The days of dinner and a movie are long gone, ladies and gentlemen – it’s time to usher in a new era of dates; whether they are the very first one or the fifth. Pasta at an expensive restaurant followed by the latest Marvel movie might be enjoyable, but if you up your game you might just spice up your (budding) relationship with your partner.
Below are 5 (somewhat) off the beaten path ideas for a date. A little weather dependent? Yes. But there’s something here for every season, so don’t worry.
Okay, it’s a little cliche. But I haven’t seen anyone on a skating date – and not a kid centric one – in a long time. Holding hands as you whirl around the ice rink, walking down to the nearest cafe or restaurant for hot chocolate or a chai latte to warm up…it’s tried and true, and watching each other fall down gets you laughing and (pun intended) breaks the ice. A quick phone call to the rink informs you of when the quieter (a.k.a., less screaming children) hours are, and if you time it right you could be one of less than ten people in the entire building. Romantic, right?
Not permanently, that is. If ice skating is a date for the winter months, getting a henna tattoo in a market booth is one for the warmer months. If you live anywhere in a big city, you’d find something like this around the corner after doing a little digging. For smaller towns, look into summer festivals and art fairs. You will almost always find someone (or several someones) running a henna ink booth, and you might even be able to pick up some packets to dye your own hair or skin at home.
Run a marathon
Or a fraction of one. A 5k is a good starter run, and you can usually walk them, too. Sign up, pick up your race packets the morning of or evening before, and walk, jog, or run alongside your partner. Remember, a good jogging pace means you can still talk but you can’t sing. For the couples who have established that they are both super active, bump it up to a 10k. Start your own winner’s pool, too – last one to the finish line performs a striptease…
Pub crawl it
Disclaimer: getting wasted with someone you don’t know well usually isn’t the best idea. However, if you’re on the fourth date and there is no new Marvel movie coming out, hit up a Google search and find pub crawls in your area. If you live in a bigger city there will be an abundance, but even smaller towns have them, and sometimes themed for the season or holiday. Power your way through countless pints and possibly free shots and you’ll have no trouble feeling at ease with your date as the night goes on.
‘Take her swimming’ may be the everyday a-hole’s solution to vetting girls who wear makeup, but an afternoon at a secluded lake could turn into anything — if you’re lucky, you can find a completely private spot alongside the water and spend the day chatting on a blanket in the grass or sand. Even if there’s more families down the beach, you can avoid the awkward ‘who pays’ situation by paying nothing and grabbing your swimsuits for a fun day of splashing and Notebook role playing in the water.
Well, there you have it. Five ideas that don’t involve popcorn and cherry coke that may spark your imagination next time you need to impress somebody, and all of them may lead to a more genuine, deeper level of conversation than ”So, what’s your favorite color?”, as well as providing a clear cut opportunity to pay for yourself if you’re so inclined (no messy splitting the bill here).