By Allana Pratt, LHLSC Expert Contributor
I’m all about spicing things up and getting the dust off our relationships! Now with summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to forgo that dinner and a movie routine and head outdoors for some dating fun.
With all of today’s technology many forget how outdoor activities help us bond, as an Intimacy Expert and Coach, I am going to share these 10 suggestions for amazing outdoor dates that you’ll definitely want to experience with that someone special.
A Sunset or Beach Picnic
Forget dinner by candlelight. Grab a picnic basket and head to the beach with your date and enjoy a romantic dinner as the sun sets. Plus, there’s something about the beach and the sand between your toes that helps you let down your defenses so you connect authentically with each other! If you don’t have a beach then take in the sunset at a scenic park or other serene location. Discover the beauty of being out doors and the beauty in your relationship at the same time.
Paddle Boarding in the Marina
Paddle boarding is a fun activity the two of you can do together. Finding that sweet spot to balance on the board and let go to the waves makes you really sense how you and your date will navigate life’s mystery together!
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Although they can be pricey, a hot air balloon ride offers you both an unforgettable dating experience. Lift above the earth with your date in a hot air balloon ride and see how you can embrace adventure while being humbled by Earth’s grandeur.
Look Out with Take Out
I know it can be difficult to really get to know someone, or to be yourself when you’re out on the town with crowds of people. It’s important to plan at least a few low key dates in intimate settings that allow for time to appreciate the simple pleasures in life and each other. So grab some take out and back your pickup truck into a romantic look out spot at sunset with your food and fine wine.
Back Porch Bliss
As they say, happiness can often be found right in your own back yard! A low-key date that takes place in your own backyard can be made to be amazing. Once you’ve had a few dates out on the town and get invited to their home—or you invite them to your home—bust out the grill, marinate some killer swordfish and crank up the tunes. As you sit on your back porch at sunset, you’ll begin to see if this connection is ready for the next step.
Fun Dinner Cruise
While you may want to skip the free wine, sometimes going on a crazy sunset cruise can be hysterically fun! For example, I remember a pirate ship in Puerto Vallarta that let out this cannonball blast amidst rave music and fireworks. It was fun, different, and obviously memorable.
If you decide to give it a try, think about bringing along a few other couples to liven things up. Then let yourself authentically come unwound with your date. You’ll soon know if your wild sides collide and make for a good match.
Hike in the Park or Forest
Many cities and towns have local parks and forests that offer a private, secluded setting where you can hike along nature trails while getting to know your date. How people navigate challenges tells you a lot about how your date may navigate conflict in relationships. Not to mention, many parks and forests are actually quite beautiful and can help ignite the embers of love. For example, there’s this canyon in Pasadena called Eaton Canyon where you have to cross a river at least 20 times before you get to the end where there’s this gorgeous waterfall and pond you can dip into.
Although many couples have found horseback riding on the beach to be especially romantic, you don’t have to travel to Aruba or Malibu for the experience. There are tons of places you can hit the trail at sunset on a date. If you’re not sure where to go, ask your local equestrian center or nearby farm for ideas.
Tandem River Kayak
If getting out on the water during the summer months is more your style, try river kayaking with your date. Tandem kayaks accommodate two people and offer an exciting adventure as you both paddle down the river. This will quickly show you how you can savor pleasures while working as a team and enjoy nourishing beauty.
Our busy schedules can often make it difficult to set aside time for dating, especially for parents. I know this as I am one. Sometimes you’re dating a single mom or dad and they can’t get away, but don’t let that stop you. Instead, offer to have a driveway picnic and bring food, your DVD player to watch a movie and make it work for their circumstances. They will appreciate all the thoughtfulness you put into spending time with them making it pressure free.
Summer days are ticking away, take the opportunity to change things up and create some lasting memories with that special someone in your life!