Are you tired of the boring dinner-and-movie-date that feels more like a job interview with a film at the end, than a romantic meeting? I get it -- it's a very arranged setup.
Let me ask you this: how many of your friends did you get to know and like by sitting at opposite sides of a table asking each other about the facts of each others lives? I'm guessing zero.
So why do we think that it's the best way to get to know someone we're dating? It's not.
In every other part of our lives we meet new people through a common interest or activity. Maybe you work or study together, share a hobby, meet at a festival or in yoga class. You have something in common, and get to know each other through that. Well, let me share a little secret with you: this works in your dating life too!
Getting to know the person you're dating should never be the main activity, but a result of the main activity!
That's why you need start doing more fun stuff on your dates! It doesn't have to be expensive, crazy or complicated -- taking a walk in the park, baking cup cakes or playing a game of darts in the local pub works great.
Here are 10 awesome benefits you'll gain from doing something active on your next date:
1. It's easier to suggest
You don't have to do the whole formal "would you like to go on a date with me?" speech, but can casually just say "I'm gonna do this awesome thing, you should join me!"
2. It makes you more attractive
By suggesting something a little different you show the other person that you're more creative, life loving and interesting than most people. That's hot.
3. It's more fun!
Even the best of dinner dates can be a little bit stiff sometimes. If you don't hit it off it can even be kind of awful -- and such a waste of time since there is no place to go and nothing to do but to sit there until the end of the meal. But if you go on an activity date, even if the person you're dating turns out to be a bore, at least you get to do something fun and you didn't waste your time.
4. You get to know each other better
The dinner-and-movie-date may be classic, but it's not the best way to get to know someone. Activity dating lets you see the other person in a more "natural environment," which tells you a lot more about them than they could ever tell you about themselves.
5. You can come closer
The one thing that differentiates a dating relationship from most other kinds of relationships is the (potential for) physical intimacy. If you're sitting on opposites sides of a table it's almost impossible to touch each other naturally and it will slow down your connection and attraction. On an activity date, on the other hand, you can move around, do a high five, hug and play with the distance between each other in a flirty way.
6. The view!
As long as you're sitting down, you only get to see the upper half of the other person. When you do something active together you can see how they move and check them out from every direction -- and let them check out all of your gloriousness as well!
7. You can be playful
If you're playing a game or competing in some way you have a perfect reason to tease, flirt and joke around with each other. This creates playful tension and is one of the best ways to create attraction.
8. The advantage of excitement
Studies have shown that adrenaline inducing activities make people feel more attraction, thanks to something called "misattribution of arousal." This means we tend to attribute the emotional excitement to the person rather than to the situation -- and become attracted to them. Use this to your advantage by having a mountain/roof top picnic, singing karaoke or watching dangerous animals at the zoo. Whatever makes you feel a little bit excited will do the trick.
9. Smoother conversations
On a sit down dinner date there is really not much for you to do other than talk. If you're not a master conversationalist, or if you're just a little bit nervous, this can feel like a lot of pressure (which makes you even more nervous). On an activity date this is not a problem. You'll talk about what you are doing, seeing or creating, and silent pauses will be natural instead of awkward.
10. You share each others worlds
Activity dating is a great opportunity to invite each other into your respective worlds. You can show your date some of your favorite things to see, do or experience, or let them show or teach you something that they love or know. Joining your date for a boxing class or taking them to your favorite art museum is something completely different than just saying "I like boxing/art". Or you can explore something that's new to both of you together!
Good luck, and Happy Dating!
About the Author: Linnea Molander is a dating coach, freelance journalist and blogger for Match.com.
She is the founder of Happy Dating - Positive Psychology For Your Dating Life