Be willing to retry activities you think you don’t like

Part of the fun of dating is trying new things that your date suggests. If you have the attitude of “I don’t like that” even though you haven’t tried it for 10, 20, or 30 years, you’ll kill the enthusiasm your date has for planning activities. And you’ll deprive yourself of expanding your horizons.

Let’s say your date suggests roller skating. The last time you roller skated was 20 years ago and you remember your feet hurt and it was hard to stay upright.

But since then you’ve taken yoga and have better balance. You also have lost some weight and have stronger legs. But even if you’ve gained weight Roller derbyand have bad knees, why not experience it again and re-decide if you like it? You probably won’t end up being a midlife roller derby star, but who knows if you might like it or not? You’re a different person now than you were 20 years ago.

You’ll have fun in the exploration, especially if you explain to your date your reluctance and former opinion, but that you’re willing to try it again. Get his agreement that you’ll check in with each other after an hour and if your old decision still holds true and you’re not having a good time, then he won’t make you stay. Ask him to help you through your concerns and he’ll probably be by your side helping you stand up — or get up when you fall. You’ll learn a lot about him and how he approaches this activity knowing your unease. And I’m guessing there will be a lot of laughing, even if just for a short while until you determine if you like it or not.

This retrying attitude extends beyond activities, but can include food. Did you try sushi 20 years ago and didn’t like it? But now you’re ready to try some new things, or maybe you’ve expanded your palette into other international cuisines. So why not give it a try? I love trying new flavors with someone who’s an expert. An Indian boyfriend asked my taste preferences, then ordered a scrumptious curry meal after I thought I didn’t like Indian food.

Years ago, I decided I didn’t like camping. I’m one of those gals who exemplifies the line, “I consider camping to be staying in a hotel without room service.” We’d camped on nearly all our childhood family vacations and while the scenery was breathtaking, it was cold, uncomfortable, and a chore. Although I love the outdoors and wanted to experience the back country, I knew I couldn’t bear the weight of a full backpack. So I llamaorganized a llama back country trip, where the llamas carried the gear. The llamareros (llama handlers) did much of the work, setting up our tents, blowing up air mattresses, cooking meals, rigging a solar shower and putting up a private privy. The scenery was unparalleled. I got to experience camping with a new perspective and am glad I did.

So the next time a date suggests something you haven’t tried in a long time, tell him of your past experience but say you’re willing to try it. Admit your concerns so he can help devise a way to mitigate them. And agree on an escape plan in case your previous decision is upheld.

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