If you’re looking for something a bit more innovative than the archetypal “dinner and a movie,” more power to you.
I can tell you that women get major brownie points for coming up with and planning creative dates that prove they did more than open a newspaper.
If your lady loves connecting with nature, here are a few ideas for your initial engagements that will appeal to her outdoorsy side and make sure you get a second date.
Rock climbing – One of my all-time favorite dates, this one requires some planning, as the two of you will need to take an intro class if you’re not skilled climbers. Still, there are plenty of gyms that offer affordable introductions, and you usually get your own instructor. Develop trust by belaying each other, then satisfy your post-climbing appetites by grabbing some food.
Hiking the trails – The big secret about hiking that no one tells you is that it’s really just walking by another name. Find a shaded trail in your neck of the woods and invite her along for the ride. The scenery will provide a welcome distraction while you two get to know each other.
Horseback riding – At the risk of generalizing, women love horses. Whether it’s the “white knight” angle or just the excitement of sitting atop an animal several times your size, horseback riding lessons, or even a tour à la cheval, will up the romance factor of any outing.
A picnic in the park – A classic first-date outing, it’s hard to go wrong with a blanket, a picnic basket, and some home-made treats. Let your thoughtfulness shine through, and then seal the deal with a PB&J.
Kayaking – For those lucky enough to live near a body of water, why not rent a kayak (yes, just one, gentlemen … you do the paddling) and float around? While swimming is probably a little much (she’d likely prefer not to be nearly-naked the first time the two of you hang out), the water is the perfect place to see sparks.
Skydiving – If you’ve got a madcap on your hands, you’ll create a lifelong bond by leaping out of a plane, hand in hand. Not for the faint of heart, it’s an unbelievable rush – and the thrill of touching back down on the sweet, solid earth is sure to bring you two closer together.
Riding bikes – Looking for something a bit tamer? Scope out the city on two wheels. If you’re stern about wooing this one, you might even consider renting a tandem bike. It’s a risk, and possibly a bit on the cheesy side, but it’s hard to deny the appeal of “a bicycle built for two.”
Camping – It might be a stretch for a first date, but if you’re really joshing for an outdoor adventure, throw a tent in the truck and whisk her away to a secluded spot. Pros: No TV, menu-perusing, or snotty waiters to distract you. Cons: wild animals!