Dates that encourage interaction with others?
December 16, 2013 4:46 PM   Subscribe

I have been dating someone new and I really like spending time with him! But so far we've only hung out one-on-one. What are activities two people can do together, but which also encourage interaction with others?

I've never been in a relationship where we had shared friends or interacted well with strangers in one another's company. I don't think there's anything wrong with having separate friends or focusing on one another when out in public, but I'd also like my next relationship to be engaged in the outside world. This new fellow and I met online, so we're thin on social context.

I'd like to suggest date ideas which 1) reveal whether we can hang out as well in the world as we do in private and 2) let me see how he interacts with people other than me (is he shy? kind? funny?), and of course 3) let him learn the same about me.

I tried sitting at the bar (rather than a table) when we got drinks last time, but our attention was all on one another. No problem, but I'd like to suggest something more explicitly communal. The best idea I've had so far is contra dancing, and he's open to it, but we can't try it for another month. Introducing him to my friends is an obvious next step too, when a good opportunity arises. How else can two people interact with the world? We're both introverts with good social skills, and both pretty open to trying new things.
posted by figgy_finicky to Human Relations (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe a board game night with your friends? There are tons of fun grown up board games out there and I've found them a great way to interact with other people without making it into a forced, awkward thing--the game helps everybody to have something to interact about.

If you want a game to REALLY learn where people's edges and fault lines are, try Cards Against Humanity.
posted by foxfirefey at 4:49 PM on December 16, 2013


Trivia night at a local pub, brewery/winery tour/tasting, improv theater.
posted by headnsouth at 4:54 PM on December 16, 2013


Maybe sign up to take a class together? Not a long-term commitment, but a one-time thing, like wine tasting, or cooking a particular dish- local places around here offer one-evening courses for making cheese, Pad Thai, etc.- that would be a group activity that doesn't require Meeting The Friends.
posted by ambrosia at 5:01 PM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you're into outdoor activities, go on hikes/snowshoeing with a bunch of friends or a local club. The leisurely pace usually allows for socializing.

If you're into sport, go for some drop in team sports like soccer, volleyball.
posted by lucia_engel at 5:08 PM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


bowling!
posted by shortyJBot at 5:12 PM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Depending upon how brave you are: karaoke

Nothing says love like belting out your fave [90s] hits in front of one another--for better or worse. Seriously though, it's great for independent action (singing solo), couple interaction (singing duets), or even group interaction (the whole bar singing).

You may or may not need a couple of drinks to really get into it at first. :3
posted by stubbehtail at 5:25 PM on December 16, 2013


Seconding a board game night. If you don't have a ton of games or friends that are willing to give it a try, see if there are any local comic/game shops that host their own game nights. I owned one beat up copy of Clue when I started attending a local gaming night, first by myself, then later on with Mr. Rose after I met him at one of those events.

It's great if you're shy at all, because like foxfirefey said, the game gives you something to talk about, and it's a good way to see how competitive, friendly, whatever somebody is.

On the plus side, we've been able to meet other couples at these sort of game nights, which has allowed us chances to make and meet friends together, versus "my" friends and "his" friends, which was kind of the case beforehand.
posted by PearlRose at 5:40 PM on December 16, 2013


We went through a period of signing up for lots of one-time group classes/experiences like rock climbing, ropes courses, and white water rafting. We signed up via Living Social (if they are active near your area) but this was a few years ago and I'm not sure what they're like these days. Usually we'd either invite friends that we wanted to get to know better, or else we'd go just the 2 of us and end up talking to at least a few other people/couples.
posted by juliplease at 6:02 PM on December 16, 2013


My friends who did this used meetup.com and found a D&D group. Same issues - they spent a lot of time with each other (they are now married) but didn't really have many co-friends or co-activities. It has worked well for them.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:10 PM on December 16, 2013


While not the perfect litmus test (if they're slow and there's not too many people there) dinner at a good hibachi steakhouse might do the trick. It's not super obvious, and there is a fair amount of communication between the patrons and banter between the cook and the people at the table. Bonus is that if its super awkward, people usually settle into their food once the show is over.
posted by Debaser626 at 4:53 AM on December 17, 2013


If you ride bikes, an organized group bike ride.

Go to a musical show—it will probably lead to a little more social interaction than just sitting at the bar.

Or if you feel brave, go someplace sociable (like a nice coffee shop on a weekend night, or a chatty bar) with the express mission of getting into a conversation with a stranger. Make a little game out of it.

Also, I'd second karaoke. Even if you don't sing, it can be social. Congratulate someone else on their performance, etc.
posted by toomuchkatherine at 9:52 AM on December 17, 2013


Cooking class!
posted by soonertbone at 10:21 AM on December 17, 2013


Great ideas! I'm excited to see how karaoke is received to start...that's totally the fun, interactive vibe I had in mind. I'll also keep an eye out for one-off classes, and save several other ideas here in the ol' vault for future fun, warmer weather, friend-meeting, etc. Thanks!
posted by figgy_finicky at 1:07 PM on December 17, 2013


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