The Dating Game
Alright.. so some of my friends and I were having a discussion about online dating and the never ending cycle of flaky, ghosting, jerks, especially in San Francisco… although I’m sure it happens everywhere. Luckily for me, I’ve mostly avoided having to go through this shark tank of a spectacle, but I’ve definitely had my share of un-pleasurable experiences in the past when I had my brush with online dating.
I do have to say that when I hear the stories, I’m completely shocked by the complete douche-bagery that happens out there no matter how many repeat stories I hear. I know we live in the age of technology and so dating has been made more accessible and not necessarily easier, but from what I’ve seen, it just makes it easier to be a terrible dater with no consequences.
So when I was thinking about how to give my friends advice, I figured I’d gather some common themes based on bad things I’ve heard people do in the online dating world. This way, if you spot someone breaking any of the following rules, you can run as fast as you can for the hills. While you’re reading, if you have to ask, “is it me?”, it most likely is! YIKES!
Here are some of the guidelines I came up with based on people I've talked to:
- If you set up a date - Stick to it: Don’t be inconsiderate of other’s time. If you need to cancel for whatever reason, do it at least 24 hours in advance if you can. Day of cancellations are generally because you found something better to do, and that's rude as hell.
- Be honest: If you are talking with someone online, and you are no longer interested or find someone else more interesting - Tell them (in a nice way) that they can no longer expect to hear from you. Don’t be a ghoster!
- If you set up or initiate the date - Pay!: Even if it’s a bad date, the person who initiates the date should always pay unless you both decide something else before hand. On date two, if they paid for the first date, at least offer to pay for the second date.
- If after 3 or 4 dates, you’re no longer interested, Tell Them ASAP: You owe that person to tell them in person! We aren’t children anymore and the “are you interested, check yes or no” letters should be a thing of the past. If you can’t tell someone in person you aren’t romantically interested, you probably shouldn’t be dating! Waiting only makes it worse!
- If you’re still dating other people - Tell them: Yes, ALL of them! odds are they probably are dating around too, and its good to know where you stand and what is acceptable in the relationship. Assumptions can make things get really messy.
- Be You: This is probably one of the most important! You owe it to yourself to be honest and open with anyone you’re dating. Sure, dating can feel like a game.. and it kind of is, but give someone the honor of knowing the real you.
My final word of advise for anyone finding the struggle a little too real in the dating world is, be happy with you. Dating should at least be a little fun, and if you're having a miserable time it's okay to take a break! While you wait for Mr. or Ms. right, invest in the other relationships in your life because at the end of the day, that's what is most important anyway. Best of Luck!!!
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above photo: Natalie Cairo