So this one time I showed up at a guys place (it was a Halloween date), he opened the door and immediately said, “your costume won’t do” (I was a princess…). He proceeded to cover me in zombie-esque makeup, fake blood, all the works. I broke out into hives as I was allergic to the makeup. He asked if I wanted a drink and I said “okay.” He poured me a Whiskey and Dr. Pepper, and claimed it was “the best drink ever!” He was a bartender, and I found this mix of libations rather disappointing. He then presented me with a hair dryer and asked me to do his hair – rockabilly zombie style, whatever that meant…I proceeded to “do” his hair for 40 minutes. He went to look in the mirror and thanked me. It looked the exact same as to when I first entered. I told him I had to wash my hands because of the hair gel. He didn’t have any hot water or towels. I air dried my hands. I wasn’t into this guy within the first hour of meeting him, but I didn’t want to be rude so I suggested we go to the concert he had asked me to go to. It was only a few blocks away, but funnily enough, this is the worst part. He walked as a zombie the entire way there. He bumped into a car…the alarm went off. He wouldn’t even look at me he was that in character. Once we were at the concert, he ordered us drinks then asked me (in a zombie slurred voice) “I don’t have any money…can you get this?”
Bad dates, they happen to us all. This one in particular happened to my sister and yes, it is all true. Did she go on another date with zombie guy? Absolutely not (I think that’s obvious ha). Did she learn from this experience? Yes 100%.
When we experience a bad date, we often preoccupy our minds with what went wrong, and the time and money wasted on something that fell through, but often don’t reflect on what we learned from these experiences. I’ve learned at least 10 really helpful life lessons through my past bad dates and rocky relationships that I’ll share with you today.
Lesson #1: There is a big difference between love and lust – So this one time, I told a guy I loved him within three months of knowing him. Woops! Big mistake on my part because what I realized after that relationship was that I had no clue who the guy was at all. Within the same month we had already broken up. New relationships are so fun and exciting but sometimes they inevitably make us put up blinders for any red flags from the other person.
Lesson #2: Your partner should complement you, not compete with you – Maybe you’ve gotten a promotion or exceeded your monthly fitness goal, your partner should support and congratulate you on these achievements. What a partner should never do is try to one up you, sulk about your accomplishments or tear you down.
Lesson #3: Be honest in your dating profile because it takes one date to figure out it’s BS – This one is even more applicable now than ever before considering it’s trickier to meet in person, many singles are turning to dating apps. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be honest and authentically yourself on your dating profile. Cut the exaggerations, or embellishments that aren’t really you because eventually when you do meet that person IRL, they’re going to see that things don’t add up.
Lesson #4: Tell someone truthfully if you’re not interested – I am definitely guilty of leading a couple dates on in the past. It’s really hard for me to reject someone face to face because I simply just never wanted to hurt their feelings. But honestly, I felt worse after telling them I’d go on a second date knowing I was going to cancel via text when the time came. I learned that being honest with someone when you don’t foresee a second date saves you and your date time and a headache.
Lesson #5: Never say yes to something for the sake of being polite – Which goes hand in hand with lesson #4. This is one of the many lessons my sister learned after her bizarrely questionable zombie themed date. Even though she was feeling uncomfortable within the first 30 minutes of being on the date, she chose to be polite and stay to give the guy a chance to redeem himself. If your date ever makes you feel uncomfortable, or your down right having an awful time, you have every right to leave and remove yourself from the situation.
Lesson #6: If you’re going to show up, SHOW UP – When I say show up, I mean put down the phone, stop scrolling through Instagram and be present on the date if you’ve agreed to it. This goes for when you’re in a relationship as well, if you and your partner have agreed to spend quality time together, it’s important to disconnect from work emails, and social feeds.
Lesson #7: Physical attraction only goes so far – Have you ever seen someone and have been so taken aback by their good looks that you just assume their personality matches? I do this all the time with celebrities and even though it shouldn’t come as a surprise, it always does when you find out something negative about your favorite celeb. This can happen with dates too, don’t be so smitten with the looks that you miss what’s below the surface.
Lesson #8: Always invest time in you – Take breaks from the outside noise and do what makes you feel calm. Always check-in with yourself to reflect on how you’re feeling. Your mental health is the number one priority and as my hero Ru Paul always says at the end of Drag Race – “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?” You can get an amen to that Ru!
Lesson #9: First date jitters are real, and second chances are possible – Those damn nerves can creep up at any time and on a first date they just love to show up to the party early. Even though I’m a super chatty outgoing individual, I’ve always gotten nervous on first dates for fear that my date and I just wouldn’t click or the conversation would all be one sided. My best piece of advice here is to let your date know you’re a little nervous and they’ll most likely feel the same. Now you’ve not only broken the ice but you’ve also bonded over your current emotions.
Lesson #10: More often than not, your gut is right – The voice in the back of your head that nags at you over time or alerts you something is off or maybe it’s that feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes you feel uneasy – this is what I mean by listening to your gut. If you’ve been dating someone for a couple of months and are still just not sure about them, the uncertainty is often your answer and that’s your gut telling you it’s wrong.
Cover Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash