I believe men should plan dates, especially the first few dates. However, planning dates doesn’t come easily to all men. So, I’m going to list some ideas largely based on dates that my husband planned while we were dating. He planned the best dates! I actually logged each date on my phone calendar and listed where we went, what we did, etc. I think I got up to over 200 logged dates! Crazy right? He is also a guest contributor for this post 😃 My recommendations below are in Pasadena and Los Angeles, CA unless otherwise noted.
First Dates – the first date is a time to meet someone informally, usually for a drink or a cup of coffee or tea, to see if there’s a connection. If you click, this could last a few hours. If you don’t, you can leave as soon as you’re done with your drink.
Coffee Shops – there are so many small quaint coffee shops nowadays. Look some up and visit them before taking your date.
- Philz Coffee – you can grab a coffee and sit outside in the common area or go for a walk on Lake Ave.
- Urth Caffe – you could also grab a coffee or tea and go for a walk in this area or sit under their green umbrellas.
- Jones Coffee
- Intelligentsia and then walk next door to Pie Hole for some dessert
- La Monarca Bakery (South Pasadena) – nice area to take a walk.
- Mantra Coffee (Azusa)
- 1886 Bar at The Raymond – Matt brought me here for our second date. Great drinks and cute outdoor area with a fireplace. We also celebrated our engagement here with friends.
- Magnolia House
- The Tap Room at the Langham Hotel
- Vertical Wine Bistro
- dusitD2 Hotel Constance
- Edison Bar
- The Varnish
- Everson Royce Bar (Two locations – Pasadena and Los Angeles)
- Far Bar
- Ace Hotel Bar
- Hotel Figueroa (Los Angeles, but it’s currently undergoing renovations)
- Faith and Flower
2nd Date – at this point you may be ready to move on to a more formal dinner date:
Dinner – so many great restaurants in LA. I suggest choosing a restaurant that’s not too loud and that’s romantic…dimmed lighting, candles, etc. And, as my friend Brittany pointed out, please make reservations especially if you’re going out on a Friday or Saturday night. Ask your friends for recommendations. Here are a few of mine:
- Little Beast
- Paul Martin’s American Grill
- Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
- Cliff’s Edge
- Plate 38
- Hikes followed by a bite to eat
- Visit a brewery. Most of them have fun events scheduled like Trivia, Bingo and Beer and many more.
- Cooking classes. Hipcooks is a popular one.
- The beach
- Free outdoor concerts in the park
- Visit a museum
- Go bowling. Highland Park Bowl is a super fun place if you live in LA.
Ladies, help them out. Mention places you like or things you enjoy. Men, if she doesn’t mention anything, ask her!
Where NOT to take your date for the those first few dates.
- This is from my friend, Angela, “Don’t take your date to the food court at the mall”…not romantic at all! If this wasn’t an obvious one for you we have to schedule a consultation ASAP!
- Don’t invite your date to your place for the first date. You’re a complete stranger and we can all assume what your intentions are…
- This is from my friend, Brittany, “Don’t take them somewhere you’ve never been to” particularly on the first date.
- This is another one from Brittany, “Make sure if she’s dressing up don’t take her bowling afterwards, ask her to bring a change of clothes.” In general, make sure you give your date some direction on how to dress for whatever you date you have planned.
I realize not everyone reading this lives in Los Angeles or Pasadena so you might be wondering “Where do I find events happening in my city?” Sign up for emails or follow FB pages of places or artists you like. Ask your friends who are usually out doing things for recommendations! With Facebook you can get so many ideas just by where people are checking in.
Good luck and if you’re still lost, send me an email and I’ll do my best to help you out.