Why does it seem like first dates are limited to the same played out dinner and movie ordeals and are exclusively the product of meeting someone on Tinder these days? As young, educated, vibrant college students, I can not help but feel like we have something more to offer in the realm of courtship. It is practical to assume that none of us want to look back on what are supposed to be the best times of our lives and recount the awful movies and bad-tasting Long Island restaurant meals we have eaten while forcing ourselves to feign interest in someone.
Sitting in a darkened theater, discouraged from making conversation may not be the best way to assess if someone’s character is of interest to you. There are ways around the obvious first date choice. Here are some date ideas that break the mold:
The Explorer Date: Suited for people with a sense of adventure. Geocaching is an app that takes any given location worldwide and gives you hints that lead you to particular points in your surrounding area. At these points are hidden capsules. When you find the capsule, there is usually a tiny notepad left to write your name and the date you visited. It is also typical to leave a small item related to you in the capsule. If the relationship lasts, it may be a fun idea to go back to the first location you found together and see your names in the notepad. Sappy, I know. Also, this is an ideal date if you want to throw in a dinner. The two of you can stuff your face as per the traditional date and walk it off with some geocaching. You’re welcome.
The Musician Date: Now, some people may think the only concerts that are worthwhile are the ones held in pricey venues with well-known bands. For dates, the unheard of band in that small bar across the street might be the perfect scene. Since no one is fighting for a spot to see the band perform, you can enjoy the beauty of personal space as you share some notoriously delicious finger-food. If the band you are seeing ever becomes popular enough, it will always be a cool story when years from now you can say you saw them when they played in a rundown bar near your alma mater.
The Outdoorsmen Date: For people who appreciate nature and the feel of the good old outdoors, Avalon Park and Preserve is a perfect place for a first date. Located in Stony Brook, the park offers scenery worth photographing and memorable locations at which to stare into one another’s eyes. While this may be a date you would want to save for sunny, spring weather, if you are willing to brave the cold for an hour or two, going to a coffee shop or teahouse after would be a nice way to warm up while holding conversation. Try to stay away from a Starbucks. Its aroma and atmosphere may be too reminiscent of the one on campus, and who knows what that could do to your seemingly special date.
The Gamer Date: If you know the person you are trying to impress is into the same types of video games you play, an interesting idea would be to invite them to play a game with you. Friendly competition is always a fun means to get flirtatious banter going and can be an ongoing topic of conversation. Snacks like chips and soda are easy to get a hold of and are compatible with the type of date this is. Once together, the two of you can explore common interests and dislikes that will create further conversation.
The Chef Date: A cooking class could be an enjoyable way to try something new while learning new things about the person you are pursuing. While preparing a new dish, conversations can range from cooking experience and food preferences. From there, the possibilities are endless. When the class comes to an end, the date can continue into a home-cooked dinner for two. For a wallet-friendly option, Stony Brook students are offered free cooking lessons from Campus Dining. Cooking 101 is held three times a week and the menu is posted online so you can decide if you like the dish. In about an hour, you will have a culinary masterpiece. Voila!
Regardless of if you chose any of these options or not, remember that no one likes being bored. Also, if you do get the coveted second date, make sure to be just as fun and impressive or else things can go downhill really fast. Good luck out there Seawolves—the dating world is a tough place.