I think have a very odd view of dates/dating. I can probably count on one hand how many legitimate dates I’ve been on in my lifetime. Its not that I haven’t had offers for dates, its just that I’m not really a fan of them. Do I partake in activities that could be considered dates? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t necessarily call them dates.
Mike and I are currently completing a pre-marital program called Prepare/Enrich. We each were required to take an assessment (separate of course) that covered questions about communication, conflict resolution, financial management, sexual expectations and so on. We meet with our marriage counselor once a week to discuss different sections of our results, complete workbook activities, and review chapters of the books “For Women Only” and “For Men Only”. Which we should be better about actually reading the books…eek :/.
Anyway, this week we discussed an exercise in our workbook that we were supposed to complete titled “The Dating Exercise”. Separately we were to write down our answers to questions like “As you think about the life of your relationship, what have been your favorite dates?” and “What do you enjoy doing together?”. At the end of the exercise we were supposed to pull out our calendars and write in one date a week for the next two months….SAY WHAT?! Holy moly that’s a lot of dates. As a girl who hasn’t even been on very many of these things, that sounds a bit overwhelming.
Here are the reasons I don’t like dates:
- The Pressure. There is an enormous amount of pressure on dates. Both parties want it to be flawless. You can almost feel the pressure in the air, its like breathing becomes harder, and your mind becomes cloudy so everything you have in your heard just comes out of your mouth like word vomit to fill the space.
- Food. A lot of dates include food and anyone who has seen me eat knows that this isn’t a very good first, second, or third impression to be giving. I am the most ungraceful eater of all time. I do try very hard but the art of getting food all over my face while eating started at a very young age and I just really haven’t mastered a different technique. Therefore, I end up trying my hardest to pick foods that are easiest to eat, preferably with a fork and knife, instead of the foods I actually want to eat.
- Payment. Who forks over the money for the bill? This is what makes me the most uncomfortable about dates. As a girl, this should be my favorite part of dating. I mean who doesn’t want/need a free meal every once in awhile or free tickets to a movie or concert? Boy do we have it made, right? WRONG. I mean don’t you end up feeling like you owe the guy something for spending money on you? And isn’t that concept just weird? Especially in instances where you end up not really hitting it off with the guy, ugh, the guilt sets in almost immediately. Then you don’t want to offend or emasculate the man by offering to pay for yourself or the whole thing. I could go on and on so I’ll just sum it up with saying It’s simply by far my least favorite part.
- Judgement Day. You have 2 hours to “sell” yourself to this person, the whole time they pick and dissect your answers, looking for things they don’t like about you or things that set the alarm bells ringing. On the other side of the table, you’re doing the same thing (oh c’mon, we all judge its natural) but you’re having to do this while trying to come across as being really witty, trying your best to look vaguely attractive/holding your stomach in and trying not to snort when you laugh. It’s no mean feat, I can assure you.
- Pick up/Departure. One of the things I always tried to get around (unless he was my boyfriend) is riding together to a date. I know it’s supposed to be chivalrous and manly to pick up a girl for a date but I have always avoided at all costs. First of all, it’s highly likely I don’t want you to know where I live. If I want to leave, I can’t…I’m completely left at your mercy, I guess you could say I have control issues. Also, this increases the chances of my feeling obligated to ask you in to my place after the drop off, especially since you just paid for the date and used your gas to drive me around. Of course, no matter how you got there and plan to leave, departing is going to be awkward. Do you hug? Kiss? Set up the next date? Can we say awkward?
Here I am thinking that I now that I am getting married, I don’t have to go through this awkward mess anymore and then we get this assignment! Sheesh Prepare/Enrich, you’re killing me! Now obviously the majority of my reasons for hating on dates are moot since we live together and have a shared bank account but that doesn’t make me more excited to go on them. I’m all for either fun group activities or just staying home, making dinner, and watching a marathon of shows on Netflix. I guess you could call me low maintenance in that respect. While I do think spending time together is important for a relationship, I don’t necessarily feel that going on a “date” is.
I was relieved when Mike and I picked the same favorite dates (Cardinals games) and that we had similar ideas for potential dates for the future. We, as a couple, need to work on finding more similar interests/hobbies that we can do together and we both agree that some kind of physical activity like biking or hiking would be a great addition to our routine of activities. *Obviously not right now since the high today is only 14. I just don’t feel like every time we randomly go to a movie or treat ourselves to meal out should be called a “date”. Maybe I just have an extremely weird mind set towards dates. However, I think that once we start having kids, years and years down the road, date nights will become more of a necessity and have a different significance then they do now. For now though, I think the way that we spend time together suits us perfectly.
My best advice to those out there who hate dates is not to stop dating, just pick activities that you are most comfortable with. For me, hanging out in groups of people at first makes me most comfortable and just hanging out at a house (mine, his, a friends) is usually enough for me to feel like I’m spending time with that person and getting to know them. Don’t let the pressures of “traditional dates” deter you from finding a companion!
What are your opinions on dating?? Have any good date ideas for the fiance and I? Add your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear!