Date Night Done Right
Dates are fun. Whether it’s a nerve-wracking first date with an exciting new crush, or a comfortable evening out with your long term sweetie-pie, getting out of the Claremont bubble and day-to-day routine and spending time with someone is an experience that's good for both the body and mind. Dates allow you to get creative, try new things, and even tap into your romantic side. For a school of students so ambitious, competitive and eager to show their skills to the world, it surprises me how few people seem to take advantage of our low key Friday nights and attempt to channel that ambition towards some good old fashion wooing. That said, the thought of dating is also potentially stressful; figuring out what to wear, who’s to pay, how reserved to be, navigating awkward situations and trying to gauge the interest of the other person. Now the Forum can't help you with any of that, but what we can help you with is potentially the hardest part of all; figuring out what to do. Obviously a good date-plan will come from knowing the interests of your date, but if you're stumped for ideas give one of these a try!
This date is admittedly not creative: Dinner, Movie and the Bar. Cliche as it may be, even the oldest standbys are standbys for a reason. Try starting your night by taking a walk into the village and getting some pizza from the village’s newest restaurant and bar Union on Yale. Get a table outside by the heaters (inside can be distractingly loud). The restaurant is trendy with a friendly and fun atmosphere, perfect for a first (or second) date. From there, head over to Laemmle to catch a movie. If you want to prolong the date a little longer, stop by Eureka Burger for a drink or two: they have great cocktails and an outstanding beer selection. Some nights they have live music, and if you go on a Wednesday night you get a glass you can keep with whatever the beer special is that night, a memento for you to remember the date forever.
If you've got a car, another spin on this traditional date would be to take your partner to the Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre in Montclair; comfortable, classy, and you have to ability to chat with your date during the movie if you so choose.
Dates don’t all have to be about eating or doing something stationary, there are plenty of options right around Claremont for more active dates. For example, beat the California heat by taking your date ice skating in Ontario-Mills. Admission and rental skates cost $9 per person, and you can find their public skate hours here. If that’s not enough activity for you, grab your date and head for the hills! There’s plenty of beautiful, good, mellow hikes for people of any fitness level. Claremont Wilderness Trail at the end of Mills Ave is a nice loop, and Barrett-Stoddard Truck Road (also known as Storybook Trail) a trail off of Baldy rd. has some great views.
Sometimes the stress of school can make you want to jump out of a plane or off a bridge. Why not take those urges and make them into the best date ever? Skydiving and bungee jumping are activities sure to get your adrenaline pumping, and they will give you the opportunity to see your date in a completely new context outside of his or her comfort zone. If you want to quickly bond with your date, high-intensity outings are a must. As we learned from Dr. Love last semester, high stress situations like skydiving, roller coasters, or bungee jumping produce a lot of oxytocin, a chemical hugely involved in building relationships. If these ideas are up your alley, check out Skydive Elsinore, and Bungee America. This is a pricey date idea, but also an experience of a lifetime and a date you and your partner will never forget.
Admittedly, so far the dates I’ve recommended could do a number on your wallet and require a car. I don’t mean to suggest that all dates must cost a fortune: in fact you can have a perfectly romantic date without ever leaving the 5C’s. Start off by getting takeout from the dining hall of your choice. Grab a blanket, a bottle of wine, and head over to the Pomona Green across from Bridges and have a picnic. Once dinner is over, there are many options for what comes next. One of the greatest advantages of the consortium is the sheer number of opportunities of things to do. With minimal digging (Good Morning CMC, E-mail alerts, and Facebook events are great places to start) you can plan the date around an on campus event like a Without-A-Box performance, an a cappella concert, a big sports game, or even ballroom dance lessons. To those who think an on campus date would be lame, you aren’t trying hard enough to find interesting opportunities. It could definitely be one of the cheapest and most interesting dates you ever go on.
Whenever I go back home, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “So do you go to the beach a lot?” to which I always respond, “Occasionally, but not as much as I’d like to.” I imagine this is the same for most people; you get wrapped up in things on campus and go to the Scripps pool when you get the urge to swim or lay in the sun. A date is a perfect opportunity to get out of the Claremont bubble and actually visit the great beaches our friends assume we go to on the reg. Beach options are truly endless around here (Santa Monica, Venice, Laguna, Huntington), but if you want a less well-known option try Paradise Cove in Malibu. It’s a reasonably priced and casual restaurant with outdoor seating (definitely sit outside) and its own section of private beach. With the beautiful scenery, hot weather, and wide array of activity offered by the waterfront this is a date sure to be both memorable and fun. One word of advice though, this is a date that will require a lot of conversation due to the long car ride and downtime on the beach. Make sure you have some ideas of conversation topics and activities ideas that you can pull out if the conversation hits a lull. Try to think ahead of things you can do on the beach, like frisbee or building sandcastles.
Okay CMC, now go forth and woo! And commenters, we would love to hear from you too! Share your stories! What other date ideas do you have?