Spa dates: The latest trend

When Alex and I met, one of the things he and I had in common was that we both loved getting massages.

Because of this, I thought it would be a neat idea to enjoy a couples’ spa treatment as a way of spending time together without resorting to one of the tried and tested clichéd dates that you always end up going on (you know… movies, bowling, walks on the beach).

It was only when we walked through the doors of Spirit Spa in Halifax, N.S. where I’d booked us in for a couples’ jade stone massage that I started to get nervous.

I was about to get almost naked in front of someone I didn’t know very well, and do something incredibly intimate with them. There was the potential for Alex to see me drooling, as I’ve been known to do while being massaged, which is obviously not sexy. I felt vulnerable all of a sudden.

We made nervous conversation as we were shown in to the room and undressed to our underwear. I removed my clothes and lay on the massage table at lightning speed. Once I’d pulled the towel over myself, grateful for the low lighting, I wondered if Alex was thinking sexy thoughts or judging my choice in underwear.

When our masseuses came in though, they soon put us at ease with their bright and easy manner. It was impossible not to just relax and enjoy a shared experience as they worked the hot stones up and down our bodies. The massage was so good, so very, very good.

We talked a little at first, but soon drifted into silence. Ainsley Miller, the masseuse working on me, said that often couples will start off talking, and then either go quiet or the female of the couple will end up asking the guy to stop talking so she can relax. It was a dreamy experience. I’ve had plenty of massages in my time, but the hot smooth stones made it a truly divine experience, and the cold stones that were placed on my chakras (with warning from Miller before they hit skin) were a perfect contrast that made my nerves tingle. When I made eye contact with Alex, it was obvious that I wasn’t the only one sinking into a chilled oblivion.

At the end of the massage we were left to dress, and we gushed about what a great experience it had been. Now relaxed enough not to care, I wasn’t so self-conscious about showing my undies. We left the spa feeling euphoric, and went on to have a gorgeously relaxed lunch. It felt like some of the reserve that we’d had towards each other previously had just disappeared.

Linda Brigley, the owner and manager of Spirit Spa, thinks that doing a spa date breaks down barriers in a relationship. “You are sharing a therapeutic experience and enjoying each other’s company at the same time. Then you come out of that feeling like a million dollars so you are energized for whatever you are going to do next,” she says. “Couples definitely come out of these treatments closer, and with a spring in their step.”

Brigley says that couples treatments are incredibly popular, so much so that when the spa changed location 18 months ago they added a second couples’ room and now both of those rooms are pretty much always booked up (especially around holidays and anytime there is reason to celebrate).

It’s worth noting that many extended medical plans cover certain types of massage, so if you both have coverage, this could end up being a very cheap date indeed.

Most spas these days offer couples’ packages (they’d be fools not to given the growing popularity) and there are many variations on themes. The Spa at Ballantyne in Charlotte, NC, has a number of packages that cover facials, massage and pedicures but also goes a step further. Several of their packages offer couples the option of doing an instructional massage experience where they are taught how to make their partner’s muscles melt.. The instruction is more about bringing people closer than teaching them how to work the kinks out of a lover’s back, and sees experienced spa-goers and spa virgins coming in to do this popular package.

“It’s all about long relaxing strokes and getting to know each other better,” says spa director Bill Toth. “In these stressful times, people want to connect with each other in any way that they can.”

Article courtesy of Click by Lavalife.

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