Back in the Game

Many of us have been there. You’re with someone for years, and the relationship ends. Regardless of whether you were married, engaged or never made it “official,” you parted ways with someone very special to you. Getting out of a long-term relationship is hard enough without the added pressure of starting the dating process again. It can be kind of exhausting.

Here are four fun, low-pressure ideas to try for an awesome first date — when you find yourself ready for someone new.

1. Brunch
I have to say, of all the dates I went on during my tenure as a single city-girl, weekend brunch dates were the ones I looked forward to the most. When else is it perfectly permissible to order a short stack of pancakes at two in the afternoon without the added grease and lacklustre atmosphere of your everyday diner? While “going out to dinner” has always had romantic implications, brunch is something that can be more fun and relaxing. Plus, there’s no awkward miscommunication at the end of the night (is someone coming upstairs?). You and your date have the time and setting to get to know each other,  and you can have a mimosa while doing so. So go ahead and order another cup of coffee, and ask if your date did anything fun this weekend. Hopefully, by the end of brunch, he or she will reply with, “I met you.”

2. Bowling
I know what you’re about to say. Rental shoes? Rowdy teenagers? Children’s birthday parties? Yes, a bowling alley can bring back memories of all of these things. However, nowadays there are bowling alleys that restrict entrance to minors past a certain time of night on weekends, making it an adults-only evening. There’s usually wait service right at your lane, too. Instead of the usual group get-together, one-on-one time will be worth it when you knock down those pins and your date rewards you with a high-five (which will probably turn into a hug or kiss by the third or fourth time you get a strike). It’s another low-pressure idea that adds a fun element to your usual stiff first date.

3. Ice-Skating
Now I may be a little biased because I skated competitively for 10 years, but whether you’re a professional or a snow bunny, getting on the ice can be a lot of fun, especially on a date. The rink gets cold, so there’s lots of snuggling up over hot chocolate. Plus, there’s a high chance of hand-holding when you’re taking your laps around the rink. Bonus: the open sessions are pretty inexpensive.

4. Attend a Bartending Class
These aren’t as hard to find as you may think — a quick Google search and you can locate many options for fun mixology lessons. Worst-case scenario? You learn how to make the latest drink and impress your friends and family at the next party. Best-case scenario? You and your date can name a cocktail after yourselves!

Jill Knapp-Zitron
Guest Relationship Editor

Jill Knapp-Zitron, a native New Yorker, is the author of the Chase series. A regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Knapp-Zitron reports on entertainment, dating and relationships, and the differences between city and suburban lifestyles. She received a master’s degree in psychology from the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, and has also taught psychology at the college level at her alma mater, Kean University.

www.jillknappzitron.com

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Jill Knapp-Zitron

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