Why ice skating dates can be a slippery slope

Friday, December 10th, 2021

Ice skating has all the right magic for a super festive date, but beware the perils of a slippery slope even before you step onto the rink.

Close contact, hand holding for stability, a festive setting, a happy vibe, the pull of comforting après-skate treats and the cuteness of matching scarf and gloves; on the face of it, ice skating has all the magic to be a great wintery romantic date.

And yet, in a recent Muddy Matches poll, hitting the rink was given a cool reception by online daters; 56% said they would rather swerve the slide than try their luck with their prospective partner on the rink.

Doing a bit of deeper dig, this isn’t just unique to mud loving singles more akin to a cowshed than an ice rink either. Reluctance is rife.

Why? Well, for all the romantic ideas it conjures up, most of our singles are more likely to be like Bambi on ice with flailing arms and legs than the glamourous easy glider straight out of a rom com we all imagine ourselves as.

Holding on to a plastic penguin, for a dear life, whilst trying to demonstrate some degree of grace and style, hardly sets the right tone.

Striking the right balance between a good, and bad, ice skating date is a tough one indeed. So we spoke to a few singles who had reservations about saying yes to the rink.

Here’s the top five take outs to think about before planning to propose a date on ice.

Make sure your prospective date is at a similar standard to you on the ice; too good and you run the risk of them getting bored. Struggling to stay on their feet could lead to them feeling self-conscious, uncomfortable, and intimidated even. None of those feelings lead to a successful date or happy memory.

A similar grounding on the ice or shared outlook about stepping out makes for a more pleasant, shared experience all round.

Make the date more about the après-ice activities than the actual skating.
From our experience, the prospect of being bundled up in warm clothes, spending some quality time chatting over a luxury hot chocolate and some sweet treats in a fairy-light lit outdoor space with ‘maybe’ some ice skating (if we fancy it), is a far more appealing date, rather than expensive session tickets.

Maybe! Is the key word here… take the focus off the ice but make it optional, then gauge the mood. Add in a spot of Christmas window shopping or some Christmas market fun – but be flexible.

Don’t judge!
Your date may be a 10 in your eyes but it doesn’t mean you need to score their skating ability – either verbally or physically. It might seem playful, cheeky and a topical to break the er, ice, but no one likes to be judged on a date. This isn’t the Winter Olympics or Dancing on Ice either. If your date is happy to don the skates, steer clear of vague praise. Even ‘You’re quite good’ suggests you didn’t think they would be. There’s also a fine line between being laughed with and laughed at.

Remember this is not your time to shine.
All our natural instincts are to do our utmost to impress on a date – but, if you are more than capable at racing around the rink, this is absolutely not your time to indulge your inner Torville and Dean. You may think you are doing wonders for your chances but it can do more harm than good. This is a shared experience, about bonding and building a togetherness. Your skills should be used to reassuring rather than showmanship.

Intimate isn’t always best
When it comes to picking the rink for a date, bigger is better. Larger rinks, especially those set up seasonally, offer more in off ice entertainment and bring a better vibes and atmosphere to bounce off. The community spirit of seeing more skaters of all levels is also reassuring. Smaller rinks may sound cosier but can expose any uncomfortable moments. And anyway, a date at a garden centre, who are the ice queens of hosting seasonal rink space, doesn’t sound all that romantic?

Don’t immediately assume close contact is ok.
A big one, and one that really does put the dampeners on a lot of the stuff you read online about ice skating being a perfect ‘up close and personal’ date, full of tactile moments and intimate little touches that build chemistry. Those we spoke to said, holding hands, even for stability and balance was a no-no until they were comfy. ‘The side will do nicely, thank you’.

A touch on the arm to help onto the ice was also unwelcomed until a green light was given. Any ideas you have of immediately skating hand in hand, side by side as a couple, laughing should be put on ice. Sure, ask the question but don’t be put off if you get a frosty response.

Muddy Matches is the UK’s original home of farmer dating, and now the nation’s first choice online date site on which to love in the countryside and rural romance by a fair country mile.

Traditional, trusted and award winning, Muddy Matches has attracted over 3/4 million mud loving singles from all walks of country life. Who will you unearth?