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Active Dating

Active dating isn’t just for first dates. The best way for a couple to enjoy each other’s company is to get out there and share an adventure. This is as true for a married couple as it is for people on a first date.

By Steve Bowden

ou’ve sent letters and instant messages to each other… but you’re about to meet for the first time. The plan for your first meeting may seem obvious: “let’s meet for coffee.” This might work… but odds are it might just feel like a very strange job interview. You sit down with someone you’ve never met before, and talk about your date, and talk about yourself. Don’t just sit there… do something!

But consider a better strategy: Active dating. Instead of describing yourself to another person over a cup of coffee, why not show who you are instead? Forget the coffee shop or ‘dinner and a movie.’ Pick an activity
While this is a good strategy for anyone, it’s especially good if you are shy.
that the two of you can share. You and your date will explore something as a couple. Sitting down face-to-face, talking about yourself with someone you don’t really know can be a bit unnerving… but with active dating the two of you will be talking to each other, not about each other.

It’s the shared activity that’s the topic of conversation here. While this is a good strategy for anyone, it’s especially good if you are shy. The ‘spotlight’ will not be on you. Instead, you and your date will be concentrating on what you’re doing, not who you’re with or what impressions are being made. It’s a way to get to know each other with a minimum of self-consciousness.

Here, some examples of active dating:

Indoor rock climbing
An indoor activity where you and your date climb the simulated rock face of a mountain. You don’t have to
By comparing notes, your likes and dislikes, you will be well on your way to getting to know each other.
worry about injury; harnesses and cables will stop you from falling. As with all active dating, you and your date concentrate on what you are doing. In this case, though, you get to know your date in an interesting way; the two of you have to learn how to cooperate to get to the top.

The art gallery
Together, you walk through the gallery and experience great works of art. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the gallery. By comparing notes, your likes and dislikes, you will be well on your way to getting to know each other.

The do-it-yourself Antique Roadshow
There’s probably a street in your town that’s mostly antique shops. Arrange to meet there and explore the shops together. Some shops will have beautiful antiques; others will have interesting curiosities. As you discover what’s available, the conversation will drift in a purely natural way; you will be talking to each other instead of about each other.


Steve Bowden is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to Happen magazine.
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