Dating Don’ts: Why You Should Choose To Date

by The Frisky

Dating-Donts-Choose-To-Be-Alone-400x300Here’s what’s easy:

Sitting in your apartment, doing things that you like to do, justifying this behavior by saying that because it is what you want to do, it is absolutely correct. Rejecting new experiences because they could fail, because you could embarrass yourself or fall on your face or loose a tooth or a shred of dignity. Staying in a rut because it’s comfortable, it feels right, and it’s easier than putting on that pair of pants or wearing those new shoes or doing anything other than the path you picked out for yourself as the only way for you.

Dating is not fun. It’s not easy. If someone came up to me and told me in earnest that scrolling thru the depths ofOKCupid is a fulfilling and mentally engaging activity, I’d gather my things and back away slowly. It feels like work because it is work. Scrolling through matches taps into the muscle memory of the aimless looking for shoes on Zappos or searching your work email for that thing you got last week that you just can’t find. Scroll, scroll, scroll. Click? Scroll. Repeat ad nauseam until you find something that you think might work, with some jiggering, a little tailoring, a tiny nip and tuck. Add to your cart, finish your wine, close your laptop, go to sleep.

Dating is a choice that we make, just like the choice to be alone, to have cereal for dinner, to finally pull the trigger on that Amazon cart you’ve been toying with for the past week. Trumping up its importance will only intimidate you further. In order to succeed at dating, you need to be all in, and it has to be genuine. I’m not advocating for enthusiasm; to be extremely enthusiastic about online dating is tantamount to insanity. A resigned acceptance of the activity you’re embarking upon is sufficient, but the desire to succeed is essential. Opening yourself up to being vulnerable, to new experiences, to exposing your dark little heart tot he light  will not be easy. If your heart is clenched tight against the new and the unfamiliar, the process of unfurling will be slower. Accept these changes as small necessities, and take baby steps towards making these your reality.

Here are some things that are hard:

Putting on a dress on a Tuesday and steeling yourself to drink a beer very slowly as you listen to a stranger in a dark bar show you a sliver of their heart. Letting down your guard for long enough to let somebody else in. Making the first move. Shutting down the part of your mind that judges someone by the dad jeans they wore on the first date, and filing that info away for a charming story to tell your potential grandkids. Opening up yourself to experiences knowing that they are only experiences, neither good nor bad, just things that happen that you will deal with.

The fact of the matter is, dating is fucking terrifying. Entering a relationship is a journey into the heart of the unkonwn, a choose-your-own-adventure freefall where the landing is soft and pleasant, or a disastrous plunge into a shark tank. It’s perfectly natural to be wary of this endeavor because nothing is ever certain. No one knows for sure if they’ll like anything. The human experience is centered around the unknown. At any time you could be struck down my a car, hit by a bus, or drop dead at your desk, salad fork still in hand. The inevitability of these horror-filled scenarios are the outliers, but the fact that there is a remote possibility of these things happening serves as gentle reminder of the unpredictability of life. Open yourself up to new experiences. Be willing to try something you don’t think you like, because you just don’t know.

You can choose to be alone, or you can choose do date, but success at both dictates that you pick one or the other.  If dating starts to feel like something you “should” be doing, stop where you are and revisit the sentiment when you feel ready. We should take out the trash, we should pay that bill, we should stop consulting Yahoo!Answers to investigate that weird bump on our arm that we hasn’t gone away. Things we should do are never the things we want to do, or that we are naturally inclined to do. Dating is not an obligation, it’s a choice. We choose to date, just as we choose to be alone. Make your choice and be resolute and patient.


The Frisky

This post originally appeared on The Frisky. Republished with permission.

  • Sis

    I don’t like dating but I will do it. Nice article.

  • justanotheropinion

    Very nice counter point to ‘Why I don’t date’ article.

    Thank you for this. Food for thought.

  • Yes, I’m That Leah

    I don’t date because relationships make me miserable. I never get what I need, and never get accepted for who I am.

  • Yes, I’m That Leah

    If you don’t like it, why do it? Do it when you’re ready!

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    True, like I said in the other article, with the right person you will want to date them, you will want to get to know them, you will want to put in the work that goes with a friendship/relationship, you will want to take a chance, terrifying as that can be etc etc etc

  • geenababe

    I just got out of a horrible relationship five months ago with an older man who had the mindset of a twenty year old (older is not better). Dating will be harder for me this time around for many reasons. I have started to enforce some standards that I held back on. I ask this question a lot on dating post and I know some people say yes. However, I feel as a woman in my twenties that people my age or young don’t go out on dates anymore. I have met many men who think a date is chilling at their house or even your house and ordering take out. Maybe it’s just where I live.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    Yes many articles have been written on the come over and chill phenom as opposed to actually planning and going out on a real date. This all goes back to the woman though and what she is willing to accept i.e. her standards….. the same can be applied to texting instead of calling phenom also.
    A lot of guys will do the barest minimum and expect to reap maximum benefits, if you let them.

  • Resita

    From my past experiences with dating and ” just chilling,” it always goes back to this: Men will only do what you allow. I now realize that compromising what I want is never worth it. I want to be taken seriously even if the expectations doesn’t match up. Also, I will no longer be strung along in hopes that the situation will get more serious. Such a waste of time!

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting


  • Overseas_Honeybee

    Good piece :) It’s been a hot and I do mean hot minute since I’ve dated. It is hella scary especially now a days but I know I’ve got to get out there again.

    I think I’ve just been dragging my feet until I move back to the States next year. Dating scene here is completely wack.

    And no I don’t do the “chilling at the house for the first date thing” … that was college bruh.

  • Furious Styles

    Hey Orange,

    I agree that men sometimes abuse technology and try to start and maintain entire relationships by texting (which is a no no personally)…AND sometimes we just don’t want to spend hours talking on the phone about nothing. The men I know (and myself) tend to see texting (and phoning) as primarily for arranging when to meet in person. It’s not always about “doing the barest minimum”…we just have different definitions of “the right dating behavior”. But yeah, some dudes f it up for everybody.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    You know I can understand a quick text to say what’s up or to agree on a time and place to meet up etc.
    That is not what I was talking about, I was talking about the individual who only texts, who only offers a come over and chill etc..imo that is the barest minimum.

  • geenababe

    I don’t mind the texting thing that much since I like to text more than talk on the phone me. However, the hang out at my house thing has always bothered me, now I won’t accept it or I am over it. I do believe some men do try to do the minimum.

  • Geechee Goddess (@JumpJunkieJoe)

    I wouldn’t say that I find dating to be scary but I do find it to be exhausting. I haven’t been in a relationship in awhile and I would like to settle down and find the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. The parts that are scary is the amount of married men or men in relationships that are out there, men who are scorned from previous relationships and therefore have no interest in settling down, immaturity, stds, or if you are “different” finding someone can be really really exhausting. I don’t know why I keep going on but I do. Good luck to those of you who are also trying to find your special someone.

  • Lynette

    I recently met a man, who I thought I hit it off with and gave him my phone number. He called me and the first thing out of his mouth was “do you want me to come over?”. WTF!! I told him no. Next time I heard from him, he wanted me to come over to his place so he could cook me breakfast. I suggested that we meet somewhere in public for coffee and told him that I didn’t know him well enough for us to just hang out at each other’s places. Of course he stopped calling after that.

    This man was in his forties!!! And here I thought that grown men know how to actually ask a woman out on a date. I know we all say that it’s up to the women to set the standards, but there must be a lot of women out there who accept the hang out and chill routine or else the men wouldn’t be puling this nonsense.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    Lynette yes this happened to me also with a guy in his mid 40′s and yes there seems to be quite a few women who have set the bar so low, not requiring much more than a pulse, that quite a few men believe this is cool.
    Women in this current climate seem very desperate for companionship but by not having standards, they are lowering the value of their own company, which in turn affects other women.

  • Nic

    I know that is right. I cannot deal with people who want to lead with “do you text” and my answer is no, and esp. not with people I just met. And then the same joker will say “oh, well, I don’t have time for a bunch of phone calls or emails.”
    And it’s like, well then how the hell would you have time for a relationship.
    It’s like a whole generation of men think that all they have to do is text “Can I come over” and get laid and then slink back to their mom’s house (b/c how could anyone that lazy not be living with his mom?)
    And the sad thing is that I’m Gen X and get men in their 30′s and 40′s who want to act like this.
    I mean, if you can’t even do the EASY s**t, and aren’t trying to make an effort when we first met when you should be trying to earn points and make a good impression, why do I want to bother with you?

  • Shawty

    Welp..Idk, but it seems like there are deeper issues going on there….

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