As February winds on, we shift ever closer to Valentines Day. Yes, that symbolic day that celebrates love, where everything smells either like chocolate or roses or rejection; ideally the former two, of course. Advice on dates these days are excessive in their supply, and inaccurate in their result, precisely because they fail to understand something crucial: who we are as individuals. Especially here in Kelowna and UBC, there is a great diversity of people and cultures, and date preferences can vary from individual to individual.

As a result, I am not going to predicate a foolproof dating strategy, or give you an Introduction to Rizzology 101, or anything of the like. What I am going to do though, is present you with a suggestion, a very romantic one at that, that could also be enjoyed in the company of your friends or even by yourself. It will be based on sporting activities, because as seen time and time again through events like the World Cup, if there is something universal that can bring forth the spirit of camaraderie and unite us, diverse as we are, it’s sports!

First of all, what you are going to decide first is if you like skating or not. By skating, to be clear, I mean the ice kind, not the Tony Hawk ollie-pop-shuv-it kind; not that it would be fun to do that in this weather anyway. If you do, go to Stuart Park downtown. There, you will find a truly breathtaking space to ice skate. Imagine this: the astros from above painting the eternal canvas that is the sky, which merges below with the exquisite contrast between hill and lake, all while the park and fairy lights surround skaters spinning on ice, leading to a truly aesthetically pleasing experience. In essence, it is a perfect place to go to, one where you (and your companion, if you bring one) can truly bask in some of the very best the Okanagan has to offer. Plus, it is a very romantic place with a scenic background; bring compliments and chocolate, and this combination will certainly have quite the effect. Once you’re done skating, the world — or in this case downtown — is your oyster. There are so many places to dine or have a coffee to refresh after skating, and it is just a matter of your appetite at the time. 

If you don’t like ice skating, then you should go bowling. With bowling, there are fortunately more options available than when it comes to outdoor ice skating. If you are fortunate enough, you could even just shake the dust off the Wiimote and just have a blast in Wii Sports, but some of us mere mortals do not have access to that. Hence, there are two main spots you ought to know when it comes to bowling. The first, McCurdy Bowling and the second, BNA. On the surface, both places are breweries with bowling lanes. While the distinction is blurry with both, McCurdy focuses more on bowling. BNA, on the other hand, is more of a brewery than a bowling alley. 

The different features both have are what determine which one you will love more. McCurdy has more lanes and is a more traditional experience per se, so if you are a purist, it is definitely the place to go. BNA, on the other hand, also has a pretty cool arcade machine selection, as well as shuffleboard and bocce. Both places have appropriate food options so you are spared from hunger, though if you want to strike elsewhere for a meal, there are more restaurants around BNA than McCurdy since the former is located downtown. Regardless, bowling is such a great sport to practice with others, because frankly, few sports are as close-proximity and banter-heavy as knocking the pins. So take advantage of that fact, and have a grand old time with whoever you choose on the wooden lanes. Knowing that it is midterm season, it might be exactly the type of date many need. 

Like I said earlier in the article, these are not foolproof date ideas, but they are pretty close to that. There is no such thing as a Dr. Love, but if there was, they would probably prescribe either one of these two plans as a way to share your most valuable resource — time — with either your friends or lovers.