Looking how to have the best date ever? This reveal could shock you.
Researchers found that people underestimate how much their communication partners think about them after a conversation. So, if you want a little date magic focus on having a good conversation.
Evidence for this has been published by researchers in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. The eight studies suggest we tend to believe others when they say things were not on your mind during the conversation. People then spend time thinking about what would have come up next after finishing one topic before conversation moved on to another topic.
Let’s say you were on a first date and you told a story about a local restaurant that happened almost four years ago. Your date then remembers a story about hot chocolate at a street fair and tells you about it. When the night comes to an end you both remember the conversation and replay it while exploring different avenues the conversation could have gone.
Date Ideas Don’t Have To Be A Big Deal
Conversations have a deep and lasting impact on our lives. Roughly fifty-percent of a persons day is spent in some kind of communication. Five percent is spent on concentrating on other tasks. Which leaves forty-five percent of our waking hours to remember.
The dates you plan out don’t have to be the best date ideas in the world. It doesn’t have to be the most innovative perfect date to a fancy restaurant or a day trip to a comedy show. The best dates are spending quality time and having fun while you talk to each other.
Communication in a relationship not only affects us while it takes place, but long after the conversation has ended. People can’t help but to think back to what was said with laughter or appreciation for advice given, and then replay those moments over again in order to remember exactly how it felt at that point in in their life. Communication affects both partners. Whether it is remembering an old friend, an argument, or something said in passing.
Whether you are on a first date, second date, or a lasting relationship what you talk about can build great memories can be remembered and replayed long after the date has ended.
The challenge presented to the researchers is to understand how much, and if, the communication has affected each person.
First Date Is All About Connection
The essence of human connection is the ability to share thoughts and ideas with another person. This sense that we are not alone in our experiences, but rather sharing aspects together as if they were our own private property, provides a more level playing field for all people on earth – no matter who you may be or what circumstances life has thrown at you!
The most intimate form this idea takes place when people communicate; during these moments there’s an effortless flow between one another which creates something greater than either could have created individually.
Communication is simply the process of sharing something with another person. What you talk about can range from a several second exchange to something that is long-lasting. Your date idea should not focus on what you do. Such as a dance class, sporting event, or apple picking. Your date idea should revolve around good conversation expressing, or sharing, your thoughts and ideas with someone else.
Going on a date night to a cooking class, art museum, or improv class should only be a facilitator to express ourselves emotionally which allows us to build trust. Dates are not about what you do. The most romantic dates remembered are associated with emotions. Emotions are created with connection to another person. Connection is made when we communicate. It is not made through going to a trampoline park or an expensive main course over dinner.
Bonus Points Date Ideas
We all have a unique way of knowing ourselves. As thoughts are shared directly through language or inferred by non-verbal information such as vocal pitch, tone, volume, and body language. When there is a shared intent or sentimentality between people our brain patterns change from an inward focus on ourselves to an outward focus onto the other person.
When communication ends there is often an obvious psychological transition going from being connected with another person’s mind space to alone again on your own thoughts on what just took place.
Have you ever been on a first date and when you said your goodbye’s you sat back and thought about everything that just happened? Your creative juices just started flowing hoping that he or she would call for that second date. You get home and go to sleep with romantic thoughts and a fun way to heat things up on the next date night.
You hope your date is thinking the same thing as you.
Researcher Gus Cooney and colleagues write:
“One consequence is that a gulf widens between the certainty that people feel about their own thoughts, and the certainty that people feel about their conversation partner’s thoughts.”
People who have an engaging conversation think about what their partner said. In a new relationship people wonder if the other person is thinking about them or if they like them. They replay the conversation or imagine about different outcomes.
Researchers went to work to see if people could accurately estimate how often a person thinks about another after a conversation ends. The study was organized into seeking two answers.
The first was seeking how often someone thought about their partner since the conversation.
The second sought an estimate of how much a person thought their partner was thinking about them.
Other studies included additional measures to provide converging evidence that included how often a person replayed a conversation, how much they were affected by the conversation, or how many thoughts there were relating to the conversation.
Instead of having a bucket list of first date ideas of what you can do year round such as laser tag, horseback riding, and romantic dinner go for a comprehensive list of different topics to talk about. The best dates people remember are those when someone revealed who they are. Sure, a fun way to do that is at an amusement park or wine tasting but those are just a means to get to know someone. It’s what you share on that first date that makes it the best date ever.
Every detail of the date doesn’t have to be planned. Let’s be honest, nothing ever goes as planned anyway. First dates can be nerve wrecking all by themselves. There’s no telling what could happen on the first date. So, instead of spending your entire time coming up with date ideas and going through awkward silences during the date, have topics to discuss. Then keep open mind and listen without judgement.
Communication is key in any relationship whether you are happily married with kids or you just started dating and still trying to figure out how you feel about each other. Having a discussion over ice cream that someone thinks about long after the date has ended is more affective than dinner and a movie.
Romantic Date Ideas Don’t Matter
Over 2,200 people participated in the eight studies. The studies ranged from online to labs to college dining halls. The participants were friends or strangers who had in-depth conversations, revealing conversations, or the conversation turned to arguments.
The study found that people are surprisingly bad at guessing what their conversation partner is thinking. People believed they thought about the other person more often than reality revealed. Evidence of how often someone thinks about another can change depending on who the conversation is with. The effect held true in various social interactions, including introductory conversations, deep meaningful discussions, and arguments. The result pattern held the same for both positive and negative interactions.
So, if you are on a first date in the great outdoors while having a friendly competition learning a new skill and make a great connection the other person may think about you more. It’s not because they got a new life skill and had fun in the fresh air. They can do that with just about anyone. Even if it would not be classified as a romantic date it becomes romantic because they made connection with you.
It is hard to make a connection when you cannot talk because your date ideas include sitting in an audience listening to a poetry reading all night. Or your romantic date goes down the tube because your double date won’t shut up about the latest sporting event or fun arcade games.
People might remember that they were at a cooking class or antique store. They may even remember the movie and flavor of ice cream afterwards. They could even remember the details of the entire place you had dinner. But, those only have significance because of the connection they felt during the date.
Perfect Date Magic
The researchers also found that when people have conversations about things that are important to them, or the more vivid the conversation is, it makes it harder for them to think about anything else. This is because it makes it hard to process any other thoughts. They also found that when people get another persons input on a conversation they are able think more about the conversation. The research also found that the amount of time you spend thinking affects how big the thought gap is. Lastly, they found that how much you think back to the conversation also has an affect.
Think about this for a second. All of your friends know you met someone and went on a first date. They want to know all the juicy details of the night. Did you go to dinner and a movie with a morning breakfast date or was the night a complete disaster and you were alone on ferry ride home?
Either way the date went you are thinking about it at the end of the night. If you had a really good connection and learned a lot about the other person you find it difficult to think about anything else. If the date was a nightmare, you still think about everything that went wrong.
The next day your friends are asking you about your night and if there will be second date. You start to remember details you initially didn’t think of. Bonus points if it was a night of fun and conversation in which you made a connection. Even when you try to not think about the date and concentrate on other tasks, something sparks a thought and you find it difficult to not think about the date.
The deeper the connection the more you think about it. If the date went bad, you still think about it, but the thoughts do not last as long.
In summary, the deeper the connection the longer and more frequent someone thinks about you and the conversations you had.
The overall study did have limitations. In some cases people only recalled one persons side of an argument or conversation that involved multiple people. This means it could be possible that when people remember a conversation, they might only remember a part that they have thought about a lot. This could lead an exaggeration of what really took place. But, two studies done in a lab setting showed a pattern of results that suggest this might not be the case. More research into this possible bias needs to be done.
The date ideas of the dinner and a movie do not play as big a roll as you might think in the grand scheme of dating. Your date idea should be more in form of how you are going to reveal yourself and establish a connection through conversation. That is where the real magic happens between two people.