14 Fun Things To Do When You Meet For The First Time
This is it!! You met online, struck up a long distance relationship, and now you’re about to meet for the first time! SO exciting!
So. You’re excited and ready to plan out the perfect visit.
You might already have a dozen things planned out and 20 more possibilities swirling around in your head. If so, that’s great! If not, I’ve got some tips and suggestions for you…
Why you should have a plan when you meet for the first time in a long distance relationship
You may be tempted to “go with the flow” and just wait and see what you feel like doing together during your first visit.
That may sound nice (and it may even work out well for you) but my advice is to do some advance planning about things you want to do together.
You should plan out some activities that will allow you to talk together (e.g., picnics, visiting parks or museums, etc). You should also plan some things that will give you something to focus on apart from each other. And, depending on how much of an introvert you are (and therefore how much alone time you need to recharge), you might also want to plan one or two activities that will give you a break from talking (movies, plays, shows, concerts, etc.).
Having a plan for things you can do together will help you relax and enjoy the visit more. It will also help keep you out of bed. I’ve said this before on this site, but it’s worth saying again: Don’t rush sex.
Don’t jump straight into bed together during your first meeting, even if it’s tempting. And definitely don’t feel pressured to have sex because you “only have a few days together before you’ll be separated again.” This is just your first meeting. If it goes well, there will be others, and you don’t want to live with any regrets on this front.
So if you’re the one “hosting,” do some planning. And if you’re the one traveling, help them out by telling them the sorts of things you like to do, or anything in particular you’d like to do together during the visit.
14 fun things to do together during a first visit
Take a picnic to a park or the beach
There are few things more romantic than sharing a nice bottle of wine on a picnic blanket at sunset. Picnics are also great for giving you time to talk without the intensity and pressure of being home alone together. So pack up some treats and find a lovely spot to spend some time soaking in the beauty of the outdoors, as well as the beauty of each other.
Go to a concert or a musical
Do you both like the same sort of music? Is there a famous musical you’d like to see? Take the opportunity to catch a special show together. It doesn’t have to be epic (U2 at the Rose Bowl in LA… Best. Concert. Ever!). Just being out together with some great music will make for a great time.
Go to an amusement park
Are one or both of you thrill seekers? Do you like the energy and fizz of rides and games and cotton candy? If so, an amusement park might be the perfect way to spend a fun day together—and there could be lots of time to talk if you have to wait in line for the rides.
Do an adventure activity
If you are adventure junkies (or even if you’re not, but you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone) go and do something adventurous. What can you do near where you live? Can you go ziplining, canyoning, or white-water rafting? Go-karting, horse-riding, or parasailing? Find something that sounds awesome (but not too scary) and book it in.
A quick word from the wise on this one, though: Don’t go bungee jumping or parachuting. The goal when picking something in this vein for a first visit should be “fun-scary” not “OMG-maybe-I’m-actually-going-to-die-scary.” Save the truly terrifying stuff for at least visit #2.
Go to the zoo
I don’t know how you feel about animals in captivity—but a long stroll through a nice zoo can be a great way to spend quality time with someone. After all, who doesn’t love watching monkeys play?
Take a long walk
Get your walking shoes on. Go for a hike or take a long walk through the city. Hiking is another great way to enjoy the beauty of the natural world and do something together where you can talk at the same time.
Just a word of warning on this one, though. Make sure you’re both on the same page about what constitutes a “fun hike.” Mike once took me on a “little hike” to see the sunset in LA. I thought we’d be walking for 20 minutes and then kicking back and opening a bottle of wine. Ninety minutes after we started walking we were still sweating our way up a trail in the San Bernardino mountains, it had already gotten dark, and I was… pretty mad.
Go grocery shopping and then cook a meal together
Spending time together during your first visit doesn’t have to be all about epic concerts or roller coasters. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
Doing something completely ordinary like doing the grocery shopping and cooking together is a wonderful way to spend relaxed, quality time together. And as a bonus, you get to enjoy the meal together instead of with a video screen in between you. Add some candles to the table and you can’t get much more romantic than that, for real.
Play a board game
As long as you can keep your competitive side in check, playing a game is an easy, cheap way to spend some time laughing together. Put some thought into the game choice, though. Unless you are die-hard trivia fans or word nerds, Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble can make people feel, um, “less than smart.” Try something like Settlers Of Catan, Carcassone, or an online game you both love already.
Have a games night with a few of your close friends
If playing games sounds good to you, why don’t you broaden the circle a little and take the opportunity introduce your long distance love to some of your friends? Hosting a games night is a good way to get the group laughing together and introduce everyone to each other in a low-pressure sort of way. Taboo or Apples To Apples are good group games, if you’re looking for suggestions.
Have a dinner with family and friends
You don’t want to spend the whole visit alone, especially if you have more than a weekend together. (Well, you might want to, but you shouldn’t.) If you’re playing host for this visit, it would be good for your new partner to meet some of your friends, and vice versa.
One way to make that happen is by organizing a pot-luck dinner. Have this as a picnic, or at your place. Make it pot-luck or go out to a restaurant so you don’t have to spend heaps of time and energy preparing for and hosting a group.
Go to your favorite restaurant
Do you have a restaurant you love? Share it! Great food + great company = all the ingredients you need for a lovely night out.
Take them to one of your favorite spots
In a similar vein, take your long distance love to some of your favorite places. They will love seeing the spots you love, and you will love sharing them. When I lived in LA I used to take people to the Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood Bowl, the Huntington Gardens, or rollerblading around the Rose Bowl.
Play tourist in your own city
Another fun way to get out and about in your own city is to play tourist. Go to TripAdvisor and look up your own city. Find something that you’ve never done before that sounds interesting and go do that together. That way you’ll both be having a new experience.
Watch a movie
There’s a reason this a classic couples date night favorite, and it can a great way to spend some time together during your first visit. Grab some snacks, a blanket, a good movie you’re pretty sure you’ll both enjoy (don’t waste this time on a sub-par movie), and snuggle up together on the couch. Enjoy the cuddle time and the chance to relax together. After all, how many nights have you spent dreaming about the chance to do something simple together like this?
I hope whatever you end up doing, you have a really awesome time together. I think you most likely will. But, occasionally, when you meet someone for the first time, things won’t go as you’d planned and hoped. That’s OK, too. Chalk it all up to valuable learning in life.
And if you’d like more tips and tricks to help make sure your first meeting goes great, don’t forget to check out our Complete Guide To Meeting For The First Time.