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How to Date Online in San Diego

Tips from the pros and best spots for first dates

Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslamp Quarter

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  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • South Bay Drive-In
  • Cowles Mountain
  • San Diego Beaches
  • San Diego Sunset
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Got the I-don't-know-what-to-do on a first date jitters? Order a pizza. HowAboutWe polled San Diegans and found that we like our pizza a full 60% more than the rest of the nation. Bonus points for having that pizza on Coronado, at the South Bay Drive-In, or on top of Cowles Mountain, all local hot spots taken from the HowAboutWe survey of San Diego’s top 10 best places for a first date. 

HowAboutWe is a startup Internet dating service based in Brooklyn. They will celebrate their second anniversary on Valentine’s Day. HowAboutWe say San Diego is a great place to find love but not to expect sweet nothings online. Date proposals here get straight to the point and are 10 percent shorter than elsewhere around the country.  Some San Diego dating statistics from HowAboutWe:
“San Diegans post more photos of themselves online in bathing suits than in any other city,” says Erin Scottberg, Media Director at HowAboutWe. Blame it on the weather and staying healthy. “San Diego’s one of the most active cities in general. Sun, fitness, and health. People in San Diego are prettier.” The hottest date destination at the close of the 2011? Downtown. Beer more than wine, Japanese and Italian and seafood were the top three foodie choices, and, there’s always room for coffee, say 55% of daters. Hot dates included walking, hiking, and, watching the sunset. Watching the sunset? There's a cliché right out of the ‘70s, right up there with long, soulful walks on the beach and white wine. It was a way people fooled themselves (and each other) about their capacity for sustainable romance. Really -- do people still seek each other out based on sunset-worshipping ? “In a place like San Diego where the sunsets are gorgeous? Yes,” Scottberg says. Then what do people do in sunset-deficient places such as New York? “We do laundry together on a first date. People bond over folding their socks. Or they have moving dates. Or they have first dates to Ikea to shop for new apartment furniture.” But that’s the East Coast. Thusly armed with the above information about our home town dating habits, likes, dislikes, and popular geography how will our hypothetical single man reach out to our hypothetical single woman and score a date?
 The winning strategy, Erin Scottberg says, is this: “Women respond to actual dates that a guy has posted at a slightly higher level.” Men, therefore, need to come up with an idea for something fun to do. Following along that line of reasoning our man is going to pick out the most popular sushi restaurant in the Gaslamp (high marks for both downtown and for Japanese food – very light, and generally fun) and, he’s going to keep it simple.  “Sake and a few rolls. No huge meal. Keep it moving,” Scottberg says. “And don’t spend too much money on a first date. Burritos are a time-tested way not to spend too much money. How about Mexican?  “Later” she says. “Burritos come much later in the relationship.”  Now comes the all-important description of said date, meaning the online pitch. Scottberg says word it like this: “How about we get sake and a couple of spider rolls?” Simple. After dinner she says, get moving. Walk the Embarcadero, make a dessert run, and watch the sunset. This shows potential dates that the man has put some thought into the event which yields greater dividends on the open dating market. Scottberg’s data in fact shows a 40% greater return from interested prospects.  So what manner of post gets no dates? “How about we meet for dinner?” Period. “What is that compared to all the other guys?” she says. “That sounds boring.” The winning profile will also include three images. “Three photos get two times as many responses at a single shot.” Post different shots, she says (swimsuit shot optional.) For example, Scottberg says to post a travel image of you standing in front of an intriguing background. “Be current,” she says. “And be honest.” In other words, no fair posting images of you 15 or 20 pounds ago.  “And, show yourself doing things that she might want to be part of.”  She says to have fun answering profile questions and be specific. Don’t say what you think they want to hear. “And don’t just say you went to Rome. Say you went to the Coliseum,” she says.  And watch the sun set.