Beat-The-Heat Summer Dating Tips

The key to a successful summer romance is to keep things sexy, not sweaty — so if you’re looking to keep your cool during the hottest months of the year, here are 10 ideas to help get you started.

By Dave Singleton

ummer’s officially here and you’re ready to date (and even get a little hot and bothered)… but only in a good way, right? No one wants any hopes of reveling in a date’s company dashed by the one-two punch of a blistering sun and wilting humidity this time of year. After all, this season’s typically the best one for fun, creative and outdoor dates that can have an effect on the rest of your year romantically — or life, assuming all goes well. To help you stay cool while pursuing your hot summer romance, check out these 10 sizzling-yet-sexy ideas for activities, makeovers and weekend getaways.

Cool activities for two to stave off the summertime dating blues:
1. Plot your course for a road trip together. Once the temperature rises, it’s the perfect time for a road trip. There’s something sexy about setting out on a drive as a
I love to be outside, but it’s hard to find a reasonable place once June hits.
duo (provided it’s air-conditioned, of course!). A car-based itinerary for just the two of you means time spent getting to know each other better as you cruise through your own private world featuring great scenery while a custom-made romantic playlist provides the soundtrack. “My best summer date was taking a drive to the mountains together,” says Virginian Josh, 29. “We forgot what time it was when we made it to the Shenandoah range, and we talked about everything under the sun along the way. Being alone together — just staring at the open road and talking — made us both feel really connected.”

2. Enjoy a picnic à deux in a cool, shaded spot. Why bother with a standard dinner date when you can plan a romantic picnic for two under the shade somewhere scenic instead? It’s easy to do if you already have a favorite lake or mountain spot in mind, but if not, how about laying a blanket down under a tree in a lovely local park? If there’s an outdoor music venue where you can enjoy a picnic à deux accompanied by your favorite romantic songs in the early evening, even better. “I love to be outside, but it’s hard to find a reasonable place once June hits,” says North Carolinian Sheila, 43. “The secret to a great summertime picnic date is to pick a relatively cool location and making sure to bring surprising and delicious goodies to share.”

3. Visit climate-controlled museums and art galleries. When the heat is oppressive, smart people usually head inside. Even smarter dates go to a museum to check out history, art and science exhibits in the comfort of cooling marble, humidity-controlled gallery spaces and reliable air conditioning. Whether you prefer to look at beautiful art, ponder historical monuments or check out folk artifacts, the best part might be the intellectual-yet-flirty conversations that arise as you stroll around and grab drinks afterward. “I got to see a side of my date that I never would have if we’d just gone to lunch somewhere instead,” says Virginian Sarah, 38. “We got into sharing ideas and challenging each other in a playful way about what we were learning as we toured the National Gallery of Art together.”

4. Chill out at a movie multiplex all afternoon. Who could complain about an entertaining blockbuster (or two), holding hands after the lights go down, and all the candy and popcorn you could possibly want to share? Not to mention that it’s guaranteed to always be chilly in the theater, even when it’s burning up outside. “There’s something about taking a date to a movie in the summer that makes me feel like a teenager again,” says Chicago resident Will, 33. “You get to indulge your inner kid side with popcorn, sodas and just kicking back. It was totally fun for us both, and we were able to let our guards down.”

Style yourself for hot-weather dates with a seasonally appropriate makeover
Global warming is bad for the ecosphere, awful for the world…and its effects can be terrible for your love life. But don’t let it get you steamed! Try focusing your energy on a few simple summer-friendly makeover tips that can make all the difference in how you look and feel when you’re with your date:

Seasonal style tip #1: Stay coolly clothed at all times. Picking the right wardrobe means you never have to panic while
Wallet: check. Phone: check. Portable air fan… wait, what?
wondering what to wear when the sun is blazing outside. “I once went on a summer date that involved walking around the city,” says Washingtonian Jenny, 31. “It sounded so good at first, but the humidity was off the charts and I was drenched within an hour. I’d worn a heavy dress and stockings because I didn’t know we were going to be outside. What was I thinking? Now for summer daytime dates, I wear a flirty, light dress and a hat that serves double duty by providing both sun and makeup protection.” When it comes to summertime dates, choosing the right clothes can definitely make all the difference, since it’s important to be just as comfortable as you are stylish. Light materials like cotton or linen, short sleeves, and hats are definitely in order if you’re going to be outdoors for more than just a few minutes.

Seasonal style tip #2: Choose a heat and humidity-resistant hairstyle. “For years, whenever I went on summer dates, I felt like I was fighting a battle between my hair and the elements,” says Maryland native Alice, 36. “I’d leave the house with my hair sleek and in place, but within minutes, it would become a frizzy mess, and I’d start feeling self-conscious. Now I opt for a shorter style starting in May every year.” For both men and women, it’s important to pick a simple, summer hairstyle that’s both attractive and easy to manage so you’ll be able to focus on having fun, making a connection, and falling in love instead of letting all that mess, frizz and fuss distract you. “I definitely get a shorter haircut for the summer,” says New Yorker Mark, 45. “I don’t want to be that guy with the sweaty curls matted to his forehead on my dates.”

Seasonal style tip #3: Accessorize for the steamier dog days of summer. You’re about to head out on your mid-August date and reviewing your accessory list before leaving the house. Wallet: check. Phone: check. Portable air fan… wait, what? Many smart daters this time of year are shopping for cool new accessories to bring if they’re aiming to preserve their romantic beauty while the weather outside is a beast. “There are a few things you should carry with you that will really make a difference,” says South Carolinian Trisha, 27. “I make sure to always choose a great hat, big sunglasses, colorful toe polish and a complementary lipstick to accessorize with instead of necklaces and bracelets, which can feel cumbersome to wear when it’s too hot.” Other key women’s accessories for a beat-the-heat date include waterproof mascara, portable sunscreen, and a small fan that’ll fit inside a purse.

Travel to a sizzling summer getaway destination
Add some novelty to your love life by visiting romantic destinations that will remind you what this time of year’s all about: feeling fresh, alive, healthy and ready for adventurous travel. While you consider where to go and what to do this summer, look for the most couples-friendly and seasonally spectacular date spots within a couple of hours of home. Try to think of locales where your sunny personalities will shine together instead of places where your sweat-drenched and exhausted selves will need to take turns leaning into a refrigerator to cool off. Drawing a blank? Here are three spots across the U.S. that certainly should fit the bill:

1. West Coast pick: Laguna Beach, CA, which offers art galleries, romantic dining spots, beautiful sunsets, and plenty of places for strolling hand in hand together. “After dating for a couple of months, my then-boyfriend (and now-fiancé) decided it was time to get out of Los Angeles for a summer weekend,” says Brittany, 28. “We chose Laguna Beach because it was about an hour or so away, and we had the best time! Everything about that place is pure magic. My favorite thing was just the two of us having dinner right next to the ocean, with music in the background and the cool breeze coming off of the waves.”

2. East Coast pick: Cape Cod, MA, which offers the best fresh seafood, quaint inns, and spectacular views for couples looking for a low-key getaway. “I wanted to take my girlfriend somewhere special for her birthday last July,” says Rhode Island resident Bobby, 32. “I picked a bed-and-breakfast in Wellfleet, MA, which is out towards the end of the island. It was really private and romantic, which we both wanted. But there were plenty of places to go and have fun with other people, too. My favorite part was the sunsets. We took a bottle of wine to the bay and sat watching the sky turn this beautiful mix of blue-pink while we held hands.”

3. Midwest pick: Lake Geneva, WI may be just 80 miles from Chicago, but it feels like a different world — especially for couples looking for a romantic getaway in the place that’s been dubbed “The Newport, RI of the Midwest.” “My boyfriend and I spent our first weekend away together in Lake Geneva last August,” says Chicagoan Jane, 32. “Our three best ‘dates’ that weekend were walking along the lake path, listening to the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra, and taking a cruise.”

Of course, where you live will dictate the best getaway options for you and your sweetie, but as you search for the perfect scenic summer spots, remember the old real-estate adage: location, location, location! Even the most picturesque getaway requires a relatively short travel time to be truly enjoyable. After all, you don’t want those romantic dreams of yours to dissolve into traveling nightmares.

Dave Singleton, an award-winning writer and columnist for since 2003, is the author of two books on dating and relationships. Visit his website, follow him on Twitter, or email him.
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