Health Conscious Dating

Posted by: Center for Growth Therapists

After countless dates you are left broke, alone, and fatter. That’s right, fatter. For the past few months you have been living a glutton’s dream life. You get home from work, scurry to get your outfit right, and then head out the door to meet the person that could be Mr./ Mrs. Right. Once you’re out, you drink sugary/heavy drinks, eat unhealthy meals, and take a cab. All in all, you enjoyed your time with the person and had a great date, but what exercise did you get and how health conscious was your food?  When dating, an important question to always ask yourself is how has meeting Mr./Ms. Right improved your world.  In what way are you making better choices for yourself? 

Let’s rewind this date to evaluate how meeting Mr. / Ms. Right has improved your world.   First, start with thinking about yourself and what your needs are throughout the day. You have a promising date arranged for tonight, which means you’re probably not going to have time to be as health conscious as normal and get your normal workout in.  Are there other places to put your exercise in, such as before or during work, or are you best off incorporating exercise into the actual date.

Joint exercise can be the main activity. Remember, being in good shape helps couples have good sex (it’s not a requirement, but when you are in shape, the actual act of sex is far more effortless). If food and drink must be included in the date, include it after the activity when you’re metabolism is up and you’re more inclined to make healthier choices. Choices like a vodka water splash of cranberry juice or a red wine instead of that sweet, sugary wine or heavy, craft beer. Here is a list of health conscious date activities that promote your physical health:

  • bowling at North Bowl or Lucky Strikes, or the new South Bowl.
  • mini golf at Franklin Square or indoors at Keystone Mini-Golf http://www.keystoneminigolf.com/
  • Salsa dancing at 7165 Lounge or Brasils http://salsadelphia.com/
  • Ice Skating at Blue Cross RiverRink, Dilworth Park, Wissahickon Skating Club, or Rizzo Rink
  • Jogging over the Ben Franklin Bridge or along the Schuykill
  • Walk together to the farmers market or your local health food store and pick out fresh ingredients to cook together, or to pack in a picnic basket. http://thefoodtrust.org/farmers-markets
  • bike ride along Martin Luther King Drive or Kelly Drive ending with a picnic dinner or go out to eat in Manayunk http://www.bikesharephiladelphia.org/
  • horseback riding at Black Lake Run Farm
  • canoeing in the Brandywine
  • hiking in Wissahickon Valley Park
  • strolling along the river and end with a picnic along the water or dinner in Manayunk
  • rock climbing at Go Vertical or Philadelphia Rock Gym
  • ropes course,at Philadelphia Rock Gym
  • laser tag at Ultrazone Laser Tag or Brunswick Zone XL
  • trampoline jumping at Sky Zone
  • Use the GeoCache App on your phone to explore around the city and find hidden treasures
  • dance classes
  • exercise classes: zumba, crossfit, cycling, rowing, yoga, stretch, pole dancing, cardio, muay tai, barre, pilates, aerial yoga/pilates, etc. 
  • healthy cooking class
  • comedy show at the Helium Club
  • Be a tourist in your closest city, Philadelpha is a very walkable city from neighborhood to neighborhood
  • Game night with a Wii or Xbox Connect
  • Visit an orchard and pick the fruits and vegetables
  • Walk through a garden at Linville Gardens
  • Window shopping on Walnut and Chestnut St. or the boutiques on 3rd Street or Rittenhouse Square
  • Play bar games at Dave and Busters or Buffalo Billiards
  • Go Fishing
  • Go Paddle boating
  • Volunteer your time
  • Walk around a museum (pay what you want on Wednesday nights in Philadelphia)
  • Take an art/design class
  • Adrenaline date- skydiving or bungee jumping 
  • Pottery class at Clay Studio or Expressive Hand
  • Playing tennis (free parks all over the city)
  • Lawn games – Cornhole, Bocci, croquet, badminton
  • Swimming at the beach
  • Snorkeling/scuba diving
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Hide and seek
  • Skip stones in the water
  • Gardening
  • Go to a comic book store/record store
  • Go to a sporting event – jump and down to cheer, skip the beer and hot dogs

If this is a first or second date and you’re not feeling that adventurous with your partner ask yourself why. So what if you make a fool of yourself by trying an activity that you aren’t good at.  You want a partner who fully accepts you, right? You want to be with someone who embraces your moxie. Being vulnerable puts you on a fast pace to developing a health conscious and emotionally intimate relationship. If you are simply not ready to be vulnerable you can still try to be health conscious by making sure that you put exercise somewhere else into your schedule or, at the very least, incorporate some walking before or during the date and eating healthier food choices.  

When it comes to food, don’t be fearful that your date will judge you for eating small portions.  Everything in moderation is good.  If you’re both feeling the date and want to stay longer to enjoy one another’s company skip the dessert and go for a walk. If the weather is bad have a cup of hot tea rather than dessert and coffee.

If the relationship has developed try to continue your health conscious dating lifestyle with one another. If you are at the point of being sexually intimate push yourself to be more physical in the bedroom.  Move around more than you might have in the past.  At the very least, you will be burning more calories and your partner will think s/he is a star in the bedroom because s/he will be the cause of making you move so much!  To add some more health consciousness, don’t be afraid to share some red wine and dark chocolate together for antioxidants.  Although drinking too much can cause a whole host of other problems, but that is a different tip!

Dating can be somewhat disruptive to your daily routine, so the goal is to make new rituals and habits that incorporate the other person into your life. Partaking in some of the above activities helps you develop or maintain healthier, more adventurous habits. The ideal is to find a partner who can be a partner in crime to a health conscious lifestyle. Don’t feel like you need to shift your life just because you’re dating, instead continue as usual and give someone the gift of being able to have the opportunity to join your world.