Six Reasons to go Rock Climbing on a First Date

Jan 16, 2014 by

          I’m not a fan of ordinary first dates. Coffee? Kill me. Dinner? Fuck my life. Movies? Such a terrible idea (how am I supposed to get to know a guy while staring at a screen?) that I’ve never been on a movie date, ever. (I’m pretty sure making out in a movie theatre is a prerequisite for high school graduation. Evidently, I missed the memo.) However, I’ve become disinterested in countering guys’ uninspired first date ideas with better ones of my own (repeated one-date non-wonders will do that to a girl), so I’m simply letting the boys take the lead on planning. If a guy chooses to be just another coffee date, I hope he has one hell of a personality to make himself memorable, because that latte isn’t going to do it for him. Coffee dates require ongoing talk. While I can easily maintain conversation with someone I’ve just met, many guys are not blessed with the same skill. Why they willingly stick themselves in dating scenarios that’ll drown them, I have no idea.

          Guys, if you want to stand out, screw your normal first date ideas. Be creative, like the guy I went rock climbing with last night. His mere suggestion to climb rocks, which I had never done before, scored him major points. I hadn’t even met him yet (he’s another guy I started talking to online through OKCupid), and I was already impressed. Here are six reasons why rock climbing makes for an awesome first date:

1. It’s not just the two of you.

          If, like me, you’ve never climbed before, you will begin the night with an instructor (don’t worry, you’ll have one-on-one time with your date later), who will teach you how to strap your harness, tie your knots, and belay your climbing partner. Kindly, my date took the beginner’s course with me, even though he has climbing experience. Although he and I were comfortable conversing on our own (Thank the dating gods! After the last guy I went out with, they totes owed me someone who can hold a conversation.), it was nice to have another person to interact with. It kicked off the evening on a natural, friendly, non-online-dating note.

2. It encourages playfulness while still allowing for conversation.

          Rock climbing is very interactive. A rope connects you with your climbing partner. One person climbs while the other belays, so communication between the two people is necessary. If you’re climbing, you need to let the person belaying you know if the rope needs to be tighter or if you’re ready to come down. If you’re belaying, you can guide the climber and motivate them to the top. Occasionally losing your grip adds to the fun, and tying knots in between climbs provides opportunities to talk. Rock climbing, unlike dinner and a movie, balances fun and communication.

3. There are opportunities for light physical contact.

          I hug people without reason and I unconsciously touch people when speaking to them. Rock climbing or not, I would have easily broken the touch barrier without trying. Still, I thought it convenient that rock climbing created excuses for brief physical contact. Climbers are supposed to conduct safety checks for their partners to ensure all straps and knots are secured. If you’re smart, you will unnecessarily tie and untie each other at every wall.

4. It’s fun!

          Dating aside, rock climbing is a good time! I was unexpectedly nervous during my first attempt, but I got over that fast. When I realized how smooth coming down was, my hesitation was gone. Determined to get to the top, I reached the height of the rope on my second climb. What a rush/feeling of accomplishment!

5. Closing time will end the date for you.

          Friends, you know that I’m terrible at ending dates. Why boys want to talk to me until near daybreak, I do not know. Don’t they get tired? Luckily, the rock climbing gym closed at 11 pm, conveniently ending the date after three hours. It was – to borrow my little sister’s hilarious teenage slang – perf!

6. It’s different.

          Not only will I remember this date, I will remember this guy. It takes a different kind of person to choose a different kind of place.

          Gentlemen, do yourselves a favour: be original. Plan an irregular first date. I get it: coffee is economical, especially if you want to pay for the chick. It’s also typical. Boring. Forgettable. If you’re just another guy suggesting coffee or some other cliché date spot, you are typical, boring, and forgettable. Don’t be.

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