FEATURE: Fun Three-Person Date Ideas Inspired By Girlfriend, Girlfriend
In Girlfriend, Girlfriend, protagonist Naoya has a small problem. After asking his long-time crush Saki out over and over again, she finally accepted his feelings and they started going steady. This would be great if it weren't for one thing — another girl named Nagisa has also fallen for Naoya, and Naoya is just too nice to say no to a pretty girl when she likes him. Not one to deceive the people he loves, Naoya decides to be honest with Saki about the situation, and now Naoya has not one but two girlfriends. He wants to keep them both happy, but it won't be easy.
One of Naoya's consistent issues will surely be how dates will work with three people. After all, dating is already hard, and now he has two girls to entertain! Luckily for him, I have a few ideas for dates that work just as well or even better with three people.
One of the best parts about having a small group of people instead of just a duo is that you have more potential skills and personalities to utilize. That's where cooperative date ideas become great for people like Naoya, Saki, and Nagisa. Picnics are a classic date idea, for example, because you get to enjoy a meal that is made more intimate by the food being curated by you. With a group picnic, everyone can contribute something! Maybe one of you makes a great sandwich, someone else whips up killer potato salad, and another has a pie recipe to die for. Instead of a picnic, you could also plan something together. Combining everyone's ideas to throw a party or scheduling a day out on the town with everyone choosing an equal number of activities are great ways to make it feel like everyone is working together.
With cooperative dates, everyone gets to shine in their own way and everyone has a good time. When dealing with three people, one of the last things you want is for someone to feel like a third wheel or that their needs and wants aren't being equally respected. If everyone is adding their own flavor to the date, each person gets to feel involved and special as well as ensuring everyone has something going on that they enjoy, even if they don't necessarily like everything. It's impossible to please everyone all the time, but if people get to include their own ideas, they'll definitely have fun one way or another.
Despite being seemingly opposite to cooperative dates, competitive dates are actually pretty similar and accomplish the same goals in a different way. Consider mini-golf — a low-stakes, fun way to get out of the house and mess around. Already fun with two people, mini-golf is only more fun the more people you add because it adds more room for suspense and surprise. With two people, one person might get too far ahead and leave the game feeling more like a chore before you're even done. With three, more changeups can happen, and it becomes an exciting game from beginning to end. That's not the only option, of course; go-karts are always a blast, and if you don't want to leave the house, a board game night will get everyone excited for sure. If you go with board games, you can even let everyone pick one so that everyone gets to play a game they like.
With competitive dates you ensure no one hogs the spotlight because everyone gets a turn to play where they're the center of attention. Games with a heavy amount of chance are perhaps the best ones because they keep one person from dominating the whole time and potentially stealing attention from the others. However, no matter what you pick, this is one of the most dangerous ideas if you don't know your group well enough yet. While many find games fun whether they're winning or losing, some people are naturally competitive and may get too invested in the game, which can spell disaster for the date's mood. It's up to your discretion whether this is a good match for your dates, but if it works out, games are one of the best ways to bond with people.
Finally, perhaps the best kind of date even under typical circumstances, communal dates are ones where you and your partners get together to share an experience. Karaoke is an anime staple — you often see groups of friends visiting karaoke booths to sing their favorite songs badly, and it's a great time where everyone gets to participate. This can be easily adapted to a three-person date, and can even be done on the cheap at home with some karaoke software or just YouTube lyric videos. Or maybe you can all go out to the zoo. There's a wide variety of animals, and each of you is sure to run across one of your favorites, where you can share your interests by talking about why you like them. Movies and concerts are also fun group activities, though you'll want to make sure everyone is on board with the genre for those, lest you accidentally leave someone out of feeling included.
With communal dates, there's no sense of obligation like with cooperative dates or potential tension like with competitive dates, just you and your partners sharing an experience together. An optimal one like karaoke lets you interact with each other during the date so you can stay connected the whole time, but even ideas like movies can be adapted to be more interactive by getting creative, like going to a drive-in or staying home and marathoning an anime together. Unlike the other two date types here, the back-and-forth between you and your dates isn't built into the event, so it does require you to have a more active role in making sure both of your dates feel like they have their fair share of attention. However, that extra effort is worth it in the end, because if it's you facilitating that engagement, your bond will only grow deeper.
That's just a few ideas for three (or more!) person dates. Hopefully, Naoya is taking notes, because he and his girlfriends could have a bumpy road ahead of them. If they put in the effort, though, it will surely be a rewarding experience for all of them. We'll just have to keep watching Girlfriend, Girlfriend to find out how they manage to navigate their complicated relationship!
Do you have any three-person date ideas? Let us know in the comments below!
David Lynn can be found obsessing over Fate/Grand Order and D4DJ Groovy Mix on Twitter @navycherub.
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