Dating is a romantic activity where two Sims spend their time doing romantic things together. This feature is the main theme of The Sims: Hot Date and The Sims 2: Nightlife. It was also reintroduced to The Sims 3 via Patch 22 and the Generations expansion pack, and was included in The Sims 4 base game.
The Sims: Hot Date
One Sim can ask another to go Downtown, either in person or over the telephone. A Sim who is already Downtown can approach another Sim and say "Let's Date" or "Let's Hang Out". The controllable Sim will be able to use the "Ask About Mood" interaction to determine which motive his or her date wants to fulfill at that moment.
There is no timer or scoring, but if things go badly, the date may autonomously decide to leave. Otherwise, when the controllable Sim says goodbye, the date will end, and a pop-up message will appear, and will give the player a general idea of how the date went. However, if things go really well, the "Invite Home" interaction will appear. If it's chosen and accepted, the controllable Sim will call a taxicab, and both Sims will get in and go to that Sim's house. When they arrive, the date will be over, and the situation will be one Sim visiting another.
Vacation and Unleashed
One Sim can ask another to go to Vacation Island or Old Town. The date cannot be invited home, and the player can end the date by sending the controllable Sim back home. At least in Old Town, the player can also end the date by having the controllable Sim say goodbye. Players would often use this as a way of letting Sims go to Old Town by themselves, so that something such as going to sell vegetables or buy pet treats wouldn't have to be a family excursion.
The Sims 2: Nightlife
In The Sims 2: Nightlife, dating is a mini-game scenario involving two Sims. A Sim's date will follow him/her and do activities together while they fill up the date meter and fulfill their wants before the time runs out. The mechanism is similar to that of a party, but dating can be done on a community lot and only involves two Sims. The key is to do fun things together and avoid dating disasters.
Dating is a quick way to build up romantic relationship with another Sim. Pleasure and Romance Sims enjoy dating and usually want to have one. With Seasons, going on a date is a frequent want that rolls on Spring.
A date and an outing are two similar scenarios, but Sims cannot be on a date and an outing at the same time. Sims who are on a date cannot go on an outing.
Asking a Sim Out
Like other romantic interactions, asking Sim on a date will trigger romantic interest, jealousy, and can only be done by teens and older. Teens can only ask other teens on a date, while young adults, adults, and elders can ask any of the three ages on a date. A date partner will have a small blue PlumbBob above his/her head.
There are several ways to ask Sims on a date:
- Call... Ask Out on Date. Sims can ask any known dateable Sims from their phone.
- Ask... On Date. Sims can ask on person to go on a date as a romantic interaction.
- Be Asked from Phone. After a successful date, the Sim might be asked by the previous date partner to go on another date.
- Gypsy Matchmaker. Sims can ask a blind date from the Gypsy Matchmaker, for a fee. The more Sim pays to her, the more likely the date will have stronger chemistry to the asker.
- Secret Networking. A Sim with good reputation might be offered a blind date as a secret networking. The date is very likely to have strong chemistry.[Apartment Life]
A date can occur at residential or community lot. Date will begin as soon as a Sim asks out on one. If the date is made from a phone, the player must decide where the date will occur. If the date takes place on community lot, Sims must not be more than one hour late. Otherwise, the Sim's date will be stood up and will be furious.
A date meter that shows on the upper right of the screen shows that Sim is on a date. It displays the date score, the partner's thumbnail, and the partner's aspiration symbol. Clicking the partner's aspiration symbol will expand or collapse a display that shows his or her Wants and Fears. The date score ranges over seven tiers:
- Dream Date
The date score rises as the Sims do fun things together, build their relationship, and fulfill wants. The most efficient way to boost the date score is to fulfill both Sims' wants while developing a romantic relationship between the two Sims. On the other hand, the score will go down if a Sim's fears are fulfilled or dating disasters occur. Some examples of dating disasters are aspiration failure, failing to pay a dining bill, having a bladder failure, being caught cheating, or being beaten by Mrs. Crumplebottom. In short, most bad things are considered as dating disasters.
As a date begins, the timer immediately appears with the initial time of 3 Sim hours. The time increases every time the score reaches a higher threshold on the date meter. The Sims will get 2:30 of additional time for reaching Good Date, 2:00 for Great Date, and 1:30 for Dream Date, but nothing more thereafter. Sims will not get a time penalty if their date score drops to a lower threshold, nor will they get another time extension for reaching a tier if they have reached it once.
While Sims are on a date, they can go almost anyplace, though there are several exceptions. Sims can go to any community lots by car, taxi, helicopter, or walking, while the date partner follows them. Secret vacation lots, hobby lots and witch lots can be accessed as long as either of the Sims has the access to them. However, a college's secret society cannot be accessed while Sims are dating, nor can Sims start a date there. Going home from a community lot will end the date immediately. In order to continue the date at home, use Ask... Back to My Place. If the player chooses to end the date after that, the situation becomes that of one Sim visiting another.
Dates start with the same level, which is just above Okay level. This can be changed in several ways. When the date is started by using a phone, picking up the date partner by car has a small impact on the initial date score. The more expensive the car is, the higher the bonus score. Also, with Apartment Life, having a Reputable Resident reputation will give a bonus of +15.
Ending a Date
There are various ways to end a date, intentionally or not. Ending a date before reaching a tier will make a brief date penalty that will drop the date score. This might cause an Okay Date to become a Lame Date.
- Timer reaches 0. When the timer runs out, the date will automatically end.
- Date score hits rock bottom. If the date score drops below the Horrible Date score by any means, the date will end.
- Ending the date. Sims can use the End the Date interaction to end that current date. The date partner may remain on the lot.
- Ask... Do You Want a Ride Home? Using this ask interaction will send Sim home and end the date simultaneously.
- Going home. The same as above, but instead of asking the date partner, Sim chooses to go home when leaving the lot.
- Ask... Back to My Place refusal. If the date partner rejects the Sim's offer, the date will end instead.
- Going on other date or outing. Sims cannot have two dates or a date and an outing at the same time. Going on another date or an outing while a date is still going will cause the current date to end.
- Going to work or school. If it's time to go to work or school, the date will end immediately.
- Death. If one of the Sims die, the date will end. However, if a Sim manages to plead with the Grim Reaper and resurrect the date partner, the date will resume.
Going on the first date with a Sim will give a positive memory. Finishing a date will also give either positive or negative memory depending on the final date score. Both Sims will also get a mood boost every time the date score rises to better levels (from Okay to Good, for example), as well as if the date ends on good scores. On the other hand, Sims will get a mood drop whenever the date score worsens to lower levels or the date ends in bad scores.
After a date ends, Sims who ask out on a date will receive a reward depending on how well their date went. Sims will receive the date reward several hours after the date is over. Here is the list of the date rewards:
- Reward Objects. These objects are the most common rewards that will be given to Sims according to their date score:
- Dream Date: Bouquet of flowers
- Great Date: One single flower
- Good Date: Love letter
- Bad Date: Hate letter
- Horrible Date: Flaming Bag of Poo
- Instant Promotion. If a Sim's date is on the same career track with higher level, Sims may be rewarded with an instant promotion. Sims will be notified if they have been helped after they go home from work.
- Restaurant Coupon. If the date involves dining at a restaurant, there's a chance that Sims will be given a restaurant coupon the next day.
- Skill Point Award. If the Sim's date has high particular skills, Sims may get an instant skill point just after the date ends.
- Another Date. If the date is good, Sims might be called for another one by their date partner.
- Contact. A friend of the Sim's date might make a call for an outing to get to know each others.
- Surprise Gift. A random object from Buy Mode catalog will be delivered to the Sim's house in addition to reward objects.
- Dates are an easy way to fill a Sim's aspiration bar. As soon as a date starts on a community lot, the Sim's Wants will reroll to involve interactions with the other Sim.
- Additionally, it is a very easy way to max out the aspiration bar before a birthday or to keep a Sim with the Romance aspiration entertained in a monogamous relationship, because as stated above, all Wants will reroll to involve the current partner on the Date.
- Players should be warned that, even when a Sim's date displays a certain Want, he or she may not be ready to have that want fulfilled. For example, a Sim's partner on a date might reject his offer to Slow Dance if her relationship with him isn't yet high enough, even if one of her current Wants is to Slow Dance with him.
- Similar to WooHoo, a date in progress is "detectable" by all Sims present on the lot, even if the dating Sims are not within sight. This means that non-monogamous Sims must be cautious about dating at community lots; if another partner walks onto the lot at any point, he or she will promptly discover the cheating, become furious and run to slap the offending Sim (the date in itself is considered cheating, even if no romantic interactions have occurred).
- After a Sim goes on a date with another Sim, sometimes the Sim who was asked on the date will make a call and ask if you want to go on a date again. Somehow, this makes a small glitch. When two non-townie teens have gone on dates and one of the teens become a young adult, the Sim could make a call and ask out on date again, even though they are in different life stages. This causes many romantic interactions to be limited or not appear at all. The wants could only be to talk, entertain, and play with. This won't make both Sims fall in love either.
- If a Sim proposes to his or her partner during a date, and the proposal is accepted, the date meter will immediately climb to Dream Date. However, if the proposal is rejected, the date will become Horrible and will end immediately.
- If a Sim has an accident due to bladder failure, the date will immediately become Horrible and end immediately.
The Sims 3
Dating returns in The Sims 3 starting with Patch 22 or The Sims 3: Generations. A Sim can ask someone to go on a date, which is similar to the outing scenario. Unlike The Sims 2: Nightlife, there's no time limit on how long a date will occur. Also, no meter is displayed to show how good the date is. The date may end if the Sim does so, or if the date partner has a schedule going or has low needs. Other Sims in the same household cannot have another date or outing if there's a date scenario currently going.
Sims on a date will have a small hearts icon on their thumbnail in the Sim skewer. Players may click the icon to end the date. During a date, Sims may do romantic interactions or activities together. Sometimes, Sims will roll want to watch a movie on theater together. In the end, if the date is great, Sims will get a "Great Date" moodlet, while having a bad date will give "Bad Date" moodlet.
There are several ways to ask a Sim on a date. Sometimes it requires sufficient relationship in order for a date to be accepted.
- Ask a Sim in person. The interaction to ask a Sim on a date will appear after Sims have done several romantic interactions, or if they are romantic interests.
- Doing several romantic interactions while on an outing will change the outing scenario into a date scenario.
- Call a Sim and ask them on a date. This can be done by clicking Sims' thumbnail in the relationship panel as well.
- With the attraction system, Sims will periodically get offered a date from the phone.[TS3:S]
The Sims 4
In The Sims 4, Sims can go on a date when they have a high enough romantic relationship with another Sim. Dates can be started over the phone, or by selecting another Sim and choosing the appropriate option from the Romantic social menu. Starting a date will prompt the player to choose a location for it to take place at, which cannot be a residential lot.
Dates function like other special events, which have a set of randomized tasks to be completed before a timer runs out. Completing a date at one of the three reward levels unlocks a prize and gives a relationship boost between the two dating Sims.
The Sims 4: Get Famous reintroduces blind dates. If a Sim has any reputation, regardless if it's good or bad, they have a chance of receiving a call from a stranger or an acquaintance, asking if they can set the Sim up on a date with a friend of theirs.
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- Sims who live in an apartment will receive an error message if they get the coupon from the mailbox. This has been fixed in Apartment Life Patch.