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Dinner and a Movie Again

Are you tired of the same old routine first dates? Need a change from the dinner and a movie routine? Why not do something that gives you some insight into each other's personality and is interesting? Not that I'm totally against dinner and a movie as a first date or even a tenth date. There is the benefit that you don't have to think about what you're going to say next for at least 90 minutes (even longer if it's a Kevin Costner epic). I just think that a change needs to occur when I've seen all of the movies playing this month at the local megaplex. Another downside to dinner and a movie is that it can be inconvenient for those of us who work the nightshift. So I am offering the following ideas to inspire you to get out of the dating rut, whether it's your first or tenth.

For the romantic, a picnic is an ideal choice as long as the weather cooperates. For inclimate weather you may have to get creative in your location, but don't give up hope. Traditionally, picnicking is something that established couples do, but don't be afraid to suggest it early in your romance. In addition to having as simple or elaborate meal as you choose, you can bring along a Frisbee or ball to play catch. You can also take a walk. For the less ambitious or weather bound, you can people watch or share a paper (Sunday papers work especially well). Another benefit is that daylight dating adds a little bit of safety, and you can always have an escape excuse if things aren't going the way you planned (Examples: I'm babysitting for a friend, I'm having my teeth cleaned, I have to have dinner with my parents - you get the idea.). People also seem to be more honest about themselves in the cold light of day, which is always refreshing. Finally, there is the benefit that you can always continue the date into the evening if things are going exceptionally well.

Another great date place is a theme park. If you live near one of the larger ones, like Disneyland, it can be expensive. Call and ask about local resident discounts, and if you have friends that work there ask if they can get you a passes at a reduced rate. Don't overlook the smaller carnivals and festivals in your area. It can be significantly less expensive and equally entertaining. These sort of places have a little of everything, so you should be able to find something the two of you can enjoy. This is also a great choice for that first date with his or her children.

Sports and hobbies are also excellent dating opportunities. Are you a member of a club? Invite your next date to a club activity. Mountain biking, hiking, in-line skating, tennis, or any joint hobby can be excellent first date material. They provide an activity that you both have a common interest in. Also, there is no better way to bring out the dark side of people than competitive sports. Wouldn't you like to see that up front? You can also impress your date with your skill, or get a few pointers from him or her.

The whole point though is to do something that is interesting and allows for you to get to know each other better. Even if you don't click on a romantic level, you can always have an enjoyable afternoon that won't leave you feeling like you should have done your laundry instead.

By Heather Jaillett is a freelance writer from Washington State. After extensive dating she finally found her soul mate. She still advises many on dating solutions, and is constantly researching relationships and romance. Exploring ways to add romance to electronic communication is also another pursuit she enjoys.

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