Snow storms, below freezing temperatures, slippery roads – these are not elements that make dating easier, but even though winter has come to darken our skies and our hearts, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find ways to still woo your lady. Indeed, the following are all ways to make winter work for you, to turn dating challenges into dating opportunities. Sure, some of them are kind of corny but let’s face it, dating is kind of corny so you’ll just have to live with it. Besides, all of these ideas are cheap and easy, so take a moment if you please and ponder the simple brilliance of these seven dating ideas for winter.
This is one of those activities that is both fun and can be sappy as hell, which pretty much makes it perfect for a date. I mean, who doesn’t love to go sledding? You get the fun of rocketing down a hill on a piece of plastic like an idiot – and deep in his heart every man is an idiot of childlike wonder – plus you get to wrap your lady in your arms as you snuggle together on a tiny little saucer and coast to a happy ending. Okay, reading that last sentence back makes this seem vaguely insane but it will work, trust me. She’ll appreciate your whimsy and your ability to find joy in such a simple thing as sliding down a hill and you’ll appreciate that she is willing to overlook the fact that you are basically treating her to a date that a homeless dude could pull off – provided he has a trash can lid of course. Everybody wins!
Winter is cold, and while that normally sucks, it does give you an excuse to just wrap up together on the couch, snuggled under a blanket – and I shouldn’t have to explain to you that good things can happen under a blanket. Watch a movie, sit and stare at a fire, have a conversation – it doesn’t really matter what you do once you’re there. What matters is that you’re together and let’s face it, you’re basically already starting the date off on second base. Just be cool, though. You don’t want to be the dude that starts copping a feel before the opening credits are even off the screen. Luxuriate in the experience, get comfortable, and allow each other to feel safe and happy and warm in each other’s arms. I know, I know, that sounds kind of corny but just remember, you have all night.
Sure, it’s kind of a cliché, the sort of thing you’d see in some dumb romantic comedy but it’s a cliché for a reason. Whether you’re an expert ice dancer or a bumbling idiot who can’t stay on his feet for more than a second, ice skating just works. In fact, it probably works even better if you are a dunce who spends most of the time falling on his ass. It’s a good way to let your guard down and just have fun together. She’ll laugh at you, you’ll laugh with her and you’ll prove that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Sure, you might end up in traction the next day, wondering why your ankles look like somebody beat them with a baseball bat, and unable to sit on your bruised ass, but damn it, she will love you for it.
This might be the corniest idea of all, but you know it’s a good one. Don’t even try to argue with me. Light some candles, throw a blanket on the floor and pack a picnic basket and then eat together like you’re sitting in the middle of some private park. Sure, you’re basically just having a cheap dinner and you won’t even spring for a table and chairs, but it’s the sentiment that counts dummy. Just watch out for bears.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, this idea seems kind of insane, but hear me out. Most beaches close down for the winter and set up fencing to keep reprobates like you out. This means that you’ll have to sneak in, which gives the date that added element of relatively harmless danger. Then once you’re on the beach itself, you’ll feel like the only two people left on some strange, alien world. Seriously, it will look like you’re walking on the moon together. Beaches in winter look that weird. It will be vaguely thrilling in a harmless sort of way, the two of you can explore together and at the end of the day you’ll have your own private little world together, something the two of you share with no one else. That can be a powerful thing. And as an added bonus if the date is going badly you can always just throw yourself in the water. Sure, death is kind of an extreme escape, but if you’ve ever been on a horrible date then you know that it’s good to at least have that as an option.
In the same vein as sledding and ice skating, building a snowman together is kind of corny, the sort of thing that makes you roll your eyes when you think about doing it, but is actually a lot of fun when you’re out there laughing and having a good time together. Just make sure that you fight the temptation to give ol’ Frosty a giant carrot penis. I know you want to and you’d definitely do it if you were alone, but not only does that cross the line from whimsical to vaguely disturbing it might cause some unfavorable comparisons to your baby carrot, and why put yourself in that position? But as long as you successfully fight that urge, building a snowman together is easy, fun, cheap and at the end of the day you get to throw snowballs at each other and do all manner of stupid yet whimsically adorable things together, and really isn’t that the essence of dating right there?
Come on, like anything else could be number one. It’s cheap (if you have to pay then it’s not really a date), you don’t have to make awkward small talk, it’s a good way to keep warm, and you don’t have to get all dressed up. Just make sure you wrap that present up, otherwise your own personal winter will last forever – or at least for the next 18 years or so.
(Previously published on December 7, 2012)