Photo by Rachal Marquez
If you’ve attended Pepperdine for any length of time, you know that dates aren’t exactly a common occurrence. Sure, plenty of people are dating, but dating in the “we’ve been dating for five years and are planning our wedding” sort of way, not in the “we’re going on a date to find out if we want to be in a relationship” sort of way.
As such, it can be difficult to know what to do when you actually score one of these rare dates. Most of your friends have either been in a relationship since high school and had their first date at a Burger King or are perpetually single and will throw wine in your face if you so much as hint at the idea of romance.
If you don’t want to do the cliched dinner and a movie (you want this person to think you’re interesting, after all), read on for some firstdate ideas that will put you on the path to getting a ring by spring or, at the very least, date number two.
Skip the overdone photoshoot at the lamps and go straight into the collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The modern art section has some immediately recognizable works by Picasso and Warhol that can spark discussion with any layman, and it also has some more obscure works if you’re an art aficionado who wants to show off a bit. Then check out some of the temporary exhibitions (like the Rain Room currently on view). The two of you will definitely have something to talk about when you’re through, and if the relationship doesn’t work out, at least you are a bit more cultured.
Horseback Riding ($50–$75)
If you want a date that’s not a low-key stroll through a museum, try horseback riding through Zuma Canyon. The view is as impressive as it gets, and horses always show up in romance stories, so you’ve got that covered, too. This date is great for people who like to do something while they’re on a date. Just make sure you avoid any horses with a bucking problem.
Echo Park ($0–$50)
One of the most picturesque spots in LA, Echo Park makes for a scenic date right out of the movies. Heck, a ton of movies have been filmed there, so brush up on your film trivia beforehand and completely amaze your date with your impressive cinema knowledge (as a Film major, I can assure you there’s nothing sexier than film trivia).
You can even take a paddleboat out on the lake if you really want to go the extra mile. Just make sure you don’t bring up any touchy subjects, as that might result in getting shoved overboard.
The Last Bookstore (Free)
If you’d rather spend your time reading indoors, instead of venturing out into the sunshine and being social, there’s a first date spot for you, too. The Last Bookstore is completely eclectic in a charming way — just like you. It’s fun to explore, and there are always cool events going on — B.J. Novak, Tony Hale and the cast of “Portlandia” have all popped up there in the past. And the arches of books provide a great Instagram opportunity, which is the only reason to go on dates in the first place, right?
Hollywood Forever Cemetery ($0–$25)
I know what you’re thinking: Who on earth goes to a cemetery for a first date? Cool people, that’s who. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery isn’t just a place full of dead people; it’s a place full of famous dead people. But perhaps more importantly (or perhaps not, depending on how morbid you are), there are also plenty of events, from concerts to movie screenings. And if you’re going to do dinner and a movie for your first date, at least do it in a cemetery. It will definitely make the evening more memorable.
Just because no one dates at Pepperdine doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either. Break the mold. Follow your own path. Take that cute girl you like to a cemetery. Or, you know, a museum or a bookstore. Just don’t have your first date in the Caf, because that can only end in tragedy.
Follow Jessica Kerner on Twitter @The_Kernster