I’m going to describe myself in two different scenarios: when I first start dating someone, and then also me like roughly a year into a relationship.
Early, very-cool version of me: I want to be the most adventurous person alive with you. I could do anything with you and it would be the most joyous experience imaginable. I would consider going to the DMV with you on a date because I’m just having the most fun a person can have.
Me, a year into a relationship, when I am most definitely on my bullshit: please do not suggest anything outside of a four hour Netflix marathon tonight.
My boyfriend: We should go breathe air, maybe?
Me: Never heard of it.
My point in this (a tad) dramatized one-act play is: it is so, so easy (and kinda fun when done healthy) to get overly comfortable with your person and pretty soon you’re kind of just doing the same-old, same-old without even really thinking about it.
The winter is for binge-watching The Wire and eating your way through the grocery store’s cheese section, but summer is for using your legs and sharing a pitcher of rosé sangria and remembering you’re with someone you actually like doing stuff with.
Join me on my ten date-bucket list, I’m trying to knock down this summer. My guy and I have already tested a few for you and can vouch for the fact that they’re actually better than just doing dinner and a movie for the 1000th time; no shade on that though, it’s the fallback for a reason.
(And just a note: do these with whoever the frick you want! Boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, friend, dog, or yourself!)
1. Pizza picnic on the beach
A slice of pepperoni, a contraband bottle of wine, the sunset, and your person is quite possibly the best way to put an end to a day spent trying to keep up with your inbox. Bonus points if you pick up the pizza yourself, send them coordinates and text: meet me here at 7:30. It’s kind of sexy in a, “Am I being murdered?” kinda way.
Erik’s review on this date: “It was nice that there were no distractions and I was able to just focus on you. (Editor’s note: Oh, like, sorry that focusing on me is so impossible when there’s any sort of stimuli surrounding us!) Plus pizza is great (Editor’s note: I knew I liked you). I somehow had sand in my butt crack though and I was wearing pants and didn’t we sit on a towel? (Editor’s note: hot.)
2. Kiddie pool with a case of beer and a podcast
On a Saturday when it’s almost too hot to do anything other than stand nude in front of the A/C, fill up a kiddie pool (they’re like $10 on Amazon) and a cooler with some Miller High Life and flip on the latest episode of Invisibilia. And please, sunscreen responsibly. We are anti-skin cancer up in this bitch.
3. A three-course meal at three different restaurants
Okay, ideally these would all be within a couple city blocks from one another, but feel free to ball out on Lyft if you’ve got the means. And hopefully, you’d start off at location uno for an appetizer and a drink, grab dinner at a second restaurant, and key lime pie at the final destination because there are no other desserts. It’s a phenomenal solution for the “Where do you want to go?” “I dunno, where do you wanna go?” couple. My boyfriend was a fan and said it “kept the energy up for the whole night” because apparently, I bore him if we’re sitting in one location for too long.
4. Go see a movie but sneak in your own snacks
We’ve all gone to the gas station beforehand to grab candy which is just economically responsible considering the tariff tax they have on movie theater sweets. I can feed myself for an entire week off the price they charge for a box of Raisinets, but I digress.
I have snuck a gyro, a #2 from McDonald’s and a fucking rotisserie chicken into a movie theater (shout out to Madewell tote bags) so really the sky is the limit, assuming no one in the theater narcs on you. I also support but am not legally telling you that wine in a water bottle is a great side addition.
5. Iron chef a farmer’s market run
Head to the farmer’s market and each pick out an ingredient that the other person has to cook with that night – don’t let them see what the ingredient is. You each get one hour and one hour flat to come up with your creation using the other person’s star ingredient and whatever you have in the fridge/pantry. Just a heads up: laughter impending.
6. Create a playlist together, kinda
Head to a dive bar and dedicate songs to each other on Touch Tunes or jukeboxes along the way. Make notes of what you play (while you remember) and later turn it into a Spotify playlist.
7. Get ice cream and then walk amongst garage sales
There is nothing I love more than taking down a double scoop of strawberry while walking amongst rich people’s old shit. On our second date my now boyfriend and I were just driving around as I pretended to be very chill about the fact that his hand was touching my UPPER THIGH when out of nowhere he yelled “ESTATE SALE” and scared the absolute shit out of me as he whipped a left so hard that I immediately made the sign of the cross. We found a silk Nabisco button-down (as in, a shirt that’s print is all of the Nabisco cookies and cracker brands) that to this day is one of my most prized possessions. It was the greatest time ever and I can only assume ice cream and a waffle cone could make it better.
8. Take a mini road trip
It’s been named “The Penny Date.” Have the other person choose a number 1-20: whatever number they pick is the number of times you flip the coin: heads = a right turn, and tails = a left turn, so every time you stop at an intersection, you flip. It’s called an adventure guys ever heard of it?
9. Check out a concert
Find a random free band that’s playing in your city tonight that neither of you has ever heard of (that’s the key). Drink really cheap beer and dance your heart out because you are (now) that band’s biggest fans.
10. Wake up and watch the sunrise
Me: Erik, we should get up early and watch the sunrise. We could get like coffee and some muffins and just enjoy a slow morning together.
Erik: You would absolutely NEVER get out of bed to do this.
Me: I without question would, how dare you?
Erik: There is not a chance in hell.
Alarm goes off
Me: Okay, so tomorrow for SURE.
BY Liz Welle - June 23, 2017
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.