DEAR HARRIETTE: Going on dates with my boyfriend has turned into a chore. We always do the same dinner or same movie theater. I have suggested doing an active date, and he always wonders why we can't just get dinner instead. He doesn't want to go on dates that are out of his comfort zone. This can't be about money, because I could pay for rock climbing or kayaking. We could even make food and have a picnic in the park!
How do I get my boyfriend out of the habit of thinking dates can only be dinner or a movie? I want some spontaneity in life! -- Let's Explore, Denver
DEAR LET'S EXPLORE: Stop calling your ideas "dates." Instead of replacing dinner or the movies, invite him to do other things. Talk to him about your interests, and learn about his. Find out what he enjoyed doing as a child, and share your childhood memories. In general, learn about your boyfriend's interests and discover whether you share enough to be able to build a successful relationship. This is important as you look toward the future.
Ultimately, if you two have very different ideas for extracurricular fun, you will have to decide if that works for you, and if you can choose to enjoy your passions independently. Not enjoying similar extracurricular activities could also lead you to decide this is not the guy for you.