Monday, June 4, 2012

Dating Tips: Yes Really! A Guest Post for Raising Miss Mommy

I wrote this post for Amanda while she had a blogging break.  I really enjoyed getting to know her through doing this guest post and I hope you can take the time to visit her too at her awesome blog Raising Miss Mommy.
Now, I am no expert in dating, in fact when I started my blog, I probably never imagined I would end up writing a post like this, but when I was going over possible ideas for what to write about on Amanda's amazing blog, I realised that this was something I put quite a lot of effort into, or more precisely ‘we’ put a lot of effort into. 

My boyfriend and I are in quite a unique situation – we live in different countries and see each other every 3 weeks or so.  Therefore, with less time than ‘normal’ couples together, the time we spend becomes extra valuable and sitting inside on the sofa, munching chocolate and zoning out in front of the TV doesn’t really fly (we save this activity for when we are both brain-dead or ill). I’d show you a picture of his extreme handsomeness, but he is pathologically allergic to having his photo publicly on the Internet.  You’ll have to take my word, or the footprint as proof that he exists!
Anyhow, I wanted to write this post to share some of our ideas for dates which we have tried and enjoyed or are going to try out after our long discussion about this very post…we had it while driving between furniture shops (rock’n’roll hey?!) I wanted it to be easy to organise, cost-effective and fun!

1.   Now I am a firm believer that there is a lot of fun to be had in your local open space, even when it is really cold. A winter walk with a flask of something hot and opportunities to snuggle in blankets while watching life stand still, before heading to a cafe to thaw out, can be extremely peaceful and calming.  In the summer, take a bottle of wine, some Antipasti , candles and a Frisbee for an alfresco dining experience and a spot of star-gazing. If jumping around isn’t your thing, then maybe Scrabble is!  

2. This one really only works if you are a good ‘loser.  Mini-golf, bowling, go-karting and cycling are all relatively cheap; give you plenty of distraction from what happened at work or during the day and something to talk about afterwards.  If you don’t like the competitive element, then just agree some different rules.  Since the mini-golf tantrum of 2011 I don’t think my boyfriend will be scoring another game of mini-golf any time soon.  It wasn’t pretty to watch – and I didn’t end up feeling very proud of myself afterwards.  Non-scoring games are definitely the way forward in our relationship!

3. Dinner out in your favourite restaurant or even a new restaurant can be lovely, if not very imaginative.  So why not take a cooking course together.  If you can’t afford to do a joint cookery course in the evening, go one better – have your own. We both wanted to learn how to cook tapas so just bought a recipe book, decided on our menu and then set an evening aside to cook together.  I bought the ingredients, did some measuring and chopping so that it was already to cook and chilled some wine.  When he got in we cooked it all, ate, drank the wine and felt very satisfied.  Even if you have kids, you could do this once they have gone to bed, or you might be able to talk a friend into baby-sitting for you while you use their kitchen.  Just be prepared to wash up – the only down side to this date: the dishes!

      4. Sometimes dating can be fun if you try stuff you would never normally do and not just to make each other happy.  When my boyfriend went to the opera with me (his first time in a theatre in his life), he was doing it to make me happy, but actually really enjoyed himself.  Sadly, he didn’t feel quite the same about seeing Shakespeare this week…ah well, you can’t win them all.  I traded these two shows for a date at a stunt show (and a sincere promise not to tell his friends). It was surprisingly fun.  While having dates to keep the other half happy are all well and good, there is a lot to be said for both being out of your comfort zone.  We have no idea if we are going to enjoy the planetarium or not, but we are both going to go. So, about that jazz night around the corner, a salsa lesson or even a book reading – why not just go.  If it’s terrible, have a back-up DVD and treats at home.  Or just hit a bar and laugh over the disaster.

5. Um….well, that’s it really…find something you both can’t do and do it. We made some mosaic coasters at Christmas using a craft kit.  He required a beer to get him through the girly activity, but it allowed us to have a good chat, work together on a project and stay inside away from the hideous winter weather.  We are going to learn to dance one day. I am reliably informed that all couples Waltz at a traditional German wedding.  I want to learn to jive….maybe some kind of hybrid is possible!

So, there you are – my not revolutionary guide to dating and having some quality time together.  I would love to hear your ideas for dates, so don’t forget to comment!

I’d love for you to say hello.
Hugs, Rosie xx

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