What Makes a Great Date?

great date

I was at an outdoor jazz fest the other day and as I watched several young lovers walk by hand in hand it got me to thinking: what makes a great date?

Three great date criteria:

1. Is there an opportunity to talk and share?
2. Is there an opportunity to play/have fun together in some way?
3. Is there an opportunity to be romantic- to kiss, cuddle and nuzzle?

Whether it's your first date or your 25th wedding anniversary date, here are 5 great date ideas and what makes them great:

1. Picnic in the park. Cliche? Perhaps. But, bring along a Frisbee or soccer ball for play, along with some interesting finger foods and poof! You've got really great atmosphere plus an opportunity for talk and play together. Bring a blanket and sit in an area away from the crowd and you've got a chance for some serious romance.

2. Paddle boats, canoeing or two person kayaking. If you're more active and like the water, I suggest one of these options. It's better than a bike ride because you can be touching or engaged in conversation pretty much the entire time. It's a great time to share adventures from your childhood, be silly or show off. You also have to work together on all these.

3. Adult Night at the Museum. Most cities have at the art museum or at the nature & science museum an adults only night with wine, hors d'oeuvres and some kind of cool exhibit to explore. I remember my husband and I went one time to an engineering exhibit. We got to build and launch our own rockets, build boats and really explore (without shoving a kid aside) the mechanics of all kinds of modern day machines. Okay, you can't go make out in the corner but... I do remember squealing and hugging him when our rocket went pretty far. It's a great way to impress each other, share some old memories and be a kid again.

4. Dinner, wine and boardgames. What I like about board games, especially slower ones like Monopoly, Chess or Scrabble is that it gives people a chance to talk, share old memories and to tease each other. Games can bring out silly, competitive sides that can really stir up chemistry. If you don't want to stay home, there are plenty of coffee shops and cafes that either have them or will let you bring games.

5. Hiking or Long Walk. Simple but effective for nature lovers and active people. You can talk, be silent, start skipping or race each other up a hill, stop to explore and share a kiss or much more. It's the barest excuse for an activity that allows you opportunities to be spontaneous.

There are a million other interesting ideas (from cooking classes to intimate concerts) and I encourage you to share your ideas. Don't settle for the boring "dinner and a movie" when it's almost just as easy to do one of these.

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Concerts, festivals or even a long drive--maybe to a national park or small town for some exploring! I think, too, it's easy to think that spending time …

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