5 Date Ideas To Take Advantage Of This Holiday Season, If You're From Ohio

5 Date Ideas To Take Advantage Of This Holiday Season, If You're From Ohio

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

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Ahh, the holiday season. Every basic girl's favorite, romantic time of the year, and every guy's nightmare. No worries fellas, I've come up with five awesome winter date ideas, so that you don't have to. That way you can trick your girl into thinking you love the cold, the snow, and Christmas just as much as she does.

1. Glow Tubing At Snow Trails

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Snow Trials, in my hometown, Mansfield, Ohio, offers tickets on the weekends to go glow tubing. Glow tubing is just snow tubing but way better. You go after hours, and the slopes are lit up with neon lights, making it a perfect winter date night for you and your honey. For just 25 dollars, you can tube unlimited for 2 hours, as long as you can brave the cold for that long.

2. The "Christmas Story" House 

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Located in Cleveland, Ohio, you can go visit where everyone's favorite Christmas movie was filmed. That's right, it's the "Christmas Story" house. For an admission price of just 13 dollars, you can take a tour of this house complete with the leg lamp in the window. Just be careful of Ralphie shooting his new Red Ryder bb gun in the backyard, he might shoot your eye out.

3. The Wildlights at The Columbus Zoo

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Okay, this one is kind of cliche, but all girls, at least from my hometown, love to be taken to the Columbus Zoo for the Christmas lights. This holiday season, head down to the Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo, where for just 12 dollars, you can walk around and see the same lights you've seen a million times, and waste your money on overpriced hot chocolate. Not gonna lie, I'm going on a date there tonight. I can't help myself.

4. Ice Skating in Public Square

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Public Square, in downtown Cleveland, offers ice skating every winter. It's a pretty rinky dinky ice skating rink, but it's decorated so nicely, and there are some super cute shops right around the rink that you can waste some time at. Ice skating outside in the winter while it's snowing and you're surrounded by a huge Christmas tree and Christmas lights is basically every girl's dream date. Sign me up, please. At it's only 10 dollars. What a bargain.

5. Winter Hiking 

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I asked my boyfriend what is a cute idea for a winter date and he told me a winter hike. This might sound crazy but if you don't mind the cold (like me), and you love the way the snow looks on the trees (like me), then this could be super romantic, and fun. There are a million places to hike in Ohio, that would be even better in the winter. My favorite? Hemlock falls (in Mansfield), Brandywine Falls (in Cuyahoga), and Lyons Falls (at Mohican, in Mansfield). The best part? It's free.

This holiday season, plan a date (or not really plan one, just steal one off this list), and surprise your favorite girl on a winter date excursion full of romance and fun. We aren't very hard to impress.

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When We Get Swept Up In The Idea Of Love, We Fail To Understand The Meaning Behind It

We feel a spark, an intense feeling of endearment, and are quick to label it love, a product of our desperation to have it.

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Love is something we celebrate year round. That is why, despite Valentine's Day having passed by the time you read this, I am still choosing to dedicate this article to it. We strive to love and be loved. We know that it's important. We idealize what it feels like and spend our whole lives speculating about what it truly means.

Unfortunately, the price we pay in being swept up in the ideas of love that are presented to us is that we find ourselves more enthralled in our idealization of love rather than love itself.

We seem to enlist ourselves in a battle to love and be loved. To love and be loved. You see, in embarking on this journey, our motivation lends itself to more selfish terms. People begin to treat love as a transaction where they love with the condition of feeling that love in return. Love has never been a game, yet that is so often what people make of it. They are blinded by the idea that there should be a certain degree of "fairness," an even exchange, of actions and emotions. Couples keep score. Should I tell him I love him before we part ways if he didn't initiate it the last time? Do I buy him a nice gift for his birthday when he forgot to buy me flowers last Valentine's Day? Maybe if I don't do x, y and z he will realize he needs to "step it up" and treat me the way I treat him.

Love doesn't involve scores or holding out on giving someone our best just because they are not meeting our expectations.

Real love carries no expectations and builds and flourishes solely on itself. This being said, you cannot go out and truly love someone unless you have built that relationship of love and caring for your own needs with yourself. A loving relationship consists of two whole people, not two halves looking to be completed by each other. Two people with the mutual understanding that the responsibility of generating the other's happiness is not their own.

For some reason, we tend to view love as the ultimate end goal. Love is not a static destination, but rather a living breathing entity, constantly evolving. We feel a spark, an intense feeling of endearment, and are quick to label it love, a product of our desperation to have it. With time the feeling fades and because we were hasty and mislabeled the feeling, we automatically assume we have fallen out of love. You have not fallen out of love, you have merely reached the crossover between your idealized version of love and what it actually is.

People will nod their heads when they are lectured with the idea that love isn't easy yet will quickly become lazy once things are no longer as simple as they once were. They bow out when things become too hard and blame it on the fact that "they just weren't right for each other" or that "the world was against them." People find comfort in the idea that they can always find someone else and they traverse from relationship to relationship with new expectations built upon ones that hadn't been met in the previous one.

This is not love. To label this as such disgraces its true nature.

I don't really know what love is, to be honest. These are simply things I've learned and drawn from my own encounters with love, or what I think love is. Above all else, I believe that love is a vessel for growth. Real love is about learning and growing together. It is absent of "keeping score," there are no preconceived notions. It's about relishing the happiness you have when you're together. We should love not in exchange for love, but because we can. Because we want to, without restriction or expectation.

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