In today’s San José Mercury News, I was quoted in an article on “Summer’s Worth of Dates: 13 Places to go for Romantic Rendezvous.” The reporter, Mark de la Vina, has interviewed me for other articles, so we began by exploring why so many people’s primary idea for a date seems to be dinner and a movie. In “Midlife men have forgotten how to date” I share my perspective on why people don’t seem to be creative about their date activity choices.
Although Mark used many of my ideas in his article, there were many more I discussed. We focused on ones where you could get to know your date better in the early stages of dating, and that weren’t passive (theater, movie) or so loud (concert, club) you couldn’t talk to your date. Plays, concerts, movies and clubs are great dates, but we wanted to list ideas that would let you play together and get to know each other. So activities that were basically solo but could be done together (biking, single-person kayaking, scootering) were not on the list because it would be hard to talk. However, after dating a little while, these would be fun dates.
- Take a docent-led tour of a museum, around nearby town or wildflower walk, or ranger-led hike.
- Enroll in a country, swing, jazz, square dance or world dance lesson.
- Tour wineries or wine taste at a wine shop.
- Take in an outside art fair.
- Twist and turn on the rides at an amusement park.
- Sip a sunset drink at a view bar or restaurant.
- Stroll through art galleries.
- Visit an aquarium or zoo.
- Attend an interesting lecture on something of interest to you both (look in the Entertainment section of your newspaper), then discuss it afterwards.
- Make something at a craft store (some have classes, some have clay objects you paint and they fire for you).
- Attend a book signing.
- Shop at a farmers market then fix dinner together.
- Picnic on a beach, lake shore, park or forest.
- Kayaking, sailing, boating or even paddle boating together. Tandem biking in a park or along the shore.
- Help sort food at a food bank, join a clean up-a-park effort, or other coordinated volunteer activities.
You can combine getting to know your date better with educational or community service activities, as well as with pure entertainment. You will get to know your date a lot more quickly if you have to make more decisions together than just “What movie and restaurant shall go to?” Listening to his comments while on a tour or his questions to a lecturer, or watching his reaction to your screwing up a dance step tells you more than you’d learn in a darkened movie theater. And you’ll also have a lot more laughs and more interesting conversation.
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