Tuesday, December 15, 2015

101 Dates for The "Netflix and Chill" Generation

Ada goes on dates.

I don't know Ada, but I know she has the option of going on dates b/c her date accidentally asked me out.

It was a brisk Friday evening, and I was headed to my school's Holiday party, preparing myself for drunken teachers and their significant others. (Very few teachers are single, ugh.) I hopped into my Uber, preparing to put Tory Lanez on my iPod to tune out the driver's phone conversation when a text arrived. The text was from a number I didn't recognize.

"Hey, Ada."

I rolled my eyes, preparing to text back, "wrong number."

Before my text could go through, two more arrived.

"I dressed up today, and I don't think enough folks have seen my fit. Lol. Give me an excuse to show it off? Drinks and dinner, later? Are you up for a first date?"

Cute. Funny. Forward.

He responded, after finally receiving that he had the wrong number, "Oh! I'm sorry. Have a happy holiday!"

Maybe he put the number into his contacts the wrong way? Maybe Ada gave him the wrong number? 

Meh. Doesn't matter.

What matters is that Ada was asked on a date. A real one. I don't even want to tell my friends about Ada because they've been yearning to get an actual invitation. They're tired of just-passing-through, might-come-to-your-show, I'll-meet-you-at-the-spot-with-friends brother.

Now I've been on quite a few dates, but I've been out of the scene since the summer. I'm trying to get a book finished, and I cannot balance the two. In the interim, I've been listening to stories from my gal pals.

My inbox is filled with Netflix (or Redbox) and Chill inquiries:

"Girl, he says he's going to bring over some dinner, and we'll watch a movie. He's bringing the food. That's sweet of him, right?"
"He's stopping at a Redbox on the way here. I've got to clean up and make sure my Mac still plays DVDs."
"We've been vibing about films we're both into; we're going to have a marathon of them tonight."

My replies were:

"Who still uses RedBox?"
"Oh. Y'all are going to have a marathon, for sure..."

I feel them. I've been there. My dating life, as of late, is usually one of two extremes: Mr.-Obsessed-With-My-Work and slightly stalkerish or Mr.-Netflix-and-Chill.

I'm not opposed to Netflix and Chill. It's great for several dates later, already committed relationships and married couples on stormy nights.

But on a first date? Like the first few times y'all are chilling? You mean the guy you just met on Tinder? You mean the dude whose third question was...."So...who do you live with?"

No. Nawl. Neit. Negative. Earn my address, son.

There are far too many things to do, for you to be doing the Netflix & Chill. & I'm going to list them all, with some great tactics.

Here are one-hundred, and one dates to go on, that aren't Netflix and Chill:

This category of dates are the initial meetups. Your sole aim should be getting to know one another! This is the only way you'll know if this is someone you want to continue dating. (Duh.) It's hard to do that over a movie, a loud club/lounge, or even over dinner. (Some people are awkward about posture, food selection, and the way they eat.)

1) The Neighboorhood Stroll: I had a date pick me up once, and his car broke down when we tried to head out. We decided to walk around while we waited on the tow truck to arrive. I showed him aspects of my childhood neighborhood and told him great anecdotes that he complemented with his own. It was one of the most engaging conversations I'd ever had.

2) The Park Walk: You know the classic scene from "Brown Sugar" where Sid and Dre walk through the park, grab hot dogs, and talk? Yeah...do that, instead of watching it.

3) The Ice-Cream Stroll: Know a good dessert or pastry spot? Head there, grab something yummy, and sit on a nearby bench and enjoy! 

4) The Bookstore: When's the last time you've hit Barnes and Noble with your personal book reviewer?! Never? Cool. Take your date and grab each other's favorite novel and latte, read a few pages together, and discuss.

5) The Library: What if you're not trying to be stuck with his/her favorite book, forever? Fine. Hit the library. Grab the coffee afterward.

6) The Coffee/Tea Date: Speaking of beverages...there are so many places that specialize in grounds and unique teas. They're usually quiet and cozy, and some of them have awesome themes. Get your Yelp on and find one to hang out in.

7) The Museum Date: Find out something your partner is passionate about and know where they're showcasing it. There's a museum for almost freaking everything. Find one to walk around in, take in the sights, and chit-chat with all those around it.  

8) The Zoo: Does she love elephants? I know where she can see a real one. 

9) The Aquarium: Is he really into sharks? You know where to go.

10) The Bloom: The Botanical Gardens always has something going on. Their themes are pretty amazing. The Bronx Botanical Garden recreated Frida Kahlo's house garden, this past summer. I can't to see what they'll come up with next! 

11) The Restaurant Nook: Know a spot that places an emphasis on quiet spots for their customers? Cool. I'll allow dinner if you know of a place. Don't? Here's a place that has secret caves and you'll be so enamored with the show that all nervousness will melt away. 

This is how you know if it's real. After a few get-to-know-you dates, you'll need to test your person around other folks. I'm not saying you need to bring them home, but you can bring them into a crowd and see how they'll react. I know folks that find out that their prospective partners are crazy once they're amongst other people that aren't blinded by love and lust.

12) The Fight Party: Drag your date to the fight party your boy is throwing. Grab some wings, punch the air, imagine you're in Creed.

13) The Game: Playing ball with your friends? Have your date sit on the sidelines and watch. Get your personal cheerleading squad.

14) The Brunch: Unlimited mimosas and red velvet waffles with the squad? Bring your date! 

15) The Laser Tag: Bruh! Let's not leave this in the past. We're never too old for laser tag. This is especially awesome when you have a bunch of folks with you. Girls vs. Boys? Don't be shocked when the gals win. I'm just saying.

16) The Paintball: Apply all laser tag verbiage here. 

17) The Arcade: Invite a few couples out or double date, see who racks up the most tickets! Spend them all on rubber, slimy things that you'll lose soon. 

18) The Couples Thing: There are a ton of events aimed at couples and dates. Check them out and get to know other folks in your predicament. You can learn from each other. Check out Playtime or co3Studio

19) The Bowling Date: You should do this with a crew!

20) The Ice Skate: C'mon! I know you want to see a few of your peeps bust their behind on the ice!

21) The Tourist: Most of us haven't seen the landmarks in our cities. Pick one and make your way there. That reminds me--I've got to get my ass to The Statue of Liberty. It's long overdue! 

"Okay. I dig this person. This might be going somewhere." 

When this notion crosses your mind, it's time to get into some real one-on-one time. 

22) The Yacht Date: There are plenty of circle lines that stroll the city. Get to know your future significant other, on the water. 

23) The Canoe Date: Self explanatory. Google your local parks. 

24) The Lake Date: We're just going to stay on the water theme. Take your date to a lake, read all of the signs that explain the wildlife, skip rocks across, and carve your name into a tree. Don't feed the ducks! It's not good for them, despite what your favorite romance movie says 

25) The Fishing Date: Take it up a notch? Bring some bait and fish hooks. They're a G if they don't squirm hooking the worm. Pause. 

26) Kite Flying: I haven't done this yet, but I imagine it'd be dope.

27) Dine-In Movie Theatre: These are quite poppin' in the south. In NYC, we just sneak whatever the hell we want in. *sneaks steak into Creed*

28) The Boardwalk Date: NYC....you should check these out: Long Beach, Nautical Mile, Coney Island Beach. 

29) Apple Picking: This is cute. Does he/she have kids? Take them! None? Be a big kid and go together!

30) Pumpkin Picking: Same.

31) The Vineyard Date: Makes for great IG photos. (Let them haters hate.) Get tipsy and spill all those skeletons. They're going to come out.

32) Paint and Sip: This is a thing now. Honestly, I could do this in my crib...but I might get too creative with the canvass and paint. (Chill Riv, chill.) 

33) Hot Air Balloon: Just make sure your date isn't afraid of heights, first. 

34) Helicopter Ride: Oh....you got money. 

35) Beach Date: Grab your towels, pails, and sunscreen. Build a sandcastle, before your temple. (That was supposed to be a profound metaphor. Forget it.)

36) Game Night: Bust out those dominoes, grab some Heineken, and do it like your Uncles do in the backyard during your Caribbean family get together.

37) Dance Class: Did anybody say salsa? (No, no, not the one for Tostitos.)

38) Academia Date: There are a ton of continuing education programs at local universities that offer 1-3 day classes. Take one together that interests you! Do homework together!

39) Workout Date: Okay. Make sure you're cool before you suggest this date. You don't want to offend anyone.

40) Birdwatching: Binoculars baby.

41) Improv: A ton of troupes have an open invitation for you to get your actor/actress on! Pursue a long lost dream, while with Mr./Ms. Dreamy.

42) Factory Tour Date: They have a chocolate factory in Redhook, with a whiskey brewery. Two for one. If you're not from Brooklyn, there's got to be something in your neighborhood!

43) Cooking Class: Sur La Table is your friend. Life experience and possible life partner in one.

44) DJ Date: Take a class and learn to spin the ones and twos, while getting your groove back. ;)

45) Tapas Date: Go to a restaurant that specializes in wine/cheese pairings or tapas. Try things together. Talk about your likes/dislikes. (Don't get too personal.)

46) Drive-In Movie Theatre Date: Cool! Old school.

47) DIY Date: You know all those vids you saved that taught you how to make candles or mac-and-cheese? Put one to use...together!

48) Club Date: Shake that tailfeather!

49) Karaoke Date: Let's see who can break a glass, first!

50) Facetime/Skype Date: You're far away? So what? Technology, baby.

51) Gourmet Date: Head to a specialty store and pick out items you've never tried. Try these together. His or her place?

52) The Context Date: Have you learned about a new trend or emerging art, through journalism? Give your partner the article to read and head on the date to see it LIVE.

53) Bucket List Date: Pick something. DO IT.

54) Gardening Date: Head to your local nursery, pick a plant, and make the word a little prettier.

55) Staycation Date: Take a mini road trip somewhere, anywhere. Pick up a map of your state, close your eyes, point. Go.

56) Morning Matinee Date: Have the theater all to yourself. Laugh, yell FIRE! Laugh, again. Ignore the movie, talk to each other.

57) Color Run: Do one of those crazy marathons, together.

58) Picnic Date: Do it somewhere random. A field, a farm, a park no one goes to.

59) Old School Game: Champ of Monopoly in your childhood household? Prove it.

60) Adopt A Third Wheel: Head to the pet store or your local animal adoption center. Grab a playmate! (Since that other playmate idea ain't working out. Ha!)

61) Opera Date: Whew. Different.

62) Ballet Date: Get her some Misty tickets. Show her you're fly.

63) Sex Ed Date: So many places have seminars/workshops on this. Enjoy! ;)

64) Spa Date: Massages for two?

65) Rain Date: Get your "The Notebook" on. No rain check...walk in it. Make sure you take your meds afterward.

66) Dinner Party Date: There are all these cool underground dinner things happening. Find one!

67) Astronomy Date: Find some stars!

68) The Car Date: When's the last time you've just chilled in the whip? Sixteen? ;)

69) The Watergun/Nerf Gun Date: Agree on a point system. Lock and load.

70) Roller Rink Date: Roll. Bounce.

71) Writing Date: Write something together. Grab your journals and work on a group piece.

72) Give Back Date: Pick a charity. Plant a tree. Work with kids. Fill your hearts, in unison.

73) Scavenger Hunt Date: Make one for him/her. Go crazy! Promise something good, if they find it all. Promise something awesome, even if they don't.

74) Sunrise/Sunset Date: Duh. Rooftop swag.

75) Pool Hall Date: Make a bet.

76) 21-Question Date: So...what are your dreams and favorite colors and how many kids are we going to have? Make sure the wine is involved.

77)  History Date: Pick a period, immerse yourself in it. Read something, watch something (not on Netflix), visit something.

78) Wedding Date: Your mini-feed is full of weddings. You're going to receive a few. Accept one and take him/her.

79) Spoken Word Date: Hit a poetry cafe and take in some words.

80) The Rap Battle Date: Self-explanatory. I'm into hip-hop heavy.

81) Concert Date: Get tickets to see your date's favorite artist. Surprise!

82) The As-Seen-On-Tv Date: Ever wonder if some of those things actually work? Grab one and try it.

83) Photography Date: Grab disposable cameras and go on a photography tour. See who gets the flyest shots. Make sure to get them developed. Spend more time looking over them. (Wine here, too.)

84) Flea Market Date: Dig through some vintage.

85) AirBnB Date: Be someone else for a weekend. Take over their space. Live life in their shoes...or their home.

86) Fondue Date: Just put cheese or chocolate on any/everything.

87) Beer Tasting: IPAs for the win.

88) Film Festival: And chill...

89) Bartender Date: Grab mixes, use some recipes, make drinks for one another. (I'm not responsible for what happens afterwards.)

90) Trivia Night: These are at sooo many bars. Search engines are your friend.

91) Speed Dating Date: Ha. Mix it up. Don't let anyone know you're there together. Wink wink.

92) Art Date: Grab sketchbooks, pastels, charcoals, and draw together.

93) Shooting Range Date: I mean...if that's your thing.

94) Seafood Date: All sea everything. If you're in NYC...City Island is your friend.

95) Carousel: Horsey!

96) Holiday Date: String lights or put the tree up, together.

97) The Video Game Date: Kick his ass in Halo.

98) The Future Date: 500 Days of Summer & Ikea. All I'm gonna say.

99) The Risk Date: Skydive, confusing maze, bungee jump. (Again, if that's your thing.)

100) Meetup Date: There are so many themed meetups happening everywhere. Join one.

101) The Hulu Date: & chill. HA!


1 comment:

Erin said...

Girl! So many ideas! My personal favorite date always is number 4. You find out so much about someone from what they choose to read.