Dating Spots, part 2

 

So, we were just talking about you going on a date. Ok. But where?

Jardín Botánico

Obvious. Close to the metro, bus lines, attractions, the main university and a shopping mall. It’s free. Basically located in the middle of the city. Practical for everyone involved. A safe bet. Very few girls will say no to this.

It’s romantic. It’s chill and relaxed. It’s safe. You can sit anywhere, lie on the grass, have a picnic, make out behind bushes, whatever. You don’t even have to hide. PDA’s no big deal. The Botánico is for lovers. Around the lago is good is walking around. The bamboo forest is good to have some more intimacy. The Orquideario is perfect for sitting down and getting to know each other.

If you don’t know where to take a girl, you can always rely on the Botánico.

Parque de Los Deseos

This the plaza right next to the Botánico, next to the Planetarium. Right off Universidad station.

Lots of places to sit down and chill. Again, free, safe and close to a lot of things.

At night, they show movies for free out in the open. It’s a great excuse to go there and hang around, and isn’t as awkward for a first date as going to an actual theater. Which you hopefully never do anyway.

Cafés nearby: None, really. One of the drawbacks to Los Deseos and the Botanico.

Parque Poblado

You’ll end up there soon enough after landing in Medellin. It’s two or three blocks from Parque Lleras, but without the clubs and hookers all around. Parque Poblado is more of a students’ place, full of hipster types, punkers and just generally Western-looking youths.

At night there’s almost always street entertainers doing some sort of show in the middle. Parque Poblado is just very relax and good for people-looking. People generally hang there before heading to Lleras later in the night.

It’s usually packed, but for a weekday date you’ll have much more space and privacy. Good for meeting up and then later heading out either Lleras to party or to a nearby café to get to know each other.

Cafés nearby: La Caféteria, Café Zorba

Parque Lleras

Most likely you’ve heard of it before. If not, you will. You can’t go to Medellin without checking out Parque Lleras at least once. I’m not the type to go out at all but a night out in Parque Lleras can be a lot of fun even for me. It’s wild, seedy, a little bit dirty and raucous but very stimulating.

Most likely this is where you’ll actually meet a girl instead of where you’ll take her out. I don’t know that you want to go clubbing with a  girl on your Day 2. During the day, though? It can be cool. I’ve done it a lot. The park is a lot more quiet and isn’t filled with prepagos and kids selling drugs. It’s actually kinda charming, and there’s plenty of bars where you can go have coffee just around.

Cafés nearby: La Esquina

Parque de La Presidenta

A personal favorite. It’s a linear park just two corners off Parque Poblado and Lleras. It looks a tiny forest in the middle of Poblado, places to sit and a big tent over a terrace where you can find a sort of farmers’ market on Sundays.

Most of the time though, there’s barely anybody there. A lot of girls I knew had never even been. It’s good for chilling and getting more intimate after a night of partying and drinking nearby. It’s also good in the day because it’s quiet, cozy and green. There’s a stream running through it, which is actually sewage water. Just something to keep in mind; sometimes it kinda stinks. Doesn’t take away anything from the beauty of the place though.

Parque La Floresta

My own personal favorite. I don’t know how many girls I’ve brought there. When I close my eyes and think of Medellin, I get pictures of this park.

It is basically the heart of La Floresta, around which the local community revolves. You can find markets there at night and on weekends; shows on some occasions; small horses stand by waiting for kids willing to ride around the block for 3,000 pesos.

All types of people are found there. Old people sitting together and reminiscing. Kids meeting up to hang out, skate or smoke weed. Couples slowly meandering through. Young families walking their dog, children running around in their toy cart. Teenage lovers in their uniforms staring into each other’s eyes under a tree. Local old neighbors enjoying a beer or three at night.

Anything. And not a single policeman in sight – a rarity in Medellin. You can hang out in this park well into the night no problem. It reminded me of my hometown.

I lived close so it was a natural choice for me. A lot of foreigners decide to live in La Floresta because it’s a quiet middle class neighborhood with easy access to the metro. This might be your case. Just know that this is near. You can just take a girl there and don’t have to spend anything. Just watch people, enjoy whatever music there is, sit near the fountain while groups of lazy pigeons pass you by.

Cafés nearby: Café Ondas

Ciudad del Rio

A picnic spot. Trendy, young, close to the Art Museum. Generally clean, and safe – even at night. Centrally located, although relatively far from the metro.

Cafés nearby: Museo de Arte de Medellin has one. A bit expensive, like all museum cafés.

Parque Envigado

If you live close by, this can be a good spot. Clean, safe, and kinda romantic in a way because of the dimly-lit ambiance. Mostly a great meeting point before you move on to better, more intimate surroundings – which won’t be too far away if you do happen to live in Envigado.

Cafés nearby: A lot, but I can’t personally recommend one because I’m not too familiar with the area. Look around and you’ll find one for sure.

Shopping Malls

Paisas love them some shopping centers. They’re all over the city, and they look just as modern and clean as the ones from wherever you’re from except prices are usually cheaper. You’ll never be too far from one.

In Colombia some girls can be cagey about going out to meet a guy for the first time. Some will propose to bring a friend along, flake or be difficult about any place you might suggest. Meeting in a mall is always a good bet in these circumstances. No girl will ever say “I’m not sure about this…” when you ask her to meet you in one of those places.

Maybe a mall date sounds lame to you. Like something only teenagers do. I certainly did. But like the ol’ YaReally once said:

When you go to dinner, you put yourself in a situ where you’re sitting across from each other so kino isn’t very natural, and putting a bunch of food in front of you, and basically entering a “let’s try to qualify ourselves to each other” frame, except that one person is always qualifying themselves more than the other person.

Compare this to something like taking her to the mall to help  you pick out some shit, where you’re walking side-by-side and can physically bump her, kino, lead her  by the hand into stores, cause a scene and embarrass her, goof around, role-play in shops together, pull her around a corner to kiss her, have her model sexy outfits for you, pull her into a change-room, etc. She isn’t giving a shit about your shoes or watch or career on that kind of Day 2 because she’s too busy going on an emotional rollercoaster with you. It’s very easy to escalate on a Day 2 like that compared to sitting across a table from each other in some swank “classy” restaurant where everyone is acting respectable and mature and seeing who’s business card is made of a higher quality paper.

….

It’s clear from reading this I have a bias for parks. Talking specifically for first dates, a good neighborhood park not too far from where you live will always be your best bet. It’s convenient, safe, relaxed, open all hours and free. If you’re really into serial dating and aiming for abundance like I was, you’ll realize that your time is precious real quick and won’t be bothered to make special plans for every goddamn first date like you want to woo her. Keep mountain hiking, dinner-and-a-movie or paragliding for your girlfriend(s). The whole point of the first date is to screen her; check for chemistry, vibe, availability and if she really looks like how you thought she did. If you’re not feeling her, you can just bail. Neither of you spent anything and the investment was low so no hard feelings. If you are feeling her, you can crank up the intimacy right there (again, PDA is no big deal in Medellin, girls don’t mind it) or move on to somewhere better.

Hope this helps. Go ahead and share in the comments if you know of other spots that have worked for you.

 

 

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