Winter shopping

Source: Eva-Katalin / Getty

When colder months arrive it’s easy to get caught in a dating slump. Whether you’re single or partnered, the temptation to ditch bar hopping and movie theater nights is magnified by the knowledge that you can snuggle up with your special somebody (or somebody for the night) for a Netflix and chill episode. The pros? You’re warm and might get some. The cons? Your laziness will raise a red flag, and it will limit how much you’re getting to know about each other, which really comes from experiencing things together. After all, you want to know who you’re dealing with and if the spark is a winter fling or if there’s potential for a long-term love.

The remedy is simple: mix things up. Here are five date ideas that will help you vet whether you’ve got a keeper or someone you’ll be annoyed with before you hit the halfway point of the latest series binge.


Sure, shorty might have a little vocal talent since she’s been belting out Beyonce and Rihanna hits for years, but karaoke is a lot less about range and rifts and a lot more about whether you are comfortable enough to let loose and have pure, silly fun in front of a room full of strangers. You’ll find out more about her tastes, check out her social skills in a less intimate setting and see what kind of moves she’s working with.

Paint and Sip

This isn’t really about the art or the wine. Sitting next to each other while painting allows you talk. First, it will be about the assignment but then it will naturally branch off into larger connected topics. This activity also creates space for a little healthy competition, so it’s a great way to determine whether your partner is a good sport.

Vision Frame Party for Two

Even it’s she’s created a vision board, you can remix the idea by creating a special piece to be framed. Setting up an at home vision frame party for two is easy. Each of you gets a picture frame (ex. 8 by 10 or 16 by 20), a bunch of magazines and newspapers, prints of your favorite articles from last year and a few decorative pieces and supplies from your local art store. It’s a fun crafts project but you’ll also get to quickly get to see each other’s priorities on paper.

Cooking Lessons

Culinary classes are a fun way to build a skill, get a good meal and connect. You determine how open your partner is outside of her comfort zone, or if she can already burn. Worst case scenario, you’ll at least have a good meal to eat at the end.

Get Active

It’s time to get your adrenaline pumping. Go ice skating, roller skating, hiking, or find an indoor sporting facility and try out some sessions. Sporting activities naturally test physical chemistry and one’s ability to be a good team player.


Rondel Holder is a marketing executive and the co-founder of Soul Society 101