Do you want to really get to know someone? Choosing activities that reveal character might be a sneaky way of getting to know someone, but that’s not a bad thing.

“It can be hard at all ages to get to know someone’s character and intentions, so there’s no harm in choosing activities that [reveal both who they are] and whether they have similar interests to you,” says dating blogger and presenter Renee Blansky from The Dating Directory.

So read on for six unique date ideas that’ll help reveal more about how your date really ticks.

1. Playing a competitive board game
Setting up the Scrabble board may suggest an evening of fun is ahead… but it’s actually a great way to scrutinise your date’s behaviour under pressure. Does he or she make up words and insist they’re in the dictionary? Frown when you get a triple word score? Turn the board over in a fit of rage when it’s clear you’ve won the game? If you’re still talking at the end, there’s a good chance you’re suited.

Mix up the dating scene: Take your date out of their comfort zone (Image: Radiokafka /

2. Meeting your family
Some of us dread the big family introductions, knowing how tricky it can be. But putting your date under a little social pressure can offer deep insight into how they handle social situations. Will they cope with tough questions – or crash and burn? Do they just ‘get’ your grumpy octogenarian dad and know how to make him laugh? You’ll soon know if your date is a good fit.

3. Going to a museum or art gallery
Just posing this as an option will give you insight as to whether you’re compatible (eye-rolling from your date is probably not a good sign). However, it’s at the museum or gallery that you’ll figure out something deeper: whether you can talk to the person. Do they point out interesting things about the artefacts or artworks? Does the date kick-start other more intellectual conversations? It’s a great way to see a) how smart your date is and b) whether you connect over arts and culture.

4. Volunteering for an afternoon
A good test of someone’s character is how they treat the waitress in a café, but suggesting you go volunteering at, say, a soup kitchen takes this experiment one step further and offers insight into how your date sees his or herself in regards to others who might be less fortunate. Do they act friendly and warm, or standoffish and superior? Do you get a sense they’re humble, or just out for themselves? You’ll soon know if your date’s the type of person who’ll drive you crazy.

5. Doing a shark dive
Normally, staring death in the face wouldn’t be a great sell for a date, but getting suited up and plunging in the shark tank of the Manly Aquarium is more of a bonding experience than you’d realise. And if your date freaks out and tries to hide behind you while one of the massive Grey Nurse sharks bears down on you with chomping teeth, you’ll realise pretty quick that they perhaps might not have your back out of the tank, either. (For the record, those sharks are really well fed.)

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Take the plunge: Try something adventurous with that special someone

6. Trying indoor rock climbing
It’s the ultimate trust sport – you’re climbing up a big wall and you’re tied to your date, who’s standing on the floor below manning the ropes and making sure you don’t go ‘splat’. This is definitely a date that’ll take you out of your comfort zone, challenge you and help you see if you work well as a team. The guaranteed adrenalin rush can also boost attraction, so if you’re not feeling it after this, you probably never will!

Where do you go for first dates? What works for you?

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