Need I say more?
You dress up, do fifty sit-ups in your bedroom, get hopeful, walk out the door, and realise within ten minutes you’re out with the wrong person.
It’s ok. You chose wrong.
You took a chance. But he had wonky teeth you didn’t really like. Or he laughed loudly at all his own jokes and it was a complete turn-off.
But hey, at least you got a free meal out of it (at least I hope you did…)
Sometimes a date turns out just to be a nice conversation…
It’s not the end of the world. At least you weren’t hit by a bus. Going on a bad date and then getting hit by a bus… that would really suck.
If nothing else, a date can just be a chance to learn about someone. You might as well since you’ll never see them again.
Maybe it gets better. Once you relax into the date and take the expectations off you actually realise this person is more likeable than you thought.
Your friends ask how it went. “Well… he was nice,” you tell them. But hey, it can’t all be excitement. No more than a job hunting is exciting until you find something that seems like the perfect fit.
The problem is, we’re all lonely. So we convince ourselves that maybe this person was better than they really were. And I don’t know about you, but I’m a kind person. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.
What’s the point though? Why drag it out longer than you have to? Why make it a whole saga when you could just say what you really wanted to say, “Not bad, but not for me.”
That’s the truth of a lot of dates. Somewhere in the middle. That’s fine. I’ve learnt to deal with fine.
That’s what most parts of life are like until something amazing happens.
It’s the same with work. I write a bunch of articles. I write e-books. I write blogs. One or two are awful. The rest are decent. Then occasionally something amazing happens. I knock it out of the park. It’s a wonderful, lovely, meaningful moment of giddy joy when you’ve made something excellent. Sometimes it leads to even better things. Sometimes it’s life-changing.
But enough days pass and you’re back to normal again. Working on stuff that just goes “ok”, “so-so”, “not bad”. Then “pretty good”. Then eventually, with enough extra work and thought and a pinch of good timing… magic again.
That’s what dating is.
People bemoan it, complain, trudge through the ordinary, until they find one person who turns it all around, maybe forever.
I hear and read about so many people who have just given up. Women who say they are finished with men. Men who have decided to live without women. It can feel overwhelming. But it’s better to be in the middle of the fray and living than sat on the outside stagnating.
It takes a bit of faith (a phrase I never thought I’d say). But not faith in the universe, or some other silly mystical energy. Just faith that it’s still worth showing up and putting in the effort.
Because the truth is, love isn’t blind, it’s shy. It only really likes to come out when we do our part first.
20 Replies to “Bad Dates”
Except you shouldn’t have dinner on a first date right!?!
Fab article again Stephen.. The trick is not to mind too much if it goes wrong girls and to focus on the lessons learnt, or even an interesting piece of information you may have picked up as we can in almost every human interaction. Or perhaps something about yourself as you reflected back on the date on that all too familiar journey home..
Yes So True Mona, Thank You For Wrapping That Up So Nutritiously!!!
Awesome Stephen! Another great article!
I Love Your Enthusiastic Feedback Julie!! It’s Hard Not To Get Excited When You’re So Excited Hahahah
You’re dating the wrong women Dr Hussey, come visit Southampton and I’ll sort that problem out for you
Dating to me is like sifting through the jungle and it continues to be! Thanks for a great article Stephen!
It can just be so exhausting. I don’t give up but I take breaks. It just takes so long to find the right person.
Can’t fault a person for just being tired sometimes.
Amen. What’s Exhausting About It For You? Just Curious And Wondering If I Could Relate To It With My Ideal Job Match Struggle
“Love isn’t blind, it’s shy.” … THAT is GENIUS!!! Nailed it!
Interesting, Thanks For Enthusiastically Highlighting That I Missed It During My First Round
I love your writing style. So simple yet profound.
I would just like to add that the things we wait longest for and work the hardest for, are also the things we appreciate the most.
I read a very good, actually refreshing article, forwarded from another relationship author entitled how we marry the wrong person. I think we also date the wrong people. I love your article, your thoughts are always refreshing, and funny, and we’ve gotta keep trying. It’s what life’s all about!
Kathryn, What Do You Mean By We Date The Wrong People? What’s Your Theory On That? And Can I Have The Link To That Article Please?
Thank You Steve!! So True. We Have To Get Used The Bad Stuff To Get To The Good Stuff, I’m Going To Apply Your Truthful Philosophy For Work Hunting Too. We Just Gotta Keep Moving And Have Realistic Balanced Expectations..
You are always so enthusiastic and full of positive energy. I love that!!
Thank you for this post. Lately I have been going on a fair number of MEH dates and I have found that a lot of it has to do with core values. I would say something like, “I love being active outdoors where I can experience nature!” and he would say, “Really? I much prefer the gym and the city.” Then I would sigh and think to myself, “and another one bites the dust…” I have gotten used to the fact that this is part of the process, but the most disappointing dates are the ones with men who share core values with me, but send out red flags that suggest they are not ready for a relationship. I have a really hard time moving forward with these men even though you and Matthew have talked about how to shift their desires. I tend to give up on them and move on to the next eligible bachelor. Any ideas on how to life hack this response so I don’t view my investment of future time and energy as a waste or should I be moving on to the next?
MH retreat 12/2015
I really love watching your videos and reading your articles. You such a great man Mathew I just love your teachings. Thank you very much. Can’t get enough of them
Bad dates are a tough lesson to learn sometimes!
I’m wondering if you could share some insight into what it means when a guy has said twice he will get back to you to make a second date but he hasn’t followed through with it in 5 weeks?
Context: We had a great first date and he continues to text me every day. This individual hasn’t stopped me from talking to other men, but I am fond of this guy, and he seems fond of me too. We all have lives and other commitments, but 5 weeks is a long time to wait for a second date to be rescheduled.
How do I get out of this rut?? I’m sure I’m not the only woman who has been through this!! Too many times I’ve flipped between “being the train leaving the station” and being honest about how uncool this is. S.O.S.!
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