written by Bruna Nessif
founder of The Problem With Dating
I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the idea of actually dating someone is becoming obsolete. That may confuse some of you who are texting and maybe even seeing someone occasionally, but believe me when I say--the era of dating is dying, and what you’re doing is not actually dating. It’s extremely rare to be courted anymore, and it’s not all the guys’ fault. A lot of us ladies don’t even make it necessary, so why would a guy go through all the trouble if he doesn’t have to?
It’s pretty sad if you think about it, because our lack of ability to invest our time and energy into one person is realistically a reflection of our fears. What if you’re not enough? What if you go on 4 dates and then realize they’re not the one? That would suck. You had damn-near 28 other matches on Tinder you could’ve been messaging all day but not actually meeting.
Or the worst--what if you get hurt?
Guess what, people? That’s called life, and you need to stop cheating your way out of it. Trying to juggle multiple people in this limbo of yeah-we-hang-out-but-we’re-not-exclusive is not going to safeguard your heart from getting trampled on.
So, here’s what we need to do: We need to bring dating back. We need to bring it back if we want to have any hope of creating lasting relationships, whether they last for a day, a season or a lifetime. How do we do that? We go back to basics.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to throw you into this vicious world unarmed.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you become a diamond in the rough when it comes to this dating game:
DO MAKE A PLAN
Yes, an actual plan. Yes, that involves thinking ahead and taking charge. No more of this, “Oh, I don’t know. Wanna just hang out?...Whatever you want...Let’s play it by ear.” No, thank you. If I wanted to play it by ear, I’d sit on my couch in my pajamas and binge watch the latest season of Orange Is the New Black, because that would be more entertaining for me. If someone is going to devote their time to spending it with you, make it worth their while. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or hella fancy. It can be a beach day, a lunch followed by a stroll, a picnic...anything! Just the thought of a guy putting in effort and making a plan for us is a huge turn-on.
DON'T TRY TO BE FLASHY
Please. If you don’t want to attract a gold-digger, then stop making your money or status the No. 1 attribute of yours that you’re trying to sell. If you live in LA, you know this all too well. We don’t care about that band of Benjamins in your Instagram picture or your diamond necklace. That’s not going to attract a good woman. That’s going to attract a superficial woman.
DO FOLLOW UP
There’s nothing worse than making plans for Saturday on Wednesday, and then not hearing from you again until an hour before the date. Follow up earlier in the day or even in the days leading up to getting together. An “I’m excited to see you” text is always nice.
Unless there is a medical emergency (and a legit one), don’t be that person. It’s just rude and annoying.
DO OFFER TO PICK HER UP
But also be open to her saying no. Unfortunately, we live in a time when any stranger (especially the ones you meet on the Internet) can seem like a serial killer. Yes, that may seem extreme, but you know us ladies watch our Lifetime movies, and we don’t want to be the inspiration for the next one. Offering to pick us up for a date is chivalrous, and although we may turn it down and say we’d rather just meet at the location, know that it was still appreciated.
DON'T ONLY TALK ABOUT YOURSELF
This is a two-way conversation, and yes, sometimes it seems like an interview, but if that happens, switch it up. Ask meaningful questions and pay attention. Genuinely get to know this person, and when possible, say their name in conversation. People love to hear their name.
DO HAVE A SURPRISE IN YOUR BACK POCKET
If you’re vibing with this person and you want to extend the date, have something else planned as a surprise. I remember once I was having this amazing dinner date with this guy, and when dinner was over, I was so sad that we’d have to say goodbye. Luckily, we didn’t. We ended up walking along the Venice canals and then visiting the beach and then going to the movies. Seriously, sometimes you just wing it. And if you’re both really feeling each other, it doesn’t matter what you decide to do. Wanna go watch paint dry together? UM, THAT’S THE BEST IDEA EVER, YES.
DON'T TURN TO LIQUID COURAGE
In fact, it’s probably best to keeping the drinking to the bare minimum. Everybody gets nervous, but don’t let the alcohol help you through it. You don’t want to get sloppy, and if a guy who drove me to this date is throwin’ them back faster than I can call an Uber, I’m not going to feel very safe with you.
DO OFFER TO PAY
Ladies, this one's for you. There’s constant debate about whether or not a man has to pay on the first date, and honestly, I don’t know. All I know is you should always at least offer to pay your half, because it’s respectful. Don’t go into it expecting the guy to pay, but always be grateful when they do that cute scoff at you for pulling your card out and end up paying the bill themselves.
DON'T FEEL ENTITLED
So now, you did all this work planning the date and being on your best behavior and putting in time and effort...you better get some, right? WRONG. Sorry fellas, but all that right there was just common courtesy and being a gentleman. That does not give you any entitlement to getting laid at the end of the night. In fact, you may not even get a kiss. And if that’s the case, deal with it. Don’t force yourself on any woman and don’t act like a jerk if she doesn’t spread her legs for you just because you bought her a $20 steak.
DO REACH OUT AGAIN
If you want to see this person again, make it happen! And ladies, if he’s thinking the date went a lot better than it did and you’re not feeling it, be honest! None of this ghosting BS. Don’t leave any room for interpretation.
DON'T LOSE HOPE
You will meet a lot of people when searching for “the one,” and you will get hurt, disappointed, exhausted, frustrated...you name it. But don’t let that get you down and give up. It’s called “the one” for a reason--you only need one person to get you, and trust me when I say they’re out there. Use the less-than-desirable experiences to teach you what you don’t want in a partner, and cherish the good memories to remind yourself that people like that do exist. Just do your part to help make this dating game less painful by making sure you’re acting right, and hopefully, we can slowly but surely bring courtship and dating back to life together.