How Competitive Should You Get on Date Night?
You’re planning some fun date ideas for an outing with someone new. Something fun, something active—that’s a great way to break the ice, right? So you’ve booked some date night activities that might become competitive, say bowling, golf, or a wild west staredown on the paintball field.
The only problem is, competition is starting to heat up. As date night turns to game night, you’re left with one burning question: Do you let your date win?
We polled the editorial team department for their thoughts on when you should feed those competitive urges, and when it’s okay to let your winning spirit take a backseat for romance.
Is it ever okay to let your date win?
Sure, we grew up in a world where every kid on the soccer team got a participation trophy. But that doesn’t seem to be killing our competitive drive during date night games. 76% of respondents said it’s never okay to let your date win, even if it’s a first date and you’re particularly skilled at bumper cars.
“If they're small enough to care about losing at a game, maybe get a new date?”
When will you stop letting your date win? Where does it end?
24% of our respondents were willing to let their date win—but not forever. Of those who were willing to purposefully throw a gutter ball or two, 60% will only let that slide on the first date. 20% will stop letting their date win after six months or so (the six-month itch?), and 20% will never stop letting their significant other win. Till death do you part, and you’ll never lose on a mini golf date.
“On a good date, the competition is just a pretext for spending time together, so it doesn't matter who wins.”
Should your date let you win?
Our respondents were all in agreement here—100% do not expect their date to let them win. But should a date start purposefully whiffing at the batting cages? Responses are mixed: 57% would be mad if they found out their date let them win, whereas 43% would feel just fine.
“I'd be very insulted if my boyfriend let me win on a date … [The idea] seems like a relic from the 1950s.”
Is it chivalrous for a man to let a woman win?
Speaking of relics from the 1950s, we posed a question about old-fashioned manners. Nevermind if chivalry’s dead—what is it exactly, anyway? 100% of our respondents agreed that it’s never chivalrous for a man to let a woman win during couples activities.
“It feels kind of patriarchal for me to let my partner win. The underlying assumption is that she's too emotionally fragile to deal with losing a no-stakes game of mini golf.”
What we learned.
Letting your date win is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Even respondents who throw the game at first won’t do it forever—and not a single person polled expects his or her date to purposefully lose during date night activities. But that doesn’t mean all fun date ideas should lead to heated matchups. In fact, our respondents’ most common advice for date night games boils down to a pretty simple concept: keep things light and be yourself, even if that means crushing him in laser tag.
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