Written for Undolus by: Tara Kroes, of the Traveling Waitress
Eight Great First Dates
Breaking Free of the Dinner and a Movie Rut
Your stomach is aflutter with a kaleidoscope of butterflies. The hair on the back of your neck, charged with the energy of nervous anticipation. Your heartbeat is racing as fast as your mind and the smile refuses to leave your face. You have just agreed to go on a first date.
The intoxicating cocktail of excitement, nerves, fear and hope can make it hard to think clearly, as you attempt to decide what to do for your first date. At this point, most people resort to dinner and a movie or meeting for drinks, because it's safe and comfortable. It's an easy option, but it's also a boring choice. You are not like every other woman out there. You are unique, special, awesome and amazing, and your first date engagement should be that too.
Here are a few ideas to help you create a first time experience that is as memorable as you are.
Kayaking or Stand Up Paddle Boarding
If you are fortunate enough to live close to some body of water, getting out and exploring it is a great way to experience a first date. Doing some form of physical activity takes the pressure off of you to keep the conversation moving. If there is a break in the discussion while paddling, it's alright because you are enjoying the scenery. It's a lot less awkward then if you were just staring at each other over your coffee mugs.
There are two fantastic ways to explore the water that can be fun and easy to do on a first date. The first is a stand-up paddle board or SUP board. A stand-up paddle board is a long, wide, sturdy board that glides over the water. The rider stands in the centre of the board and uses a long paddle to propel across the water. If you have never tried SUP boarding and are a bit nervous to do so on your first date, kayaking is a more user-friendly and stable option. Many areas near a lake or ocean have places that rent both sup boards and kayaks. You could even rent a double kayak to amp up the romance level.
Tour a Brewery or Winery
Winery and brewery tours are both enjoyable and informative ways to spend your date. You get to tour the facilities and learn about the history of the area, the process of making the wine or beer and how this brand came to be. You also get to sample the product which will help calm the first date nerves a little. Just be careful not to enjoy too much liquid courage. Nothing ruins a date faster than someone turning into Tipsy McSwagger.
Attending a comedy show will help tame the nerves that accompany the first date. Laughing has been proven to decrease the stress hormone and releases endorphins, which makes the body naturally feel good. Your mood will be high when the show ends, and the conversation begins. After, you can go for drinks, coffee or a walk and talk about the performance. Having the show to start the conversation will help fuel the flow and relieve some of the pressure to allow you both to feel more relaxed.
A Food Truck Tour
Many cities across North America now have food truck sites where lots of different food trucks set up in one area. You and your date can create your personal food tour. Get something from each truck to try and share. If you do not live in an area with a food truck hub, create your own culinary tour of the place where you live. Go to one restaurant for an appetizer, one for the main course and one for dessert. Keeping the date on the move and not fixed in one spot will not only help keep things interesting, but it also forces you to change locations and scenery aiding in the flow of the night and conversation.
The modern day equivalent of the treasure hunt that incorporates the exciting elements of a scavenger hunt as well. Geocaching may be one of the fastest growing trends around the globe, as there are currently 2 million geocaches hidden worldwide. This excellent activity is tonnes of fun and easy to do.
When you download the app onto your phone, the GPS will bring up the points on a map. Each point is a geocache to be found. When you click on a point on the map it will inform you of how hard the geocache is to get, what size it is, the last time it was found and comments that other finders have left about the geocache. Your phone turns into the compass as you navigate your way to the target.
Geocaching can be an incredibly fun way to embrace the child within and find your inner Jack Sparrow. Hiding your own geocache can be a lot of fun as well. You just have to log the coordinates into the app, name your hunt and give a clue. You could even title it "Steve and Sara's first date" to encourage other first-daters to follow your path.
Ice Skating or a Hike
Depending on the time of year or where you live, plan to take your date ice skating or on a hike. You can impress each other with your triple salchow jumps and Sydney Crosby moves or hold onto each other for dear life to keep your butts from meeting the ice. Afterwards, you can warm up in a cafe with a hot drink and some get to you know each other conversation. If ice skating is not your cup of hot chocolate, take your date on a hike. Hiking can help control your nerves as it gives you a mission other than impressing your date. Exploring a remarkable place together can help you bond and may become a weekly activity that the two of you do together.
If you both own dogs, this is an amazing way to spend a date. Having your dog there with you is like bringing a comfort blanket. It can make you feel more at ease and will give you something to talk about when the conversation fades. If you don't have dogs, you can go to your local SPCA and volunteer to walk the dogs there. Donating your time to a great cause will make you feel amazing and starts your date and potential relationship off on a high note with lots of good karma.
The game is basically like golf, but instead of hitting a ball into a hole, you're throwing a disc into a basket. The course contains 18 holes which are chain baskets on posts with flags declaring the hole number. Like golf, the object of the game is to get the disks in the basket with the fewest number of throws. Disc golf is growing in popularity, with new courses launching in countries all across the globe every year. Many of the courses are free or included with your admission to a national park or conservation area. Nothing adds excitement to a date like a little healthy competition. How serious you want to take it, is up to you. Game on!
When planning for your first date try to think outside of the dinner and a movie box and attempt to create something that is unique to the two of you. Did you meet at the gym? Try something active like indoor rock climbing for your date. You both listed culinary experiences as a passion on your profile, take a food tour of your city. Taking a little extra time and thought about your date shows that you are willing to do the same for the relationship.