Let’s go outside: why first dates outside work so well

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Dates outside

Why not shake up your first date and head outside? Having a great date is easier when you’re doing something you enjoy, says Charly Lester

One of the first blind dates I ever went on was to a zoo. It turned out to be a great choice of date; as we walked past the meerkats and the penguins, there were so many natural conversation starters that we never struggled for something to say.

But there was more to it than that, and my date was the one who picked up on it. ‘I don’t normally like dates, I normally get too shy,’ he explained. ‘But today has been different, and I think it’s because we’re side by side; I often have the best conversations when I’m sitting in a car with someone, it’s easier to say what you think when someone isn’t staring at you, and I guess today feels like that.’

He’d hit the nail on the head; rather than sitting across from one another over dinner or drinks, feeling like we were in an awkward job interview, we were side by side, walking around the zoo. The whole experience was far less intense and a lot more like normal life and, as a result, we were a lot more comfortable in each other’s company.

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Since that date, I’ve been careful to try and plan active dates. Going bowling, taking a jet boat down the Thames, spending the day at a theme park, taking a trip to a museum or gallery…you name it, I’ve tried it! And I have to say, I’ve rarely had a bad date. The thing about dating is that you don’t always share a spark with the other person, but that shouldn’t dictate whether you have a good time or not. If you choose an activity that you want to do anyway, hopefully you’ll have fun regardless of who’s by your side – you’ll never feel like the afternoon or evening has been a waste.

With that in mind, I was excited to hear about a new app, which has just launched in London. Crumbs is a cross between a treasure hunt and a pub quiz – offering a series of carefully plotted trails around the city, it’ll take you past all the key London landmarks and help you learn along the way. Personally I love London, and long before I became a Londoner, I enjoyed day trips up to the city. I’ve also always been something of a trivia hound – I love nothing more than spending a Sunday night doing a quiz with friends – so, the idea of seeing the sights, and trying my luck answering questions as I go, certainly appealed.

The app’s a great date idea. There are routes all over London and they all start at main tube stations, so you shouldn’t have to go too far to find one. You could even add a competitive element to your date and compete against each other (the app records your score as you go along), or take a more collaborative approach and compete against other people who have done the trail before. The app tells you when you’re in spots that work well for photos too, and if you spot an activity or attraction that you’d like to stop at along the way then you can just pause the app and carry on again later.

It’s free to download on iOS and Android and you’ll get a free taster trail too. If you fancy giving it a try, then eHarmony users can download a free trail of their choice by entering promo code harmony16 – so, what are you waiting for?


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