7 first dates with a difference

First dates can be a bit like jumping off a bridge. It’s exciting but scary, and there’s often quite a bit of anticipation. So why do we so often resort to boring coffee shop or restaurant dates, as if we were applying for a job not meeting a potential new friend, if not partner? Move away from the staid and boring and engage in a fun activity where you can really get to know someone. Here are some examples:

To market, to market

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Markets are a great date idea. You can taste wine and cheese, look for quirky hats and home decor and enjoy each other company in a fun environment. Whether you’re up for a farmer’s market, flea market or artisan festival, at the least you’ll be able to look for bargains and specialty goods with a partner in crime to help you barter your dollars. There’s usually plenty of food and drink trucks and if the date goes well, your accomplice can help you cook that asparagus you bought or hang that painting.

Film with a difference 

A film sounds like a great idea for a date until you realize that’s it’s pretty much sitting next to a stranger in silence for several hours trying not to elbow them over the arm rest. Films are great, especially if you share similar taste so why not celebrate the opportunity by going for a venue with a difference. There’s the Hippodrome silent film festival Scotland, outdoor cinema at a castle in Barcelona and Forever cemetary cinema screenings in Hollywood,   to name but a few examples- all resplendent with conversational possibilities before and after the film.

Volunteer together

Volunteering is great opportunity to give something back to others, meet people and determine what someone is like in an unfamiliar situation. Helping a colleague move house? Tree planting? Staffing the cake stall at a fundraiser? There are oodles of options for volunteering both amongst your community and established charities.

Take a class together

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Learning someone new is a great way to get to know someone and how they behave when faced with a challenge. Whether you opt to learn to grow succulents, cook a curry or the art of bicycle maintenance, a workshop or a class is a great way to learn more about someone in a fun, hands-on environment.

Get moving

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Movement raises endorphins and reduces the risk for staring at someone awkwardly. Go for a hike, a stroll in a park,  a spot of barefoot bowls in Brisbane or Metal yoga in Brooklyn

Play tourist with insider knowledge

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Sure you love to travel but what about showing each other your favorite spots in town? Whether it’s a club, roadside cafe or food truck, it’s fun to show someone your favorite haunts. That said, if the date is a disaster, you might not want them to be popping up to your regular bar everytime you go for a visit.

Try a trivia night 

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Trivia nights and pub quizzes are a great way to get talking and test your knowledge in obscure place names, bands of the 1990’s or current affairs. Take the pressure off by joining another team together or band together as a duo of underdogs. Don’t be a sore loser if you lose (or cheat by using your phone) and bonus points if you opt for the singing challenges.

We’d love to hear some of the fun activities (erm besides the obvious) that you’ve undertaken on your first dates. Leave a message below or comment on our twitter or facebook.

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6 top tips for creating a successful dating profile

Writing a dating profile can be harder than you first think, especially if you’re a bit out of practice in online dating. Think of it a bit like meeting someone you find attractive at a party, you’re keen to impress and want to tell them about you and find out about them, but you don’t want to bore anyone. We’ve spoken to hundreds of people looking for love at Passport Lover and here’s our top tips for creating an attention worthy profile that will make people want to get to know you:

You are more than your job

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While we spend a lot of our waking ours engaged in employment, most of us aspire to work to live not live to work. We hope you love your job, but you are more than work and writing a dating profile is not the same as writing your resume. Besides, if you don’t make time for yourself outside of work, how will you be available for anyone else?

Make an effort

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How would you feel if you read someone’s profile and it was two lines stating ‘I don’t know what to write here but I want to meet my soul mate, get married and have kids’? It’s hardly appealing, let alone enticing. Think about who you are and what you are looking for.  Most people would like a ‘happy ever after’ romance, but declarations of wanting and needing love just come across as rather desperate.

Be interested and interesting 

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There’s nothing worse than meeting a person who has no real hobbies or passions. Spending time outside of a relationship is a great time to learn about who you are and what you like, how you spend your time and what makes your heart sing. For example:

  • Is your idea of a great time a dawn visit to a fish market to get the greatest seafood then barbecue it on the beach or do you prefer brunch in bed?
  • Are you an avid reader of autobiographies or is crime fiction more your style?
  • Do you make the best curry in the world?
  • Are you the go-to guy for friends wanting their indoor plants to survive?
  • Do you volunteer for any charities?
  • Does running three times a week come as natural to you as breathing?

Avoid cliches like ‘I like walks on the beach, listening to music and watching movies (who doesn’t?) They fail to offer any insight into your as a person and your personality.

Correct spelling and grammar

Spelling and grammar areas just aren’t a good look. There’s plenty of spelling programs out there like Grammarly and you can even write your profile in Microsoft Word to correct and then cut and paste the paragraphs you’ve written to your profile online.

Don’t write SMS style either, it’s just tacky.

Consider who you want to meet

Many people have particular preferences to certain attributes in potential partners. It’s not unusual to love women with curly hair or men with beards or whatever. But don’t forget people are more than their appearance. But limiting yourself to say, men from Spain, you’re might be missing potential connections.

 

Picture a photo the represents you 

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Let’s be honest, most of us don’t look at good as we wish. Whether it’s a receding hairline or a few extra pounds, we might not look how we always have. But the reality is that all of us have things we don’t like about our appearance. This doesn’t stop us being a wonderful friend, an interesting person or great conversationalist. We are more than our appearance. But in general, your profile picture should be:

  • Current. You might have had great hair 10 years ago but you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment if you misrepresent yourself as a person in your past.
  • Of you alone. No one wants to see a photo of someone with the ex. This includes images where you’ve cropped the other person out, it’s rather underwhelming when you can still see the arm of your beloved.
  • Inclusion of beloved pets are fine, tigers on chains or you sitting atop an elephant is less so, animal ethics in tourism should be considered whenever you travel and such images are more likely to act as a deterrent.
  • Likewise topless or revealing pics are not a reflection of the community here at Passport Lover.

An itinerary of travels or achievements can be really boring

I once went to a friend’s place for post-holiday drinks and what he jokingly referred to as a slide show. We thought he was joking, He wasn’t, and proceeded to show us slides of every exhibit in a museum. It was excruciating. Another time I met someone at a party who within 5 minutes proceeded to tell me that she’d lived on 5 continents and had two degrees. Getting to know someone is not telling them your life story on the first date, or supplying the details or every beach you’ve even surfed on. Allow a little breathing space and remember to open yourself to possibilities.

Really struggling? Get a friend to help

We’re not all wordsmiths and sometimes good friends are the best resources to help you write a stellar profile, especially if they’ve known you for some time. They are quick to encapsulate your good qualities and honest enough to say if your descriptions are off the mark.