Having been in a relationship for the past 4 years, I must admit that my last date was quite a while ago (Tinder was in its infancy so I never got the chance to get “swiped”… what a shame)!

On the other hand, the romantic in me keeps abreast of my friends’ experiences and it’s those experiences that make it clear why so many people are single… it’s the “famous” (not really all that famous) coffee/drinks/Netflix and “chilling” dates.

My first dates, few as they might be, weren’t exactly typical. For example, jogging on a first date… not very exciting, you might say!

Then again, although I wasn’t necessarily looking my best (hello little (big) drop of sweat on my forehead), I’m about 99.9% certain that I was far less stressed going into that date than I would have been if I’d received an invitation to go out for coffee or drinks, or even worse, to just chill in his basement and watch a movie. The mere thought of sitting across from a guy, slowly sipping on my chaï latté to cover up those awkward moments of silence, sends chills up my spine! (I’d have a difficult time believing you if you said that you’re completely at ease when he slings that famous phrase at you: “so, tell me a little about yourself…”

Here are a few more creative ideas for your first dates (or date nights with your fella); dates where you can actually relax and enjoy yourself instead of pretending to read the menu for 15 minutes while you’re trying to come up with a question to ask him.

My first suggestion, is a board game bar/pub where you can do something other than drink a Bloody Mary, share a plate of nachos, and stare at your date’s pearly whites! For those of you who might not be familiar with the concept, here’s a brief description. It’s a bar/café where you can have a drink, eat, AND you play as many board games as you like for a very reasonable price. The knowledgeable staff can help you choose a game and explain the rules. All that in a super relaxed atmosphere worthy of the best pubs!

So, whether you go to la Revanche (which hosts date nights every Tuesday), or the Cavano in Québec City, or the Randolph and the La Récréation in Montréal, I guarantee there weren’t be any awkward moments of silence! What’s more, you’ll get to see first hand if your date is one of those guys who can’t handle defeat… and you’ll get to show him what a pro you are at word games ;). On top that, the games themselves make a great topic of conversation when you don’t know what to do with yourself because you can’t think of anything to say… just concentrate really really hard on the game (he’ll think that you’re just really into it and all he’ll see is how passionate you are!)

dating date tinder couple activitésSource : Tenor

This second activity is perfect for those sunny Summer days when you don’t want to be stuck indoors. I’m referring to botanical gardens, such as the Jardin Botanique de Montréal, which I recently discovered (and adored), and the Jardin Universitaire Roger-Van den Hende in Québec City. Just like my previous suggestion, these charming gardens make for easy topics of conversation, in and of themselves.

Another great benefit, is that you can stroll in the gardens for however long you wish. While you’re there, you’ll get to see if there’s a romantic buried deep inside the tough guy, and you’ll get to cozy up to him to take a selfie (the colourful flowerbeds provide the perfect backdrop for your Instagram pics… especially when you #TBT your first date, six months later, when you’re still crazy about each other).

date boyfriend tinder activités couple fun Source : Joëlle Ratté

Otherwise, there’s always the classics, such as mini-putt (my personal favourite) or arcade games (you know, the kind you see in the typical American movie where the guy wins a huge stuffed animal for the girl. Go ahead, tell me you’ve never dreamed of having it happen to you!). If you buy a drink at Mac’Fly in Vieux-Québec, you can play all of their vintage arcade games to your heart’s content. Another place that’s conducive to a lengthy dual, in this case, of Pacman, provides the perfect opportunity to suggest a second date (Here’s a tip: you could, for example, suggest that the loser must organize your next date! And there you go, it doesn’t get much easier than that)!

The great thing about all of these places is that they’re entertaining enough to overcome those potential moments of awkward silence, without necessarily preventing you from getting to know each other (because I hope you’ll meet someone you’ll actually be interested in!).

I hope these ideas will take the stress out of your first dates! While I’m at it, may I suggest that you take matters in your own two hands and ask that guy out? You know, the one you’ve been talking with for the past few months; that guy you’re dying to meet in person (C’mon, you know who… that guy who’s taking up so much space on your cell phone cuz you’ve been saving screen shots of all of your conversations and you forward them to your best friend for advice on what you should say when he asks “Hey! How goes it?”. (I suspect we’ve all done that at one time or another!)

As for me, I know full well that if I hadn’t taken the initiative on the first dates with my guy (#girlboss), I’d probably be at a coffee shop, concentrating on the menu, trying to cover up those awkward moments of silence. Just sayin!

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