If you think creatively enough, there are many ways to find love around campus. From the infamous Fountain Avenue to the numerous Main Street date spots, there are plenty of places to get to know your kind-of-maybe-friends-with-benefits-hookup. Lucky for you, we narrowed it down to the best of the best (kind of).
1. Middletown Roller Skating Rink (rolling in at #1)
Spencer Arnold: If you’re the kind of person who is adept at roller skating, and your date is the kind of person who has never roller skated in their entire lives, the Middletown Roller Skating Rink might be just the place to spark something special between the two of you. Picture it: your date, struggling to skate without falling. You swoop in, giving them support as they slowly learn to balance on their own. You both celebrate together, hugging and falling in a heap of young love. Alternatively, you could spend the entire time crawling along the ground pathetically as your date refuses to help you, like I do. Your call.
2. Krust (like Mondo, but better?)
Jane Herz: The only reason I know that Krust has the best lighting of all the restaurants in Middletown is because I have taken multiple selfies during my meals…and pictures of the food, particularly their burrata. But I assure you, their candlelit tables are conducive to romance, as well as Instagram. Most of the food comes perfectly portioned for two. I would recommend the meatball sliders and the white pizza pie.
3. Fiore II (was there a Fiore I?)
SA: The absolute premiere date spot in Middletown. If someone asks you to go anywhere OTHER than Fiore for your first date, they’re not worth your time. An elegantly dressed waitstaff will greet you, the ambiance is rustic and intimate, and the food is fantastic without forcing you to take extra shifts at Olin to pay for it. What’s more romantic than sharing a basket full of complimentary garlic knots? Or pouring your date’s leftover vodka sauce over your eggplant rollatini? Nothing is. Absolutely nothing.
4. Athenian Diner (all breakfast, all the time)
JH: So, I’ve never actually been on a date to Athenian, but I can imagine that it would be a lovely place to eat, particularly since it’s open 24 hours a day. This really means that you can get creative. You could go anytime: 10 a.m., 1 a.m., 7 p.m.—you name it! But at Athenian, the possibilities are really endless. Share a milkshake after going out to Fountain with your friend-with-benefits, get a plate of chicken tenders with your “it’s complicated” hookup before your 1:20, or even go by yourself. Just one tip: Don’t get the fettuccine alfredo. That might put you in the bathroom for the duration of your date (and long afterwards).
5. Adventure Rooms (and other escape rooms nearby)
SA: Believe it or not, Middletown and the surrounding area have a number of escape rooms for the puzzle-inclined couple (or group!). In fact, there’s a location right on Main Street for those looking for a unique and challenging date night. Escape rooms are perfect for learning more about your partner: how well you communicate, how they respond to stress, whether their overt competitiveness is a turn-on or just kind of scary. There’s nothing like being locked in a room for an hour, forced to work together or face the shame of failure, to decide if this person is The One.
6. Metro (not the liquor store, at least at first)
JH: Some may say that the park near the Metro Square Shopping Center is more romantic than Metro Movies, but I disagree. What’s better than sharing a bucket of buttery popcorn with your date, watching a romantic comedy, or better yet, a drama? Wipe away your date’s tears while you tune into “A Star is Born,” surrounded by absolutely no one because that movie theater is always empty. The chairs are extremely comfortable, and the lighting is just right, so don’t be afraid to sit back and relax with your significant other. When the movie is over, head across the street for tacos at Puerto Vallarta, or grab a bottle of wine at Metro Spirits (if you’re of age, obviously).
7. Van Vleck Observatory (space…time…romance…)
SA: For those of us lucky enough to have access, Van Vleck can be one of the most romantic places in town. Coming up here late at night is a MOVE, as long as you know what you’re doing. Train the telescope to M33, and watch your date’s face light up as you talk about spiral galaxies and star clusters and whatever else you remember from your observational astro class. Pros: It’s close to home, you can turn the lights down low, and you can impress your date with a very limited knowledge of stars. Cons: If you run the telescope into the ground, you’re liable for thousands of dollars in damages. So try your best to go stargazing with a trained professional.
8. Fountain Avenue (last but…last)
JH: Last Halloween, in 2017, when I was still a newbie transfer student, I made my way out to Fountain Avenue for one of the first times since I had arrived at Wesleyan. I was dressed up as “camouflage”—aka I just put on a camouflage t-shirt because I was out of costume ideas. I had hooked up with this guy the night before and saw him again at a party on Fountain. We started talking again, and we both wanted to leave the party, so he told me that he just had to run into the house to grab his coat. So, naturally, I blurted out, “Okay, love you, bye!” He turned around with a horrified look on his face and went inside the house. After that, he was never to be seen again. No Snapchats, no eye contact, nothing. Just to make it clear, I didn’t really love him. I barely knew him. I was just drunk.
Spencer Arnold can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Herz can be reached at email@example.com.