Looking for something new to do this summer? Try these creative date ideas.

 

 

Screen shot 2013-05-18 at 7.06.18 PMWho doesn’t love summer? The warm nights, cool water, smell of suntan lotion, the tropical drinks. It’s no wonder we dream about summer flings – it’s the perfect season for romance and spontaneity.

 

Which is why it’s fun to step out of your standard coffee or dinner date comfort zone and do something a little out of the ordinary. Namely, take advantage of the weather while you date.

 

Following are some summer date ideas that might inspire you:

 

Outdoor concerts. Many cities capitalize on the longer, warmer nights and invite local artists to perform outdoor concerts. Do you live near a pier, a lake, or downtown? Chances are some kind of live music is going on, so check your local listings and get the details. Then pack a bottle of wine and a few decadent snacks to enjoy with the music and you’re on your way.

 

Roadtrip it. If you’re at a loss for things to do in your own town, there’s nothing wrong with hopping in the car and seeing where the GPS takes you. Spontaneous road trips are the stuff romance is made of. Pick a destination and see what you find – even if it’s not all that spectacular, there are unique places in every neighborhood. Explore, that’s the point.

 

Get outdoors. Do you like tubing, hiking or biking? Instead of sitting down somewhere when you’d rather be moving, engage your date. Meet at a hiking spot you’ve always wanted to try. Ride bikes along the lake or boardwalk. Grab a couple of kayaks or inner tubes and hit the water. There are plenty of activities to do, it just depends what you’re up for.

 

Restaurant crawl. Is there a main street in your city or town where all the local hotspots are? Instead of making a reservation at one place and sitting down to dinner, make a night of it with a restaurant crawl. Try appetizers and cocktails in one place, tapas for dinner at another, a decadent bistro for dessert, and top it off with coffee at a cozy café or after-dinner drinks at a nightclub or bar, if that’s more your style.

 

Food trucks. Much like the restaurant crawl, food trucks have become increasingly popular across the country. It’s a more interesting and cheaper way to eat – gourmet grilled cheese to lobster rolls to Vietnamese burritos. During the summer they congregate together in certain neighborhoods where other activities might be going on, like farmer’s markets or county fairs.

 

 

Theatre under the stars. Do you love dinner and a movie? Take the idea outside. Pack a picnic with a bottle of wine, a blanket, and check your local listings for what’s playing at a park near you. I live in L.A., where outdoor movie night is at a famous Hollywood cemetery, so you can imagine the horror flicks and classic films they screen there, which are way better in this setting than in a boring theatre.

 

Wine tasting. Want to relax and enjoy your Sunday afternoon? Head to a local winery for some tasting. If you live near vineyards and can stop by a few, even better. In the summer they might have events, like food pairings or special wines for tasting. Best of all, you can relax and enjoy the scene.

 

Have fun!

 

 


Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 4.24.53 PMNot getting enough responses from your online dating matches? Try these tips and see what happens.

 

Joining an online dating site and creating a great profile are the first steps in the online dating process. You want to generate intrigue and appeal to get people interested enough to stop and look at your profile. But while these are important steps, how you use an online dating site once your profile is visible determines your success. That is, you want to be attracted to your matches and you want them to respond in kind to you.

 

So what happens next? How do you gain the most out of your online dating membership? What do you say in the first email? And what if you don’t get any emails or matches from people who you want to date?

 

Don’t panic. Most people have questions when they begin. In order for online dating to work in your favor and be a positive process, you have to put a little work and energy into it. You can’t expect to sit back and watch the emails and matches come rolling in. You have to engage and reach out. There are plenty of people to meet, so following are some tips for getting started:

 

Check in often. It’s good to have a routine so that you can check your online dating site every day for at least ten minutes. If you can only do it over lunch or late in the evening, then check in at those times. It doesn’t matter how long you’re logged in at any particular time, just that you check in often enough to send emails and chat with a few people on a daily basis. People move fast in the online dating world, so if you wait a week before checking in you’ve likely missed some good candidates (and your profile won’t show up as “active” unless you’re logging in regularly).

 

Send more than a dozen emails. Try three dozen emails. I know it seems impersonal, or laborious, but dating is a numbers game to a large extent. The wider you cast your net, the more people you’re able to correspond with and potentially date. It will be worth it – and it takes up less time and money than going to a bar and approaching women one by one.

 

Don’t send spam. Read profiles. Women can tell right away if you’ve sent the same email out to fifty other women. Mention something specific in her profile as a conversation starting point. You don’t have to make it a long email, but show that you took some time to read about her and that you’re interested.

 

Be classy in your approach. Most women don’t want to open an email addressed to “sex goddess” or “super hottie.” Again, you could have sent this to fifty other women. Plus, a woman wants to know that you actually want to meet her, not just any woman looking for a guy. Another tip: try to be emphatic in the beginning and pick something that stands out in her profile. (i.e. “Wow!! I love that you managed to sail halfway around the world when you were only 25, or “Gorgeous! Your photo stopped me – your eyes are stunningly beautiful.”) It’s not overkill, it’s effective.

 

Get over rejection. Everyone deals with it when they join online dating sites. Many people won’t respond to your emails. A smaller percentage end up in actual dates. It’s just a process – and let’s face it, nobody who is single has time to meet everyone they email or “wink” at on a dating website, so don’t feel rejected if some people don’t respond. Just move on to the next attractive person you see, and reach out.