Most shidduch dates are sitting in a lounge talking about yourselves. A leisurely stroll along the river’s edge is similar. In a relaxed atmosphere, you can focus on the conversation and get to know each other better.
Some people feel that they can’t possibly really get to know someone through conversation only; they want to experience them in ‘real life’ settings. They want to see how they interact with others, what excites them, how they work, and what makes them tick.
While indeed you can see somewhat about a person by the way they treat the service staff, such as waiters or valets, it really doesn’t say all that much about a person.
Here are some activities that people have done during dating. The idea is not only to have a nice time together but to get to know each other from a different angle. Doing such activities together can give you insight that cannot be gleaned from conversations.
Do they know how to laugh at themselves when something doesn’t go as planned, or do they get frustrated? How do they respond to doing something that is interesting to you, but they don’t really care for it? How well do you work together? How do they interact with the other people there? How do other people see him/her? Are they competitive, or do they help you also do a good job? How do you feel around them when doing these activities?
TIP: If you are planning something unconventional, ask the other person if they are comfortable.
TIP: Let the other person know in advance what you will be doing, so they can plan appropriately.
What you might do on a date
- Visit local landmarks as tourists.
- Teach each other something you like to do – ex: photography, brew beer.
- Try something that neither of you has experience with – ex: tying a sailor knot.
- Have a picnic or BBQ in the park. Prepare the food together.
- Meet the other person at their place of work.
- Volunteer together.
- Get to meet each other’s families.
- Visit a zoo or museum.
- Crafting – pottery, soap making, paper making, painting class, flower making.
- Escape room.
- Street fairs, window shopping, farmer’s market.
- Learn something together – from a sefer, a lecture, a computer program.
- Meet for brunch, instead of meeting in the evening.
- Hang out in nature – birdwatching, hiking, corn maze, winery, fruit-picking, boat ride.
- Wander the bookstore. Hang out in the travel section and talk about dream trips.
- Prepare fun food together – chocolate-dipped pretzels, cookie decorating.
- Show-n-Tell – bring something that is meaningful and talk about it.
- Each of you prepares something before and then shares or discusses it during the date. (ex: read an article, watch a video).
*You can talk to your mashpia to determine if these are appropriate for you.