African Lion Safari? A sex club? A strip club? These daters went outside the norm: Dating Diaries
When searching for new accounts of dating life to include in the Toronto Star’s popular column Dating Diaries, we often ask readers to share the “best, worst or most interesting” date they’ve been on. “Best” and “worst” are pretty obvious, but the “most interesting” dates — or most “unexpected” or “unusual” — can be amazing, awful or just weird, and rate anywhere from one to five to 10 out of 10. But they almost always include a plan or activity that falls outside of the norm.
When our diarist “Jane’s” birthday was coming up, she was broke from her divorce and expecting a low-key celebration; instead, her new guy “Sachin” surprised her with a plane ticket and a stay at the Château Frontenac (complete with a limo to the airport, Dom Pérignon and a brand new weekend wardrobe waiting at the hotel). Jane says she was “in awe.”
Not everyone can drop cash like Sachin, but a local getaway can be just as special. The first time “Grace” went away for the weekend with “Tad,” she was “charmed” by the small town where they were staying. “The houses were beautiful and looked like gingerbread cottages.” On the way to dinner, she writes, “with the scent of snow filling the air, I felt like I was made of magic.”
“Lindsay” and “Chris” went for a drive in the country for their second date and proceeded to get lost, but discovered they were near African Lion Safari. Lindsay wrote, “Neither of us had ever been, so on impulse we followed the signs, hopping up and down in our seats in anticipation of seeing the animals out in the open.” They had a scary moment when the passenger-side window jammed. Lindsay wrote “A couple’s first bonding experience doesn’t usually involve gazing at monkey butts!”
Sometimes, an unusual activity can salvage a bummer date. When “Kathy” went out with “Jordan,” he was two hours late. He talked about, and texted, his ex. He even tried to make plans with someone else when he realized that Kathy wasn’t into him. Still, when Jordan asked Kathy if she wanted to go to a sex club, she decided to say yes. “I was nervous, but curious” she wrote. Turns out, she wasn’t into it: “His plan to surprise me or impress me with a ‘sex club’ didn’t go as planned — much like the rest of the date.”
“Louise’s” risqué date with “Travis” had a different result. When Travis told Louise that “he didn’t have much planned for our date,” she didn’t care. “We agreed to walk around the neighbourhood aimlessly until something caught our eyes,” she wrote. That “something” was the fluorescent lighting of a strip club. Louise suggested they go in and wrote, “I didn’t know exactly why I wanted to go in, but in the moment I decided that I wanted to experience something new for this first date” and that “for the first time in a very long time, I felt like I could be myself with a guy almost immediately.”
An unexpected date might also be simpler than usual. “Phil” wrote that he and “Courtney” were in the car, and “soon noticed the harvest moon overhead, so large and glowing orange. We agreed to drive north of the city to get a better view of the magical sky.” After stargazing, they ended up at a random banquet hall, where they found a grand piano that Phil started to play. “Courtney sat close to me and put her hand on my shoulder. It felt so nice. I stood up and started to slow dance with her on the spot.”
With or without a love connection, trying something a little different (or a lot different) can make a run-of-the-mill date far more memorable.