2020 has been hard. Pandemic is upon us, democracy is crumbling, and you haven’t gotten slammed over the handicap support bar of a Buffalo Wild Wings restroom in months. Still, there’s no need to throw months of caution to the wind for a quick fling. With these fun socially-distant date ideas, the world of romance is your oyster. 

  1. Picnic on Memorial Glade

Cliché, but classic for a reason — sunshine, dogs, and the chance to throw a stray ball back to its owner, making you appear moderately athletic. Pick up some baguettes from Cheeseboard, set up some well-distanced picnic blankets, and get to know each other a little better!

  1. Visit the Abraham Lincoln Bust on the Back of the Campanile

The Glade is beautiful, but it’s so obvious. From the shirtless Spikeball players to the shirtless guitarists to the shirtless dogs, it can be a bit much. Try somewhere a little quieter in this secluded grove. People usually forget about the greenery, the sundial, and the memorial to our 16th president, but you can make a special first impression when you pop in and say hi.

  1. Hike the Big C

No Berkeley hike is as iconic as the Big C. Sure, there’s an actual big yellow C up there, but that’s the real talking point. Admire the city, sit on the swing, and snap a few Insta pics while you’re up there. Hell, you can even look at the pollution-pink sunset and tell your date they’re more beautiful; it’s equally corny every time. 

  1. Revisit the Abraham Lincoln Bust on the Back of the Campanile

The Big C has some good views, sure, but you can think of a more memorable sight. On the way back down you two lovebirds can stop again at the backside of the campanile with good ol’ Mr. Lincoln. You sit down to chat; you steal a glance; his eyes, with that slight metallic shine, meet yours. You feel a spark that no Zoom meeting could ever replicate, and you’re happy you’re dating again. 

  1. Coffee Chat at Caffe Strada

Ever wanted the experience of a technical interview and at a date the same time? Look no further! Complete with outdoor seating and what passes as coffee these days, Strada is a classic. To spice things up, you can woo your date by heroically stopping an inevitable laptop theft. 

  1. Stop and Chat with Abraham Lincoln Bust on the Back of the Campanile

Oho! Abe’s become quite an old friend at this point. You can talk to him for hours on end. Honest and true, he’s the listener you’ve always wanted. Your date isn’t talking over you either; her Airpods went in after the first 20 minutes. That’s okay, though. Now you can open up for real!

  1. Explore on Brown’s Patio

Brown’s Café might not be open anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time there. To keep it tame, sit on separate tables and work on homework together. For a bit more fun, try a variation on a classic: hop around and play “the floor is made of lava!”

  1. Argue With Your Date by the Abraham Lincoln Bust on the Back of the Campanile

“Again? Every fucking time?” your date asks you. 

“You don’t feel it, do you?” You’re holding back tears. “There’s magic in the air here. I take you here because it’s special. It’s our spot. ” 

“Yes, sure, it’s for ‘us.’ Like you don’t come here alone.”

You don’t respond.

“Why do you take me here? Every time you just monologue to a goddamn statue. You don’t even bother to look at me anymore! I- I don’t think I can do this.” She storms off. 

You turn to Abe. “I’m sorry you had to hear that.” You hug to apologize.

  1. Chill on Faculty Glade (A.K.A. “4.0 Hill”)

Usually less crowded than Memorial Glade, 4.0 Hill is a nice alternative for a grassy space on campus. Serenaded by the musicians in Morrison, you can watch kids roll down the hill, trying to save their GPAs. In their hearts, though, they know that not all can be saved. Some things are already broken beyond repair, held together by little more than Elmer’s glue and hope, waiting for the final blow to crumble.

  1. Visit the Abraham Lincoln Bust on the Back of the Campanile

Jessica said she was coming. She’s not. You know this was going to happen; it always does. The moon glows yellow through the trees, laying soft on Abe’s face. Your compatriot, quiet and tall, stares down. Alone, together, at last. 

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