From pigeon funerals to painting portraits, Craccum finds out how UoA students date
Dating in modern western society is straight-up weird. The majority of us find ourselves scrolling through various apps and praying the hot person we matched with doesn’t follow Andrew Tate or harbour some quirky conspiracy about vaccines. When the chat doesn’t reveal any red flags, the next step for most is to meet up in person. However, doing so is a potentially tumultuous experience, as Craccum’s readers shared. From DMing someone else for the entirety of the date to having their age grossly underestimated, we might have just heard it all. Well—almost all… For one person, their first date involved going to Mcdonald’s and witnessing their companion accidentally kill a pigeon. At least we can all be thankful that that hasn’t happened to us yet and hopefully never will.
A reader described the very odd date they went on. Even though pigeons weren’t harmed in this instance, pizza was. The pair met without a plan, so they “walked around Queen Street and Britomart” and “ended up running errands for him like going to the pharmacy”. They got some pizzas, but while their date was in the bathroom, they dropped the uneaten pizzas onto the ground, topping-side down. Despite the devastation this must have caused, they agreed to hang out again. However, one night before the next date, the Craccum reader was looking at their date’s Instagram story. “He was ranting heavily about how feminism sucks and women always abuse men in relationships.” The reader admits that they “took the bait”, resulting in a “massive argument through voice message.” After that, the pair decided it would be best if they didn’t go on a second date.
Another Craccum reader shared the time they met someone else while waiting for their date to arrive. The reader arrived at the bar an hour and a half early to get in some drinks before the date officially began. However, while at the bar, they met a guy they “really clicked with”. They were very open with this bar guy and told them they were waiting for their Tinder date. But the bar guy was still happy to hang out. “By the time Tinder guy showed up, [the reader] was super not into the idea of a date anymore.” The bar guy invited them both to his friend’s table. The reader was sat in between Tinder guy and bar guy. In confusion, the reader went to the bathroom for “some good ole fashion girly advice”, ultimately deciding to ditch Tinder guy. However, when the reader went to go break it to Tinder guy, he had clearly received the message “because he was already long gone.”
Even though these dating experiences are pretty cringe-worthy, love is often found in the most unexpected situations. At least, that’s what my nana tells me. And unless your friendship has blossomed into something more romantic like in every good rom-com, going on dates is something we will probably continue to subject ourselves to in search of “the one” or to add some spice to our assignment-ridden lives. What makes a good date, then? That’s a fairly subjective question. But the team at Craccum have clocked up a hefty number of dates between them, and we have some date ideas that might just lead to something more…
Go on a picnic
Being out in nature is actually proven to increase serotonin levels, diffusing the brain and making you calm; plus, it’s nice. It sets the mood, and you have so much to talk about—the weather, your memories on the beach, you can ask them if they like the beach during summer, what’s their fave beach, etc.
A walk then maybe drive somewhere
When walking, you don’t have to make eye contact and can read their head-to-toe body language. Have something to drink while you walk; it lets you think about what you want to say next without having to awkwardly sit in silence. If it goes well, drive somewhere for a meal or whatever. It’s a guarantee that sitting in a car, side by side, increases sexual tension… and a walk sets the date’s intention.
Do a class in something that neither of you has any idea about
There are plenty of classes in Auckland, like pottery, dancing, or cooking, available to try. Some are more expensive than others, so it might not be a first date kind of thing, but even if you realise you don’t like the other person, you can still learn something. A class can be a casual way of seeing how your date reacts to trying new things or how competitive they are. You will also most likely always have something to talk about, from what other people are making to questioning each others’ creative choices. Depending on how things go and what kind of class you do, you might have a physical object to either smash or trigger fond memories in the future.
Unleash your inner kid and see if they feel nourished around this other person. Let’s face it: if they’re not gonna fail super badly at Dance-Dance-Revolution with you, then do you really want it? The only issue with this one is that arcades sometimes have a lot of actual children and loud music. Maybe go at a time when kids are either in school or bed. And the loud music isn’t ideal, but it’s still better than screaming “how are you?!” at your drunk pash in the middle of Face, or whatever.
Pool (the game, not the place)
Pool halls are possibly the best first date places. There’s alcohol, there’s low lighting, and there’s a game to focus on. Plus, tables are usually paid per 15 minutes, so you can make a quick getaway if needed. It’s quiet enough so you can talk, but not so quiet it’s weird. You can stay as long as you want. Plus, no one is that good at pool anyway, so the stakes are low.
Paint each other
Okay, this might seem slightly high stakes and like a rip-off of Titanic’s sexiest scene, but this is an especially fun idea for people with no artistic talent. Grab a couple of cheap paints and canvases (and maybe a glass of wine), and park yourselves down for a half-hour painting session. It can be a little funny at first, but it’s surprisingly relaxing and a great way to let your walls down around each other. You might notice cute things about them you’ve never thought about before or giggle your way through with some light roasting of each other’s lack of skill. You might even find the tension gets CRAZY as you’re taking appreciative glances at each other. If you’re feeling that type of way, you could go full Rose… art has never been sexier.