While not a good choice for a first date, volunteering with an online dating pal is fun, rewarding and best of all, free. The shared experience will create a bond and give you plenty to talk about down the road. Plan a lunch or dinner to follow so you can recap the events and laugh about the crazy group leader or guy that brought his own tool belt to a beach clean up. Check out online volunteer sites and consider our suggestions below.
- Beach Clean Up—Sun, sand and sea make for a great date. You’ll have plenty of time to chat as you stroll along the shoreline. Take a dip in the ocean after to cool down… and maybe heat things up.
- Give Blood—Show how brave you are by donating blood at a Red Cross event. Catch up over juice and cookies post-donation then head out for a real meal.
- Walk for a Cause—Burn calories, raise awareness and have several miles of conversation in the great outdoors. Pick a cause you both believe in—it’ll create a connection beyond just that day.
- Build Something—Sign up for Habitat for Humanity or Rebuilding America—while building or repairing a home for a low-income family you’ll unintentionally build your relationship. Plus, despite what you think, sweat is a turn on for both sexes… especially when it’s the result of swinging a hammer.
- Visit a Local Nursing Home—You’ll come off as patient, caring and, well, young! Showing respect for the elderly signals you’re a good caretaker, something everyone looks for in a long-term partner.
- Teach—Local libraries, elementary schools and youth centers are always looking for volunteers with specialized skills to help with everything from soccer to social networking skills (which you’ll have gained via dating online). Find something you’re both skilled at and could teach together.
- Serve Those Who Served—Visit a Veterans hospital and work on a variety of tasks, like reading to vets or stocking food cupboards. An underappreciated and often neglected crowd, this is a chance to show your date that you believe in something bigger than yourself.
- Clear a Hiking Trail—In the current economic climate, parks and recreation departments are taking a big hit and need volunteers to help clear trails. This date allows you to explore and problem-solve as a team, skills that will come in handy later in the relationship.
- Contribute to a Toy Drive—Head to a toy store and pick out gifts together to donate. The toys will make you reminisce and have you swapping stories of days past in no time.
- Donate Books to a Local Library—Visit each of your pads and go through old boxed books or ones on your shelf that are acquiring dust. You’ll learn each other’s tastes and share childhood memories along the way.
One afternoon of volunteering can reveal more about a person’s character than several dinner dates. Just be sure to talk about likes and dislikes beforehand so that a needle-phobe doesn’t end up at a blood drive and turn date to disaster.