1. GO TO IKEA
Remember that scene from 500 Days of Summer? Where Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel go to Ikea and role play? I’m talking about the first time they go, not when they break up – that would be counter-productive advice for dating. Didn’t it look fun? That’s because it is. Mess around, play house for a while and then eat some meatballs at the restaurant. God damn, Ikea is fun.
Still: 500 Days of Summer – Fox Searchlight Pictures
2. LIFE DRAWING
If you’re feeling adventurous, sign up to be life drawing models. Embrace any underlying desire for exhibitionism, strip and get ‘arted at’, if that’s even a phrase. If you’re feeling a little canvas shy then you can draw each other in your home à la Jack and Rose. Hopefully your fling ends a little better than theirs.
3. ROLE-PLAY IN A CAR SHOWROOM
Show up to a Jaguar dealership with your date and pretend you’re interested in buying one. You’ll have to do this smartly, they aren’t going to let you test drive one if you don’t look the part. Dress well, play your part. You’re Abe Froman – sausage king of Chicago. You’re Don Draper. You’re the Duchess of York. Put on your best accent and say ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ On second thoughts you might sound like a twat, either way start browsing the high end models and let one of the salesmen come to you. Act disinterested and pretty soon he’ll be handing over the keys thinking about that sweet sweet commission. What happens next is up to you.
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4. FAKE BEING A TOURIST
If there’s one thing about living somewhere is that you never end up hitting up the tourist traps – usually for good reasons (have you seen the fucking queues at the Empire State Building?) but turning the experience into a date can be super fun and interesting. Grab some gaudy I HEART NEW YORK apparel check out TripAdvisor for some truly pedestrian tourist shit and just go. Fake an accent but just try not to get pick-pocketed, even if pay day is right around the corner.
5. GHOST HUNTING x URBAN EXPLORATION
Get some thrills and give your date a little edge with some spooky wanderings or some highly somewhat illegal trespassing. There are forums dedicated to mapping and reviewing abandoned sites across the world. Do your research, bring a camera, your date, and a lot of courage. Between the sheer mystery and intrigue of abandoned buildings and the occasional overzealous security guard it can get a little hairy, but it’s all worth it for the adrenaline rush, some great snaps and a truly authentic and unique dating opportunity.
Photo: Another State of Mind Photography via 28dayslater.co.uk
6. GO TO AN ARCADE
Channel your inner eighties adolescent by buddying up and slogging your way through House of the Dead, styling on some fools playing Dance Dance Revolution, or if you’re a real boring bastard, play those penny arcade put-the-coin-in-the-top-and-hope-it-knocks-some-more-into-the-coindrop types. You know what I’m talking about.
Humanise the world, one googly eye at a time. ‘Eye-bombing’ is the practice of sticking googly eyes on inanimate objects. It’s hilarious. Buy a pack of 100 and walk around town eye-bombing everything in sight. Don’t forget to catalogue your vandalism and submit your masterpieces to Eyebombing.com.
Photo: Joney_NOR. via Reddit.
8. JOINT ART PROJECT
If all this talk of life modelling, acting, and eye-bombing has tickled your artistic g-spot then go to an art supplies store and buy a canvas, some paint, anything else you need – and create something together. All styles welcome. Color-field painting is ‘easy’ and doesn’t require much more than a sense of ‘these colors are nice.’ (Sorry Mark Rothko) but just collaborate and make something unique. If the date doesn’t go so well you’ve always got something to sell on Etsy at a 1000% mark up.
9. VISIT A SEX TOY MUSEUM
Learn the storied history of the dildo, or just how people got off in days of yore. You’ll find out pretty soon if your date is a prude, prudes are no fun. There’s a Museum of Sex in NYC, but there tends to be one in most cities. If yours doesn’t, I guess you can set up your own exhibit with a choice selection of fruit and vegetables/go to a greengrocers and use your imagination.
The world will crumble soon enough, so it’s probably a good idea to get some energy weapons training under your belt. Show your date you mean business by ruthlessly decimating the opposite team of spotty teenagers and the odd overzealous taking-this-too-seriously ex-marine who probably didn’t make it out of basic anyway. For fans of the X-Files, don’t worry – we’ve come a long way since First Person Shooter. (I hope.)
11. FORAGING x URBAN HARVESTING
You don’t need to head out the city to forage for edibles. Harness the power and beauty of the (often overlooked) culinary delights of stuff that grows in the neighbourhood. Falling Fruit has crowdsourced an interactive map of what grows and where and is constantly improving and changing as more people are contributing to the project. Going for a walk is nice and all, but wouldn’t it be great to learn about where you live within the context of the wider ecosystem? Don’t go to Whole Foods. Go anywhere. It’s better.