Do It Outside!

Traditional dates in the get-to-know you phase tend toward drinks or dinner. You might go hear live music or a movie, just to get a break from the slightly awkward conversation and do some hand holding and snuggling. But if you try something different, you might be surprised at the results.

Let's be clear here, "something different" doesn't just mean "outside the box"--it means outside, period.

Going Green
Dates in the great outdoors can be really, well, great. We're not talking about getting naked surrounded by nature; we're talking about really getting to know each other on an emotional and intellectual level. Yes, people still like to do that, believe it or not!

If you want that kind of relationship, try taking a leisurely walk in a nearby park or a casual hike to see a waterfall and a breathtaking view. You might try paddling around a lake in a canoe or hunting for seashells on a beach. Take advantage of whatever nature offers at a spot near you.

A New View
Any kind of day trip outdoors can open up surprising vistas in a new relationship. If you're compatible, these kinds of outings can really help you get out of your shell and get closer. Think about it. Don't you have some great memories from hiking with friends or exploring nearby streams as a kid?

Nature gives you an endless supply of interesting sights and sounds to talk about and allows you to converse without staring across a table or uncomfortably looking down into your drink. You can gaze at each other if you want to, but you're not forced to keep an awkward smile on your face while you wonder what this exciting, new person thinks about you.

Plus you'll be relieved that those annoyingly loud people at the bar are nowhere to be found. And you don't have to worry about running into your ex or a nosy friend who wants details about this new hottie in your life. It's just you and your sweetie, sharing a different kind of buzz, which might or might not involve bees.

Tension Tamer
When you're getting physical--moving your bodies instead of just your mouths--the awkward tension of typical early dates just fades away. You can simply be yourself, talking when you want to, not because you're expected to. By carving out some quiet alone time, you two can find your flow.

Plus, the outdoor activity and the relative privacy make it easier to hold hands, put your arms around each other and even stop for a make-out kiss or two. After all, being outdoors doesn't mean you have to forgo the electricity! If these kinds of dates work for the two of you, then you can start making adventuresome plans for the future.

After you really get to know each other, then you might opt for some outings that let you experience nature au naturel. In private, of course! Once you and your sweetie have spent quality time together, you'll know when you're ready to plan a new trip and let nature take its course.

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