Solely In Black and White: The “Fun” Date or an Alternative Please?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The “Fun” Date or an Alternative Please?

A puck is a hard rubber disc that hockey players strike when they can’t hit one another.

- Jimmy Cannon

It would seem from my post on arcades that some girls (arguably most? :p ) don’t like the “fun” date. Now I don’t want to point fingers… (Okay, fine I do! I am referring to SIS in her post here and SchoolGirl’s comments here)  

First off, let us address the issue at hand. A fun date is a means of going out and doing a shared activity. The fun moniker is misleading; how fun can an arcade be already? Granted, a few boys and a few beers can change the dynamics rather quickly, but going to an arcade on a date generally doesn’t provide us males with a feeling of euphoria. So if I may ask somewhat rhetorically, isn’t the purpose of a date to share the company of your companion?   

If I may, can I tell you a little secret? The more I like my date, the more fun I’ll have on an arcade date with them. Honestly. This isn’t rocket science, but if you’d like I can draw you a formula. You see, it’s not about who wins or loses, or if your date can pass the fun test or not; it’s about answering the question: do you enjoy spending time with the other person! And in that sense, I believe, the arcade date is a very useful date.

As far as an arcade being an awkward situation, I don’t really understand that. How is an arcade more awkward than any other "fun" venue? Even if we assume it is “awkward,” so what? In case you still believe in awkward moments, then I suggest you speak to CoralCap because she makes an argument that awkward moments only exist in a few very abstract circumstances. Then again, I am slightly biased, I enjoy awkward moments on dates; they’re one of the few parts of dating that can never became monotonous. Besides, I think they build or add character.  :)

Anyway, as SIS pointed out in her comment on her post, finding an agreeable “fun” spot isn’t exactly easy. Actually, it’s very hard once you start thinking about it. So to all the female readers out there (or any males who possess some secret knowledge on the subject), what dating activity or venue do girls consider “fun?” (And you better not say shopping! Just kidding :) )


  1. What's with the inebriation tag? And how can you possibly enjoy an awkward moment? I hate it when the conversation just stops and you can't keep it going.

  2. " how fun can an arcade be already? "

    The answer is, so much fun.


  3. alright since i got quoted im going to try to answer this one:
    First off when I'm with friends and want to have a "fun" time i generally dont hit the arcade ( unlike boys who might) and if i do happen to be at one chances are I would be playing the dance machine, and THATS PROBABLY IT! imho i dont think stickin coins in a machine is fun. Maybe im a party pooper i dunno. The point is I am not "at home" in the arcade atmosphere.
    Ok but here is my explanation:( clearing of throat)
    Im not a particularly yeshivish girl ( ok not at all), BUT I am a product of the bais yaakov system. As such I have been taught since day one to act in a composed, and in a toned down manner ESPECIALLY when in the presence of nonfamilial men. I happen to agree with this line of thinking after all this is the historical make-up of a true lady. ( Queen vicotria DID not play arcades, rest assured)
    Im not a quiet girl nor am i afraid to speak my mind, BUT i still would never "kick off" my shoes on a date and start playing the dance machine. (understandably so i think) Nor, do I feel "comfortable" enough with someone i met once before to run around an arcade in good spirits and laughter playing games.
    A) I barely know the guy and my BY instincts kick in demanding composure.
    B) I don't find it enjoyable persay in the first place
    Yes, all this can be solved with a beer or two. But this proves my point. On the second or third date with a guy I am not "loose" enough (nor do I think I should be) to hang out in an arcade which is essentially what is being done.
    I dont think its fair for a boy to judge a girl's "funness" based on this experience. I know this is a big worry of many guys which I understand. But imho I think this is something to address once you know you like eachother and share interests. I mean come on do people actually think its normal not to marry someone because they are a lousy "arcader"????
    ok done rambling - anyone agree?

  4. ^--------Exactly my thoughts. Good to hear confirmation from a girl.

  5. @tnspr569:
    It’s an inside joke. :) You didn’t read CoralCap’s post, did you? I agree with her that most awkward moments are all in your mind. I always find it interesting how other people react to supposed awkward moments and silences, but most people seem to take them in stride. I guess you just get used to it really.

    @Feivel ben Mishael:
    Let me know when you go to one on a date! ;)

    I didn’t mean to specifically call you or SIS out or put you on the spot for that matter, but I do thank you for fielding the question. Also, if you’d prefer to have this debate in private you can email me instead.

    First, which dating location do you really feel “at home” at? Dare I say a lounge or a lobby??? Dating location in their very essence are not homey locations! Seriously, is there any particular site that you do find enjoyable in the context of dating?

    I don’t see why going to an arcade on a date would un-lady-like by BY standards. Furthermore, have you ever heard of a BY girl “letting loose” on a date at an arcade or anywhere else? Granted some have ordered alcoholic beverages, but the venue should not change one’s demeanor. (Btw, Queen Victoria didn’t go bowling either ;) .) I agree, you shouldn’t run around with a complete stranger in good spirits and laughter while playing games with them, but how about an occasional grin or smile while walking peaceful together through an arcade like civilized adults? There is a more balanced approach then excess joviality.

    I think you girls might be over-analyzing this part. I don’t think boys’ judge girls’ fun factor exclusively on how much they enjoy going to an arcade. The idea is preposterous! Have you ever heard of a guy dumping a girl because she didn’t have fun time on an arcade date? Alright, even if we accede that you are right, that guys do judge girls merely based on how much fun their dates have, what alternative do you proposed? Bowling and Ice Skating are questionable at best and equally as awkward, at least from the people, both guys and girls, I’ve spoken to about it. So unless there is some other alternative, it would seems that the arcade is an invention of necessity, not choice.

  6. - im very comfortable in a lounge or walking around or sitting on a bench or starbucks, or a mueseum, or some other place of interest. Bowling and mini golf is def more uncomfortable then those but at the same time tolerable.
    I don't mean to say that its not right to go to an arcade from "tznius aspect." That was NOT my point. More that the essence of it is uncomfortable. Its supposed to be a place to have fun and let loose, while bowling or mini golf are more tame. Therefore, when you are in a "stiff" mood (a date) the situation becomes more awkward.( I know im not really making sense I guess its hard to explain this concept)
    - Since you mention it ive actually heard of situations where the guy has dumped the girl and complained that he needed someone more fun..............- in one instance, the girl happens to be the most outgoing loud girl i know but i guess was more reserved in the arcade environment that the boy wanted.
    My point is that I have heard time and time again from boys that what they are most nervous about is ending up with some girl who is not "fun" enough for them. IMHO they know they are putting themselves off as frummer than they are and are nervous that the girl won't be chilled enough to their liking. But, honestly, as i said before I think this can wait till a later point in dating, till they actually know the girl and then they can worry about if she will be a good air hockey/roller coaster partner. I think its an appropriate 5th or 6th date, and not earlier.

  7. While I agree that a third date is probably too early for a "fun" date, I've always done some sort of activity, just for a change of scenery, on the third date and I never felt uncomfortable. I even went to New Roc City once on a third date, on Chol Hamoed to boot, and it was totally fine. The thing is, we were very comfortable with each other already so that's what made it okay. I don't think I'd be as comfortable with just any guy at that point in the game.

    It's totally personal preference too because I really don't like to go out to eat, even with friends or family, so I'd choose fun over food. But on a third date, I think a more toned-down change of scenery would be most appropriate. Anyway, while it's important to see if you can enjoy yourself with your date, the fact is that you probably won't be spending the rest of your life playing arcades and having "fun." It's really no emergency to make sure you can have a blast together.

  8. Why is mini golf bad? I would think that is the most tznius. Much more than arcade or bowling.

  9. schoolgirl:
    I think you make a very good point about boys’ nervousness about a girl being chilled out and calling that the fun factor. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand your point and I am not trying to convince you that arcades are not awkward, I realize that some people are not comfortable there, but the point I am trying to make is that there aren’t many alternatives. The arcade date is more of a convenient idea. For example, now that motzei shabbos is so late, what other “relaxed activities” can one do? Arcades happen to be open late and are accepted dating venues. Other than mini golf and bowling, what else is there?

    I total understand and can relate to choosing fun over food, but how is a guy supposed to know you’re not a fan of going out to eat? What happens if you’re taken to a restaurant for a second date?

    @Feivel ben Mishael:
    Not bad in a tznius sense, but in an awkward sense. Halfshared is right though, it’s really a personal preference.

  10. ok point taken.....but aside from on motzeis other chilled activities that are change of scenery from a lounge can be mueseums (if anyone is interested), sightseeing sites (top of the rock, empire state building assuming ur in ny), restuarants, (big fan), ripleys ( personnally NOT a fan), wax mueseum, (a lil sketchy), aquarium (for fish luvers- followed by sushi of course) pottery painting (yuck) - yea thats about it i guess...
    I see what you mean about arcades being a convenience. I still think it should b a later date though.

  11. what schoolgirl says. And if you don't understand, tough. Get used to not understanding women if you plan to marry one.

  12. @Schoolgirl:
    That’s a very admirable list of places, but I hope you realize most of them close early. So while I agree they would all make for a wonderful Sunday afternoon date, based on scheduling they aren’t always feasible. Now as for restaurants, some people aren’t exactly comfortable going to them on dates either, as Halfshared pointed out. Furthermore, a restaurant can be as formal and proper as a lounge date and I imagine most restaurant dates are that way.

    Hehe, touché. Although I could say the reverse applies to you as well… :) Anyway, if you agree with schoolgirl what do you propose as an alternative?

    Is it just me or does it happen to appear that the only girls who are specifically averse to going to arcades are the ones who aren’t good at them… :p

  13. Thank you bad4 :)
    Sibw: I can totally understand girls who are uncomfortable at restaurants but I disagree about them being equal to lounges. They are filled with opportunity for both the boy and girl to learn ALOT about eachother. Also, it is enjoyable and gives you something to do while talking releasing alot of the tension. They don't take the place of an activity date but perhaps are more appropriate as a 2, 3 & 4th date then an arcade. I don't really know girls who are "awesome" at arcades. (aside from tall girls who like the basketball game)Anyway thats besides the point.
    BTW: Sightseeing places are always open late, ripleys, the wax mueseum I believe are also. THey are all doable. I've been to most of the places I have mentioned, some at night some during the day. Besides if you are having a "fun" date I would suggest trying it in the day. Sunlight is more conducive to a chilled out atmosphere.
    What bad4 says is so true. Just accept us for who we are :P Ask any dating girl, 99% will agree with my arcade theories. Have you no sisters??? :)

  14. An under-appreciated activity date is the good old walk in the city. It's anything but boring and there are plenty of opportunities to learn about each other. If you get bored of talking about cliche stuff it's very easy to change the subject without being awkward. Manhattan is a museum in its own right. And by no means does this mean that you're walking the whole time: you can walk a bit and then stop and hang out on the steps of the General Post Office, then walk a bit more, pick up coffee and chill at Bryant Park and check out NYPL, etc. I went out on tons of dates like this and never did a girl tell me she didn't want to do it. But of course you should first ask her if she's okay with it.

  15. I must be a different kind of girl. I attribute it to being a product of more than one "branch" of Jewish education. I may be a mutt but I think I turned out pretty well.
    I also like awkward moments. Well, it depends on the awkward moment. You see, the awkward moment is a chance for one to break out of whatever is holding him/herself from just being themselves. So if your date is a weirdo or self-absorbed, it might not be worth it to come out of your shell, but if they're a decent person and the conversation hit a stand still, then just say something. I went on a date where this happened and I so wish I just said something like, " you know, I am totally not this quiet. I want you to see the real Coral and I'd really like to get to know you better," or something alone those lines b/c hey, what is there to lose? Either:

    1)Your date will respect your efforts and maybe even feel a little more comfortable around you since you already demonstrated you don't take yourself oh-so-seriously and that you really are interested in getting to know them or

    2) They think you're a nut and won't ask you out again, which they probably wouldn't have if you just kept going with the awkward moment.

    I think an arcade date would be really fun. I wouldn't feel comfortable playing DDR for tznius reasons, but a good game of air hockey, foosball or that game where you have to get the ball in the middle ring (I think it's called Skeeball), I'd really. Oh and there's that karate game where they say KO after you beat them. I always thought it was a mistake (O.K. backwards) but after many yrs of going to arcades with my father and brother I realized it stood for Knocked Out. I wouldn't play that on a date necessarily, but that is the game I think of when I think of arcades.

    However, I do agree with ishchayill, the walk in the city is the best. It's really the walk that is important, not so much where you are (as long as the scenery is nice). It's a great way to get to know a person just as they are.

  16. SiBW, you ask what would happen if I was taken to a restaurant on a second date. The answer is: Nothing. I don't expect every date to be perfect. I don't expect to be comfortable each time. I understand that while I really dislike eating out, he may love it. While I feel uncomfortable and awkward and painfully formal doing that, but wouldn't mind arcades, his preferences may be just the opposite. Why should he be inconvenienced more than me?

    If he asked, I'd probably let him know that I'd rather not go out to eat but ultimately, the guy's the boss.

    And again, as you can see, everybody is different. I don't really think there's a blanket statement when it comes to this. And I went through the same BY system as everyone else.

  17. @ishchayill:
    Agreed, that makes for a nice activity date but only when the weather is nice such as this time of year.

    A girl who likes awkward moments and arcade games? The world needs more girls like you! :)

    Excellent! (Or precisely, that was the answer I was hoping for.) I believe most people are like that. Everyone has their preferences, but most people will be willing to make the best of any given situation, both in life in general and in dating. Of course there will always be some who aren’t…

    No, I totally agree that a restaurant date is more informative, enjoyable, and useful than a lounge date, but it falls into the same category as being a “non-fun” date. Personally, I have only met a few girls who are awesome at arcades, specifically air hockey, but most of them can hold their own in most of the games.

    Okay fine. I’ll accept girls for who they are on one condition: they chill out a bit. ;) :p While it could be that your right that 99% of dating girls agree with your arcade theory (which at best is questionable, maybe ask CoralCap and halfshared :) ) you seem to be the only girl who will vehemently give a boy “a flat out NO!!” for suggesting ESPN as a third date. Even bad4 who ostensibly agrees with you (I assume) wouldn’t go that far. So granted, maybe a third date is a little too early for a “fun” date, but theoretically, if you really liked a boy and he ignorantly took you to an ESPN zone for a third date, would that deeply trouble you or would you make the best of the situation at hand?

    Btw, I don’t think you and my sister(s) see eye-to-eye on many things… like she once dumped a boy for taking her bowling. :p

  18. The only solution to this problem is a Kol Koreh proclaiming that the only acceptable venue for dating, or any other social activity, is an arcade.


  19. Nah I don't dump boys for silly reasons nor would I be upset if we went to an arcade
    Most boys ( especially the experienced gentlemen) ask me my preference.
    So its not like he says we r going to an arcade and I say no.
    Not that your sister is at fault she obviously has higher standards.

  20. Good. So this whole debate about the arcade date was about what exactly…? That’s strange cuz whenever I ask a girl for her preference she’ll say “I don’t mind, whatever you pick is fine” or something nonchalant like that.

    Could be, or I might just be she really hates bowling! :)

  21. Pssssst. Girls don't always mean what they say.

  22. woa woa woa we have been debating whether or not to go to arcades on a date. I stand by all that I said. I said I HATE arcades! ( I do)that they are an awful dating place! (they are) i despise them..... (ok dislike) If a boy gives me a choice I give him a flat out NO ARCADES. If he says we are going to an arcade I groan OUT LOUD. But if he kidnaps me and forces me to go to an arcade I would make the most of it and I wouldnt say no based on the fact that I spent the day in an arcade ( the kidnapping might do it tho)
    Case in point: Ive been on many dates and only one arcade date.
    ----yea most girls do say that. I do too, but if he gives me choices I generally try to choose one instead of saying "i don't care"

  23. How about a compromise? Would you be willing to go to a Dave and Buster’s that had both real bowling and an arcade? That would be fair; you’d get your bowling and the guy would get his arcades. As for the awkwardness, I can’t help you with that part, but just pretend it’s a fifth date instead of a third. :p

    Okay, next time you do a survey of the female society for the abolition of the arcade date, ask them if they have ever groaned or declined going to an arcade. :)

  24. It doesn't necessarily have to be as nice as now... I went walking with dates many times in >40 deg weather. It's amazing how one can forget about the weather on a date.

    If you ask a girl in an open-ended way where she wants to go, she will almost always tell you "whatever you want" or similar. But if it's a multiple-choice there's a good chance she'll just pick one. If not, you can often judge by her reaction to the choices.

  25. Ice skating would be so much fun!! But that gets controversial. Botanical Gardens maybe?

    Haven't gone to an arcade yet but what's the standard attire on that kind of date? Weird :P

  26. scala vestibuli- I’d imagine that the standard attire would be the same as any other “casual date,” neat and non-formal, of course that is relative. No, you’re not supposed to wear weird attire. :)


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