Top Ten Alternative Dates for People Who Hate Dating

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Hi. My name is Jamie, and I hate dating. Mainly because it feels like I'm on a job interview for a position I'm 75% sure that I don't want. But instead of sitting in an office, you are at a restaurant where there are no portfolios to exchange or pens to tap, it's just two people awkwardly killing time until they either 1) make out, or 2) attempt an uncomfortable side hug and part ways. Since there's no skipping ahead to the point where two strangers feel comfortable together, why not change the format? Let's make dating fun and weird so that regardless of chemistry, both people have a blast and feel good about the time spent. Here are 10 great dates for people who want to fart on dinner and a movie.

The Anger Room Some of my guy friends say that this is a bad date idea, because they never want to see a girl violently release her anger. But what do they know? They're single too. The same reasons given for riding roller coasters as a means for triggering love should apply to the Anger Room, a secret rentable location, where people smash housewares with bats. You blast whatever music you like as you artfully destroy stuff. Your endorphins rise. Soon you're making out on a demolished early model ribbon printer. You're welcome.

JumpStreet No, it's not the series starring a young, dashing narc named Johnny Depp. It's a trampoline megaplex in Plano where you get to jump on crazy giant trampolines. What? I know!

"So, uh, what are you doin' later?"
"So, uh, what are you doin' later?"

Pop Into a Circus Class Lone Star Circus Academy in Preston Hollow offers a large variety of courses that are unlikely to transfer to an accredited institution. You could take Beginner Circus Skills and try riding tiny bikes together. There's a course in beginner juggling. Also, contortion -- but that could make for a crampy ride home.

The Happy Hour Pinball Bar Crawl Pinball enthusiasts: I've fine-tuned this one just for you. Start at Barcadia, and it's important that you go at happy hour. If you go during peak party time, some skeevy guy/girl will dry hump your date to an M.I.A. song while you're at the change machine. Nobody wants that. Barcadia has one pinball machine and it's Charlies' Angels, an older novelty game with pretty lethargic action -- a far cry from the good older games like Haunted House or Black Hole. Stay for one beer and maybe a shot. Next, head over to Single Wide. They've got a mediocre NASCAR machine and a decent Elvis. Mr. Heartbreak Hotel isn't a quick game either, and it's got a droopy flipper but you'll win a million free balls. End the evening off at Billiard Bar. There's a Dale Earnhardt Jr. game that you won't play, and a totally bitchin' Spider-Man game that you'll play all night! (You only need 25,000 points for a free game and this table moves fast. Nice ramps, solid flippers and a raging case of multiball.) By this point, you won't mind the perennial vomit smell lurking in the Billiard Bar bathroom area and those Cheez-Its in the vending machine will look impossibly delicious. Also, rad bartenders. Best night ever.

Medieval Times It's a misnomer that doves are the birds of love; everyone knows that falcons are harbingers of forever romance. Besides, what's the best way to make a lady feel like a princess? Take her on a date to a GIANT CASTLE. There, surrounded by chalices and metal plates, nervous questions like "Is there food falling out of my mouth?" and "Will she think I'm an oaf if I try gulping this in one bite, when clearly it should be two?" are vanquished: you eat with your hands while watching a rodeo battle. Dinner and a movie? Snoozeville. Dinner and a tournament? Fucking triumphant!   Laser Tag See if your date is down for a little role play at this hide-and-seek outing. If she's cool, you can do a Logan's Run theme, where clearly you and her are Logan and Jessica 6 and the 12-year-olds chasing you are sandmen. Really, 30 ain't that bad when you've already escaped Carousel. (Side note: Do not, under any circumstance take a lady to paintball. That shit hurts. We do not like painful firearms shot at us. Ever.)

Tuesday Night Trash at Texas Theater This happens every Tuesday night at 9ish p.m. and it's rad for a few reasons. One: It's totally free, so you and your date don't have to do the uncomfortable wallet dance. Two: There's a bar, so neither of you have to truly be yourselves. Three: There are some amazing pieces of discarded cinema playing -- sure, it will be highly exploitative and/or gory, but that's what makes it great and different. (Side note: For the next month, Tuesday Night Trash is playing in a smaller room at Texas Theater while the main viewing space screens Spider-Man and Dark Knight Rises. If you've been dating a while, you can go now. Otherwise, wait until it's back in the main theater or the experience might feel too uncomfortable.)

Go Ice Skating in July I don't think you'll find a crowd during Public Skate at America's Ice Garden, which has miraculously not melted from its proximity to Museum Tower. What you will find are discounts on various nights, and excuse to hold hands and possibly cuddle when it's 100 degrees out, and, most important, a chance to reenact that adorable "You got the brains, I got the body" scene from Rocky.

World Record Shaving Cream Pie Fight All right, this one you'll have to schedule because it's only happening once, on July 31, but oh my God, tell me it wouldn't be the best date ever? Three clowning contingents are organizing an attempt at Guinness World Record fame for most shaving cream pies thrown. It's happening in front of the American Airlines Center and everyone who registers (for free!) is welcome to participate. I actually know an adorable husband and wife couple who met on Pie in the Face Day at clown college, so I think magic could happen here.

Late Night Swimming at the F.O.E. If you're in the early stages of romance, you might not want to divulge your favorite swimming pools to break into. If the relationship goes south, you'll have to worry about them showing up to your secret place while you're trying to go night swimming with someone else. Terrible. Plus, the Fraternal Order of Eagles has a super cheap bar and plenty of grass to moonbathe on between romps in the pool. Everyone goes during the daytime, but the F.O.E. is open until midnight six days a week, and until 1 a.m. on Saturday night/Sunday morning. It's a chillaxed alternative to a typical bar and a great excuse for fewer clothes.

Good luck out there, and godspeed.

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