Date Ideas for Breaking the Ice

Breaking-the-ice

Jenni and I are writing a book together about dating, and one of the chapters discusses various types of dating ideas.  I thought it might be fun to share some of those categories of date ideas on this blog, such as creative date ideas, funny date ideas, educational date ideas, etc.  This is the section (so far) about date ideas to help break the ice.  Sometimes the hardest part of going out with someone is just penetrating the shell of awkwardness that is inherent in first (and sometimes second) dates. Here are some ideas that might help both of you feel more relaxed and have a great time.

  1. Do a group date. They’re not just for teenagers, and it’s easier to keep conversation alive in a group. If you really want to help your date feel comfortable, plan a double date and have a friend of yours ask out your date’s friend, and then go do something as a group. With their friend there, your date will be more likely to act natural and have fun. If you don’t want to line people up, just plan a group date of three or four couples. If you get enough good people together for a fun activity, everyone is likely to have a great time.

  2. Go to a mall, museum, zoo, or gallery. If you walk around a mall or gallery together, there is a lot to see, and a lot to spark conversation. Zoos and Museums have a lot to see, hear, and explore. Anywhere where there are many kinds of displays of different kinds will provide dozens of avenues for conversation. If conversation starts, don’t rush through it to get to the next display, but use the opportunity to learn about your date and to help them get comfortable talking with you. The conversations that you have will do more for nurturing a potential relationship than anything else.

  3. Do something athletic such as a sport together. Even something as simple as Frisbee can be a lot of fun on a date. If you are both decent at a certain sport, play it together. Sometimes doing something physically active can help both of you get your mind off the fact that you are on a date. When your body or mind is active and focused, your emotions are generally positive, and your experience together will likely be uplifting and fun.

  4. Anything you can do that will get both of you laughing; a funny movie, a clean comedy show – whatever it may be.  Humor breaks ice faster than almost anything.

Do you know of other date ideas that might help a dating couple get past that initial awkwardness?

Get in the Game!

get-in-the-game

The rise of professional sports has led many to the misconception that the best way to get exercise while having fun is to play an organized sport. But there are literally hundreds of outdoor games that are so active and exciting that players don’t realize what an incredible workout they are getting. And don’t assume that these games are only for kids – they can be much more fun for teens and adults.

Many have heard of dodge-ball, where players try to pummel each other with a firm Nerf ball (or a rolled up pair of socks) across two sides of a yard, but there are many variations of this game that can make for many hours of activity. For example, play freeze-tag, where one person is it, and tries to touch the other players. Instead of having to touch them, however, have the person who is “it” throw a ball at the other players. This can be less frustrating for the person who is it, and gives the other players more challenge. When a player is hit, they are stuck until another player touches them free. This variation works best with 4 to 6 players. With larger numbers, consider having more than one person be “it” at a time.

Another dodge-ball variation: line up two players at a time and give each player a ball. At the shout of “Go!” have the two duel. Any limb that gets hit becomes useless. If a player gets hit anywhere in the torso, that player loses the duel, and the next in line challenges the champion. Players end up hopping and rolling around the yard, sometimes throwing with their non-dominant hand. A dueler may only touch their own ball during the game. If there are more than a few players waiting in line, you may want to have players go up in teams of two or three at a time.

In all dodge-ball games, make sure all players know that hitting the head or face never qualifies as a hit. That rule tends to protect eyes, ears, and noses.

If you want some chaos, try three-way tag. This is played with only three players. Player 1 chases player 2, player 2 chases player 3, and player 3 chases player 1. To make it a little more interesting, try 4 players. With 4 players, player 1 and 3 can stick together while player 2 and 4 team up to protect each other. Once everyone has established in their minds who is after who, this game is a riot. It works well, and only occasionally leads to a big train of people running in circles around the house.

The secret to all outdoor games is to really get into them while you are playing. Play as if your life depends on it, and by the time the game is through, you’ll have run miles without even realizing it.