Anxiety, fear, excitement, apprehension are all common things that go along with a first date; notice that not all of these feelings are good. Dating, especially initial meetings, can be extremely stressful on people. Some women and men will do everything in their power to avoid dating, more specifically to avoid the pressure that is inevitably attached. Wouldn't meeting people be easier if there was no stigma attached? If you knew in advance that you could avoid the candle lit dinner conversation and foreign menus? Fear not friends, this actually exists! Who dictates what a first date is supposed to be anyway? The key is in the location; pool halls and game venues are idyllic for this scenario. Here's why …
San Diego is known for our laid-back lifestyle and casual dress. Why wouldn't our dating styles be represented by how we live, relaxed and casual? Pool halls and game rooms give off a certain childlike aura. When people are comfortable with their appearance and what clothes they are wearing, it's a fact that conversation can be more fluid due to the confidence booster of comfort. For most people, jeans are far more comfortable than slacks or pencil skirts, and playing pool screams jeans and a tee.
Another positive quality of a pool hall date is the money factor. A few games of pool will run around $3. A few quality drinks to loosen the mood, an extra $15. Grand total for a fun night, around $20! On the opposite end of the spectrum, a casual dinner will run an easy $80 bill. Add a movie on? No problem, just another $25 for a night that emptied the wallet $100 and leaving the victim to wonder where that money went. Everyone can appreciate money saving tips in these economic times. Not only is pool cheap, but most pool halls have happy hour sessions that are directed at prime date night-allocated times.
Playing games can definitely open up personality traits to someone fast. People will show their true colors in their competitiveness, friendliness and sportsmanship during a pool match. Or to the contrary, reserved and shy characteristics will be noticeable during a friendly game of pool. This is a great key ingredient to a first date and getting to know the other person involved. That is the main goal of asking someone out, right?
Discover a few of our favorite San Diego pool halls and game rooms for your next date.
Sunshine Company in Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach is a San Diego staple. The community is filled with local hippies and young energetic adults, all looking for a fun time. This is the perfect setting for a first date; the atmosphere can really influence the initial meeting. Sunshine Company is located in the heart of Ocean Beach on Newport Street, directly across from the ocean. There they have multiple pool tables, and two complete bars located in the downstairs section. There is also a casual setting upstairs that overlooks views of the Newport Street strip and beautiful outlook of the water.
The first and second date should be low key and fun. The atmosphere in Sunshine Company fits this description perfectly. Breaking the ice is hard enough as it is, why volunteer added stress for the first date from a formal dinner, or from an anti-social setting of a movie.
19-year veteran bartender Cheri Schaum has seen her fair share of dating disasters and victories. She gives her take on the versatile dating scene at Sunshine Company. "It's a good place to pick up 21 to 65-year-olds during the day, but at night it's mostly 21 to 35-year-olds, a younger crowd," she says. When discussing her take on pool hall locations for dates, she immediately took a liking to the idea. "I like casual places, not pretentious places," says Schaum. This follows in sequence with the casual atmosphere that is associated with pool halls. Nothing stuck up or pompous, just down-to-earth enjoyment.
Internet dating is rapidly becoming more popular. Dating sights such as eHarmony and Plenty of Fish bring a whole new level to the idea of first dates. Initial communications can be done through emails and virtual messages. Schaum has seen an increasing number of blind dates who casually decide to meet up at a pool hall, in this case Sunshine Company. She can notice these set ups "by seeing a lot of people sitting alone and waiting," possibly giving glances at descriptions they were given for their date's attire. To learn more about Sunshine Company, visit Sunshinecompanyoceanbeach.com.
Society Billiards and Café in Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach is known for its wild nights and young crowds. The strand exemplifies diverse college kids who don't mind daytime drinking, and having a good laugh or two. In other words, it's the perfect casual location for a date night. Society Billiards opens at noon and contains a large amount of pool tables. It is located in the heart of Garnet Avenue with a great outdoor area for people watching.
Choosing a pool hall for a date night cancels out any indecisiveness that can occur. The common wavering between locations and hesitation of choosing the wrong restaurant can all be solved with ease.
Pool Halls also extend timing flexibility within dates. For example, if the date is going well why not shoot a few more games, have a few more drinks, and possibly continue the night onto another location? The pool hall also offers the time to immediately re-evaluate the night. If people don't click, there is no reason to force unnatural conversation and connections, so after one or two games, calling it a night won't be too difficult or callous to do. As an employee of Society Billiards, Amanda Cohen is entertained by watching dating behavior on a regular basis. "You can tell when people are on the first few dates because of the awkwardness,"says Cohen. The inevitable stress and tension of the initial meeting may not go away, but it does feed into the idea decreasing the anxiety with a casual environment. For more information on Society Billiards and Café, call 858.272.7665.
Jolt'n Joe's in the Gaslamp Quarter
Jolt'n Joe's is an exciting venue with pool tables, games and four full bars. There are multiple plasma televisions for sports games and generic purposes. There is an outdoor "beach" with sand, palms and a tropical bar. For more information, visit Joltnjoes.com.
Que Billiards in Kearny Mesa
Que Billiards is a new venue located in Kearny Mesa. The atmosphere inside is noted to be cheery and fun. It costs $12 per hour to have a table for a group, so split between a group of friends and you got a really inexpensive Saturday night. There is no bar, but there are non-alcoholic drinks offered as well as eight different pool tables. Since the pool hall is new, all the equipment in the facility is new as well, everything from balls to tables, so you don't have to worry about dinginess here. For more information, call 858.571.7142.
Pacific Q Billiards in Encinitas
Pacific Q is a family friendly pool hall that maintains a warm atmosphere. The pool hall is located in downtown Encinitas and offers date and family friendly pool playing experience. Pacific Q also has a pool league that is open to anyone willing to test their skills. For more information, visit Pacificq.com.
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