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Date Ideas for Your Hot Vaccinated Summer Ahead

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I'm sure I don't have to tell you that summer’s right around the corner. If the feeling in the air wasn't enough, your TikTok “For You” page suddenly being filled with workout videos should’ve hinted at the rest. Luckily, we're inclusive here at Fresh Clean Tees and believe all bodies are summer bodies and the beach will get whatever body we give it, so if you've put on a few pounds this quarantine, don't stress too much. We all did.

But I digress.

We basically didn't have a summer last year, and this past month I've been hyper-fantasizing about upcoming plans with my boyfriend, from Miami baecations to bonfires at home. So I’ve put together a list of fun things for you and your significant other to do in the summertime sun this year.

1. Travel to a rural town in Sweden for its mysteriously fabled Midsommar Festival that occurs only once every 90 years.

Just kidding. Absolutely avoid that.

2. Celebrate the return of the music festival.

Whether or not you’re historically a music festival person — we all know the type, career attendees who memorize the entire Coachella lineup the day it drops and post a lot of pics in rainbow mesh and fringe — this might be the year to give it a try.

This past year and a half, with virtually zero live music, has left a Bonnaroo-shaped hole in my heart. Safely being able to gather alongside a large crowd in a public space to listen to music for a few hours will be downright invigorating after such an extended isolation. It’s also a hot spot for early dates and long-term couples alike. The other upside is that there are festivals of all sizes in a variety of price ranges in virtually every major city.

So do a quick search on Eventbrite and see what’s going on in your region this summer — you can catch me at Music Midtown in Atlanta :) — and plan a date for you and your boo thang. These make for dates you don’t forget.

3. Cheer on literally any kind of sporting event.

I think a lot of well-meaning boyfriends don’t invite their girlfriends to sporting events due to a potentially significant lack of interest in the game. But, honestly, sports sometimes have little to do with attending an in-person sporting event.

Whether you’re paying for courtside tickets at Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks finally not suck or scrounging up $5 nosebleed tickets for your hometown baseball legends, sporting events are a phenomenal move for dates, given their laid-back and comfortable nature, their allowance of extended organic conversation, and being a tremendous excuse to gorge yourself on snacks and beer. Even amongst my girlfriends who can’t name five players in any given league, I don’t know a single one who wouldn’t enjoy the act of going to a game with their boyfriend. This is an underrated classic. Take advantage of it.

4. Bring back the movie date.

I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying the whole “going to the movies is dead” thing. I’m a major homebody, so I love a good Netflix-and-chill night as much as the next, but there’s something to be said about seeing a film on the big screen the way it was intended. Many theaters are opening back up and, in the summertime, there’s even the upside of many cities hosting movies in the park.

Movies are a classic date move — and for good reason, given romance, cuddling, and general escapism. So check your local showtimes and see what’s going on. I promise you it’ll be a very welcome feeling of normalcy for your dating life.

5. Disappear into the most crowded bar you can find.

Bars and restaurants have had an astronomically tough year, and my friends and I are big fans of patronizing our beloved local bars. In the past week, many of my friends have shared photos of their fave NYC bars packed to the brim, and it honestly warms my heart to see.

The bar date is a classic call for an initial dating app meetup spot, and it gives you an opportunity to rock your favorite shirt, whether you’re a fan of v-neck tees, polo shirts, or short sleeve henleys. The casual ambiance and crowded space provide a sense of security and can even give you something to talk about. There’ll (hopefully) be no awkward silences.

Some guys are brewery-IPA admirers; others are bourbon snobs. Whatever your taste in alcohol, there’s sure to be a cool spot or two not too far away from you and your potential romantic interest. So hop on Yelp, scout out some vibes, and get swiping.

The past year and a half has been a rough one for dating. I know most of my single friends could only go on so many virtual dates before realizing there just truly isn’t a substitute for the real thing. With vaccination rates becoming high amongst young people, paired with an apparent optimism in the air, now is the time to put yourself back out there.

If you find yourself struggling in the confidence department, or simply need a sweet wardrobe re-up, I recommend Fresh Clean Tees for some super-soft, super-sharp men’s basics that are comfy, phenomenally well-fitting staples that would impress anyone I know.

I’m excited for this season, and I’m stoked for everyone that hasn’t been out there to get back out there. There are so many opportunities awaiting your soon-to-be-social self, as people are more than ready to be back out there living and dating. Go for it! This is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime season.

Summer, it’s good to have you back.

— Kendall Pennington