21 Festive Dates to Get You and Your S.O. Into the Holiday Spirit
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So the holiday season is rapidly descending upon us and you're scrambling trying to make this one the best you've ever had. Whether this will be the first you share with your lover or you've lost count of how many holidays you've spent together, it's important that you cherish your romance this December all the same. And because not everyone can make the trip out to New York City to see the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, here are 21 alternatives for holiday-themed dates that will definitely make this season the sweetest it's ever been.

1. Shop for gifts together

Turn your obligatory holiday shopping into a lovely afternoon spent browsing with your sweetie! And if your bank accounts allow it, you could even surprise one another with little gifts throughout the day.

2. Watch holiday movies and bake themed desserts

What's better than an afternoon viewing of "The Polar Express" and some homemade holiday treats? Nothing, that's what. Spend a cozy day on the couch with your lover and bask in the sweet smell of baking cookies in the air.

3. Go ice skating

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a nervous beginner, an ice skating date is perfect for any couple looking to enjoy the winter weather while it lasts. Lace up your skates, link your arms, and set out on the ice for a night of laughs, thrills, and hopefully, only a few spills.

4. Have a snowy photo shoot 

Pose with your boo in front of some seasonal decor or with a snowy backdrop behind you! Set a timer on your camera for some specific shots, or even have a few friends follow you two around and capture some adorable candids!

5. Go for a walk in your neighborhood and admire all of the decorations 

Visit some of the neighborhoods in your town together that are notorious for their grandiose displays of Christmas lights. Or, if you'd rather not wander around in the bitter cold, go for a drive instead and serenade one another with the Christmas carols playing on the radio.

6. Attend a community event together (a play, a festival, etc.)

A lot of towns prepare for the holiday season by hosting community-wide events on the weekends for everyone to enjoy. Holiday plays, concerts, and festivals are just some of the activities that might be held, and oftentimes, admission is free or very cheap to encourage all of the townspeople to participate. Take your sweetie out for a breakfast with Santa, for a orchestral performance, or even to feed some goats and cows at a holiday petting zoo.

7. Make Christmas cards to give to your loved ones

Your relationship surely is the envy of all your friends, so why not make that official with a series of cute, clever Christmas cards that really document how perfect your love is? Have your cards printed up at the store or make a date out of crafting them yourselves at home!

8. Spend the day decorating the Christmas tree

You can even precede this activity with a visit to a local tree farm if you prefer real Christmas trees to artificial ones. Then you can spend the rest of your day decorating your tree with ornaments, lights, and other trinkets. For some personal flair, purchase a few keepsake ornaments with your initials on them or frame a holiday photograph of you and your boo to put at the very top in place of a star!

9. Get some friends together for an ugly sweater party

Everyone loves to hate ugly Christmas sweaters, so why not throw a party to commemorate your shared feelings? Have every guest come prepared with their best (worst) holiday sweaters and drink and be merry together. You can even ask that everyone who attends brings along their favorite dessert or cookie platter. Host this gathering with your boo and be sure to impress everyone with how well your sweaters match!

10. Cuddle by the fireplace

Relax for the evening in each other's arms as the fireplace roars and crackles. Curl up with a good book or turn on your favorite holiday movie and try not to fall asleep as comfort and pure bliss overwhelms you.

11. Have a karaoke jam session to all of your holiday favorites

Look up some karaoke versions of holiday hits on YouTube and prepare to belt out all of the lyrics in a cheerful duet with the person you most adore. Or if you happen to be musical, have one of you play the guitar or the piano as the other serenades them in the most romantic fashion.

12. Play around in the snow like little kids

You're never too old to join your lover for some snowy shenanigans. Show up at their house with your sled in hand and show them that you haven't lost your readiness to have fun and live in the moment. Make some snow angels or build an igloo in your backyard to cuddle up in once it's finished (and hopefully, stable enough that it doesn't cave in).

13. Raise money for charity in the spirit of the giving season

Volunteer at a local soup kitchen to cook a hot meal for the less fortunate. Organize a community food drive among your friends and family or invest in some Christmas presents to donate to the Toys For Tots gift drive. However you choose to give back, sharing in that spirit of giving is bound to bring you both closer than ever before.

14. Drink holiday-themed coffees in a cute café

Venture at last into that downtown coffee shop you both keep swearing you'll visit and order some festive drinks to warm yourselves up. The cozy atmosphere of the café and its tasty sweets will no doubt have you both smiling at each other like it's Christmas already.

15. Go on a walk and have spontaneous snowball fights every so often

Bring out your inner kid again and softly toss some snowballs your baby's way, starting an all-out war right in the middle of a romantic stroll. A snowball fight might call the attention of passersby, but who cares? All that matters is that you're having fun and laughing together.

16. Hunt down some mistletoe and kiss under every bundle you see

Or even better, carry some mistletoe with you and hold it up at various points throughout your date to signal your need for another smooch.

17. Plan a holiday-themed scavenger hunt all through your town

Keep your sweetheart all afternoon with a festive scavenger hunt! Seal up the clues in some decorated envelopes that you leave at meaningful destinations in your town—in the park by the lake, in the window of your favorite shop, on the streetlight where you shared your first kiss…the possibilities are endless. Just make sure that the final hint leads your lover directly to you and makes their travels worth it.

18. Drink some hot cocoa and build a gingerbread house 

Make some delicious hot chocolate that you and your honey can sip on as you out-build each other in a friendly gingerbread house competition. Or keep it more peaceful and work together on a home-renovation project that Ty Pennington would be proud of.

19. Have a winter bonfire in your backyard

Bundle up under some blankets with your baby and roast some chestnuts (or s'mores) by the open fire. Some of the best and most intimate conversations you will ever share just might "spark" right there under the snowy night sky.

20. Have a Christmas Eve Eve party

Celebrating the "Eve of the Eve" is a great opportunity to gather all of your friends for a Christmas party without disrupting anyone's plans for the actual day itself! You and your sweetheart can plan out a lovely preamble to the festivities to come; invite your buddies over for dinner, for a holiday movie marathon, or for a coffee and dessert party!

21. Have a Hallmark marathon just to make fun of their cheesy movies

Bond with your significant other in the best way—that is, by ruthlessly criticizing the cliché holiday romances televised by the Hallmark channel every winter. So go ahead and sit back in the arms of the person you love and let the roasting begin.

No matter what holidays you and your lover celebrate, you can personalize any of these date ideas to include the customs and traditions that are special to you. All seasonal celebrations are valid and deserve to be shared with the people you love.

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

8 Qualities That Still Hold Up When Looking For The 'Perfect Guy' In 2019

He hasn't come along yet, but I'll know him when I see him.

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Ah, the mythical "perfect guy." Technically, he doesn't exist.

But there are guys that seem perfect to the people who love them despite their flaws. Over the years, I've compiled a mental list of things I look for in a guy. The list has changed over the years as different things became important to me. It's probably as complex and comprehensive now as it'll ever get, but I can't be sure.

The following are in order of importance, at least for me. Here are the best qualities to look for in a man in 2019:

1. Having strong faith.

This is crucial! I'm Christian, so for me, that means if he's not a Christian, it's a dealbreaker. My morals and beliefs are very strongly linked to my faith in God, and I just can't be with someone who doesn't share that conviction. I wouldn't marry a man who's not a Christian, so why even bother dating one?

"Imagine a man so focused on God that the only reason he looked up to see you is because he heard God say, 'That's her.'"

2. Kind

This is also very important! I've liked guys in the past who had some of the other qualities I looked for I but weren't kind. A relationship without kindness is toxic. Everyone deserves someone who treats them well, but that person should treat everyone well. They shouldn't discriminate with their kindness.

3. Funny

I need a guy who can make me laugh! He also needs to be able to understand my sense of humor, which is mostly sarcasm. I find a lot of things funny: jokes, puns, memes, no matter how seemingly stupid. If you've got those, you're golden.

4. Smart

Intelligence is attractive. It's true. I want a guy who's smart but isn't conceited. He knows he knows a lot but he doesn't think he's better than everyone else. He doesn't have to be a genius. He could be really smart in one subject, or kind of smart in many subjects. I just want him to know a thing or two about a thing or two.

5. Hardworking

My guy needs to be ambitious. He needs to have goals that he works toward. He can't be lazy. I believe that it is primarily the man's duty to financially support his woman. This is most applicable in marriage, but it works in dating relationships, too. I don't want someone who is unable to provide for me. In order to do that, he needs to be able to provide for himself.

6. Cute

You knew I'd get to this! I'm not blind, after all. Trust me, I think it's important for a guy to be attractive. But it's not as important as everything listed above this. I've been told I have weird taste in guys in terms of looks. What I see as cute doesn't always line up with society's definition. The important thing is that I'm attracted to him. Physical attraction is important in a relationship. To be picky: I don't like facial hair or too much muscle. I do like chest hair and back muscles.

7. Creative

This can mean a lot of different things. He could draw, paint, write, sing, play an instrument, etc. As long as it shows that he's inclined to use the right side of his brain. I'm a writer, so I'm naturally more drawn to people who prefer creativity over logic.

8. Interested in Me

Despite being last, this is extremely important! Without this, none of the other things matter. It's just like every other crush I've ever had. Nothing different. Nothing special. While I've been able to find guys who exhibit the first seven qualities, the eighth has been much harder to come by. I've never been in a relationship, so I imagine it will be really wonderful when I eventually find someone who reciprocates my feelings.


Some people may think my standards are too high, but I refuse to lower them. I believe that God has someone out there for me who lives up to these standards and even exceeds them. I just have to be patient and trust His timing.

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The Friend You Like Romantically Doesn't Owe You Anything

The friend-zone can be escaped, but not in the way you might want
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We've all heard the story of the "friend-zone." Boy is in love with his best friend, she dates all the wrong guys and fails to notice how perfect he is, then eventually realizes how wrong she was and they live happily ever after.

I used to think that the friend-zone was a myth that lonely men created to feel better about themselves. But then I got friend-zoned myself.

Yes, it sucked, but the second I realized I had feelings for a friend (that I knew had no such feelings for me), I decided to suppress the feelings. When that wasn't enough, I cut them off for a bit, then, slowly, I felt OK. I could communicate with them without having unwanted romantic feelings pop up. I had escaped the friend-zone.

Having gone through that, I had more sympathy for someone I had to friend-zone a little while later. I had been friends with this guy for a few months. I didn't have many college friends yet and I was really lonely, so having his company really meant a lot at the time.

This caused me to not be able to see what should have been clear: he had a crush on me. When I finally made the realization, I immediately let him know that I didn't feel that way about him. He said it was OK, but I could tell it wasn't.

We didn't talk at all over the summer and when we came back for the fall semester, he would barely look at me. I had started dating his friend, which caused an even bigger rift between us.

Though I understand where he's coming from, I was also really mad at him for a long time.

It was as if he was only nice to me because he wanted romance in return. But people are not vending machines. You can't put in your "nice guy" coins and expect love, sex, or whatever the hell it is you want in return.

It hurt me to know that he only wanted romance and once that was off the table, he no longer wanted anything to do with me.

But then I thought back to the friend that had friend-zoned me. Unrequited affections really suck, especially when they're for someone that you spend a lot of time with. But the key is to work to escape it.

Yes, liking someone you're friends with and them not liking you back is a real thing, but people tend to treat the friend-zone like this mythic hell dimension that can never be escaped. But you can escape. Just maybe not in the way you'd like to.

Now there are three ways you can escape the friend-zone:

The first option is to confess your feelings and try to win them over. Now, this isn't completely unheard of. I've had friends that have dated people who had previously friend-zoned them, but it's extremely rare and risky. You have to risk your entire friendship in order to do this. If it doesn't work out, it could strain the friendship or sometimes break it beyond repair.

You can also do what my ex-friend did and completely cut the person off. If you're being a love-zombie and only doing nice things for the friend because you expect romance in return, leaving the situation might be the most healthy decision for you. I understand now that my friend might have stopped talking to me out of self-preservation. But it still hurts the people involved.

The third and final option is to just get over it. It's harsh, but it's real. Why try something you know is going to fail and cause pain to both sides? Yes, getting over crushes can be really difficult, but getting a normal friendship back rather than being stuck a love-zombie for them is worth the pain.

Whichever one you choose, just remember this: Your friends do not owe you any romantic affection. The work you put into making them happy should just come out of the goodness of your own heart. If you expect romance in return, you're not being a good friend to them. If you really care about them, don't put that kind of pressure on them. They don't want a mindless love-zombie that does their bidding for the hope that they'll get a tiny love kernel out of it. They just want a friend.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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