For your next date, go play outside
This is it. Tinder finally turned up a person who’s cute, funny, smart and shares your love of superhero movies. For your first date, go explore the great outdoors.
With a rare gem like this, you don’t want to miss your chance. So, forget the old standbys like going out for dinner or to the movies. Your new love interest is probably just as tired as you are of eating risotto while wondering what you’re covertly texting your friends when you go to the bathroom. Instead, suggest an outdoor outing. It’ll give you a good shot of dopamine, get your blood pumping and it makes a great Instagram story.
As always, you need to avoid anything that could lead to a major catastrophe. Here are four things to keep in mind if you want to pull off a successful outdoor date.
1. Walking, yes; biking, no
Anne-Marie Lefebvre is the founder and president of RencontreSportive.com, an online platform that connects outdoor enthusiasts from across Quebec. For her, it’s important to choose the right first-date activity. Going for a walk may seem a bit lame, but it’s actually perfect: it allows you to be active, but also to chat. “I’ve seen people go for bike rides or cross-country skiing on a first date, and they always end up one in front of the other, so they can’t even talk. You also run the risk of an unpleasant surprise – for example if you have a high-performance bike and the other person shows up in flip flops with a bike with a basket in front for their dog… Not at all the same kind of trip!”
In addition, walking is usually free. You can do it anywhere (for a first date, you could even go for a walk along a canal in the city), stop whenever you want and there’s no risk of getting unhealthily competitive.
Afterwards, as the relationship continues and your confidence builds, your options are endless: canoeing, downhill skiing, jogging, snowshoeing… You’ll be able to cross working out off your to-do list without sacrificing time with your significant other. It’s the best kind of multitasking.
(And in case you were wondering, no, it’s not safe to hike up a mountain in sandals, even if they are “pretty comfortable”).
2.Try not to pass out (eat!)
Anytime you do an outdoor activity, it’s important to bring snacks. Not only does it give you something to do when you get to the top of the mountain, but it also gives you the energy to get back down. And because there are no quaint cafés to buy biscotti at the top of Mount Orford, you’ll need to plan ahead.
You have a choice: homemade energy balls (if you want to show off your Pinterest-inspired kitchen skills), granola bars from the grocery store or family-sized Caramilk bars (what? Walking burns calories, right?).
Oh, and a bottle of water. Non-negotiable.
3.You CAN look cute in the great outdoors
The time when “outdoors” was synonymous with “giant hiking boots and brown fleece” is through. There’s tons of nice, comfortable sports-wear that goes perfectly with a well-chosen accessory: a charming tuque, sunglasses, a sleeveless vest… The idea is to make sure you’re comfortable when you’re outside.
Don’t forget to bring along a good backpack to carry your sweater and snacks. Your shoulders will thank you.
4.Hot chocolate is the best aphrodisiac
We have to admit that a date in a restaurant has its advantages. Lots of people find it easier to get to know someone by sharing a meal or a drink face-to-face.
What’s nice about an outdoor date though, is that if you’ve clicked, you can suggest capping off the day with a hot chocolate in a country inn (if you’re in the Laurentians) or a little café (if you opted for Mount Royal). Anne-Marie Lefebvre suggests refraining from making this suggestion until the end of the day – better to wait and see what the chemistry is like, and take it from there.
Will your next date be hot chocolate-worthy? Whether it is or not, remind yourself that even if the company is dull, at least you’ll have gotten some fresh air and great photos. It’s a win-win!
Edited on 1 November 2017