Here’s the basics: you’ll have to plan this in advance so that you can both dress appropriately. If you’re not physically comfortable, it will show, and you don’t want to surprise a date who is dressed for a nightclub. When you arrive at the gym, you can rent equipment – at most gyms, the cost will be comparable to other traditional date options. Gyms will have all climbers take an introductory class to learn how to climb safely, so you can learn something new together. Then you’ll likely be trained to belay each other.
1. You’ll get to know your date faster – During those first few dates, you want to get to know your date, which you can’t do if you’re sitting in silence in a movie theater. Going rock climbing forces you to communicate: you need to share commands as you belay each other and discuss the routes. There is a lot of opportunity to share tips and encouragement.
You can learn a lot about a person by the way they handle a new physical task: do they get frustrated and give up? Or do they roll with the punches? You’ll find out if the other person is way too competitive or whiny, or if he is cooperative and supportive. You’ll also get to find out if the other person is as into fitness as you are.
2. You have any easy out – Let’s face it, not all first dates are great. Frankly, not all first dates are safe. You need an out if the date is going badly, so if you’re not feeling your date after an hour of climbing, you can cut it off there and go home (alternately, if it’s going great, you can grab a bite to eat afterward.) Gym closing time can also be a great cut-off time.
Also, when planning a first date, you have to be mindful of safety – you’re meeting with a near-stranger. Many outdoor activities, like hiking, can be too secluded for a safe date, but an indoor climbing gym has staff and other climbers around in case the person you thought you met online is not the person who showed up.
3. Creates opportunities for physical contact – In your climbing safety class, you’ll be taught how to perform safety checks on your climbing partner. This means you’ll be checking their harness and ropes before each wall, which breaks the ice and invites the opportunity for physical touching. Plus, you can always get a congratulatory hug in after completing a tough wall.
4. It’s original – Everyone is going out for coffee. An invitation to go rock climbing will be intriguing to your prospective date!