Fun activities for a couple at home
June 20, 2008 7:35 AM   Subscribe

RelationshipFilter: Help me find some good time activities to do at home with a prospective girl friend.

Although I'm not very young, I didn't have many relationships -and you can read the gory details of a previous on on ask.MeFi- in the past and I'm a bit inexperienced in this field.

I've been getting pretty close with this girl recently. She's very relaxed, fun and cool in general. She seems to be interested in me as well but is trying to take things slow.

Nevertheless, being the summer, there's not much to do here. She mentioned just going to my place to chill. That's where the problem starts.

My place is pretty dull and bland; a classic urban lonely guy's apartment if you ask me. I've lived in dorms for the past 8 years of my life; I'm more comfortable when I'm either alone or just with lots of people. I rarely spend any quality time at home; I either read or surf while I'm at home.

What I'm worried about is if I invite her to my place; it just might be awkward. Would hive mind recommend some activities for just two people? Any cool games for the Wii or PS3 that's *casually* fun? Board games? It might not be the case and we can just talk for hours as we do most of the time but a few ideas would not hurt.

Thanks everyone in advance. I've always been critical of such questions since it reflects a sense of insecurity but I think hive mind is friendly enough to embrace me as I'm.
posted by the_dude to Human Relations (38 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I like Cranium, although I've never played it with just two people. How about a card game, or something that can be stopped and started based on conversation?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:41 AM on June 20, 2008

If she wants to play videogames, Boom Blox for Wii or Pixeljunk Monsters for PS3 would be good choices, although Tower Defense isn't always as appealing to girls as it is to boys.
posted by ulotrichous at 7:48 AM on June 20, 2008

-Cooking: Make sure you have all the requisite pots and pans, and then go get some good groceries and cook up something new and fun. Since it's summer, maybe consider buying a small grill if you don't have one and grill out on your patio or in the green space by your apartment if that's available. If you are an inexperienced cook, start with something simple -- if it is a horrible failure, you can laugh it off and order a pizza.

-Bikes/walks: You're right, it is summer, don't spend it sitting inside playing video games! Find a park or a local botanical garden/small trail system/etc and go walk around and enjoy the outside. Have a picnic if that sounds fun. If you live in the city, walk around an ethnic neighborhood.

-TV: As lame as it sounds, I love sharing a good episode of Antiques Roadshow with my guy. YMMV, but find a show that you both like and make a regular date of it.
posted by sararah at 7:48 AM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]

You'll be just fine. Plans are drab (especially board games - I'd die instantly of boredom if I was invited round a friend's/prospective lover's house and they pulled out Cranium).

All you need:

1. Lots of music to choose from. Let her leaf through your collection.

2. Ingredients for a top-notch dinner. It is probably best if you prepare a recipe you are not familiar with. Then both of you can learn/do it together. Could take hours out of the day. THE best way to impress, bond and fill your stomachs as a bonus.

3. Get out of the apartment. It's summer! Walk off that dinner.
posted by 0bvious at 7:49 AM on June 20, 2008

For the Wii: Mario Kart is super addictive. So is Monkey Ball Banana Blitz. Both are games that would be good for an inexperience video game player as well, if that's an issue.

Hang out on your porch or your backyard and have a couple beers and just talk. BBQ outside for dinner.

I also think walks/biking together would be fun.
posted by at 7:52 AM on June 20, 2008

Board games, card games and video games.

Got a musical instrument? you guys could goof on an cheap keyboard and have loads of fun.

Could also cook together.

Build models together or hell, build just about anything.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:56 AM on June 20, 2008

- Rent a movie.
- Play cribbage or backgammon.
- Since you asked, I'm in love with Monkey Ball Banana Blitz for the Wii. It's like an old-school labyrinth, but you tilt the whole world (by tilting the controller) to roll little monkey guys around while trying to avoid having them fall off cliffs. People usually die quickly enough that nobody gets bored taking turns, and it's fun to cheer for the other person because you've both been working on the same level and therefore understand its difficulties.
- If you're music buffs, have her bring some CDs or an mp3 player and take turn introducing each other to new music.
- Go grocery shopping and then cook something together. If you're not super comfortable in the kitchen, pizza is super easy when you buy a pre-made crust (like Boboli), and you can each pick whatever toppings you want. Or if you're both great cooks, go for something more elaborate. One of my favorite dates was when the guy invited me over to make eggplant parmesan together. He sliced eggplant; I grated cheese. Then I did the egg/crumbs dipping, and he fried up the slices. We assembled the whole thing together before baking. The division of labor worked really well, and we got to enjoy a fantastic meal.

In my experience, wine helps a lot in smoothing over any potentially-awkward moments when you're hanging out at home with somebody new.
posted by vytae at 7:58 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Check out some of the ideas here. :)
posted by xotis at 7:59 AM on June 20, 2008

posted by chugg at 8:01 AM on June 20, 2008

hanging out, yes.

if you're intimidated by the idea of cooking together, scale it back and think about renting a movie - watching a flick gives you something easily-interruptible to do and something to talk about all in one. it also allows you to somewhat set the mood -- for serious and sweet but not intimidatingly romantic, try "wings of desire" (the german one).
posted by rmd1023 at 8:01 AM on June 20, 2008

Experience has taught me that you need to have at least 6 people who are at least 5 pints drunk before you play Cranium. (And if you're that drunk, why wouldn't you be making with the sex, right?)

A second vote for cookery. You can go two ways: Safe or Experimental. Either cook something you know will be tasty and simple and do it together OR, (what I would do) throw caution to the wind and make something so hideously, catastrophically complicated that you're both lucky to escape with your lives. (Crocodile sandwiches, Duck a la Petrol, Wolf Surprise etc.) As long as you're doing it together, it'll be great fun.

Also, it's summer. Go for walks!
posted by Jofus at 8:01 AM on June 20, 2008

Read to each other.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 8:11 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Watch movies - watch whatever you agree on that you love, or better yet you each get a movie you love that the other one hasn't seen so you can nerd out and convert them. Watch a "marathon" of three movies with a theme (same director, actor, genre).

Rent (or buy) a season or two of a really good TV show and then every time you hang out you have that back up ("want to watch some more Weeds?")

Cooking - learn how to cook something new together, each cook your favorite recipes. Or if neither of you can stand cooking, order some food in. Try a new restaurant. Go to the grocery store and buy weird things you've never tried. Or buy many of one thing (food, drink, candy, etc) and have a "taste test".

Go for walks near your house. Find something nearby like a coffee shop or newsstand that can be your go-to walking place. If you live in the country, just pick a big rock you like or something.

Music - make playlists for each others iPods or make each other mixtapes, have her come over and you can listen to both. If either of you play an instrument, you can play for each other.

If it's a Sunday afternoon, buy all the big newspapers and sit around reading the newspaper and drinking coffee.

Board games/video games are fun, a good rule of thumb is to ask once if she wants to do it, if she wants to, then play. Next time, wait for her to suggest it, because otherwise she might just be playing because she thinks you want to.
posted by SassHat at 8:14 AM on June 20, 2008

I second Mario Kart Wii (funnest game ever) and some beer.
posted by whiskeyspider at 8:27 AM on June 20, 2008

Cooking sounds good to me. Agree on a recipe neither of you has ever made that involves a lot of teamwork, and put aside money for pizza in case it flops. Try baking bread stuffed w/ cheese and/or chocolate, pounding the dough is so fun :)
posted by prefpara at 8:31 AM on June 20, 2008

One word. Twister.
posted by a3matrix at 8:41 AM on June 20, 2008

Baking cookies or other pastries. They recipes are mostly straight-forward and you can have conversation for hours over them afterwards. And then she can take some home. That's assuming, of course, that you have an oven.

Also keep a bottle or two of interesting alcohol, so you can be like "Hey, I've got this ____. You want to try it?" so it's not so much the "Let's get drunk" vibe. The alcohol (wine is good, other high quality spirits or imported beers and other beverages will do too) can be a starting point to the conversation and it will help with keeping the conversation going.
posted by bread-eater at 8:52 AM on June 20, 2008

She mentioned just going to my place to chill.

She's lying to you. She wants to see your place for two reasons: one, she wants to see how you live, and two, she may want to mount you. It's part of the courting process that no woman will own up to, but everyone of them does it.

You're missing the point of this little exercise and focusing on the end rather than the process. Your abode should reflect your interests, your passions, your best characteristics. Her activity will be exploring your place, asking you about all your stuff, where you got that, why you have this, what do you use that for, etc...

On the plus side, this is a great opportunity for you to sex up your pad!

Clean it for starters. Pay particular attention to the toilet and bathroom - she will. Take all the gross guy stuff and put it out of sight. Women are better off not knowing what nose hair trimmers are...

Special attention should also be paid to the bedroom for obvious reasons. Buy new sheets. Go on, do it. If you're a typical lonely guy you're probably sleeping on the same Spider-Man sheets you had as a kid. Get rid of those. Pick up a nice set or three from some hip place like Crate & Barrel.

Posters: no. Framed art: yes. Fancy signed screenprints for your favorite bands are good safety-art for clueless guys.

Candles: no. Anything flora print: no. Frumpy torn up furniture that you found in the alley your freshman year of college, ten years ago: no.

Bushy, healthy, green house plants: yes. Spiky, brown, cactus like things: no.

Drug dealer pets - lizards, spiders, rats, snakes, ferrets - all no.

Book shelves are for displaying books, not your action-zombie-sci-fi DVD collection, your action figure dioramas, or video games. When in doubt hit the used book store up the classics. Twain, Huxley, Orwell... you get the idea. You should read these too.

Clean out your fridge too. Toss out those those gray hot-dogs. Plant a jar of organic peanut butter (you don't have to eat it) in your cupboard and gourmet ice cream in your freezer to show that you have a discerning pallet.

A few bottles of wine and a six pack of light beer (Amstel light is a good safety beer - it's girl friendly without requiring a slice of fruit.)

You should be capable of whipping up a homemade snack for you both. Fancy cheese and crackers with maybe some fresh fruit. Fresh made guacamole with some fancy regional or local chips is a fun thing you can both work on together...

Good luck.

Go get her tiger! Rowr!
posted by wfrgms at 8:53 AM on June 20, 2008 [44 favorites]

yes, what wfrgms said. Spiff up your place, and then let good music, food, and wine do the rest. Maybe a movie too.
posted by xammerboy at 9:05 AM on June 20, 2008

wfrgms FTW!
posted by a3matrix at 9:06 AM on June 20, 2008

Listen to wfrgms. I was going to say what he said, but he put it much better that I ever could.

However - depending on the girl, she may think your Spider-Man sheets and action figure dioramas are cool. My boyfriend has a Star Wars Jedi blanket he's had since he was 13, and a bunch of funny comic figures, like Drinky Crow. They're not the focus of the apartment, just quirky side items, so it's interesting and fun.

Anyway, when I first visited his place, it was exactly like what wfrgms said. Show and Tell for him, basically. If she likes you, you'll find lots to talk about - and you can always ask if she'd like to take a stroll to get some ice cream, or wander around the neighborhood taking pics of weird things, etc...
posted by Liosliath at 9:06 AM on June 20, 2008

Cooking, definitely. It's a shared activity, which is a great ice-breaker if you're feeling a little awkward around each other. Also there's some magical bonding which happens when people sit down and share food they've prepared themselves together. It's partly a feeling of accomplishment, and sharing food is socially satisfying in general.

So, something which involves a lot of chopping but not an overly lengthy cooking time could do the trick. Thai curries, the paste-based kind, are uncomplicated and for some reason totally impressive. Also they are light enough for summer fare. I might read up on the recipe beforehand, but muddling along together is enjoyable too.

Have fun!
posted by eponymouse at 9:20 AM on June 20, 2008

If a girl suggests hanging out at your place, she's either into you, or she thinks you're gay (or at least "safe")... Let's assume the former...

I like the cooking idea, but you should get outside...

How about you buy some nice cheeses, crackers, etc... you think of a nice dish that's portable... you only hang out at your place for a while to cook / whip up some pretty simple food and take it on a picnic. Walk to the picnic location, bring a comfy blanket and all of the necessities you need to have that picnic... Enjoy the outdoors together...

This gives you several advantages:
- She still gets to see your place and spend time with you there
- You get to get outside rather than fumbling around going "sooo, what do you want to do? I have video games... a few board games..."
- You still have to go back to your place to put away the picnic stuff, so if her intention is, as mentioned above, to "mount you"... well... there's a path to said endgame...

Good luck!!
posted by twiggy at 9:31 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Replace the nose hair trimmers & drug dealer pet respectively with bikini waxing strips & a cat and Will Smithwfrgms just described my first flat. Go figure.

To actually answer the question, a deck of cards and 5 dice are pretty versatile.

With the cards you can play fun games from your youth like Go Fish, Crazy 8's, Gin Rummy or more 'adult' games like Poker & BlackJack. You can even up the ante (so to speak) with the latter two by playing with dried beans, small change or clothing.

With the dice you can play Yahtzee or Kismet (do a search to see how it's scored if you've never played - they're both sort of like playing poker sans cards).

Either way, it's fun yet allows for actual conversation.
posted by romakimmy at 9:58 AM on June 20, 2008

Listen to wfrgms. Seriously.
posted by gnutron at 10:35 AM on June 20, 2008

Though I liked the rest of wfrgms's advice, this stuff horrified me:

When in doubt hit the used book store up the classics. Twain, Huxley, Orwell... you get the idea. You should read these too.
Plant a jar of organic peanut butter (you don't have to eat it) in your cupboard and gourmet ice cream in your freezer to show that you have a discerning pallet.
A few bottles of wine and a six pack of light beer (Amstel light is a good safety beer - it's girl friendly without requiring a slice of fruit.)

Don't try impress this girl with someone that isn't you. If you love sci-fi action figures and full-fat Skippy peanut butter, keep those things around. Not only will you be more comfortable being yourself, you're also more likely to connect with someone who is a good match for the REAL you.

Not to mention, girls can totally tell when you're trying too hard to be someone you're not. If I found several bottles of wine and an obvious girl-beer chilling in the fridge of a guy who lives alone, I'd assume he had nefarious motives and was planning to get me drunk. If he had ONE bottle of wine chilled, and/or a sixer of a fun micro-brew that he enjoys and wouldn't mind sharing, that would say good things to me. If you do go out of your way to get something she might like (ice cream is actually a decent idea), own up to it. "I picked this up because I thought you might like it" is sweet, but getting caught trying to pretend you like something you've never tried before is a recipe for disaster.

Don't even get me started on the meant-to-impress bookshelf. If she looks it over and says "Oh, I loved To Kill a Mockingbird," you'd better be able to respond with something more intelligent than "Yeah, I thought that one might impress you."
posted by vytae at 10:44 AM on June 20, 2008 [12 favorites]

Yeah, clean clean clean, perhaps put away some things, but no fakery.

I've found going to a video store and picking out a movie with someone to be interesting. You both get to learn a bit about each other's tastes, and the decision-making interaction is informative, too.
posted by D.C. at 11:08 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've had good experience making a totally-new-to-both-of-us recipe (wonton soup from scratch in my case), particularly one that can have two people working at once on either the same or different tasks.

re: card games I've found that the games of your youth aren't necessarily those of others' youth. Ask what she plays with her family or loved at summer camp, and let her teach you. You'll probably be expected to reciprocate. Also good: Scrabble.

Have music on when she gets there. Nothing cheesy, but rather something you know well & don't think she knows at all. (Don't be a prick about it, obviously.)

Ask if she'd like to bring a bottle of wine. Don't try to guess her taste.

Don't forget to launder the rug in your bathroom. You do have one, don't you?

Off-topic per se, but now that it's up: I once read that you should have ORIGINAL art on your walls. This is not to be taken lightly, and cannot be done before you & your friend hang out, but think about it for the future. Go to local photo shows. If you have artsy friends, barter with them for pieces. It'll provide better conversation than Starry Night. Meaningful photos, nicely framed, are also good for that. Childhood friends that you're still in touch with, vacations with your family. Avoid too many (any?) of the ex. ;-)

(This is my first comment on MetaFilter. Hello!)
posted by knile at 11:12 AM on June 20, 2008

posted by Ookseer at 11:32 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

A few bottles of wine and a six pack of light beer (Amstel light is a good safety beer - it's girl friendly without requiring a slice of fruit.)

If you know she likes a particular wine, beer, or dessert, by all means buy it for her. Don't under any circumstances buy something because "that's what girls like". If I went to a man's house and his planning for my visit seemed to be based on some idiotic stereotypes about "girls", I would run away as fast as humanly possible. If he actually said that statement out loud, or referred to grown women as girls, doubly so. I like my beer the darker the better, by the way.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:11 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've always found puzzles (yes, jigsaw puzzles) to allow for deep conversation while providing a common and generally fun goal.
posted by artifarce at 1:32 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Massage + oil.

Looking up at the stars.


Having a leisurely breakfast whilst reading the paper, and then sharing stories.

Drinking games.

Playing an intramural sport together but while wearing the most ridiculous outfit (sparkle-spraypainted sneakers, spandex, etc.).

Watching smart TV shows via DVD (Six Feet Under, Carnivale, Weeds, Californication, The Sopranos, Dexter, House M.D etc.)

Road trips.

Oh, and if you're looking for a fun board game, my recommendation is Khet, because it's similar to Chess in terms of strategy, but still super fun for Chess haters like myself. And OMG IT HAS LASERS.

wfrgms is on the ball, btw. Especially about the bedsheets.
posted by Menomena at 2:21 PM on June 20, 2008

How things started with my boyfriend:
1. "Let's go to your house, to you know, just chill"
2. Went to a video store, rented Hostel
3. Snuggle
4. Hookup

Just saying. Her mileage may vary, but I doubt it varies that much.
posted by minus zero at 2:41 PM on June 20, 2008

Though I liked the rest of wfrgms's advice, this stuff horrified me:

>When in doubt hit the used book store up the classics. Twain, Huxley, Orwell... you get the idea. You should read these too.
>Plant a jar of organic peanut butter (you don't have to eat it) in your cupboard and gourmet ice cream in your freezer to show that you have a discerning pallet.
>A few bottles of wine and a six pack of light beer (Amstel light is a good safety beer - it's girl friendly without requiring a slice of fruit.)

Don't try impress this girl with someone that isn't you.

Gotta agree with vytae there. You can try to impress her with someone who you want to be or are striving to be, but don't plant things around to come off a certain way if it has nothing to do with who you are. That can actually be intimidating. ("Wow, this guy is into such-and-such and has all this high class stuff ... now I feel like *I* just moved out of the dorm." Instant backfire.) Just veto anything that's BS.
posted by iguanapolitico at 6:35 PM on June 20, 2008

For the love of all things romantic, possum.... wash your bed linen! In really hot water with good deteregent and lots of yummy fabric softener.

All men all around the world have smellier pillow cases than they realise (it's true!). Even if you just lend her a pillow to get comfy on the couch/floor while watching the movie... it's important they're clean and scrumptious smelling.

Even if you only give her the 5cent tour.. she'lll see your bedroom and be able to smell your bed linen... so make it gorgie. And if you happen to have a frolic.... more's the better.

Yay for you, a date! Have fun.
posted by taff at 12:37 AM on June 21, 2008

Think about what you like to do, and then see how you can incorporate her into these activities.

Also, it doesn't just have to be you coming up with stuff to do. Talk to her and see what she'd like to do.
posted by reenum at 7:33 AM on June 21, 2008

i had a specific bathroom cleaning comment, i always cringe when i see any cheap, musky, teenager, "manly" smelling products in the bathroom. so, if you use any Old Spice, Axe, smelly speed stick, you should put them in the back of cupboard out of sight or better yet throw them out.

i'm anti-old spice for one, because it smells bad. more importantly using products like this signals a certain immaturity/laziness as if a person just buys whatever their dad used to buy them or the ads in magazines tell them to buy, which is a turn off for the ladies. the point is not to go buy fancy expensive products, but i'm impressed by people/men who have developed their personal tastes, what scents they like and what ingredients are good and healthy for them. very adult and classy.

sorry this is slightly off topic, you probably have this all under control anyway!
posted by dahliachewswell at 3:18 PM on June 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

reading aloud to eachother.

maybe this seems a little odd, but if it just happens casually it can be fun and sweet. i don't recommend being like, hey, can i read to you? but maybe you could have a casual trip to the library and if something catches both your eyes: classic lit, travelogues, humor (john hodgman's areas of my expertise is a good read aloud in my experience), you could say, "hey, we could go to my place and read to eachother! haha" or short stories from the new yorker, or elsewhere. keep the subject matter light at first.

if you got a longer book or a series, it could be a repeat thing, read a chapter or two each time you're together.

also, the trip to the library is great for picking out an interesting cookbook and cooking something new together, as has been suggested several times.
posted by dahliachewswell at 3:28 PM on June 21, 2008

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