Rise & Shine, Lovers: Dawn Dating Is More Popular Than Ever

Bed by 10? We're in.
Women on coffee date hugging eachother
Photo: Mireya Acierto / Getty Images
Hayley Folk
Hayley Folk
Hayley Folk
Hayley Folk
The Knot Contributor
  • Hayley writes articles on a freelance basis for The Knot Worldwide, with a specialty in sex and relationships.
  • Her work has appeared in The Knot, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and more.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Hayley was a full-time editor at a business publication.
Updated Jan 25, 2024

Ditch the late-night dinner dates and cocktails at 10 p.m. when you'd rather be in bed. Instead, try dawn dating: a dating trend perfectly fit for the folks who proudly claim the title of being a 'morning person.' (Finally.)

This rising dating term involves rising early—and is more popular than ever with people who don't mesh well with traditional dating practices or who are looking to try something new on their next outing. We think it's worth a shot.

To get a better sense of what dawn dating is, we spoke to Tiffany McGee, a psychologist and relationship expert. Below, see if this trendy type of date is right for you.

In this article:

What Is Dawn Dating?

Dawn dating is the practice of going on a date in the morning—which, let's be real, isn't your typical dating experience. In fact, it's a far different vibe than your favorite dark and moody cocktail bar.

"Dawn dating is a novel concept in the dating world, essentially involving early morning dates," McGee explains. "It's a shift from traditional evening dates to enjoying each other's company in the freshness of the morning, often before 10 a.m."

Who Should Especially Consider Dawn Dating

While anyone interested in dawn dating is encouraged to give it a go, you should especially consider dawn dating if any of the following rings true:

Those who are sober

Morning dating is an excellent way to stay in the dating scene if you're sober or sober-curious. Oftentimes, dates can revolve around grabbing drinks at a bar, ordering a bottle of wine with dinner or settling in with a nightcap. Dawn dating eliminates that.

Those with a busy schedule

Going on a date in the morning is also great for folks with busy schedules. Unlike traditional evening dates—where the fatigue of the day might weigh down on you—dawn dating offers a clean slate, a moment where the day's stress hasn't yet set in, McGee says.

Those who love mornings

Maybe you're just someone who adores mornings. Loving the smell of coffee, the quiet before the storm and even breakfast foods are all good indicators that you might love dawn dating.

Why You Should Try Dawn Dating

A morning date might hold some benefits for your relationship. For example, both you and your date might enjoy the change of pace and scenery of dawn dating, especially if you're usually both night owls. It also allows you to get to know someone without darkness and drinks involved. Plus, we happen to think morning dates can be pretty romantic.

"Dawn dating feels just like in the movies—fresh air, the world just waking up and you're sitting across from someone in a quaint café as the city stirs to life," McGee says. "This is the heart of dawn dating, experiencing that fresh, unspoiled start of the day together."

A morning date can offer clarity and calmness that's hard to find in the evening and there can be a sense of adventure in changing up the routine, too. According to McGee, dawn dating is like the difference between reading a book in the soft morning light versus the harsh glare of a lamp at midnight.

4 Dawn Date Ideas to Try

Want to try a morning date with your partner or next dating app match? We've got a few great ideas to propose for your next 'morning out.'

1. Rise and shine at your local coffee shop

Love coffee? Want to memorize your crushe's coffee order? This is the perfect dawn dating example. "The aroma of coffee, the soft hum of morning chatter…it's a setting ripe for deep, engaging conversations," says McGee.

2. Try a new breakfast spot

Exploring a new breakfast spot, or even preparing breakfast together, is a great morning date option. The best part is that it's not just about the food: You'll be creating a shared experience.

This also gives you an opportunity to learn your date's likes and dislikes. Maybe they prefer poached eggs over an omelette, or sourdough instead of wheat toast. Either way, you'll learn the little but important things.

3. Go on a morning walk

If you're in for some zen, going on a morning walk in a park or along the beach with your lover is a great way to enjoy the simple things together and start your day off right.

You can go on your partner's favorite walking trail—or explore a place you've both never been to before, which is always exciting.

4. Be active

Are you a more active person? Or maybe your partner is someone who loves to go for a morning run, a hot yoga session or even a surf when the sun rises. This is another great morning date pick.

"For the more active individuals, I suggest a morning yoga session or a jog," McGee says, "as it can be both invigorating and a great way to bond over shared interests."

You'll both feel great afterward as you head into your day high on endorphins and romance.

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