Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On Demonizing Your Dates

Say you're on a date with someone you either aren't attracted to, or are feeling mixed about. Perhaps the conversation is stunted, or the other person's manners are kind of off. Maybe you actually get along fairly well, but you can't see yourself being physically intimate with your date.

So, the date is starting to wind down and then it happens. He or she reaches for your hand. Or slides in for a kiss.

Sometimes, you're open to something like a kiss, but the other person's approach is sloppy, nervous, or forced.

Regardless, you experience some discomfort, and maybe the date ends on less than perfect note.

In most cases, these kinds of incidents could be chalked up to awkward moments. Either you choose to give the person another chance, or you decide to move on.

But how many of you, instead, go around telling your friends, co-workers, and others that you "went on a horrible date with this douchebag last night"? In other words, how often do you choose to slam someone's character instead of just saying "it didn't work out" and let it go?

Too often, we take things that are either miscommunications, or signs of poor compatibility and turn them into character assessments. Both women and men do it, and I'm convinced that it's a way to blame others, and keep yourself from facing any negative issues you might be bringing to the table.

Specifically, with this whole physical boundaries and touching kissing thing, it’s really easy to make mistakes because everyone has a different level of comfort. You can do you best to watch for all the signs, but the reality is still – if you’re on a first or second date – you don’t know the person. Your reading of your date isn’t based on knowing them, it’s based on a composite of past experiences. In other words, it’s basically an educated guess, which is a lot better than nothing, but still leaves plenty of room for error.

Everyone has the right to reject a date, and/or to say that something a date did doesn’t sit right with them. But it’s really unnecessary to go around assassinating the character of someone you just weren’t attracted to, or whose actions were in some manner unappealing to you, or even made you feel a bit uncomfortable.

It's seems to me that if you're going on dates, you should be ready for a bit of discomfort. Even when you meet someone you think might be the love of your life, it's often somewhat scary. Or nervous-making anyway.

Try to remember that, and save the dramatic stories for situations where it's truly warranted.


  1. Well some of them *are* horrible and some of them *are* douchebags. Where do you think the douchebags go on Saturday nights? they get lonely too! they, too, want to go out and meet people! I find that the best approach is, When in doubt, do not meet. Cancel at the last minute if you need to (I've done that), but do not meet face to face if you're not sure that the person is normal. My worst dates happened, either when I was bored and had nothing to do that night, or when for various reasons I thought I couldn't say no to the person. Either way, any time I went out with someone against my better judgement, bad things happened.

  2. I agree with the post. Let's try to remember that most of us "out there" have good intentions and are trying to date the best we know how. I think a bit more compassion for ourselves and those we meet along the way would be a lovely thing.