Single people: Have you ever noticed that your love life tends to sort of stand still come winter? Between the hecticness of the holidays and the doom and gloom of the cold weather, it's not exactly prime time to leave the house and meet new people—but that doesn't mean you have to stop dating as soon as the winter months arrive. Winter can actually be a fun, sentimental time of year and there are still plenty of things you can do on a first date ...so don't write off romance entirely if you don't want to.
If you're looking to get back into the swing of dating this winter season, here are some creative date ideas to choose from—but first...
Some tips for making it through:
1. Psych yourself up. As soon as the cold weather arrives, it feels like it's time to hibernate—so getting ready and going outside to do anything, let alone going on a first date you're nervous about, can be a struggle. Try listening to a playlist that makes you feel happy or energized, or doing something social with friends earlier in the day to get you in the mood to go out and have a good time.
2. Be flexible. Winter weather isn't all brisk air and fluffy snowflakes—sometimes it's actually unsafe to drive or go outside in. That also means you might have to reschedule your date in case things unexpectedly take a turn, so try to be flexible and understanding if things don't work out as planned.
3. Don't rush. This is a challenging time of year to start dating, because the holidays mean you often spend a lot of time traveling and seeing family—all of which can put a lot pressure on you when you're seeing someone new. Try to remember that it's still just a date, regardless of what else is going on—and if it works out, don't let the timing take over.
Winter dating must-haves:
1. A coat that actually keeps you warm. (Because you won't enjoy your date if you're thinking about how cold you are the entire time.)
2. A portable phone charger. Not because you'll be using your phone constantly during your date, which would be rude, but because the cold winter air can totally drain your battery without you realizing it, and you might need it.
3. Chapstick or lip balm. Whether or not you plan to kiss and tell, there's nothing like winter weather to make your lips peel and make you feel self-conscious.
Winter-friendly date ideas for every situation:
For when you're feeling outdoorsy:
- Bundle up and go ice skating (bonus points if you actually know how.)
- Meet up for hot cocoa...then have a snowball fight.
- Get a drink, then take a walk around a neighborhood known for its holiday decorations.
- Head to the craft store for supplies, then have a snowman building contest, or build one together.
For when it's too cold to be outside:
- Do karaoke or go to trivia night at a local bar.
- Attend a comedy show or a poetry reading, depending on your interests.
- Walk around a museum or see an art gallery.
- Volunteer for a holiday-themed charity together.
- Go to a hockey game—that is, if you like sports (it won't be as fun otherwise.)
- Take a dance class—you'll get close, and you'll learn something new.
Not every first date is with someone you've never met—if you're going on a date with someone you don't know (say, you met online, or got fixed up by a friend) the above ideas will work just fine because they all involve meeting up in a public place. If you're going on a first date with a friend or an acquaintance you already know and trust, you can also try one of these ideas...
For when you already know each other:
- Stock up on snacks, then go to a drive-in movie together.
- "Camp" in your living room—build a fort, make s'mores, tell stories, etc.
- Cook dinner or bake together—try a new recipe to make it more fun.
- Break out your snow pants, find a hill and go sledding (this works even better for groups, so it's perfect for a double date.)
Bonus: All of the dates on these list work for established couples, too.