into the evening, beyond dinner and conversation. If it so happens that your date is a strict country fan, please be sure not to include "Low Friends in High Places" in your playlist. In no way can anyone seriously engage in sensual lovemaking with a song like that playing in the background. (Just saying.)
In any event, music is very personal, and we must listen to what we like. The goal is to encourage you to put some imagination into your music selections. Your choices should encourage thoughtful, intriguing conversation as well as delicious lovemaking later. By the way, if you are not familiar with Pandora or Spotify, I highly recommend you find out more about their intuitive services which provide music selections thar are in accordance with your personal tastes.
Also, keep in mind that instrumental music selections interspersed with a few tracks containing lyrics, tend to work best when planning for a late evening. As we all know, music is song for the soul. Choose accordingly. And please, never play "sappy" love music unless you want your date to run for the hills!
The Role of Music in Human History
“We humans are a musical species no less than a linguistic one... And to this largely unconscious structural appreciation of music is added an often intense and profound emotional reaction to music.”
— Oliver Sacks, Author of Musicophilia
Step 3: Choose What to Wear in Advance
Never wait until the last minute to decide what to wear! If you wait too long, everything will go haywire. You will feel harried; you will second guess yourself; you will get sweaty and anxious. What you wear is important, so please choose your outfit at least a day in advance. Okay, then. We got that straight! (Phew) Now back to the matter at hand...
Your goal is to wear something comfortable and pretty. For your first evening together, choose a dress with a "touchable" fabric. Men relish a woman's femininity, and a soft dress allows him to appreciate your style as well as your curves. Another excellent choice for the night is a softly clinging skirt with a short-sleeve or no-sleeve boat top, or better yet, the kind of top that tends to fall off your shoulder on occasion...if you catch my drift. The idea, frankly, is to wear something you will be able to easily slip out of later.
Keep your outfit simple. Wear delicate flat sandals. Keep your hair loose. And by the way, do not forget to wear sexy underwear. Your lacy undies make his man's heart sing, and a happy man makes for a thoughtful lover. Above all, you want a considerate lover. Long story short, every piece of your clothing should be both classy and subtly sexy. Sexiness and class a powerful combination!
Step 4: Good Books and Good Conversation
The books you own tell a story about your life and your interests. If you happen to own a plethora of romantic paperbacks, you might want to pack them in a box, put them in your closet. Now is the time to begin reading some classics, instructional how-to books, and a few biographies. If you haven't read that biography you've chosen to display in your bookcase or on your coffee table and if he asks you about it, you're going to feel rather foolish when you have nothing to say. In short, never own books strictly for show. Read the books you buy. Let him see parts of your personality through your books. He will enjoy gleaning information about you that he did not know before.
A well-read person is a good conversationalist, and a good conversationalist is an interesting person to be around. However, knowing "a lot of stuff" does not mean you can monopolize the conversation. Instead, be a good listener who can ask thought-provoking questions. In so doing, you can intelligently inject follow-up information and anecdotes regarding "things you've learned" from books you have read and the life you have lived.
A tip: Buy and read parts of (at least) "The Dangerous Book for Boys" by Hal and Conn Iggulden. Place the book on your coffee table. Hal and Conn's book contains a plethora of wonderful content such as Famous Battles, Juggling, Sampling Shakespeare, Skipping Stones, and so much more. Your date will enjoy leafing through the book while you are busy preparing a fresh salad before dinner.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
— Ben Franklin
Step 5: Select Neutral Scents for Your Bedroom
It should go without saying, but please do not ever buy sweet candles for your first date night or any other date night for that matter. Men hate sweet smelling candles. Avoid pure vanilla candles like the plague!
What kind of scents do you want for your bedroom? Think neutral. Avoid anything too "out-there." For example, candles that smell like food, such as spice cake or cherry cobbler, are highly inappropriate for a romantic evening. Please don’t go there. On the opposite spectrum are scents like patchouli---still too overwhelming unless blended with other scents. Yet surprisingly, natural peppermint, eucalyptus or lavender combined is acceptable to men, and can be safely be used in the guest and main bathrooms.
For your bedroom, however, think neutral with a hint of "masculine." The next time you go to a Home store, check out the candles. You will have so much fun picking out exactly the right scents for your special date-night. One of my favorite candles for the bedroom is Tobacco Saffron, pictured below.
Step 6: Take a Deep Breath, Relax, and Have Faith
Your date will be arriving soon. Now is the time to brush away any remaining anxiety you may have. The fact is, you've prepared well, and you've done everything needed to create a relaxing, beautiful evening. All that is left to do is trust that everything will work out beautifully.
A good man really appreciates your having put effort into the evening, and he love, love, loves a home-cooked meal. Your date will feel special and validated because you have put some real thought into making him feel comfortable. He will love that you listen when he speaks about his life and interests; he will find your music stimulating; he will appreciate your charm.
Your home will tell a story---one that will intrigue him enough to want to know you even better. So, take a deep breath and get ready to relish good food, fragrant wine, plenty of laughter and a night of romance. You deserve it.
Questions & Answers
Question: What are the things my boyfriend should do in order to have a perfect date?
Answer: He can do all of the same things a woman does, such as cleaning his home, cooking a meal, lighting candles, picking out a playlist, and dressing nicely, but comfortably. He should also keep the conversation interesting and be a thoughtful lover.
© 2018 Yves
Yves (author) on September 11, 2020:
Incidentally, I should have mentioned that dating is not meant to be something to 'pass the time.'
Watching television? Sure. Going camping. Okay.
But ultimately, dating is how we find someone we will love because he or she is like-minded and holds similar values as we do and with whom we will ultimately spend the rest of our married lives with and build a happy future with, which in turn will contribute to the good of society in so many remarkable, myriad ways.
Yves (author) on August 28, 2020:
Yes indeed, dating can be great fun once we get some experience behind our belt. I hope to have the book done early next year. We'll see...
MG Singh emge from Singapore on August 27, 2020:
Wonderful tips on dating. I like the idea that very soon you will be writing a book on the subject. I will follow it closely. Incidentally dating is fun and it's a great way to pass time. I love it.
Yves (author) on August 27, 2020:
Hi RubyRed.... The good news is that with my recipe, you do not need to know how to cook. It's fail-safe. Ha!
Don't worry, things will turn around for you, especially once you are out in the workplace. It's only a matter of time.
FYI: I am planning on writing a dating book. If you have any particular area of concern, feel free to let me know. I might be able to make a chapter out of it..
Always good to have you visit!
RubyRedRR on August 27, 2020:
I should learn to cook lol. Looks like I'll have plenty of time as I haven't been asked out by a guy since I started college and now with covid19 I'm feeling a bit like Tom Hanks on that island.
Where's my Wilson!
Almost desperate enough to go online.... Nahh lol.
Yves (author) on September 30, 2019:
Hello Dale.....Thank you so much, and congratulations on having a successful marriage! Delighted to have you stop by.
Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 30, 2019:
This was good. Married many years now but always looking for a way to keep things fresh.
Yves (author) on March 28, 2019:
Absolutely. I love that your husband said what he did. The two of you had spontaneously and naturally created a perfect date night. And you didn't even need my expertise. Hahaha. But seriously, all the elements were there. Actually, it is you who have helped me. I need to remind people not to talk about work. Work talk has the potential to kill romance.
Congratulations on your long and successful marriage, AB. And thank you for stopping by to have a chat. :)
A B Williams from Central Florida on March 28, 2019:
Great article Yves!
I've been married a long time, (must be doing some things right) but you have so many great ideas to create the perfect date night and I have taken notes.
Not too long ago, my husband and I, didn't have plans, nowhere to be and we ended up on our back patio. He mixed us a drink (one drink, not several) music was playing softly to allow for conversation and two ribeyes were marinating, anticipating a good sizzlin' on the grill. Almost two hours later, we finally got the steaks on the grill, we had been so engrossed in conversation. We also work together and had managed to talk about everything under the sun, but work!
My husband when heading over to the grill, turned to me and said, this is the best part of the week.
Yves (author) on March 03, 2019:
Oh, great! I hope someone you know finds it useful once they are ready to take such an important step. Thank you for the lovely comment, Ms. Dora.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 03, 2019:
Perfect. You left nothing out. Will use this article as a guide if anyone I know is embarking on such a adventure. Thanks.
Yves (author) on November 05, 2018:
Ha! You're such a funny lady. I've no doubt your wit and charm will keep anyone interested. Who needs to see anything, anyway?
Thanks for stopping by a 2nd time, Nell. You're a class act!
Nell Rose from England on November 05, 2018:
Reading this for the second time I did smile because yes I had a date recently, and yes I was terrified! lol! but its right about the lighting, light went down, I relaxed. I still can't eat in front of them though!
Yves (author) on August 20, 2018:
Hi Flourish....It was definitely fun to write. Thanks for the kudos. ;)
FlourishAnyway from USA on August 20, 2018:
I'm back to take another look at this article and read the fun comments. This was a great article.
Yves (author) on May 25, 2018:
Hi Chris...Loved your comment. You made me smile and laugh. I'll have to think about the Tom Waits thing. Hahaha. In truth, men can do the same thing when having her over, minus the dress.(Lol) However, writing articles specifically for men is a great idea.
I'm so pleased you liked my ideas. :)
Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on May 25, 2018:
You have described an evening that would be a pleasure to experience. We men could probably use an article about how to have a woman visit our homes as well. Tell me not to play any Tom Waits music and not to break out my own fiction for reading material.
This article was very well done. I like the book on the coffee table. Sounds interesting. What would make me stay? The lemon chicken, relaxed conversation and the strap falling off the shoulder.
Yves (author) on May 10, 2018:
Lo, Frankl. I won't even try to be demur. I think my way is better too. Thanks for making me chuckle this morning.
Frank Atanacio from Shelton on May 10, 2018:
Perfect how to do it right.. tips.. for making the evening right... My tip would pale compare to your advice.. picture it.. club... dancing.. I walk over to a very nice girl and say... hey you better give me your number before I change my mid..:) Yeah.. they should stick to your helpful hint...:)
Yves (author) on May 07, 2018:
Lol. Thanks for letting me know about the spelling. To be honest, Nell, I wasn't sure because the font on the cover could have gone either way. Ha!
Anyway, I'm glad you liked the hub. I love the violin music too. It's really different! Also, thanks for the compliment on my house. I thought about adding the dining room, but thought that might be over-kill.
Happy Monday to you, my cyber friend!
Nell Rose from England on May 07, 2018:
Hiya, first of all I love your house! lol! well what I can see of it. I haven't done romance for years, so I will take your word for it, lol! and that violin music was awesome too. The authors name is Conn not Gonn,I have many of his books,he is awesome. Great advice :)
Yves (author) on May 05, 2018:
What a nice compliment! I appreciate it so much, Paula. I actually learned many of my tips (inadvertently) from an Italian "friend." He was studying in the U.S. (on a Visa) to obtain a PhD in Physics. I had to be "on my game." Ha, ha!
Ah! Sweet memories...;)
Suzie from Carson City on May 05, 2018:
Yves. You always bring us something delightful. You're the perfect writer for this topic! Wise, mature, creative & romantic. Can't ask for anything more. I love this scenario you present. Actually gives me something "to think about!" Thanks, girlfriend! Peace, Paula
Yves (author) on May 05, 2018:
Thanks Flourish! I thought about mentioning the morning after, but didn't want the hub to get too long. So, you may have a good idea there---just write a whole new hub. Ha! Great suggestion. Thanks for stopping by. :)
FlourishAnyway from USA on May 05, 2018:
You know all the inside tricks. What a thoughtfully written and thorough article. Maybe a follow up article on the morning after?
Yves (author) on May 05, 2018:
Hi Devika....Yes indeed, these tips are great for married couples as well as dating couples. Thank you for the kudos. I truly appreciate it, dear lady.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 05, 2018:
Every tip mentioned is valuable and helpful for a date night. Sounds incredible and worth a try. I like the way you explained and makes me wonder more about the date night. A good idea about the choice of candles.