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20 Tried-and-True First Date Ideas from Literature

So you’ve finally done it. You’ve made a genuine connection with another person, you’ve established a mutual interest, you’ve followed each other on Instagram and accidentally liked each other’s selfies from 2013. What comes next is the tricky part: going on an actual date.

The reason this is so tricky is because every idea you will have is just rife with potential disaster. Dinner and a movie? The movie could be terrible. A hike? Too sweaty. A picnic? Be serious. What if a hawk swoops down and steals all the food, and then there’s a tornado? I rest my case.

Instead, here are some tried-and-true cute date ideas from literature that are all but guaranteed to take your relationship to the next level.

1. Hit up the Netherfield county ball and refuse to dance with her.

2. Short on cash? A free and easy way to have fun together is to just murder the king of Scotland.

3. There’s nothing more romantic than telling him he must solve your father’s riddle if he ever wants to win the honor of your hand in marriage.

4. Do something silly, like turning all his friends into pigs.

5. Try and get a little culture in your lives. Invite her to see a play with you—one you’re hoping will prove, once and for all, that your uncle murdered your father.

6. Commit manslaughter and then flee the scene.

7. Take her out to lunch and tell her she’s a bad driver.

8. Consummate the relationship on the eve of your exile from Verona.

9. Make eyes at each other at your husband’s funeral. I’m talking literally flirting over the casket. Your (former) husband is dead, after all; surely he won’t mind.

10. Try paddle boarding, kayaking, or getting lost at sea for ten years.

11. Plan a fun weekend getaway. Flee from Athens together and get lost in a forest full of devious fairies.

12. Be spontaneous! Abruptly ask her to run away with you with no planning or forethought whatsoever. Use the word “phony” no fewer than twelve times.

13. Share your dreams with one another. Tell him about the one where he gets murdered at the Senate meeting.

14. Notice, one fine evening, that he is inexplicably on fire. Proceed to put him out. Guys like that.

15. Everyone likes surprises. Throw his favorite book into the fire and demand control of the family finances.

16. Do something nice for her, like rescuing her parents from a dragon that’s holding them hostage.

17. The Luxembourg Gardens are very romantic. Spy on her from afar, fall hopelessly in love, and decide her name is probably Ursula without ever actually speaking to her.

18. Fake your own death just to see what he does with this information.

19. Meet in the room above Mr. Charrington’s shop and try to forget the current political climate.

20. Walk around a quaint small town together. Climb atop the scaffold, imply that you had sex out of wedlock, and die of shame right there in front of everybody.