Is an evening picnic a good second date idea?


Not-Joey asks:

Our first date was one of the best dates I have ever had and I think I really clicked with the girl. So tomorrow we are going to our second date and I have this idea, but not sure if it’s a good one.

Our first date was in a bar, so I want to make something more different this time around. So my idea is to get a bottle of wine and a blanket and go in the evening to the lake on campus (we are both students).

The thing is I never done a picnic in the night, so I’m not sure if it’s going to be romantic or creepy. What do you think?

Demetrius says:

You know, the first step to making sure you’re not being creepy is being aware that sometimes, the line between romantic and creepy is very narrow, whether it’s your intention or not. Do I think the idea of an evening picnic is creepy in and of itself? A picnic date sounds great,and not inherently creepy, but it all depends on where and when you’re having the picnic, and who you’re having it with. Let’s first address the where and when.

I don’t think your idea will be viewed as creepy based on location alone, because it’s a location she’s familiar with. The “when” probably wont be an issue either, but that might just be specific to your date idea and who you’re going on a date with. If you’re looking to do an evening on campus, a campus you both attend, I don’t see how that would be “creepy” in and of itself.  Personally, I think a picnic date idea sounds good during the day in most places, but I can see how doing one in the evening might give someone pause. Personally, I’d never have a night-time picnic in New York City, where I live. Most parks in New York City close at dusk, but there are certain parks that are open until 1 AM, including Central Park, Prospect Park, and Van Cortlandt Park, so it’s not impossible to have an evening picnic on public park grounds in New York. I wouldn’t though, because NOPE.  Whether or not these parks are considered “safe” at night by the populace at large doesn’t matter to me because there is no damn way I’m doing anything outside of leaving a NYC park when the sun sets. I would almost certainly do a picnic in most parks throughout the city during the day, I’ve actually done a few picnics in Prospect Park, but sundown is a whole other story. Part of my reasoning has to do with being a City lifer, growing up with the idea that these parks might be picturesque during the day but things change quickly after dark. Some people would say “Some NYC parks are totally safe at night!“, and I would say “Literally none of them are safe, especially at night! You’re taking your life into your own hands if you walk through any park in NYC after 9pm!” but you know, I’m weirdly conservative about what’s “safe” in New York City. Still, I don’t think that a picnic date is creepy, in NYC or otherwise, but where you plan on having the picnic and when should be something you consider.

As for the “who” factor of your question, I can’t see how the lady in question will have a problem with your second date idea. The main reason being that the picnic is happening in a place she’s familiar with. If you asked her to go on a picnic in some unfamiliar part of town, maybe it’d be a little less well received, but the fact that you’re doing it in a space she knows and is probably comfortable with, I don’t see an issue there. I could see how your date idea potentially might be an issue if your date was with someone who didn’t live on campus, but that has more to do with the fact that the person in question would be unfamiliar with the date venue.

To play it safe, I would probably float the picnic date idea in a less time-specific way. A picnic with a bottle of wine overlooking a lake, in and of itself, sounds like a great date idea. What could be risky is insisting that the date happen in the evening. It’s not an absolutely certainty that it will be perceived as creepy, but I’d guess based solely on my own anecdotal evidence that there’s a 5-10% chance that insisting that it’s an evening date might creep her out, but seriously, that’s just a guess and I could be wrong. Float the idea in a non-specific way in terms of time. “Hey, do you want to do a picnic on the lake on our campus with a bottle of wine” is a great idea. “Hey, do you want to do a picnic on the lake on our campus with a bottle of wine at night is also a good idea, but could potentially be viewed as creepy. Plus, there’s no saying a late afternoon picnic date doesn’t turn into an evening picnic date.

All that said, great way to mix things up and try to do an atypical date. She might not think it’s romantic, but I doubt she’ll think your idea is creepy. Well done you!

Good Luck Out There.

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