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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The First Date to the 101st Date

by brettmerritt (bio)

I just read an article on Primer called, "4 Simple First Dates that Don't Involve Dinner" and it got me thinking a lot about dates and dating and my dating past.

My first date with Amelia was a dinner and a movie.

I am willing to bet that a high number of people reading this did the exact same thing on their first date. Now, there is nothing wrong with this. I love dinner. I love movies. So does my wife.

But it got me thinking that of the 160-175 dates we've been on in our courtship and marriage, 140 of them are probably dinner and a movie. That's not great. I mean, it's fiiiiiine but there's no magic. Ideally, we would take more chances and do a variety of activities. The point is that it's up to us to make our dates fun and ensure it's a time where we are actually reconnecting with and enjoying the company of our spouse (or significant other). The more adventurous we can make our dating, the more alive our relationship will feel. I hope, anyway. This is new territory for me.

The trouble with this plan is the planning. In fact, one of the times we decided to forgo dinner/movie, we went to a concert. We stood in line in the rain, bundled up, waiting for the delay to be over and enter the venue. After nearly two hours of this, we gave up and walked back to our car a mile away and as we got in, we heard the music start. Yay.

So, here are some simple alternatives to the dinner and movie first date or 101st date (some borrowed from the aforementioned Primer article):
  • Walk through the mall reminiscing about how much it has changed and how you have changed, eating ice cream or sipping a Julius while window shopping for running shoes or khakis. You'll find plenty to laugh about too.
  • Walk or bike a river trail if you live near a river. It's good to be in nature and, because you are together, no creeps! No river? I'm sorry but where do you live? Sturgis?
  • Go to the temple and then sushi. Maybe leave out the temple part if it's your very first date and you don't really know each other.
  • Play golf. Or frisbee. Or frisbee golf. This gets you moving but it also allows you to have a conversation. Yes, I have played frisbee golf on a first date.
  • Go to Nickel City or some other arcade. Get in the spirit of friendly competition, loser does the dishes or buys next time.
  • If you live in a city where there are still small bookstores, record stores, etc., take advantage and go browse and discuss the merits of The Ramones or Catcher in the Rye or whatever it is you kids listen to or read these days.
  • Go to a museum or exhibit or outdoor event. Many larger cities have a summer concert series, often free and family friendly.
  • Finally, go to a play. And if I'm in it, go twice. It will boost my self-esteem.
These are just a few. I'm sure we'll think of more. What have you all done for first dates or to keep your dating life from getting stagnate?

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