Closer’s dat­ing ex­pert, Re­becca Twomey, dis­cusses the dilemma of find­ing some­thing to do with a po­ten­tial part­ner that doesn’t in­volve drink­ing al­co­hol

Closer (UK) - - Wellbeing -

First dates are far F from the fun-filled flirt-a-thon peo­ple in re­la­tion­ships imag­ine them to be. They’re usu­ally just awk­ward ex­changes with a stranger. And this is un­doubt­edly why, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey from Seek­ing.com, al­most half of sin­gles want to keep things short – around 12 sips short – and go for cof­fee on a first date.

I’ve only been on a hand­ful of cof­fee dates, most cafes are loud and any­thing but in­ti­mate. On first dates, I pre­fer to get a take­away cof­fee and go for a stroll. If it’s go­ing well, you can keep walk­ing or grab some lunch to­gether. But if you’re stuck in a cafe, and the date’s go­ing well, or­der­ing more than one cof­fee could turn you into a jit­tery mess.

What I strug­gle with is date ideas once I’ve done the din­ner, drinks, walks et al (and some­times all in one day). I don’t like to get re­peat­edly

drunk as I feel the al­co­hol can of­ten blur how I re­ally feel – and it’s also ex­pen­sive.

Re­cently I at­tempted to go on a hike with a guy and have a ro­man­tic lunch in the sun­shine. But, of course, on that par­tic­u­lar day the heav­ens de­cided to open and put a damper on things. Com­ing up with a plan B was a strug­gle – the cinema meant we’d be sit­ting in si­lence when I wanted to spend my time get­ting to know him more. And we weren’t at the stage where we’d go to each other’s place, so we were stuck. We toyed with the idea of vis­it­ing a gallery or mu­seum, but that only filled a few hours, so we caved in and went to the pub. I de­cided not to drink and we tri­alled a mini pub crawl to keep us en­ter­tained.

Find­ing af­ford­able things to do that aren’t dic­tated by the weather is a chal­lenge, and things that don’t in­volve drink­ing. But then again, if you’re with the right com­pany any­thing you do will be fun – even walk­ing in the rain.

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