Many/most shiduch dates are sitting in a lounge talking about yourselves. A leisurely stroll along the river’s edge is similar. In a relaxed atmosphere, you can focus on the conversation and getting to know each other better.
Some people feel that they can’t possibly really get to know someone through conversation only; they want to experience them in ‘real life’ settings. They want to see how they interact with others, what excites them, how they work, what makes them tick.
While indeed you can see somewhat about a person by the way they treat the service staff, such as waiters or valets, it really doesn’t say all that much about a person.
Here are some activities that people have done during dating. The idea is not only to have a nice time together, but to get to know each other from a different angle. Doing such activities together can give you insight that cannot be gleaned from conversations.
| Do they know how to laugh at themselves when something doesn’t go at planned, or do they get frustrated? | How do they respond to doing something that is interesting to you, but they don’t really care for it? | How well do you work together? | How do they interact with the other people there? | How do other people see him/her? | Are they competitive, or do they help you also do a good job? | How do you feel around them when doing these activities?
Here we share several ideas for dates beyond the talking in a lounge or taking a walk. The goal is not so much to ‘let go’ and ‘have fun’ together. The dates are still focused on getting to know each other, albeit coming at it from a different angle.
Including someone else in a discussion during your date can give you insights into who they are. It is OK to not only be talking to each other the whole time. You can be listening to an instructor explain how something works and then you try it on your own. You can be explaining something to someone else.
Meeting with someone who knows them can give you insight too.
*You can talk to your mashpia to determine if these are appropriate for you. Of course, some of these ideas depend on where you live, work and schedules.
- Learn something together – from a sefer, a lecture, a computer program.
- Teach each other something you like to do – ex: photography, brew beer.
- Try something that neither of you have experience with – ex: tying a sailor knot.
- Have a picnic or BBQ in the park. Shop for and prepare the food together.
- Meet the other person at their place of work. You can get to see how they interact with colleagues. You can also get to know more about how they spend their day.
- Volunteer together. (at a Soup Kitchen, pack food, pack for soldiers, visit a hospital, read to the elderly in senior home.)
- Get to meet each other’s families or friends.
- Visit a zoo or museum.
- Crafting – pottery, soap making, paper making, painting class, flower making. (It’s not about the final product, it’s about the experience. You can donate the final product to applicable organization.)
- Escape room, in a group of people.
- Street fairs, window shopping, farmer’s market.
- Visit local landmarks as tourists.
- Meet earlier in the day (perhaps for brunch), instead of meeting in the evening.
- Hang out in nature – birdwatching, hiking, corn maze, winery, fruitpicking.
- Wander the bookstore. Hang out in the travel section and talk about dream trips.
- Prepare fun food together – chocolate dipped pretzels, cookie decorating.
- Show n Tell – bring something that is meaningful and talk about it.
- Each of you prepare something before and then share or discuss during the date. (ex: read an article, watch a video).
- You can also checkout www.mikomos.com for other date places.