First dates can be nerve-racking. You want to make a good impression without trying too hard. You want to relax and have fun while also making an effort to get to know your date. The pressure to get it right (especially if you’re the one doing the planning) can be intense.
But it doesn’t need to be.
Around here, we’re proponents of the fun and low-key first date, and nowhere will you find more fun and low-key options than in San Diego.
Need help? Take a look below at the following 6 tips and ideas for your next (and maybe last?) first date.
1) Keep it light on a first date
If you’re the one planning the date, you may be tempted to prove your worth by going all out and creating what you think is a magical date-of-a-lifetime. But that only creates unnecessary pressure for both of you. Instead, plan something fun and lighthearted.
Date idea: Go see a San Diego Padres game. Then join us for happy hour and incredible sunset views over the Torrey Pines Lagoon.
2) Move around on a first date
Different settings and activities will keep the date lively and provide the opportunities for physical contact (hand-holding, etc.) that increase intimacy. But don’t overdo it. Rushing through one activity to get to the next will only add stress.
Date idea: Browse the Solana Beach Farmer’s Market. Then build a sandcastle at Fletcher Cove Beach. When you’ve gotten enough sun, make your way over to IRIS for our mussels, ahi poke, and pan-braised sea bass.
3) Dress for the occasion (and stay true to yourself)
If you wouldn’t wear a tie (or heels) to a baseball game, then don’t. If you would, go for it. The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more comfortable you’ll be on the date.
Date idea: Take a GoCar tour and bond over the embarrassment of wearing silly little helmets and driving a teeny tiny car. It’ll give you something to laugh about over dinner.
4) Refrain from big surprises on a first date
Sure, it’s fun to surprise someone with a romantic picnic set up at the top of a mountain, but if your date isn’t dressed for the hike, it won’t have the impact you’re hoping for. You don’t have to reveal the whole plan ahead of time, but give enough information so your date knows what kind of shoes to wear.
Date idea: Take a hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve followed by dinner and drinks right up the street at IRIS.
5) Turn off your phone on a first date
There’s not a whole lot more to say about this. Don’t text on your date. Don’t check your Facebook feed. Give your date your attention, and give yourself the opportunity to be fully plugged in to the experience.
Date idea: Start with dinner in Del Mar, and then rent a room – at Karaoke 101 in Clairemont Mesa. Or vice versa. We serve dinner until 9.
6) Arm yourself with conversation starters on a first date
Thought-provoking questions make for memorable conversations. They’ll also allow you and your date to get to know more about each other than just what foods you like and how many siblings you have. Think: “If you could live anywhere…?” or “Favorite book of all time…?” or “ “Hardest thing you’ve ever done…?”
Date idea: Try mini golf at Del Mar Golf Center. Then head over to IRIS for our savory lamb meatloaf and a dessert of crème brulee.
Whatever you do, we want to be a part of it.
At IRIS Food and Spirits in Del Mar, we love the idea of being part of your first date story. Come in and dine with us. Our relaxed and intimate ambiance, our beautiful lagoon views, and the incredible food and wines on our menu will help make your date special and memorable.