Dating during the holiday season can be a special treat. Of course, in order to fully experience this you may need to re-order some priorities and make time for yourself and your own personal needs. Don't give into the temptation to put your social life on hold until after the New Year. Manage those work projects and family demands in a way that leaves you open to try some of the romantic and fun-filled activities that are available at this time of year.
The following 10 date ideas should help put you in the mood and may even inspire you to come up with a few on your own.
1.Have a "progressive" dinner together. Go to one place for your appetizer, another (romantic and intimate) place for your dinner; and then have dessert and coffee (nightcap), in a quiet spot with a beautiful view of holiday lights or other holiday views. Even better, go by limo, so you have all your time to focus on each other and don't have to worry about all the driving.
2. Take a holiday tour of historic homes in your area. Many areas of the country have these. Often they are done in the evening by candlelight. Afterwards, you can go for a walk and view the surrounding neighborhood lights and decorations. Finish with coffee in a quiet bistro.
3. Get dressed up and attend a holiday concert or play. You can spend a lot or very little on this kind of date, depending where you go for the entertainment. A nice little before or after meal fills out the evening.
4. Go and get hot chocolate with your date; then go look at Christmas lights or displays available in your area. Many places have dazzling displays that light up the night.
5. Go ice skating together. Find a nice place, not too crowded. This brings out the playful side and encourages a lot of interaction with each other. Hold hands, show off, race- be kids again!
6. Attend a religious service together. This could be accomplished by going to a place of worship that one (or both) of you belong to; or you could go to a non-denominational service. An evening service, followed by a supper in an intimate restaurant could fill you with a sense of well-being and peacefulness.
7. Throw a small holiday get-together with a few other couples (or friends). Plan an activity such as trimming the tree or lighting the menorah. Be sure to serve festive food and drink. A bonus would be to have a secret Santa gift exchange. This would be where each person brings a gift ($10.00 or less). Everyone picks a number. Person with number one begins with first selection. Go through all the numbers and open each gift in front of the group. Exchanging is fine and provides some extra fun. Lots of laughs and very interactive.
8. Choose your or his/her place, stay home, rent old holiday classics, light the fire and cook a simple but festive meal together. Play holiday music while you cook. Then watch (a few if you like) holiday favorites together. Or, you can bake Christmas cookies or other holiday treats together while listening to music and enjoying the fire.
9. Work at a soup kitchen one day (meal) together. Sharing the experience of giving is a wonderful way to get to know someone and deepen a relationship. It is also a great way to get into the true holiday spirit. After the clean up, go for a walk followed by coffee or a nightcap.
10. Go to a planetarium (if one is nearby). Enjoy the spectacular winter sky together. There is usually a guided "show" that you can experience as you sit closely, (perhaps hand in hand?). Try to pick out constellations together as you walk back to your car. It is always nice to have an intimate meal afterwards.
See if you can add some ideas of your own to this list. Then put aside several evenings over the next few weeks and awaken those feelings of peace, joy and goodwill for others.
Toni Coleman is a licensed therapist and relationship coach in private practice in McLean, Virginia. She specializes in working with singles that want to create lasting, intimate relationships. Toni has over 20 years of post-masters experience in relationship counseling and coaching with singles and couples. She is the founder and President of LifeChange Coaching and Consum-mate Relationship Coaching. She developed and teaches the Creating Lasting Relationships Training, a tele-workshop designed to help singles to define, implement and fulfill their life and relationship goals. She has also written numerous email classes for singles on all aspects of meeting, dating and relating. She is the author of the email newsletter, The Art of Intimacy, which goes out to thousands of subscribers monthly.