Written by Xenia Ellenbogen
There’s no greater example of dating in the summer than walking around all day with someone during a heatwave and then finally catching a moment of sweet relief in the train’s air conditioning. Only, when you stand up, your legs stick to the plastic seat and you have to make an ungraceful attempt to unpeel yourself. Sunburn, sweat in places you forgot produced it, and a general lack of air conditioning makes summer dating ripe with the opportunity to say “nope” – but here’s why you should roll with the sweat droplets and read on for our summer date ideas.
Despite the loss of a “normal” summer last year, things are looking better and hold different possibilities this time around. According to Time, daters are seeking more meaningful connections due to spending time in isolation and reflecting on their values. With better weather, longer days, more vitamin D and extended holidays, people are generally happier in the summer, which often leads to a more optimistic dating mindset. Plus, this time of year brings the opportunity for cute summer date ideas: festivals, outdoor concerts, park dates – the possibilities are endless. Let’s get the lowdown on dating in summer.
Evaluate what you want
If you’re feeling more inclined to date this summer than last year, working out what you want from dating is vital. The pandemic has shifted dating behaviour, making some people more aware of their dating goals. You might have noticed that your unique dating needs have changed, too. This might mean you want to take things slowly, dip your toe in the dating scene by keeping things light, or have little bandwidth for connections that don’t feel genuine after a few dates. All of these boundaries are perfectly healthy and OK. If you’ve felt pressure to secure a relationship from family, friends, or social media, it’s important to remember that your own pace is the right pace for you.
Let go of the idea of ‘the perfect date’
Society has conditioned us to view dating as something that should be a flawless process, but that’s not how things usually go.
Summer dating is a humbling reminder that perfection is a thing of the past. When you’re sweating off your make-up or your date’s getting flushed from the heat, you lean into the fact that you’re both imperfect humans. The idea that a date must be smooth sailing from start to finish couldn’t be farther from the truth – it doesn’t leave room for the nuance of awkward giggles or a misunderstanding you’ll later laugh about.
The majority of people’s dating lives are filled with awkward silences, not saying the right thing, tripping over, and spilling drinks. These are the small moments that can show you a person’s true colours – do they laugh along with you? Or do they make you feel bad? If it’s the latter, take it as a sign that this person is not the one for you.
Fun summer date ideas
- Head to a park for a picnic date where you each bring something homemade. Hint: this is also a great test to see if someone can actually cook.
- Head indoors to a museum when it’s too hot to be outside. Talking about art and culture can be a great way to learn how someone sees the world.
- Cool off by a body of water like an ocean, pool, or lake and dive in. Don’t forget to lather up with sunscreen!
- Rent bikes and explore your surroundings, stopping to hydrate at a local coffee shop.
- Catch an outdoor or drive-through movie.
- Head to a food festival or farmer’s market and bring your appetite.
- Head to the park with your pup stepping in as the ultimate (and best) third wheel. How someone treats your dog is supremely telling.
- Try something adventurous outdoors, like zip lining, rock climbing, horseback riding, or kayaking. Getting out of your comfort zone on a date can bring you closer together.
Summer date reminders
After an exceptionally long winter, getting outside while meeting someone new is a great way to instil that summer feeling. Whatever your dating goals are, make sure to remind yourself to stay present and leave grand expectations, like finding your soulmate on the first date, behind. Remember, you deserve to have some fun!