Monday, April 18, 2011

One Date Does Not Mean We're Dating...

This past weekend I spent a great deal of time talking to and catching-up with some of my closest girlfriends.  Some were girls that I see each weekend, and others were girls I hadn't seen in awhile.  It was fantastic, but I felt a common theme in our discussions... Dating.  I know - big shocker, huh?  I actually don't spend all my time talking with friends about dating and boys.  We have a fair share of talking about our jobs, education, favorite shows or music, family, politics, funny/awkward real-life occurrences (Oh the books we could write!), and yes, boys.  However, this weekend's set of discussions were different.

Let me just say, I haven't gone on a date in quite awhile.  I just got back in the country, and I'm still getting to know people.  Nevertheless, the about-to-be-proposed-argument is still applicable to situations that I have been in, and to the situations that many of my friends are in right now...  Let me begin by making three points:

1 - If someone asks you on a date, they aren't asking you to DATE them - aka:  They are not asking you to be exclusive, to be committed, or visualize marriage a few months down the road.

2 - If one of your friends gets asked out on a date by someone, that can be your cue to get excited for them.  However, it is not your cue to start talking about it as though it is an eternal commitment.

3 - If you see two individuals on a date one lovely, Spring evening (or any other season, for that matter) it is not obligatory (or wanted) to broadcast the "event" to those in your community, ward, cell phone directory, or even your circle of close friends. 

Let me begin back at point numero uno - That's point number one for all those who didn't know... I'm getting so bomb at Spanish.  Haha!  If someone asks you on a date, they aren't asking you to DATE them.  When a guy would ask my roommates out in college I would witness one of two tendencies.  If they were already diggin' on the guy, they would get really over-excited.  If they were not already diggin' on the boy, they would say, "Well, it's only once.  Let's get this over with..."

THANK GOODNESS that phase of my life is done!  Not the dating phase, as that is still very much happening, but the phase of pre-judgment and assumption.  The phase of reading way too much into one date.  We ALL read more than is necessary into certain social interactions, but as I've gotten older I find that I'm able to be a bit more realistic.

A date is a date.  (Thanks Captain Obvious...)  We need to get back to the real essence of dating is... getting to know each other.  I think that's the biggest problem with dating and my generation.  We make ONE date into something so much bigger than it is, and it causes stress, pressure, and the inability to be one's self.  We over-analyze everything from the asking, to the date, to the post-date text... It's ridiculous - though I've done it too.  Remember what good ol' Billy Shakes said, "To thine own self be true."  How can you do that if you are putting monumental pressure on yourself?

Which leads my to nummer zwei - Number two in German... I'm pretty much trilingual. If one of your friends gets asked out on a date by someone, it is not the time to start putting the pressure on them and hyping things up.  I love that my friends get excited for me when a guy ask me out, especially a guy I'm already into.  However, when you over-hype the situation and start making a huge deal out of it all, you add pressure to the dater.

By all means, help your friend pick out their outfit (or men, their cologne?) and let them know they look great with their hair all the way down.  Tell your friend to have a great time and you'll want details afterward, and even do the little girly squeal before the date is there to pick your friend up - or manly grunt from the couch for the men.  However, leave it at that.  Tell them to relax, be who they really are, and just enjoy... Help them take the pressure off the situation and actual potential with the two daters could become possible because they'll get out of their own way.

Now, III - Roman Numerals?  Yes, please. If you see two individuals on a date, do not begin the gossip-train that will undoubtedly hit the two daters over later as they are run down with questions from a million and one friends, thus adding more pressure to the what-should-be-chill date.  Now... before you think, "Linze.  We ALL do that!,"  I admit... I am guilty.  I'm not always guilty because I'm usually oblivious to that fact that two friends are on a date when I randomly see them, but I've been guilty in the past.  I've probably been guilty of all of these "rules" at some point, but we grow and learn... and this rule is quite vital.

Outside gossip and assumption adds pressure and stress back to a situation that should merely be about getting to know another individual better and forming a stronger friendship.  When it blooms into something else, I truly believe it's because the daters are able to ignore the outside pressure, and let down their walls.

Which brings me to my last point - number four - the secret answer and advice at the end of the "column."  If someone asks you out, they are NOT asking for an eternal commitment from you... Too often we read too much into one date, which I believe to be the biggest problem with dating in general.  Additionally, just be you.  That obviously got you far enough to be asked out, and you should be happy about that.  Someone wants to give up some of their precious time to get to know you better.  That's quite a compliment!  Your only job is to be who that person asked out in the first place - YOU.  

Relax, have fun, and you never know... The date could lead to falling in love, making a really great friend, or learning more about what you do/don't want in a potential relationship.  Remember, if it doesn't work - It was one date.  It was a few hours of your time (minutes if perhaps it really didn't work...)Now, move on and find another person you can get to know better.  After all, that's what dating is really all about.  

Song of the Day:  Josh Radin played this song at his concert back in March and I kinda fell in love with it... Here is Sam Cooke with "Bring It On Home."  It's one of those songs you can picture yourself dancing too around the kitchen with your man (or woman).  Maybe it's just me... :)  Enjoy! 


brook said...

however--if i see a couple out and about...and i know someone's been asking me if they're dating, i may or may not affirm that i saw them planned, paid for, and paired off. just throwin that out there!

Kortni said...

Soooooo happy that you posted this blog!

Mike said...

All very good points. May I be so bold as to add Nomer pyat (Number 5 in Russian)? If a guy calls you after you have been on a date, but you are not really interested in him, have the courtesy to be honest with him about it. Don't just ignore his call and never call him back. He deserves to be treated like an adult. It shows respect for him, and will make him respect you. I would much rather have a polite but straightforward "thanks but no thanks" than be ignored, and I have maintained the best relationships with those girls who have shown that respect to me. I realize that it takes a lot of courage to be that honest with a guy, but it takes a lot of courage for some guys to ask girls out, too.
Sorry if that came off like a rant, but that has been my pet peeve lately.

Ash and Matt | A SoCal Story said...

This post should be required reading for singles wards across America. Seriously.

And speaking of singles wards, I went to my cousin's ward in Draper on Sunday to hear her speak and was so bummed you weren't there! She had told me that the ward split but I still had hope. I would've loved to see you!

Bob said...


This made me want to come give you a hug, because you hit the nail on the head. I have known a lot of people who don't understand #1 (I've been guilty of that one in the past) and really need to get a grasp on #2 (I'm still guilty of this one).

#3 had me laughing. Because of my job, I see a lot of customers there on a date. It's really fun if I know both of them, especially if they are there on a first date, because there is this awkward moment where I can tell they are nervous that I am going to judge them for being out with the other person and/or am going to blab it all over the ward.

Oh, and I second Mike's comment above and would like to add to it. On the same note, if you are a girl and absolutely don't want to go on a date with a guy, be honest with him. I once asked a girl out, and she said "no, but we can still be friends." And we were really good friends for a while.

trogdor259 said...

Linze, I love your blog posts. You rock!