You can always tell when a couple is on a dinner date in the Village. Maybe someone's posture is a little too straight, or a wine glass full of water is held a little too much like in the movies. And you have probably seen at least one of the two at Frary before, so you can easily spot a change caused by date anxiety.
As if dating at a small school is not already weird enough, the traditional dating culture could add a lot of unnecessary stress on college students, especially when first dates are concerned. Getting to know someone you are drawn to should be a fun and exciting activity. Yet, it could easily turn into a subtle torture of the interview or cross-examination kind, particularly if the two parties are sitting across a table in bright light and a continuous exchange of information is expected.
So why not forget the eternal dinner and a movie and be more adventurous in our dating style? Whether it is a friend who you have just recently started seeing in a romantic light or a stranger who awkwardly asked you out after some kissing on the dance floor, next time you get invited on a date or yourself ask someone out, suggest a fun alternative:
Change the activity
You don’t have to have dinner to get to know your date. Get physical instead! Engaging in an outdoorsy activity would give you the chance to enjoy each other’s company in a casual setting while still having plenty of opportunities to talk and learn about each other. Go on a hike up Baldy or stop at San Antonio Falls for a short walk. Or ride bikes around the Wilderness Park and take a break to chat whenever you get tired. Because you will be moving and interacting with nature in addition to each other, you will feel less of the pressure normally associated with first dates and will develop a shared sense of adventure, which is important for initial bonding.
Change the setting
If you like the idea of having food at your date, experiment with the place. Get a bottle of wine, put some cheese, fruit and crackers in a backpack and have a picnic. Head to the Pomona Greek theater for privacy, Scripps for beautiful scenery or the beach for an out-of-the-bubble experience. If restaurant food is a must, pick a place with a take-out menu and then quickly substitute the table for a blanket. A picnic is a great way to relax and enjoy your food and, of course, flirt, if you so desire. And it could turn into star-gazing (right, star searching) or some other activity that requires a blanket.
Change the time
At Pomona we are blessed with beautiful weather even in January. Those heavenly weekend mornings when you can actually see the mountains and the grass is still wet from the night’s sprinklers—who can be unhappy under such generous sun? Then why not have your date earlier and enjoy the day’s brilliance before, instead of after, spending the night with someone? The options, of course, are endless. The point is that you can enjoy your date and then have the rest of the day to decide how to follow-up. And a couple of hours in the sun will surely charge you with happiness for the rest of the weekend.
Here's a quick list of other fun date ideas:
- Go rock climbing. Campus celebrities Katie, Zev and Cameron tell us why
- Get some sun on a little-known beach in Malibu, on a weekday
- Catch a movie at the Mission Tiki drive-in theater in Montclair
- Fly a kite in Santa Monica - why not?
- Take a walk to nowhere in particular
- Play a game of pool at a random bar - Foothill has quite a few treasures to offer
- Have your own wine/cheese/chocolate tasting, in bed
- Eat your full of samples at the Sunday farmer's market in the Village
- The hot air balloon ride turned out to be a little over our budged, but if you have some extra cash check out California Dreamin'
What is your favorite date idea? Do you have a wonderful experience you would like to share? Leave a comment below!