First dates, third dates, tenth dates can reveal as much or as little of both parties involved depending on the level of activity, communication, intimacy, and physical time spent together. Planned dates that either wow or disappoint are par for the course. Although reading Cosmo or AskMen will rattle off a list of possible dating ideas, there is one that is a timeless classic…
The most telling dating activity is one of old-world tradition that has present day interest and gives solid information: “la passeggiata” which means “taking a walk” translated from Italian to English. “Taking a walk” or some form of passageway shared together has been one of the most key elements in getting to know someone through courtship dating back to Medieval Chivalry. Needless to say, the customs and its evolution over centuries are unique to each culture and time period. The same can be said for today. From across the globe, there are various societal and social norms, gender roles and degrees of liberation, and a major impact of technology that has caused great change in the contemporary dating world.
By returning to a simple, yet meaningful action of talking a walk, here’s what can be discovered—whether it be on the first date or twentieth. Through straightforward questions, reflections and observations within one’s self, it can be determined if it’s time to cross the street together or halt on the corner.
1.) Body language and security
When in a date’s presence, is he/she inviting and welcoming in the way he/she moves, gestures, and positions his/herself in close proximity to you or do they feel cold, timid, and/or disinterested? With self-awareness, think about how you also appear to them. Is there a sense of comfort and protection—whether given or received? Do you both walk at an even pace along side each other or is one more ahead, often lags off, or drags his/her feet?
2.) Physical and eye contact
Does he/she make an effort to hold your hand, put his/her arm around you, and either take or follow the lead with ease or resistance? Is there playful and/or gentle contact between you both or there is more reserve? Is one of you more forward than the other? If so, how is it received—with pleasure or with discomfort? When walking together, do one or the both of you make an effort to often turn your heads and maintain eye contact?
3.) Conversation: speaking and listening
Finally talking together and hearing each other’s voices, observing each other’s mannerisms and gestures, along with finding topics to discuss whether it be about the minutia of the day to tackling world issues shows where both of your interests lie. It allows each of you to understand each other’s patterns of speech, stream of thought, frequency and fluency of words, and what you think about. Is there a balance of who speaks and who listens or an imbalance? When moments of silence arise, do they feel forced or comfortable?
4.) Style of dress and interactions in public
Do both you and your date take pride in yourselves and are well put together and groomed—even for the simple passage? Of course one has their personal comfort level and aesthetic, but does it appear that either one of you or both of you are actually putting in the effort to respect each other’s company through visual means? It’s also important to note how the sidewalk, street, boardwalk, or whatever chosen location is navigated when others are present—do you or your date seem to be aggravated by a crowd, kind to a passerby, or prefer the solitude off the beaten path? This could say a lot about social preferences and behaviors.
5.) Kindness of heart and generosity of spirit
Does your date take into consideration if you or comfortable: tired, hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, or need to use the bathroom? Do you do the same? Do you offer or are you offered a remedy for any of the above? Little yet basic thoughts of care can speak volumes. When in each other’s presence, is there a sense to be open (of course within healthy limits) of revealing yourself through storytelling, laughter, and validation? Or does it feel forced and there is a level of disinterest?
6.) Chemistry and flirtation
The level of sparks, infatuation, and lust can vary from person to person. But if you and your partner have a genuine interest in getting to know each other, then the balance of being flirty, sexy, yet amicable and somewhat reserved can promote further interest. It brings forth what’s to come rather than accomplishing all within a couple of hours. This can truly shape and manage intentions and expectations that may or may not have yet been made clear.
7.) There’s no time like the present and making plans to see each other again.
Is it a 10-minute walk followed by the both of you going your separate ways, a passionate stroll in which you’re eager to progress the night further behind closed doors, or is it balanced in terms of its duration and attraction in which it could possibly lead to a goodnight kiss? Staying in the present and being in the moment—literally being where your feet are as you walk together gives more clarity than imaged. Even so that you both may be setting a next date because the mutual interest has crossed both of your paths.