..other than sex.
July 31, 2006 5:59 PM   Subscribe

I just got a shiny new girlfriend. Now what..?

so, at the somewhat old age of 26 I seem to have stumbled into my first relationship. Not having done this before, I'm a little short on couples activities. I mean, non-sexual activities.

She's got a pretty nice place out in Mississauga, which is, thankfully, only a 20 minute GO train ride away from union. It's also a fairly nice suburb. I've got a fairly small room in a pretty nice house in the Annex. We've been spending a lot of time at her place 'cause she's got crazy mad air conditioning, and all I got is crazy mad muggy air at my place. The heat's kind of kept us in-doors a bit, and we're both kind of doing the under-paid student/young adult thing, so cash is a bit tight. What do couples do? Other than each other?

Bonus points for Toronto and/or Mississauga and/or Annex based suggestions.
posted by slipperywhenwet to Human Relations (32 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Read some Bukowski out loud to one another, in the buff, with a bible under some dirty clothes in the far corner. If'n you can do that, you'll reach your 75th anniversary and get your picture in the paper!
posted by sgobbare at 6:06 PM on July 31, 2006 [2 favorites]

Cook. Take a salsa dancing class together. Go for a walk in the woods. Hang out at a coffee shop. Visit a museum. See a show. Play Scrabble. Discuss high-falutin literature. Discuss Gilligan's Island. Go to a new restaurant. Go to a protest. Babysit a friend's kids. Watch classic movies in your pjs with a big bowl of popcorn. A picnic in the park.
posted by ldenneau at 6:11 PM on July 31, 2006

Games. Card games, board games, whatever. Invite friends and make it an activity. That can be lots of fun.
posted by bibbit at 6:12 PM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

Mississauga frightens me, and there's only so much you can do in the Annex outside of eating and drinking (now that the Poor Alex is relocating, anyway), so most of these are suggestions for across Toronto:

Head down to the islands for a picnic. Bring bikes if you got 'em. It's always a few degrees cooler down there, it's purdy, and the ferry ride back at night is right romantic. Ferry round trip will be something like seven bucks each, I think.

Pedestrian Sundays. You just missed July's.

The ROM is free for a few hours on Friday nights (I think it's Friday - check the site to be sure). And it's air conditioned.

Free concerts and the like are usually going on at Harbourfront this time of year.

Toronto Poetry Slam. $5 cover.

Look for PWYC shows in NOW's theatre listings.

Bike around to places you haven't been, and normally wouldn't ever go. Urban exploring.

Keep an eye on the Newmindspace kids.

Eat ethiopian food together. Queen of Sheba on Bloor is my favourite. Dishes are shared, and eaten with your hands. Good fun.

I think the Bloor is still doing Rocky Horror Picture Show nite fairly regularly... you have to want to dress up, though.

And of course there's always just people-watching on the patio at Future. You really don't need to do anything special - just give yourselves opportunities to be interested/excited/curious around eachother. This can mean going somewhere specific, or it can really mean just lying around and reading out loud to each other, or talking in bed, or trying some new recipe together. Suggest places that interest/entertain you, ask her the same. Where things overlap, or where one of you piques the other's curiousity, there you go.
posted by poweredbybeard at 6:21 PM on July 31, 2006 [2 favorites]

Go camping! Its cheap, its an adventure, and it is a true test of your love to go without showering a few days.
posted by LarryC at 6:23 PM on July 31, 2006

Seriously? The most important thing you can do in your relationship is talk. A lot. Openly. Honestly. About anything and everything that comes to mind. Whatever else you do will spring from those conversations naturally and bring you closer together. Nothing beats sharing.
posted by nightchrome at 6:30 PM on July 31, 2006

Get into an activity together - biking, hiking...
posted by k8t at 6:31 PM on July 31, 2006

Response by poster: K8t, you've stolen my lady's name. I think I might have to, like, challenge you to a duel or something. Kate will suffer no flava biters.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 6:41 PM on July 31, 2006

Response by poster: Oh, thanks for all the suggestions, by the way!
posted by slipperywhenwet at 6:41 PM on July 31, 2006

xkcd is having a contest to come up with good date ideas. Some of them are very silly, but if you're in a new relationship, you should be silly. Why not build forts out of furniture and blankets, and wage war with paper airplanes, anyway?
posted by jewzilla at 6:42 PM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

I would second board games, but a road trip would be nice too. Picnics, walks, and music too. Happy hours are nice and cheap if you have those in your area as well.
posted by savagecorp at 6:42 PM on July 31, 2006

Indoor Rock Climbing.

It's something a little different that both of you may not have done before. It's great for building confidence in each other and you'll both be learning together. Rock Oasis is fairly close to Exibition station.

There's all sorts of festivals every weekend until the end of summer, including the Ex.

Free movies at Young and Dundas Square on Tuesdays!

(I feel your "GO Train keeps us apart" pain. I'm doing the Oakville-to-Toronto relationship)
posted by cathoo at 6:43 PM on July 31, 2006

Response by poster: cathoo: A whole crap-load of us are going to be going to see Alien tomorrow. Super-excited/ready to poo-my-pants about it.

Jewzilla: duude. Dude. Fort? Duuuude.


posted by slipperywhenwet at 6:45 PM on July 31, 2006

Get the hey out of Mississauga, for one. Or, tough out the summer there and bring her downtown when it cools off. I recommend going to bluegrass nights (Wed) at the Silver Dollar (corner of Spadina and Homeless Shelter), going out to other shows (there are tons - grab an Eye or a NOW), and so on. As for things to do at home, take up a sport together? I second the biking-somewhere-new suggestion. Have people over? Learn to play dominoes? Go bowling? Go eat at Master's Steaks (Dixie & 401)? Program your computers? Just try some things and if those don't work then try some other things, and eventually you will find things you both enjoy.
posted by Succa at 6:47 PM on July 31, 2006



The Ex
posted by cathoo at 6:48 PM on July 31, 2006

Strive every day to be honest with yourself and her. Try to see her as she really is, not as you would like her to be, or how you see her in your mental shorthand. Do what you like doing, and occasionally do what you don't like doing, but she does. If she returns the favor, keep her around.

Remember that passion fades, but understanding only grows deeper. Or as paulsc so eloquently put it, "Kissin' don't last, cookin' do."
posted by Mr. Gunn at 6:49 PM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

in order of nothing whatsoever:

1. dancing
2. movies
3. spening time in skivvies and/or bathing suits near a body of water of some kind (i recommend skivvies AND bathing suits for that "don't leave the house much"appeal.)
4. museums
5. dinner and any of the above.
6. bars, clubs, local music gigs.
7. get married.


8. go hunting
9. go shopping.
10. comedy clubs
11. play charades
12. play video games
13. have children
14. wander around town saying inappropriate things to other people's children.

good luck! the most important thing to remember is to a) do stuff you'd normally want to do and include her in the stuff you love. and b) do stuff she would normally want to do and legitimately want to be a part of stuff she loves.
posted by shmegegge at 7:20 PM on July 31, 2006

SWW, maybe I am your girlfriend and secretly on MeFite!
posted by k8t at 7:20 PM on July 31, 2006

Picnic + Kite Flying! You're never too old.
posted by killjoy at 7:22 PM on July 31, 2006

If you want to go the geeky route, try some games for two. Very ammenable to the indoors life, and gives you time for conversation and interaction within a structure that soothes boredom and awkwardness.

YMMV, but my boy and I like to watch movies, draw exquisite corpses, do urban exploration, do volunteer work, throw tea parties in odd locations, go for walks, go for swims when its too hot to go for walks, go to cheap/free concerts, go to cheap/free exhibits, do art projects, build blanket forts.

Think: what would I do if I were just by myself? Think: what have I always thought would be fun but have never got around to?
posted by bookish at 7:59 PM on July 31, 2006

Favorite couples' activities of mine:

- Small carpentry projects (shelves, deck tables, awesome cat tower/condo/scratching post thing)

- Tango

- Making a flower bed (sweaty work)

- Walks/hiking
posted by amtho at 8:02 PM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

I am really bitter on the whole "dance class" suggestion after trying it and finding that I was expected to rotate partners every couple of minutes because "it makes you a better dancer." That might be true, but if your reason for taking the class is together time, I suggest you find out beforehand whether that will, in fact, be the case. Perhaps some dance classes are more couples-friendly than others but the one I took was some kind of social institution which the same people took over and over as a social event because everybody danced with everybody.

Reading is a good suggestion. As is walking. As is just enjoying your sex life so long as you're young and unencumbered by the demands of career and kids. You won't have this kind of time forever, you know.
posted by scarabic at 8:03 PM on July 31, 2006

Response by poster: "SWW, maybe I am your girlfriend and secretly on MeFite!"

snookums? is that you?!
posted by slipperywhenwet at 8:05 PM on July 31, 2006

I am really bitter on the whole "dance class" suggestion after trying it and finding that I was expected to rotate partners every couple of minutes because "it makes you a better dancer."

That's funny -- to me, it seems like it takes the pressure off a bit (you don't have to stare goofily at your date the entire time, plus (and this is the bigger thing) it gives you people to gossip about when you go out for drinks afterward.
posted by occhiblu at 8:17 PM on July 31, 2006

Torontoist just started the first of a series called Cheap Date", and it's pretty good. I second their recommendation of going to the library.

I really want to go on a Torontoist "cheap date" but I'm waiting for someone to do it with.

posted by SassHat at 9:04 PM on July 31, 2006

One of my co-workers does couples yoga. No, not nearly as kinky as it sounds. Essentially, you use each other to help you get into asanas that are impossible alone.

Failing that, my boyfriend and I like the double-dating idea. Email in profile!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:19 PM on July 31, 2006

Write eponysterical posts on Metafilter?
posted by polyglot at 10:10 PM on July 31, 2006

Dance lessons are good, even though you have to rotate partners. The point is that you're learning to dance so you can go to social events outside class, and you'll both know how to do it.

Cooking is also fun. Pick out some recipes together, go shopping together, cook dinner together, eat together. All good.
posted by robcorr at 10:16 PM on July 31, 2006

Check out this thread of mine.
posted by orange swan at 6:06 AM on August 1, 2006

it gives you people to gossip about when you go out for drinks afterward

Okay that part is definitely true.

The point is that you're learning to dance so you can go to social events outside class, and you'll both know how to do it.

Yes, this is why they do it. I'm just saying do some homework on the class you're looking at taking, and go in with the right expectations. If you're looking for some quality time together, this might not be it. Given the size of our class, we would dance together the first 2 minutes and then never reconnect the entire rest of the class. We can always go out dancing together now, but it might have been fun to spend more of that "learning time" together. It's the learning that's fun, as much as it is the dancing.
posted by scarabic at 7:04 AM on August 1, 2006

Watch free movies at the Mediatheque. Go for a walk with Heritage Toronto. Take a picnic lunch and a couple of fishing rods to High Park. Check out Dream in High Park while you're at it. Poke around in Active Surplus (east of Spadina on the south side of Queen, look for the big gorilla), there's always tons of weird stuff in there.

Cheap food around Kensington Market:
Akram's Shoppe, 191 Baldwin: $2 falafel
Nguyên Hu'ong, 322 Spadina Ave: $1.50 subs
Street meat vendors, corner of Queen and Spadina: hot dogs are $1, sausages are $1.50

Go to Fruits & Fruits on Spadina just north of Dundas (west side) and try some fruit you've never heard of before. Check out the crazy beautiful graffiti in that alley a little south of Queen between Spadina and Dupont. Rent obscure movies at Queen Video. Get your cameras and wander around downtown and photograph the random sculptures and murals. Check out Room 101 Games. Meet up with the Serial Diners. Go see a Pillow Fight.

Lots of ideas in this thread at PoorinTO.
posted by heatherann at 9:48 AM on August 1, 2006

How about sex? I can't believe no one's mentioned that yet. Three times.

I'm a fan of the walk + extended conversation about something stupid. You'll never find more out about someone than when they're gabbing about inconsequentials.
posted by hoborg at 4:44 PM on August 1, 2006

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