This may reveal me as a complete dork to the Internet, but on our first date, my boyfriend and I played Scrabble, and ended up playing Bocce in a group a few dates thereafter. These experiences taught me much more about him than sitting in a restaurant and having dinner would have: Namely, that we share a competitive streak, and that he's the only person who could ever beat me at Scrabble, which is quite an accomplishment (I'm better at Bocce, for the record. See? I'm a sore loser). That's why I think the dating site HowAboutWe is such an awesome idea despite, full disclosure, not even being an online dating fan. It matches you up with potential dates based on activities you both want to do, taking a lot of pressure off the whole process. There are a ton of reasons why sharing an activity — bowling, surfing, wine tasting — is ultimately better for your relationship than sitting across from each other trying to come up with things to say. Here are just a few of them:
1. It gives you something to talk about and bond over. Though if you still run out of things to talk about, check out HowAboutWe's 3 Tips For Non-Awkward First-Date Conversation.
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2. Shared experiences help you create great memories together. Like pronouncing menu items wrong because you're nervous. Always a hoot! Here's how to avoid that.
3. You learn a lot more from someone by an activity as simple as playing Scrabble or tossing a Frisbee (let alone something more involved like rock climbing at a local gym or going to a wine tasting). Seeing how people operate is very telling — and very attractive. Check out HowAboutWe's tips for decoding what your date's dinner order says about them.
4. If you're doing something with a guide or host, like a wine tasting, the pressure's totally off. Forget the endless back-and-forth messaging — you already have a common interest and a date planned — you just need to decide when. It's totally easy to go from screen time to face time, where the actual chemistry can happen.
5. And our favorite, to quote Rob from High Fidelity, "What really matters is what you like, not what you are like."
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But hey, if you're still craving a chill dinner-and-Netflix date night at your apartment, check out HowAboutWe's tips for creating a non-awkward at-home dinner date. It'll be sure to lead to some real action.
Sound off: What are your favorite activity dates?