Dating can get pretty monotonous at times, whether you're casually seeing someone (or a few people) or are in a long-term committed relationship. There are only so many dinner-and-drinks nights you can do before you 1) gain the relationship 15 and 2) get sick of the only change-up being whether or not you order dessert. It's not that there's anything wrong with these types of dates, but in order to strengthen your bond, it's crucial to think outside of the box once in a while.
"Stepping out of your comfort zone together as a couple can really be like a breath of fresh air and give new life to your relationship," says Rob Alex, the creator of Mission Date Night. So if you feel like your date nights are getting stale, what are you to do? Don't worry: We've rounded up seven totally different unique dates so you'll never be at a loss for ideas again. Scroll through, choose your favorite, and then get ready to know your S.O. on a totally different level.
Try a new spot outside of your neighborhood
Switching things up a bit is always a good thing. If you're sick of staying in a five-block radius, download Bar Roulette, an app that works with Uber to drop you off at a "random" location for cocktails. Of course, you can set some parameters like which neighborhood you prefer to venture out to, but if you have the time, don't set any limits at all. All of the bars the app is affiliated with are top-rated, so you won't be disappointed. And what about if your partner is meeting you from a different location? You can shoot them a text through the app, and their Uber will drop them off at the same spot.
Spend the night stargazing
Is there anything more romantic than sitting under the stars together? Pack some snacks and a telescope to explore the constellations. If you want to treat your S.O. to a little something special, name a star after them, and then pull out the map to track down their star together. This unique date idea reminds us of Mandy Moore's date with Shane West in A Walk to Remember (let's all start swooning now).
Get passes to a local film festival
A film festival has so much more charm than going to hit up a film at the cineplex. (A lineup of French movies sounds magnifique, non?) Buy passes for one day or the whole weekend, and then research which films look the most interesting. Even though you'll be together the whole time, you won't get a chance to discuss the flicks until the credits are rolling (over ice cream, perhaps?). Oh, and there's one more rule: You get to binge on as much popcorn and candy as you want.
Take a hot-air balloon ride
There are few things more romantic than a hot-air balloon ride for two (okay, three, since someone has to steer the balloon). This is the best way to explore your city or a new city if you happen to be traveling—you get to see both old and new things from great heights. And whatever you do, be sure to splurge on the champagne toast package and have your pilot snap a photo for posterity.
Get your zen on together
The couple that meditates together stays together. So maybe we made that up, but we kind of think it's true since meditation is linked to reduced stress levels. Book a group class, or splurge for a private class together at a mindfulness meditation studio (we like MNDFL in New York City). The complimentary tea at the beginning of class, relaxing breathing exercises, and natural light from the skylight will leave you feeling reenergized. Don't feel an immediate change? Just wait until you wake up the next morning feeling like a whole new person.
Try a trapeze class
Trust is everything in a relationship, which is why you should take a trapeze class with your partner. Even if you're a little (or a lot) afraid of heights, you'll learn how to lean on your person for moral support. Yes, you may get a little freaked out, and you may be exhausted afterward, but we guarantee that the moment you swing through the air, you'll feel exhilarated. We're serious: You'll be talking about this experience with your partner for years to come.
Go on a cabin retreat
You won't get cabin fever when you have someone special to share the trip with. Book an out-of-the-way abode outside of the hustle and bustle you know. Pack your favorite board games, tons of cozy pajamas, and maybe some of your favorite flicks (although we won't judge you if you want to take the weekend off from tech). The solitude will give you time to have genuine conversations and spend quality time together that you may not otherwise get.