We’ve all had to become acquainted with the idea of at-home dates as of late, and honestly, they can be tough ones to nail. Going to a bar, restaurant, park or beach is easy because the mood, activities and even conversation topics have already been laid out for you on a silver platter, but at-home this is all on you.
What the heck do you do? Do you show off your barista skills? Do you down 8 cups of coffee before they arrive, so you’re so caffeinated even the most awkward of moments seem minimal? Do you make them sit through your YouTube playlist of in-depth analysis of the Avril Lavigne-lookalike conspiracy? Anyway, I have a lot of questions.
PEDESTRIAN.TV: How do you set the vibe in your house prior to a date coming over?
Brittany Hockley: The house has to be crisp and clean. Smells are a must for me. I’m talking fresh flowers, diffusers, candles (subtle, play it cool, maybe just one) or even the smell of fresh coffee brewing. I also like to have some drinks ready and waiting.
PTV: Any cute ideas for at-home dates?
BH: It’s nice to cook or even make cocktails, like an easy espresso martini, together. I also love a board game! You can play for a prize – it could be that the loser plans the next date.
PTV: Favourite music for setting the right mood during an at-home date?
BH: I love anything acoustic. I always listen to chilled, relaxed songs as I think it sets a nice vibe (imagine walking into a date while heavy metal was playing). Love me some Lewis Capaldi.
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PTV: How do you keep the vibe/energy up throughout the date while at home?
BH: I think this is dependent on if you’re vibing each other. Avoid the couch at the beginning. Maybe stay standing around the kitchen whilst you’re cooking and playing some get-to-know-you games and ask each other questions.
PTV: Any tips for curbing potentially awkward moments during a home date?
BH: I think if this happens, you could suggest making a coffee, popping it in a keep-cup and going to for a walk along the beach, or maybe going some where to pick up some dessert. Mix up the environment and the conversation.
If it’s still awkward when you’re on your way back, this is when you can wrap up the date and say goodbye. If it’s really uncomfortable you could always have some friends or another couple on standby – they could ‘be in the area’ and pop in for a drink and to say hello! Diffuse the awkwardness!
PTV: What are your favourite go-to drinks for non-boozy home dates?
BH: In the past, I have actually been on a morning date where we went for a walk then I made ice coffees for us at home. It’s super easy and quick using my delish Starbucks By Nespresso capsules! Especially on a hot day. We sat on the balcony in the sun, chatting away.
PTV: What movie would you put on to indicate you really just want to ~get it on~ and don’t care about what you’re watching?
BH: I’d just go with an old school classic like Top Gun or Forrest Gump, something that you’ve probably both seen but still makes sense for you to put it on (because #classic) and it doesn’t matter if you’re not watching it either because you’ve seen it.
PTV: How do you get your housemates to leave you alone if everyone’s stuck in the same house?
BH: If you want your friends or flatmates to leave, even just for a little, you could always ask them to go pick up something to eat somewhere. Otherwise, this is a really hard situation because ultimately it’s their house too! I think it’s something you need to have organised before the date, or ask if they will be out that day and let them know your plans! You know what they say! Fail to prepare and prepare to fail.
PTV: Any positive or fun home date experiences you can recall?
BH: Yes, the walking coffee date I mentioned above, because he also brought his dog. I actually love daytime dates because they can be fun and active and I find it easier to end it if it’s not going so well.
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PTV: What’s your advice for calming pre-date jitters and nerves without reaching for a drink?
BH: I try not to overthink my dates! I’ve learned that that’s the worst thing. I stay busy and usually exercise beforehand, like going for a walk or run, or boxing. Put some fun music on and relax.
PTV: How do you go about food when it comes to an at-home date?
BH: I am guilty of the old Uber Eats, but I think it’s nice to decide together when you’re there so you can chat about it at the start, helps take the nerves away.
If you’re a gun in the kitchen, cook up a storm! It’s fun to do together and gives you something to talk about and do if you’re struggling at all for conversation (hopefully you’re not!), but make sure you don’t attempt anything new! Stick to an old faithful that you know you can nail. If you’re not a self-professed chef, you could always make them a killer coffee instead.
PTV: Do you have any tips for wrapping the date up when it’s at your place?
BH: I know too many people that can get uncomfortable and awkward when they are ready to wrap things up.
You can always say at the beginning when you’re planning the date that, you have an early start the next day to avoid it going way over time. Whenever you feel like you want it to end, you can say, “Ok, may have to call after this one.”
It’s important to know that you never have to have someone stay around just because you feel uncomfortable. Just say it’s time for you to hit the hay! Thank them for a lovely time and say you’ll chat to them soon!
If you’re looking to froth up a new date, Starbucks At Home is currently giving away 10 prize packs, including a year’s supply of coffee and a Breville coffee machine, to lucky viewers of The Bachelor. You can find out more on how to enter here.Image: Brittany Hockley / Instagram