Hunt Ethridge Dating Advice

Spring ’10

Originally published in The Hudson Reporter

Ah, Spring has finally sprung! After the winter we had, some people were wondering if it was ever going to end. I’m sure we’ll have a few colder days, but the back of winter is broken and the outside migration has begun. I lived in Miami for 4 years and while beautiful and sunny every day has its advantages, there’s nothing like the energy in the air when the cold weather is finally subsiding and the days start lengthening. With the winter hibernation over, the Spring friskiness is here!

So the other day I was reminiscing about my past experiences and remembered something that I want to discuss. Firsts stick with you. Do you remember your first date? Your first time getting drunk? The first sleep over you had, whether innocent or not? The first time you caught a fish? My point is that the first time you usually do something, you remember it and you remember the people you experienced it with. I’ll bet you can tell me where you were the first time you said “I love you.” However, sometimes we forget about that old joy and get into a dating rut. Dinner, drinks, movies, whatever. With the weather getting nice, it’s time to dust off those skills and get creative. Take her (or him) for a first. No matter what happens, some small part of their heart will indelibly be yours forever. Every time they remember it, they’ll remember you. I remember one date in college where we *ahem* found ourselves in an area that “technically” we were not supposed to have access to after dark. **Shrugs** Whatreyagonnado, it was college… Anyways, we got into an arboretum and just walked around in the moonlight down the trellised paths hand in hand. Listening to the wind stir in the palm fronds with the adrenaline of being somewhere we were not supposed to be, watching the moonshadows dance around us with just a touch of silly fear at being there in the dark was a heady mixture. I couldn’t tell you tell you most of the dates I had in college, but that one sticks with me. And it wasn’t anything crazy or wild or planned out. It just kinda happened. I’m just saying, let’s do some different things this season.

Even if you’re mired deep in the urban jungle, there are ways of greeting the Spring and having fun. Instead of meeting for coffee at Starbucks, go to Grand Central Station and sit on a bench. Make up stories about the people coming and going. Or make up games for yourselves. Try to find 3 people with red pants or 5 mustaches (bonus if it’s a handlebar.) Make a fun lunch date and bring your inamorata or beau up onto your apartment building roof and have a picnic complete with sandwiches and chips, veggies and dip, chocolate covered strawberries and of course vino. Find out when the closest botanical gardens are having their spring bloom. If you don’t live near one, go to the library and borrow a book on local trees and take a walk in the woods, trying to identify as many trees as you can. If you’ve got a little money you can drop try the Cornucopia Cruise Lines. They have dinner cruises that leave from Hoboken or Perth Amboy. You can take someone out to dinner anywhere, but it’s truly something to remember when you’re out on the water at night, Jameson on the rocks in hand, sitting and looking at this gorgeous woman you have with you bathed in reflected city lights, smiling at this wonderful evening you planned. All it takes is a little bit of foresight on your behalf and you can turn what can be dating drudgery into a delightful dalliance!

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