Using alcohol as a substitute for genuine fun can eventually come back to bite us. Over time, the brain learns to wait on the alcohol before relaxing. When we attempt to go without it, our minds rebel.
Even things which we formerly found enjoyable can begin to look bleak and uninteresting once our brains have developed an alcohol dependency. We can be tempted to reintroduce the substance as a way of negating the doldrums.
When we are first getting away from the idea of alcohol being a part of our every social gathering, it can be difficult to think of activities that can produce enough enjoyment.
Learning how to have fun without alcohol can take some time, but the reward of persistence is that our brains relearn how to produce enough feel-good chemicals to sustain us without any outside assistance.
Here are five ideas for exciting – and bonding – dates to try out while sober.
1. Tour the World Through Cuisine
It has been said that a person who is adventurous with food is adventurous toward life.
You might not have the time or money necessary to visit different countries to sample their authentic fare, but most cities have several options available for ethnic eating exploration.
Try making a list of all of the different types of food which are available in your area, and visit a new location each date night. You can learn a lot about yourself – and your date – through discussing the experience of tasting foreign food.
If there are not a lot of restaurant options where you are, you can opt to share the same type of experience through cooking together at home. The internet is full of recipe options, and most ethnic food items can be ordered online. Preparing food together can enhance the bonding experience of the date, even further.
2. Go On A Quest
Have you ever been on a scavenger hunt?
These activities are gaining popularity throughout the country. They are a great way to get to know a new city, or to become better acquainted with your old one, and can be a fun bonding experience for a couple to complete together.
Messages and clues are hidden throughout the city, and proof of your finds are verified through snapping a picture. The time slots are flexible, and reservations aren’t usually required for groups of two.
If there isn’t one of these particular outfits located nearby, you can make up your own game. Armed with a smartphone and the locations of a few thrift stores, make a list of objects to find. The list can consist of objects from different decades, or of items that will resell for a certain dollar value.
Once one partner completes the list, he or she is declared the winner!
3. Spend Time In Nature
There is something about getting away from the bustle and bright lights of the city that can make for a romantic time. Amidst the chirping birds and the rustling trees, thoughts tend to settle and center around the deeper aspects of life.
Sitting around a crackling campfire and gazing at the stars can provide the opportunity for you and your date to really get to know one another. If you have the time, you can make your nature date into a whole weekend of camping.
If you and your date are the athletic type, this kind of date can also turn into some exhilarating exercise. Hike some trails or – if you are able to manage the equipment – do some rock climbing.
Many nature resorts have rental boats and kayaks available for some white water adventure. Studies have shown that doing something exhilarating while on a date can increase attraction levels, and can be what takes this nature trip over the top for both of you.
4. Try Gaming Together
Gaming has been a staple of Generation X, and it shows no sign of decreasing in importance for the younger generations. Several companies have even brought the gaming world into real life, through building facilities which place us into scenarios which were formerly only found on-screen.
Escape rooms work through locking you in with your date, and encouraging you to work together on finding the solutions to puzzles.
If you prefer more competitive play, laser tag gaming centers will allow you to find out which one of you is the superior combatant.
And for those who like to take it slow, miniature golf is still around after all this time, as well.
If these external gaming ideas aren’t enough to lure you away from the house, console gaming is still an option.
The availability of games of every style, taste, and genre is continually increasing, so the chances of finding something that both you and your date can enjoy playing are good.
Make sure the interest continues to stay mutual, though, or else you risk making your partner into a video game widow. Cooperative games can work to keep you on the same page, and can also reveal some very interesting relationship dynamics when it comes to working together as a couple.
5. Share Music Interests
Compatibility in music tastes plays a powerful role in relationships. There is a whole psychology behind why we are drawn to the music that we like, and being open to exploring the musical tastes of our partner can make for a connection on a deeper level.
If you and your partner share a love of music, create dates around your favorite bands.
If you have the time and money – and if location isn’t a barrier – take your date to a monthly concert. Several live music websites are available, allowing you to track who is coming to a town near you.
Local festivals and coffee houses are another potential venue, and have the added bonus of exposing you both to something new.
For those who aren’t prone to get out much, try trading a new song from your playlist with your partner, each day. Getting to know why each of you likes a particular band or song can make for great date conversation.