Skip to content

Noontime Romance: Ringing in a New Year and New Love on December 31st

New Year's Eve can seem like a romantic night for a first date, but it also comes with a lot of pressure. Consider the pros and cons before planning a December 31st meetup:

Weigh the Pros and Cons of a New Year's Eve First Date

Holidays add expectations and stress to any date. You may feel obligated to dress up, go to a fancy dinner, attend a big party, and share a New Year's kiss at midnight. This pressure could prevent you from relaxing and showing your true self.

New Year's Eve is focused on big crowds and parties, which may not appeal to you if you're introverted or prefer small gatherings. The holiday hype may not align with a low-key first date.

You want a first date where you can have an intimate conversation, not shout over loud music. That environment may not be ideal for getting to know someone.

Consider planning an alternative date like meeting for coffee, going on a hike, or trying a fun activity class together instead. This takes off the holiday pressure so you can focus on each other in a calm setting.

Weigh whether the high-pressure holiday night really suits your personality and relationship goals. An alternative date may allow you to make a better first impression.

Pick the Right Dating App or Website

When looking for a potential first date on New Year's Eve, it's important to pick the right dating app or website. Rather than using hookup focused apps, choose an app more suited for finding relationships and meaningful connections.

Use some of the best apps for relationships include Match, Bumble, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, and The League. These apps focus more on common interests, shared values, and compatibility versus just appearances.

When setting up your dating profile, be upfront that you are looking for a low-key first date rather than major New Year's Eve plans. Share your interests and what a fun casual date means to you. Look for someone with similar preferences who seems genuinely interested in getting to know you.

Taking the time to find the right dating app and thoughtful match can lead to a great first date experience, even on a busy holiday like New Year's Eve. Being honest about wanting a low-pressure meetup is the key to finding someone on the same page.

Consider a Daytime Coffee, Brunch or Drink Date

Taking advantage of midday hours for your first date can help lower the pressure and avoid the hassles often associated with New Year's Eve. Rather than a crowded dinner, opt for a casual coffee date, weekday brunch or day drinking at a pub.

Meeting earlier in the day allows you to dodge prix fixe menus or pricey dinners that lock you into a long, formal event. Stick to a coffee shop, cafe or casual brunch spot to keep things low-key and relaxed. This provides time together in a cozy environment without distractions.

For a fun twist, look for interesting daytime drink options like boozy brunch, afternoon tea, or a casual pub. Enjoy an Irish coffee or mimosa rather than staying out late at a club.

The lighter atmosphere of a daytime date takes the pressure off - you can always extend the date into the evening if things go well. But starting earlier in the day keeps your options open without overcommitting.

Have a Low-Key Night In

If going out and partying isn't really your style, staying in for New Year's Eve and having a night of relaxation can be a great option for a first date. Cooking a nice meal together at home makes for quality bonding time as you work together in the kitchen. Pour some wine and enjoy the food you've prepared, then curl up on the couch to watch movies as you await midnight. Some romantic comedies or even a movie marathon of your childhood favorites can make for great conversation as you get to know each other's tastes in films.

The key for a night in is to avoid any crowded parties or over-the-top events. Keep things simple and cozy so you can really talk and learn about one another in a comfortable, intimate setting. Get takeout from your favorite restaurant if cooking isn't your forte. The most important thing is spending quality time together, not what you're doing. Light some candles to set the mood, snuggle under a blanket, ask each other meaningful questions and see where the conversation leads.

A night in on New Year's Eve allows you to intimately celebrate and focus on each other rather than a big crowd of strangers. Make your own traditions like fun drinking games or mixing cocktails. swap stories and get lost in deep conversation. The comfort of home is ideal for a first date where you really want to connect and learn each other's hopes and dreams for the New Year ahead.

Explore Alternative Daytime Date Ideas

If you want to avoid the crowds and craziness of New Year's Eve night, consider some fun daytime date alternatives. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Check out a comedy show or improv performance. Many clubs and theaters host special New Year's Eve matinee shows. Laughing together is a great way to bond and break the ice on a first date. Just make sure the comedian's humor aligns with both of your tastes.

Visit a museum or art gallery together. Immerse yourselves in culture, history and conversation while avoiding noisy parties. Some venues even host special exhibits or daytime events on New Year's Eve.

Go ice skating at a local rink. Glide hand-in-hand around the ice for a romantic and active date option. Many rinks are less crowded earlier in the day.

Sign up for a fun class like couples cooking or pottery painting. Trying something new together makes for great bonding time. And you get to leave with a memento from your date!

Bowling is another fun activity for a casual day date. A little friendly competition never hurts! Just keep things light and remember to cheer each other on.

Get some fresh air and exercise by going on a hike at a nature preserve or state park. Enjoy striking views and each other's company in a peaceful natural setting.

Make Sure You Both Have Fun

The most important part of any date is enjoying each other's company. Try to relax and have a good time together. A few tips:

  • Focus on the conversation and don't worry about awkward silences - they happen to everyone. Keep the talk lighthearted.
  • Share laughs together. Tell funny stories and jokes to keep things upbeat.
  • Look for common interests you can bond over, whether it's music, sports, books, or anything else.
  • Remind yourself there's no pressure. This is just two people getting to know each other.

On a first date, it's easy to overanalyze every little thing. But don't obsess over the details - just have fun and appreciate the experience. Try to live in the moment rather than worrying about the future. If you can relax and enjoy each other's company, that's a great sign.

According to Thriving Center of Psychiatry, focusing on your partner's smile is a great way to come back to the present moment and see the person in front of you. This mindful approach helps ease anxiety. Remember - a good first date is all about the quality time you spend together, not grand romantic gestures. Focus on that, and you're sure to have a memorable New Year's Eve.

Be Safe if Drinking

While having some drinks can help take the edge off first date nerves, it's important to be responsible if you choose to imbibe. Overdoing it can lead to poor judgment and risky behavior. Here are some tips to stay safe:

Avoid overdrinking by pacing yourself and being aware of your limits. Have no more than 1-2 drinks in the first couple hours. Eat food beforehand to help slow alcohol absorption. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water.

Do not drink and drive. Even one drink can impair your judgment. There are many options to get home safely like calling a taxi, using a rideshare app, or identifying a designated driver ahead of time who will stay sober.

Let friends know where you'll be and who you're with so they can check on you if needed. This provides an extra safety net.

Stick together if your date has also been drinking. Don't let them leave alone if they become intoxicated. Look out for each other's safety.

Be smart and stay in control.  "Buzzed driving is still drunk driving." Make plans ahead of time for how you'll get home safely after drinking.

Handle the Midnight Kiss Appropriately

The tradition of kissing someone at midnight on New Year's Eve can create pressure, especially on a first date. There's no need to feel obligated to kiss if you're not comfortable doing so.

A quick peck on the cheek or lips is harmless if both people want to partake in the tradition. But don't force it if one person hesitates or pulls away. Follow their cues and don't take it personally if a midnight kiss doesn't happen.

Some daters avoid the potential awkwardness of the midnight kiss altogether. Suggest watching the ball drop from home or opting for an early celebration before parting ways if you're unsure about kissing.

The most important thing is to have open communication and not make assumptions. Check in with your date ahead of time about how they feel regarding the tradition. There are plenty of other special ways to ring in the New Year without a kiss if that's not right for your first date.

The midnight kiss is rooted in a superstition that "the way you ring in the new year will foretell the next 365 days." While a sweet sentiment for couples, it can create undue pressure on a first date. Focus instead on building a meaningful connection through conversation.

Follow Up After the Date

If you had a good time and want to see them again, it's important to reach out within 1-2 days after the first date. Be casual in your follow up message and suggest getting together for another low-key date, like drinks or coffee. Say something like "I had a really nice time talking with you yesterday. Would you like to grab drinks this weekend?" This shows you're interested without being overeager.

However, if you didn't feel a real connection on the date, you can either not reach out or politely let them know you didn't feel romantic chemistry but wish them the best. Say something like "I enjoyed meeting you but didn't feel that special spark between us. I wish you the very best of luck out there!" Letting them know gently prevents an awkward ghosting situation.

No matter what, don't overthink or obsess over your follow up message. Keep it simple, polite and to the point. The most important thing is being true to how you felt on the date and clearly communicating that to avoid misunderstandings. With the right approach, following up can lead to more dates with someone special or closer closure.

Focus on Meaningful Conversation

Having a genuine, meaningful conversation is key to connecting with your date. Avoid interrogation-style questioning and let the dialogue flow naturally. Here are some tips for great first date conversation:

Ask open-ended questions that allow for thoughtful responses instead of one-word answers. For example, "What are your favorite parts about living in this city?" rather than just "Do you like living here?" Show interest in learning more about their experiences, passions and perspectives.

Make sure to listen more than you talk so the conversation doesn't feel one-sided. Engage with what they share instead of just waiting for your turn to speak. Offer follow up questions to their responses to show you are paying attention.

Look for common interests you can bond over, whether it's a love of travel, taste in music, or passion for the outdoors. Finding shared enthusiasm makes conversation lively and fun. Don't be afraid to let your personality shine through.

Focus on the quality of the conversation, not filling every moment. Comfortable silences are totally normal as you get to know each other. Stay present in the moment instead of worrying about awkward pauses.

Steer clear of controversial issues, negativity, or excessive complaining, especially for a first date. Keep things positive and upbeat.


Should I go on a first date on New Year's Eve?

New Year's Eve can be a fun, memorable night for a first date, but it really depends on your personality and preferences. The holiday atmosphere adds extra expectations and pressure that may feel overwhelming, especially when you're just getting to know someone. However, if you're both outgoing and adventurous types who enjoy lively parties and crowds, a New Year's Eve date could be perfect. The most important thing is choosing an activity you'll both genuinely enjoy so you can relax and focus on connecting.

What are some good first date options for New Year's Eve?

Some great first date options for New Year's Eve include:

  • A casual daytime date like brunch, coffee or drinks at a pub. This takes the pressure off and allows for conversation without loud music or crowds.
  • A fun activity date like ice skating, bowling, a comedy show or museum visit. Doing an activity together is a great way to bond over a shared experience.
  • A cozy night in cooking a meal at home, watching movies and relaxing. A night in allows for quality time together without the holiday hype.
  • Meeting for an early dinner or drink before parting ways. Keep things short and low-key, especially if you're unsure about the midnight kiss or staying out late.
The key is choosing a date that suits both of your personalities so you can focus on connecting rather than feeling stressed or obligated to party.


Should I go for the midnight kiss on a first date?

The midnight kiss tradition on New Year's Eve can create extra pressure on a first date. There's no need to feel obligated to kiss if you're not both comfortable. It's best to have an open conversation about it ahead of time. If you do share a quick kiss, keep things light and casual. However, avoiding the midnight kiss altogether is also perfectly fine - there are many other meaningful ways to ring in the New Year together like watching the ball drop on TV or toasting at midnight. What matters most is following each other's cues and doing what feels right in the moment based on the connection you've built so far. Forcing anything will likely feel awkward for both parties.

How do I follow up after a New Year's Eve first date?

The follow up after a first date is important, whether it's to express interest in another date or politely decline further romance. Here are some tips:

  • Reach out within 1-2 days if you want to see them again. Suggest a casual second date like drinks or coffee. Keep things light and casual.
  • Be honest but kind if you didn't feel a spark. Thank them for the date but say you didn't feel the chemistry for a romantic connection. Wish them the best of luck.
  • Keep communication simple and straightforward either way. Don't overthink your message or leave them wondering. Clear communication is key.
The New Year is a chance for new beginnings. A thoughtful follow up, whether to pursue a budding relationship or gain closure, will start your year off right. But there's no need to rush into anything - take time to determine what feels right for you.