The Utah Museum of Contemporary Arts in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. (Dr. Rishi Deka | Daily Utah Chronicle)

People often refer to dating as a series of tests or mini mind games. While no one really wants to have this experience, there is a certain amount of truth to the stereotype. The point of dating is to get to know someone. Hopefully this means more than just what they look like naked, but hey, if that’s where you’re at then have fun. The question is how do you get to know someone without interrogating them over coffee? Or worse, never ending, weirdly deep text conversations, I’m talking days here.

While coffee (assuming you and your date drink it) and being attached to your phone (and charger) might be fun, there are other ways to break the ice. One of the best ways to get to know someone is to do something outside of your comfort zone. You get to see how they act in a new environment and you get to have an adventure yourself if your date turns out to be lame. Now, I am not recommending you take someone sky diving on a first date, that might be a little intense. Pushing your or their comfort zone does not have to be death defying, it just needs to be something new. Something you don’t do everyday or maybe wouldn’t think of on a Friday night.

My recommendation? Try the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. UMOCA might not sound like the perfect date idea at first, but hear me out. UMOCA is a relatively close date idea that is completely free. You can even bus there with your UCard, saving the expense of gas. Because it is a museum you will be walking around, so no fidgeting or awkwardness because you can just casually walk to the next exhibit. Art is meant to be both discussed and digested which means you can talk about what you like with your date, but it is also totally expected to have moments of silence instead of awkward pauses. Plus, art deals with all kinds of topics, like sports, social class, politics, materials and childhood. You can talk about deep topics or the frivolous aspects of any individual piece. Now, how does all this play into dating?

Well, does your date go for the deeper meaning or make a joke at each piece? Does your date like art and spend time considering the pieces or blast through looking bored? Do they want to touch everything or are they respectful? Not to mention individual pieces will remind both of you of past experiences and stories which you can share. An art museum is going to tell you way more about a person than skydiving and coffee combined. UMOCA provides conversation topics for you in the form of exhibits.

There is only one pitfall. What if they have already been to UMOCA? Well, firstly you can revisit museums, but if this is truly an issue never fear. On Aug. 25, UMOCA is opening a brand new exhibit that will be perfect for a back to school date. And in case your days are rusty, the 25 is a Friday, the ideal date night. So good luck, enjoy and be cultured. And if you really need coffee, they have a cafe and gift shop where you can get that, too.

m.slack@dailyutahchronicle.com

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