Expensive dinners on teeny-tiny plates, a movie you don't really want to see, popcorn, soda and candy that add up to as much as the movie ticket: These are all totally overrated dating rituals. However, some of the ways we currently date has proven to be just as problematic. Swiping left or right for a random hookup on the dating app Tinder is never a good idea if your end-goal is to end up in a healthy and happy relationship.
When you first begin dating someone, the goal is to get to know him or her better. This happens by listening to who they are, their story and hoping that you make that special connection with them. So can we really accomplish this by sitting in a three-hour movie together without ever uttering a word? Or even if we do have a quiet dinner together, how can we avoid checking our phones every five minutes to fill the awkward silences? It's time to get back to the basics. It's time that we disconnect from consumerism, media and technology and develop a true connection with one another and the world around us.
Explore the world together:
Whether you and your partner are physically active or not, you can always find leisurely to high-intensity activities that will be enjoyable not just for you and your date but for your body and health, too. Hiking is definitely a top pick, and depending on the trail that you choose, it can be an easy stroll or a tough challenge! If you go to Everytrail.com or use Google Maps, you can locate tons of options around your area. Hiking is a great experience to share because it allows the two of you to absorb the environment together and hopefully provoke deep conversations. I would suggest shutting down your phones (but bring them with you in case of an emergency), so that you can fully enjoy each other's company. Taking an easy route is great for escaping the busy week you've had and releases the tension and negative energies you've endured. However, there are other couples that enjoy a challenge, motivating each other to take it to the next level. Therefore, a high-intensity, even back-packing/overnight hiking trail is the perfect date idea. This option allows you to enter into a type of "survival" mode, where you and your partner depend on each other to make it to a certain point by sunset or set up camp for the night. Working with each other will test your compatibility and may bring you closer together! Appreciating nature's beauty together or getting cozy by a campfire sounds a lot better then what you can buy at a fancy restaurant or movie complex.
Go on a scenic ride together:
If you and your partner aren't too keen on spending too much time on your feet, how about spending it on a couple of wheels? Riding a bike, making figure eights with rollerblades or roller skates, or kicking and pushing a skateboard along are just a few choices! However, if you want to be extreme, you could always take an adventure together mountain biking. Similar to hiking trails, biking trails can be found through Google Maps, or go to mtbproject.com to find the best trails in your neighborhood! Beaches, if you live near one, are an ideal place to take a ride together on your cruisers, especially on a warm day with the ocean breeze sweeping past you. Additionally, packing small snacks like fruits, crackers and cheese are yummy finger foods to look forward to when you decide to take a break and dig your feet in the sand. Timing is also an important factor. Take a ride early before the sunrise so you can enjoy the beautiful picturesque sky together. Or ride near sunset and build a bonfire on the beach to listen to the crashing waves as you watch the red, orange, yellow and purple hues meld together into darkness. These date ideas are definitely more low-key but wonderful for a romantic day or evening together.
Not all seasons and climates are warm and sunny, but there are still ways to make the best out of it! For example, if it's a rainy day, take a stroll around the block together and feel the dewy wet drops falling as you huddle closer together under the umbrella. Or on a cold wintry day, after the snow has fallen, bundle up, take a thermos full of coffee or hot chocolate and appreciate the stunning winter wonderland just outside the door.
No matter where you are or what kind of day it is, spending time with that special someone is always worth it, especially if you get to disconnect from the craziness of the world and share unforgettable moments together among nature's wonders.