Active Vs. Passive Dating – Which Is Best For You?


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There are all sorts of theories out there as to what comprises the best date, but this process is rarely a perfect science. After all, if you find yourself engaged with the personality of your date, you’ll tend to overlook exactly what you’re doing and focus more on them instead. Moreover, if your energies don’t match and you find yourself struggling to connect, the most expensive and well-structured date in the world is unlikely to make a difference.

Moreover, it’s important to just focus on having a good time as opposed to “organizing the perfect date,” as if a set of activities would be enough to trick our date into liking us more. Remember, a date is only good when both parties are having a fun time, and are able to converse and enjoy themselves without constantly being reminded of “the dating process.”

One topic of conversation you often see is a debate between the virtues and drawbacks of“active vs passive” dating. In this post, we’ll define what both of those are, how they differ, and which is best for what times. This way, we hope you can have a little more fun with your dating, instead of assuming you have to “get everything right” to enjoy yourself.

Active Dates Are Perfect For First-Time Meetings

Without meaning to, it’s very easy to treat a first date like a job application. You’ve held off on messaging the person too much before now because you wanted the conversation to be in-person and rich. That being said, info dumping or asking a million questions isn’t always the best way to start off. 

You may be naturally interested, but no one wants to be interrogated. Of course, we’re not accusing you of that approach either, it’s very easy to be on the receiving ends when nerves are a little high.

The antidote? An active date. Focusing on fantastic activities like axe throwing, mini golf or even a walk around shopping can help you focus on a task without feeling utterly absorbed in saying the right thing. You also get to have fun, mildly compete, and get out of your comfort zone a little. So, consider what activities you might show your date, and how you can share that fun together.

Passive Dates Are Best Kept For Later

A passive date might include sitting for a full meal at a restaurant, heading to a local cafe, or grabbing a drink or a coffee. They’re the dates on which we relax and focus on conversation more than anything else. It’s also a good time to show how you handle servers with respect, and reserving a place in advance shows planning.

It’s best not to start with passive dates, but they can be a great connection point after you’ve broken the ice a little. Stick to common topics instead of only prying into their background, with some of those healthy personal questions, as appropriate, peppered in for later.

Gauge The Personality

A date is much more than a formula. Different people like different things. For this reason, the above advice, while useful, is not going to apply to 100% of cases. For example, if your date mentions that they struggle with anxiety, expecting them to perform in a brand new environment with a brand new sport might be less comfortable for them than heading to a simple cafe and relaxing over lunch.

Moreover, some may be more active than you, and be appreciative of the great outdoors more than any curated “activity” that you pay to enjoy for the time being. People are different, and it doesn’t hurt at all to ask what their interests are or what their hobbies might be before you engage the date, just so you get it perfect.

Dates To Avoid

Of course, as long as you plan a nice time, are respectful, and focus on having fun, it’s hard to really mess up a date unless your personalities are diametrically opposed. That being said, sometimes it’s best to avoid given activities until later on.

A loud show or visit to the cinema, for example, is usually a poor choice for a starting date, because then you’ll be sat next to your chosen partner without being able to talk to them, sometimes for hours without the ability to make conversation. It can be a little awkward. This is why a date with a little action in it is so good to start, as it helps us learn from one another without being artificial.

With this advice, you’re certain to get the best out of both active and passive dating.