Dating = Horror?

What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the word dating?
a. Flirting?
b. Love?
c. Cute guys/girls?
d. free food?
e. new friends?
f. all of the above?
g. others, please specify __________.
Basically, when most people hear the word, DATING, they associate it with the words stated above (more or less). After all, that is what dating usually is for. People who choose to play safe say that dating is a venue for people to meet different kinds of people and share common interests (and all that jazz). Some date for the sake of meeting new friends or maintaining friendships, others date to flirt, while others date to preserve commitments.

Usually, dates turn out nicely in the end and the people involved go on happily on their separate ways, happy to spend time with special people.
But there are others who choose another option from the list of words that come to mind when we hear the word, DATING:
g. others, please specify HORROR.

So, forgive me for the exaggeration. But, for some, who may have had really bad experiences with dating, that is exactly how it was with them. In fact, the word Horror often comes along with the words Fear and Never Again.
Sad, but true.
Indeed, there are dates that do not turn out so good.
LOL! Just kidding (this only happens on OTHER cases)
In fact, some dates turn out so bad some people end up bashing their heads against the wall wishing they didn’t go out on the date (figuratively, of course).

And there are some who, by shock, stare into nothingness – unfeeling, uncaring – just numb, unable to accept the fact that they have experienced a most horrible date.
These are only for the most extreme cases — when the date ends up a total disaster.
Other people may handle it better.
But for most of those who experience a bad date, they usually take longer to recover from the trauma.

That is why I have come up with a list of precautions and to-do’s to avoid a potentially traumatic date (with special focus on first-timers)
1. Have a background check on the person you are dating.
– This is for your safety and peace of mind. We all know blind dates are more exciting if you really don’t know the person you’re meeting. But this anonymity could also be very dangerous for you. You never know what that person is like until you meet him/her. Take a quick background check – find out what he/she does, check pictures, etc. Ask a lot of questions about who the person is from your common friends or simply from the friends who set you guys up. Your friends may not set you up with a jerk or a bitch but you can never be too careful. Suspicions aside, the background check could also help you prepare about what you guys could talk about, and you’ll probably realize you actually have a lot of things in common.
2. Only date the person whom your really close friend/s recommend.
– Emphasis on the “really close friend/s”.
I can feel your eyes rolling, “duh”. But consider this statement as highly important.
Naturally, this has nothing against your other friends. They could tease you or make you feel more excited, but never take any person they suggest seriously. It’s not that you don’t trust them. It’s just that they hardly know you as much as your close buds do. Logically, only your really good friends could suggest people who will not turn out so bad – they know your taste and they won’t recommend monster jerks (or lazy bums).
3. Don’t let your first impression of the date get the best of you.
– Once you’re assured your close friends are setting you up with a good person, your own personal judgment will be the one last thing that could ruin your date. We’re all just people, and it’s normal to expect a little bit of something from our own dates. But don’t let these expectations get the best of you. Having high expectations will only make you feel disappointed. So what if the guy/girl is not that good looking, or if he/she is a little awkward at first. It’s good to be cautious, but judging a date based on your expectations could just ruin a potentially good date. Expecting too much from the other person (physically, etc) gives way to unfair judgment, especially on first dates. You wouldn’t want to be judged immediately, so you might as well be fair and not expect too much. Who knows, maybe beyond that shy and awkward first impression is a totally fun friend (and a potentially good boy/girlfriend).
4. Never go out on a date unprepared.
– This is self-explanatory, but it also explains a lot of things. First is safety. Naturally, once you are sure your date isn’t a serial killer or a randomly boring person, it’s best to be sure you know how to handle the date properly. You should also know where the exit points are (just kidding!).
But other than the paranoid stuff, you should just be sure that you know how to handle yourself on a date. Be sure that your are prepared emotionally, physically (the looks, the hygiene, etc.) and spiritually (you may need spiritual guidance in some occasions).
Basically, you should just know that you are ready for a date.
Don’t date just for the sake of it (especially if it’s your first time — believe me). You should know that dating should be equal to having fun, and you should work on that. If you’re not very confident about meeting other people, then you may not be ready to go out on a date yet. Believe me, this is for your own sake.
5. And lastly, the cliche, JUST BE YOURSELF.
– This, I do not need to explain. If you need to know what it means (if you haven’t already) just consult self-help books or magazines. They say the same things about it anyway. Just trust me, this works. It also helps a lot so you could have fun.
Basically, dates are really just about getting to know each other and having fun. For those who have never gotten out on dates yet, it’s time you get out of your shells and start meeting new people. Dating is not always about getting into a romantic relationship. It could just be a friendly hang-out with new or old acquaintances. Either way (romantic or not), just be sure to always be safe and have fun.
Here's some NakaNishi Love! (KAT-TUN)

For those who have gone out on traumatic bad dates, I feel for you. I know what it feels like, but that doesn’t mean you should discourage yourself from having fun. Don’t let one bad date get in the way of having a potentially good date. Besides, dating is more than that. Believe me, by five or ten years, we will all be laughing at how awkward, weird or crazy our dates turned out to be!

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