Six Fresh Alternatives to Boring First Dates

You’re not alone, 102 million people were unmarried in 2011, according to the United States Census. This group also made up 44.1 percent of all U.S. residents who were ages 18 and older. Further, the dating industry revenue topples $2 billion a year with an annual growth rate of 4.8 percent. Regardless of if you’re married, single or currently dating, everyone can benefit from some fresh ideas it comes to finding the perfect date. Here’s a list of fun ideas to put the romance back in your relationship or impress someone on your first date.

bride and groom, black woman white man holdinghands, the reporter and the gir,S.C Rhyne, black and white photo

Find a Brewery Tour

Get out of your usual rut of dinner and a movie and do something truly unique. A brewery tour can take you behind the scenes of your favorite brew and gives the opportunity to sample. Most breweries will also give a few beers for free or at a discounted price so you can keep the fun going. If you’re not sure what to talk about after the tour, brainstorm your own beer ideas until your date turns into a fun adventure on setting up your own brewery with a ridiculous name. I’ll sample a Date Draft whenever you’ve got the first batch ready for sale.

beer, beer tasting, brewery tour

Go on a Motorcycle Ride

Go on a motorcycle ride through the country, city or the open highway. There’s no destination better than wherever the road takes you. But to really get into the biker spirit, shop for motorcycle jackets and accessories together to ride on your adventure out. Then come up with your own biker names and take on the persona of a young couple out for trouble—or maybe just to clean up trouble.

Volunteer Together

Refuel your relationship’s chemistry with a volunteer date. Working together for a common cause from packing up supplies for a food pantry to taking care of animals can help form bonds in your relationship. Pick an activity lasting from a few hours to an entire day and talk about how volunteering impacts your life. You might get a fresh perspective on your date you wouldn’t have seen before.

Go Stargazing

Cuddle up under the stars for a romantic date night. If you’re in a private space like your backyard, bring along a bottle of wine and snacks for an evening picnic. Don’t forget to look at museums for stargazing events.

constellations, stars, auriga, reporter and the girl, star gazing

Be a Tourist

It’s easy to forget all the fun events and attractions in your own hometown or nearby city. Plan out a fun day of amusement parks, museums, festivals or the zoo for a staycation date. Look at your attractions’ calendar of events. Your zoo might host a jazz night, or the museum might offer a cocktail evening with a guest speaker. You’ll impress your date by your ingenuity and desire to find the very best in your own community.

Watch a Foreign Movie

Head to an international food store and stock up on cultured foods to match your foreign film of choice. Cook a meal together with your date and then cuddle up together for the main event. Opt for a flick without subtitles and try to guess what’s happening and improvise the dialogue. You’ll have a great time laughing at each other’s guesses and will still have time to chat without getting too distracted by the film.

movie date, popcorn, movie



5 Remarkable Date Ideas for Couples in (or Approaching) a Rut

date ideas. BWWM couple, Interracial couple, the reporter and the girl, S.C Rhyne

If you are part of a couple, you know how important it is to keep the relationship alive. And the longer you’re in a relationship, the harder you have to work to keep an element of excitement in it. The best way to do that? A great date. Not the, “You wanna go the movies?” date–we’re talking about a unique adventure date you’ll never forget. Here, then, are five exceptional date ideas:

Rent a Convertible and Take a Mini Road Trip

Choose a destination and activity (i.e., eat at a restaurant in a nearby town, go to a remote area and have a picnic) and then rent a convertible for the day. Make sure the destination is far enough away that it gives you a chance to talk. Don’t forget rental car insurance before booking that convertible, it’s cheaper than getting it at the counter. And of course, make sure the weather forecast is in your favor.

Book a Couples Massage as Part of a Spa Package

Even really macho guys enjoy a good massage, and getting one together is a bonding and relaxing experience. Get a spa package that includes amenities like champagne and rose petals. Some spas include a treatment prior to the massage, such as a soak in a hydrotherapy tub.

It’s a time to play, before relaxing on the table!

Take a Surprise Trip to Las Vegas

Surprise your other half with a trip to Las Vegas. You can always find discount flights to Vegas, and you’re guaranteed to have a blast. Just make sure you take enough money. And if you’re lucky, you’ll also make enough there too!

Head to the Drive-In

Drive-ins are making a comeback. Take some fold-up patio chairs (if you want to sit in front of your car) or some blankets (in case you want to be, um, more intimate inside the car or in the back of your truck). You can also bring popcorn, soda and a cooler, if you don’t want to spend the money on stuff to eat.

Take a Midnight Cruise

It doesn’t have to be at midnight, by the way. You can always take a sunset cruise, as well. Google “midnight cruise” or whatever kind you want and your city. Some cruises have live music and dancing; often the ships have two to three decks, and the top one is for you and the moon. Don’t forget to make a reservation, too, as these types of boat cruises tend to get full quickly. You can also read about my experience on one of these cruises!

Make It a Habit

Every couple gets caught up in their own routine. Somehow, we forget that we need time together as a couple. Consider scheduling a regular “doesn’t get canceled no matter what” date i.e., once a week or once a month. There are plenty of dates you can go on and have a good time; try to go on ones where you will have an incredible time. More importantly, make sure you don’t forget to go on dates at all.

The Power of Rejection

I have rejected a number of guys in my short lifetime.

From all those “Drive-by Hollas”

hollering from a car, picking up girls, shenanigans














I’d sometimes Hollaback.

gwen stefani. hollaback, hollering from a car, pick ups










But that’s as far I would take it. Just say “hi” and keep it moving.

Used to be a time, when I’d go to the club and there was always a guy or three wanting to dance:

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And maybe buy me a drink:

And then eventually ask if I ‘d like to…have some sweet stuff:

skittles, condom, sex, love-making, funny condoms









But a few Fridays ago, I finally decided to come out of the cave and soothe my primal needs. I had been distracting myself with other activities, until I felt that I was ready to be “out there”. Last June, my male friend tried, unsuccessfully, to hook me up during a fun night out. But I felt it too soon and the handsome man was too married.

But now its been about…18 months, but whose counting? So I thought I might give it a stab. I have even been lurking around my old online profile;  but I don’t think I want to go back to the site again.

So nonetheless, my wingman takes me out to several bars in Manhattan along the Upper Westside. With some liquid courage, I was able to start some pretty good conversations and even shamelessly touch and caress the targets’ arm to signal that I’m ready.

Turns out, no one was ready.

I was rejected about three times that night, ( I think twice from the same person).

The last guy I ended up having a great conversation with…I think. Well, I remember the most about him. Including the fact that he just broke up with his girlfriend earlier in the week.

Boy can I pick ‘em?

So I spent the latter part of the night, encouraging him to “talk about it” and trying to console him because I think he was gonna cry, or maybe just really annoyed with me.

I’m not sure when I got home or how.

drunk girl, falling down drunk, intoxicated
But I did, and some days latter, I had to admire my shit-tastic luck.

I am now in the category of women that are educated, self-supporting, a few years shy of 30, and single. The likelihood that I would get married by 30, and biological clock nonsense, doesn’t apply to me anymore.

I mean let’s face it, if I can’t drunk guy in a dive bar at something o’clock to go home with, then what are the chances of having a real relationship?

An old acquaintance of mine, has been seeing this douche, dude, for like 6 or 7 years off and on. He constantly tells her he wants a future with her and blah blah…but then they break up. Usually because he does some dumb shit, and then they do their own thing for awhile and circle back to each other through hooking up…blah blah blah.

That’s not a real relationship, and who would want that drama of being “the sure thing.” You know the girl that waits patiently for her man to finish sewing his wild oats.

For a time I hoped for a reconnection with the reporter, but I realize now that I’ve gone through a metamorphosis and realized that I’m not the average woman who would follow the same plain Jane path.

I’m in a category all my own that can be defined by my standards. And not centered around someone else.

We’ve all been rejected, including my acquaintance who has been rejected multiple times by the same person. You’d think she take the hint….but nonetheless, it took a hard rejection for me to understand what it means to live.

So I’ll  go out again in another few weeks, and this time focus more on living and having a good time, than chasing tail.

Living Single:

sex and the city, living single, girls night out,









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Guest Contribution: 5 Dates to Change Your FB Status

The first five dates are the most impressionable in anyone’s dating life. If you’re a guy in hot pursuit of your dream girl, listen up. Start off on the right foot (rather than that said foot in your mouth) from date one. Saddle up for love with these six manly fashion fundamentals.

Pre-first Date — Seal the Deal

If you want to impress a quality girl, confidence is key. No matter your objective, whether you want to take a girl home or to Taco Bell, you must be a confident dude with a nothing-to-lose attitude. The single girl is already on the defense before even knowing your name. She looks for one reason to give a guy a chance, and it’s (real) confidence that will put a crack in her wall of dating fortification.

You know who you are and feel comfortable with the guy staring back at you in the mirror. Tread gently though, and don’t mistake arrogance for confidence. Narcissism or egotism will quickly end your pursuit.

Date 1 — Dinner & Drinks

Taking a girl to dinner may be cliché, but custom romantic traditions still make her swoon (or more honestly, meet an expectation). Plan to pay on the first date. Chivalry is not dead.

Truthfully, everything you say or do will be judged, so jump into the trenches with a simple outfit to help mitigate messy first-date warfare. The look of understated sexiness? A well-fitted pair of 7 For All Mankind denim jeans and a clean, casual T-shirt paired with a luxury watch, such as Nixon or the higher-end Bulgari. A sexy and confident single man who isn’t afraid of rejection invests in a good watch. A watch is the one piece of men’s jewelry that punctuates his style. Plus, you’re a man who prefers to tell time with an artful clock face rather than a glaring iPhone screen.

Date 2 — The Outdoors Test

Most men like a versatile woman. She’s just as hot in workout shoes on a mountain trail as she is in heels at the club. Date three will crush a couple barriers and determine if the girl knows how to break a sweat. Going for a hike or riding bikes reveals her adventurous and athletic side. And just as much as she may love her Lululemon yoga pants, you’re loyal to your active shades as well.

Sure, you’re a man who likes his options. If you admittedly have an entire collection of aftermarket replacement lenses for your Oakleys, save the rainbow polarized lenses for the next Vegas bachelor party. Rock the classic titanium or black-colored lenses, and you can both focus on your rad workout together, because remember, couples who work out together—stay together, forever.

Date 3 — Home Visit

Is this love? Could be. But first it’s time to plan for the third date—the highly anticipated overnighter. Invite her over for the evening and turn up the heat by cooking her a thoughtfully planned meal. The theme of the date is the seduction of aroma.

Along with the delicious scents of juicy pork tenderloin, sautéed zucchini and Pinot Noir, enhance the romantic evening with an even more arousing fragrance (you). Dior Homme Cologne won the 2014 GQ Grooming Awards, and for a rugged manly man on a quest to become the next Dan Bilzerian (Instagram’s most notorious playboy), Penhaligon’s Sartorial Beard Oil will render your girl weak in the knees and with luck, head over heels.

Date 4 — Bro Introduction

Before entering relationship territory, you’re gonna need approval. Bro approval. Plan a nightly summertime backyard barbecue outfitted with the works—chicken, ribs, sweet potatoes and brew. It’s the alcohol-infused congregation of your friends and hers. This party may as well be the mixer of your 30s, reminiscent of college fratty days.

And as the grill master on the verge of a serious boyfriend status, don’t be afraid to be more fashionably frivolous. Ditch the Vans or flip-flops for stylish suede shoes in olive green or rusty orange. Chubbies shorts in pastel and a tucked-in denim chambray will transform a pair of Johnston & Murphy suede shoes into a statement.

Date 5 — Facebook Official

Like it was possible for your friends not to like her. Now that you’ve got bro approval, turn this amour into a real relationship. Asking her to be your girlfriend doesn’t have to be formal affair; no one’s proposing here. It should, however, be more meaningful than a text or public use of a label neither of your discussed.

Make it Facebook official and initiate a sincere conversation while just hanging out in your lounge-wear. If you want to look even more endearing, throw on your favorite hat. The boyishness of a man in a sporty hat makes a girl swoon like heart-eyes emoji. She’s now yours. It’s official. Facebook official.

Guest Contribution: The Science of Dating

crazy ad, dating ads, desperate, dating in NYC

The Internet is a great place to find dating advice. Unfortunately, most of it comes from those who have simply dated a lot. If you are reading this and want to get to a second date, then you do not want to date often. You want to date well. You want to do it right and maybe meet that special someone. The best place to look for dating instruction is in a lab. Science has done more good for romance than any online feedback ever will.

The Science of Attraction

Mate selection is strongly ingrained in our genetics, coming from the caveman days and persisting today. The reasons for attraction are multidimensional with influences from perceived masculinity, intelligence and facial symmetry. A British study showed the men who self-focus on muscle size are more oppressive to women and that women know this at some level. The takeaway from this study is that having a chiseled body may get you a second look but might not get you the second date.

The Science of Women

It’s not you. It’s me. As painful as this sounds, it may be true. Human beings are dynamic in nature. We change constantly. This is especially true for emerging adult females—women in their early 20s. A study published in the Journal of Youth Adolescence found that there is a strong link between subjective well-being and attraction in women. A woman that is happy will be more attractive and she will find a happy male to be more attractive. Hiding your feelings is never a good relationship strategy but leading with emotion on your first date probably will not work for the normal female.

The Science of Romance

The most beautiful thing that a woman can say to a man is that she secretes oxytocin when she sees him. Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the brain by the pituitary gland that has been found to effect monogamy in mammals. It is strongly linked to dopamine, the happiness hormone. Oxytocin actually makes a woman perceive you as more attractive. From a neurochemical point of view, the reason that romance is so important is that it creates a cyclic cascade of positive neurochemicals. Make her laugh during the date, and don’t forget about flowers. It’s always a nice gesture to get her a bouquet. If you want to send them to her place of work as a surprise, delivery services like FTD are are trusted resources. Be a gentleman, and keep that oxytocin flowing.

The Science of Love

Yes, it is time to use the L-word. As scary as it may be, if you want the second date it means that you want the third and fourth and fifth. According to researcher Robert Sternberg, there are three dimensions of love; commitment is one along with intimacy and passion. That perfect date will have components of each of these. It means sharing enough to be intimate without oversharing, being physical enough without groping and opening up the possibility that this can be forever. Let the science of dating be the foundation for finding love. Make every date an attempt at discovering happiness.