Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I really enjoy my singles ward, in many ways it's been the best ward I've ever been in. That being said our bishopric is gungho about getting people married. When I was set apart for my calling as the Dessert Social aka ward prayer cochair I was told to take my calling seriously because marriage would result from it (which I was totally fine with as long as one of them was mine :) I didn't realize how much of a focus dating and marriage really were until I got the minutes from our ward leadership retreat that I was unable to go to. While the minutes had things about new members, how to better increase sunday worship, etc. most of the minutes were devoted to the topic of dating. As I had just recieved a large email from the bishop with dating ideas, the whole dating minutes made me smile because it is so true. My ward doesn't date and it is a frustration that all of us, both males and females, have expressed at different times. The guys worry that if they ask out a girl on a date the girl is going to get the wrong impression and think that he must really like her. Girls because the guys don't date start to think that if a guy asks them out on a date he must really like them and this whole viscious cycle starts over again. With no one ever really moving anywhere. But maybe with the new emphasis on dating that will all change! Though I don't know how I feel about having the RS presidency arrange dates for me...


  • More dating – less hanging out
  • Classes on dating
  • Photo directory access
  • Spotlights
Dating (Task Force – to be assigned)
    • More putt ‘n giggle type of events were strongly supported
    • How do we help those guys that don’t date very much
      • Set ups
      • Rotating dates in the evening
      • Things like Putt n’ Giggle
    • People need to focus on being the right one as well as finding the right one – skills of being the right one are eternal ones
    • Make sure that people who don’t get asked out don’t feel less valued or of less worth; dating is important but number of dates we get asked on has nothing to do with our value as a person
    • Some people feel we need flirting lessons
    • Small group dates led by the RS Presidency will be planned
    • Dating box
    • Helping people make the transition to courtship and out of the group events of the ward
    • Having the right expectations in a relationship and not expecting perfection up front
    • Being in tune with the Spirit and also not becoming too obsessed with dating
    • How to let people know and how do we communicate that we’re ready to date
    • Doing “nice notes” and maybe integrating it into ward prayer; how do we feel more connected?
      • Some discussion of whether or not ward prayer is spiritual enough
      • Maybe have ward prayers in different rooms and then come together
List of Dating Ideas

Go to an arcade, fruit picking at an orchard, Ice and roller skating, Frisbee golf, laser tag, rock climbing, bowling, horseback riding, bon fire, Fly a kite, feed people at homeless shelter, humane society, babysit together, card games, museum, take a hobby class together, archery, carve pumpkins, zoo, sidewalk chalk, cook dinner together, look at baby pictures/yearbooks, plan a party together, set off fireworks, visit caves, rake and play in the leaves, tennis, hiking, church history sites, lights at temple square, bees game, progressive dinner, haunted house, feed ducks, build a snowman, mud football, ride go carts, see a play or concert, motor cross, take pictures together, sledding, picnic, take nieces and nephews to the park, go for hot chocolate, watch the sunset.

Most, if not all of these can be done in a group setting- I am recommending that people actually pair up to do these activities and leave the group setting behind!!

dinner and a movie (At a restaurant and a movie theater)
QuickWits or any play at the Off Broadway Theater
attending the ballet, opera, a concert at Symphony Hall or up at Deer Valley, plays or musical theater
mini golf
hitting balls at the driving range
playing a game of tennis
picnic in the park- followed by a youthful moment or two at the playground
movie or laser show at the planetarium
Thanksgiving point - dinosaur exhibit, movies, walking/picnic in the gardens
Living Aquarium
Music Festivals
Farmer's Market (great place to get some yummy food to make a lunch or dinner together later in the day)
Skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating, building a snowman
ice blocking
State Fair
Haunted Houses
take a tour of the state capitol building
laser tag
attending college sporting events
attending semi and professional sporting events
take a drive up the canyon in the fall to see the leaves- pack a snack or dinner to enjoy in the great outdoors
run through the fountain at Gateway
Red Butte Gardens
mountain biking
volunteer somewhere/find a service project to join
corn maze
drive around and look at Christmas lights/Temple Square

I've never been one for casual dates. I guess I don't have the patience for them. But when I'm dating someone, I like to just be with them and do things together. It's like they are my playmate! Museums are good. I think most importantly when it comes to seriously dating and making the decision if you see a future with the person, you need to do activities that bring out different aspects- how is the person (guy) with money management? Can you work with him? So perhaps the two going to the grocery store together to buy smoothie goods, make smoothies and watch a movie would be well rounded. (I love watching movies!)
There's also feeding the ducks, going for a walk, reading children's books at the library. Honestly, for a guy to spend a lot of money on me can be a little disconcerting. Because you know that kind of money won't exist when you are married. And I guess I've always done things low key. There's chocolate factory tours. Any sort of festival is a good idea.
Here's some of my favorites:

Bike riding (on a tandem bike--built for 2) ---to a park, dinner, through cemeteries (it sounds weird, but it was really pretty and fun!)

Culture-theme night (Dutch, Irish, etc.) --dinner, activity, etc. all themed around it
Music night
Marshmallows and hot dogs
The canyon
Ice blocking
Shopping for dinner then cooking it together
A 'multi-date night'--you do a few different activities in one night (ie: dinner, sledding, games, shopping for dessert)
LDS comedy groups (there are a lot at BYU)
Dance in the backyard with old jazz music (Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Buble, etc)---This is not a first date activity
Have a picnic and play some type of game (Frisbee, bochee ball - I don't know how to spell that, throw a football, softball, etc)
Walk to a restaurant and have dinner then walk back (this one would obviously be for people that don't mind being active and are comfortable talking or spending long walks together)
Go to a drive in movie
Go to a Bee's, Jazz, or Blaze game
Find someone that could use some help around their place and spend a night helping them paint, raking leaves, repairing things, etc.
For a quick date take a walk to Wendy's and get frosties, or get shaved ice by Albertson's (or anywhere that has it)
Have a bon fire
Go to a movie, or rent one and watch it at home, dollar theatre is always great
Make dinner together
Go to a play at one of the local theatres
Go to one of the free concerts or pay to go to a concert, there's lots of local ones
Do a movie outside projecting it on a screen

One thing I've learned is once you know someone well and are comfortable with them it doesn't matter what you do just as long as you're doing something with them. At that point this list would be much longer, the hard part is getting to that point. Hopefully some of these ideas help break the ice for some people.

a lot of these would be great for group dates as well.
Get Ice blocks at Smiths, then go to DI, get old funky clothes, and go ice blocking down the hill by the baseball fields. Then go the iceburg and get a shake:)
1-Riding Razor scooters/rollerblades around Utah Lake (I'm sure there places in SLC this can be done.)
2- Hiking Ensign Peak and having a picnic
3- Going to the church history museum
My little sister told me of a date that she went on that I thought was pretty funny. Her date told her to wear clothes that wouldn't matter if they got wet. They handed her some goggles and they went through the car wash laying in the back of a pick up truck. I thought it was a pretty funny idea.

Here are a few of my favorites:

1 - tinfoil dinners up the canyon and a hike or toss frisbee around
2 - dutch oven or BBQ at Antelope Island (toss frisbee, skip rocks, play around on the beach)
3 - watch the sun rise and have breakfast
4 - picnic at a park
5 - trail run, bike, or swim followed by dinner
6 - hiking
7 - cross country skiing
8 - snow shoeing by moonlight
9 - play or concert up at the U
10 - go to the hot springs or sit in a hot tub
11 - go canoeing and have a picnic in the middle of the lake
12 - make a blanket fort and watch a movie
13 - go geocacheing
14 - see a show at the Hansen planetarium
15 - go on a walk
16 - go to Border's, read books, and drink hot chocolate

Date #1 - Go snowboarding at night at Brighton Ski Resort - 2 for 1 on certain nights
Date #2 - Go to Ogden recreational center and surf on the man-made wave for an hour
Date #3 - Go for a hike and have a pack-a-long dessert (something like twinkies while watching the sunset
Date #4 - Go to a play
Date #5 - Get another couple and go to the melting pot for dessert fondue
Date #6 - Go for a drive up the canyon and listen to music
Date #7 - Go to the Bee's game, watch fireworks and have ice cream after
Date #8 - Go rock climbing
Date #9 - Dinner and dessert
Date #10 - pumpkin carving contest - except you carve cantaloupes and put the 'extra' cantaloupe on top of ice cream
Date #11 - Go up to Park City and eat at a nice restaurant and walk up and down main street
Date #12 - concert (there are free concerts downtown or pay $$ and go to a famous one)
Date #13 - Batting Cages
Date #14 - Golfing - or to the driving range
Date #15 - Go to a real soccer game
Date #16 - Go to a football game - College
Date #17 - Get dessert at La Caille and walk around the gardens
Date #18 - Get dinner and go to a comedy club
Date #19 - Hockey Game
Date #20 - Take them waterskiing or wakeboarding

All the comments to this point have been the ones that I received on the e-mails in connection with the lists, which I just cut and pasted. For anonymity sake I did not include the names of who sent them, but I thought the comments also give some insight into the fun people that we really are inside. I really enjoyed all the ideas, and left them as they were with a few of them being duplicates. (Ice blocking must be really popular, I noticed it came up several times, or is it the trying to keep each other from shivering afterward?)

Hear is one that I had never heard of before that was shared with me in conversation.

Her date took her to a fountain (like in a mall, on the street, in front of business etc. where people toss coins) pulled out two rolls of pennies, kept one and gave one to her. Then they took turns making wishes out loud and talking about their wishes. She said the first 5 or 10 went pretty fast, but before you use all 50 of you pennies you have quite the conversation going, and they learned quite a lot about each other.

Thanks everyone for your participation. This was fun to put together! I hope you have just as much fun putting some of them to use and getting to know each other a little better!