It's a Mystery, It's a Date! It's..."Mystery Date"!

Our Mystery Date at Dream Hotel NYC Downtown poolside.  Cheers!

My spouse, Janet and I recently had fun on one of our "mystery dates". Known affectionately as "mystery", we started doing this many years ago as long-weekend get-a-ways. We actually visited a number of cities/areas we never would have, had it not been for "mystery". But, then life became a bit more hectic and "mystery vacation" stopped. Recently, "mystery" was resurrected and went from long week-end to daytime or evening date.

 But, what is "mystery" and why have one?

"Mystery Date" is a game we play together for fun, novelty, romance, and creating togetherness. I comment often that adults have forgotten how to play and just be happy-go-lucky. We don't make time for ourselves in our busy lives and too easily fall prey to a routine of chronic day-in and day-out work, home, tv, collapse. Having fun and pleasure is healing to our psyches. It leads one to the relaxation response which relieves non-caloric weight gain tendencies by decreasing anxiety hormones and insulin and increasing metabolism.

How does one play? It's easy. Whether long-weekend or date, each person in the couple has a turn to be the "organizer" and "participant". (I'm defining couple here as any 2 adult people involved in a relationship: romantic; platonic friendship; siblings; colleagues; parent/adult child, etc.) The "organizer" is the person who decides what the date will be and makes all the relative logistical arrangements, reservations, etc. The 2 people in the couple decide together on the exact day/eve of the date but that's pretty much all the non-organizer or "participant" gets to know ahead of time.

As the date gets closer, the "organizer" can, in a playful way, let some of the information out of the bag. When is departure time. How many hours are involved. What should the "participant" wear and/or bring. The "organizer" can even offer date hints via themes, (water, nautical, athletic, musical, etc.) or activity, (eating, theatre, tour, dancing, museum, etc.). It really is all up to the individual couple how things play out. The morning of is when Janet and I reveal our respective "mystery date" destination to one another. That's our way. With your partner, talk about and discover your way.

"Mystery" can be elaborate or not. Money shouldn't be a restricting factor for anyone. One can easily opt, for example, to organize an outdoor picnic in the park under the stars while taking in a free concert, movie, or theatre event. So, if you want an expensive date, that's fine. But, much more importantly is allowing yourselves to play and have fun. And, "organizers", let your creative juices flow! A great place to get ideas with regard to what to do or where to go is from the inside of you. What do you like to do? What did you once like doing that you haven't done in years? What does your partner love doing? Also, incorporating the use of on-line promotion organizations such as Groupon and LivingSocial can be very helpful for ideas and discounts!

Getting back in touch with our younger more playful selves is a wonderful and natural way to optimize health! "Mystery" allows for playfulness, creativity, intimacy, communication, self-awareness, and caring for and awareness of another. All features come together in a unique, fun, and novel way.  So, give it a shot and take the "mystery" plunge! I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised. Your psyche will thank you. Your body will too.