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Twenty-seven years ago, I had my first date with my husband, Larry, at the once legendary rock-n-roll club Dub’s in Gainesville. This historic venue was where Tom Petty got his start, and it saw the likes of Black Sabbath, Bob Seger and a few musicians who would go on to form The Beatles. The club also gave locals like Ken Block of Sister Hazel a start. (Our later dates would consist of seeing Ken Block and Andrew Copeland play at Napolatano’s Pizza, aka “Nappy’s.”) I was still in college, so our idea of a good time was to go listen to live music. We were two peas in a pod, driving 1969 Camaros and rockin’ out! Oh, the good ol’ days!
Now, our dates are a little more sedate and sophisticated, and I hate to say, often few and far between with all of our commitments and obligations. In “Planning the Perfect Date,” we roust you out of your regular routine or boring rut with six detailed date ideas, including the perfect outfits for each. So whether it’s a picnic on a secluded island, a night out “on Broadway” at The Kravis Center, a fun painting class, couples massages at PGA National, or an evening at the comedy club (laughing always makes you more attractive), we provide the ideas, and let cupid do the rest!
If cupid isn’t doing his job, seek an expert. Dating in the 21st century can be daunting, swiping left and right, with all the fickle dating apps and sites, and downright deceit lurking in every profile. It’s also time-consuming, with the average person spending 12 to 24 hours a week online looking for love. In “The Modern Dating Game,” we bring falling in love back to the five senses and back to a time when people met face-to-face by introduction or fate. Local matchmakers, therapists and dating coaches can help you uncover your true desires in a long-term mate, match you according to interests and morals, and pair you with a person, not a profile. They also provide advice on modern dating dos and dont’s so you can be safe and successful.
One couple that was successful in finding true love is Meredith Young and Christopher West, who were introduced the old-fashioned way by mutual friends, but took their sweet time to connect and fall in love. They tied the knot at a Jupiter waterfront home in an intimate, romantic setting with personal touches, like wedding rings designed by Meredith herself and hand-written vows.
For a real step bank into time, escape with your date into nature and go “glamping” at Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, the largest dude ranch east of the Mississippi, located right here in Central Florida. With no TVs and plenty of outside activities, it offers ample time for bonding, thus making it a great getaway for couples (or a fun girls’ trip). Sleep in tepees (with luxurious accommodations), go horseback riding, shoot archery or trap and skeet, enjoy hayrides, listen to live music, line dance, make s’mores by the campfire and attend an authentic cowboy rodeo. Plan something out of the ordinary this Valentine’s Day—something memorable and touching that you’ll remember for the next few decades!
Twenty-seven years ago, I had my first date with my husband, Larry, at the once legendary rock-n-roll club Dub’s in Gainesville.