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If you’re an adventurous guy, your ideal date is probably more like parasailing instead of a picnic in the park, or downhill mountain biking instead of dinner and a movie. You want a girl who can hang…off a rock wall. But before you go securing her harness for a climb up a granite slab, there are some key steps you need to take. Consult these tips to plan a kickass adventure date, and you'll raise the adrenaline without totally freaking her out.
A thrill-seeking date like skydiving can set you up to get hooked on each other, so make sure you take a girl you’re really into. “These kinds of dates not only release adrenaline, but they also flood the brain with powerful neurotransmitters such as dopamine—the stuff that’s released when you do drugs or fall in love,” says Christie Hartman, PhD, behavioral scientist and author of Changing Your Game: A Man’s Guide to Success with Women. You’ll associate the incredible rush with each other, forging a strong bond and creating an awesome memory.
Don’t Go Too Big, Too Soon
You want to aim for thrills, not terror and intimidation, so it’s crucial to ease your way into it. “No activity dates for a first date,” says Hartman. “It’s too much pressure.” Instead, ask questions to gauge how adventurous she may be. You can also mention an activity that interests you and see how she reacts. If she perks up and seems impressed or fascinated, that's got potential. If she hesitates or doesn't give a clear ‘yes,’ keep offering suggestions until you get a hit.
Check Her Preferences
Find out if she loves or hates surprises. You can say, “Do you like adventurous surprises? I may surprise you on a future date,” recommends dating and relationship coach DeAnna Lorraine. To avoid the ultimate dating disaster it’s also a good idea to determine if she has any phobias. The last thing you want to do is surprise a girl who’s terrified of heights with a hot air balloon ride or take someone who’s claustrophobic through a dark cave.
Test The Waters
When you're ready to plan your first active date opt for something you’re both familiar with and that you do often, like running or hiking, Hartman says. Get your heart thumping, but nothing too intense. Then if that goes well, you can work your way up to paddle boarding…and then swimming with sharks.
Pick The Right Time For The Rush
It’s OK to go for an adrenaline-pumping activity by the third or fourth date as long as you feel confident she is up for it. Bungee jumping is a great option since it’s somewhat dangerous but doesn't require skill, putting you both on an even playing field, Hartman says. If the bungee thing doesn’t appeal to her, try something like kayaking, horseback riding, or even karaoke. “Any date where you aren’t fully in control gives you a rush and creates a bonding effect,” Lorraine says.
Hold Off On Surfing Or Snowboarding
Sports that require a lot of patience to learn can be frustrating and awkward when you’re newly dating. “Surfing is a tough sport and most people look silly when they try it, so it’s best left for couples who know each other well,” Hartman says. If you’re really set on surfing or skiing, plan it as a group date. That way, no one will feel put on the spot.
When you're doing something scary, make sure you stay in close proximity to your date and offer playful encouragement—especially if she seems to be struggling. And definitely resist the urge to show off. “Push her a little, but make it fun,” says Lorraine. “Tell her she deserves a margarita after one more lap or climb.”
Don’t Let Her See You Flailing
If by some chance she starts leaving you behind, don't freak. Just speak up and say that you want to take a few breaks. “Racing to keep pace and running out of breath doesn’t look good anyway,” Lorraine says. Don’t make excuses for why you’re out of shape; that can come across as unattractive. Instead, turn the attention back to her. “It never hurts to acknowledge a woman's fitness level, which is gratifying to her and shows you’re confident,” says Hartman. Just don’t go overkill with praise. One quick compliment is all it takes.
Make sure you wear a watch. Cap the activity at an hour or two, so it doesn’t become too overwhelming or exhausting. Bring along snacks, sunblock, and water; and don’t forget deodorant and a change of clothes, Hartman says. Since sweating is a given, the deodorant and clothes will make it easier to go grab that celebratory marg afterward.