The “D” Word
As a 21-year-old senior in college, I have decided to make some changes in my life and try something called “dating.” Did I just use the “D” word? Yes, dating. I don’t mean going on Tinder and matching with strangers that you hang out and hook up with the same night. I mean that old school type of dating, where the man says to the woman, “I’ll pick you up at 8 p.m. sharp, dress nice.”
Don’t get me wrong; I am way more into casual get-togethers. I would rather not stress out until I break out, worrying about finding the perfect dress and sexy shoes without too much heel, as I’m 5-foot-9 and don’t want to be taller than him (which I can never really find because I am sure they don’t exist). Then there’s also the stress of eating right and killing it at the gym before the date and finding the right time to shower so that my curls have enough time to dry naturally.
Aside from getting ready for the date, there is the stress of what to talk about when we get there and how to avoid any awkwardness. So, you start to make a list in your head of topics to talk about like: “What do you do for fun?” “Where do you work?” and “How many siblings do you have?” Yet, all you really want to ask him is: “What are your intentions?” “Are you going to waste my time?” “Are you a liar?” “Do you take every girl you meet on dates?” “Do you realize you’re not coming home with me after this date?” and “Will you still want to see me again if you don’t?”
The other part of the date that I am sure many girls overthink is what to order. The go-to seems to be salad, but I would never do that to myself. Salads are so difficult to eat, especially when you are nervous. Sure, you may look healthy ordering a salad, but there’s also a chance you might get a salad with big leaves that end up slapping your chin and getting the dressing all over your face. Then you get stuck trying to get it in your mouth before your date sees you eating the lettuce like a cow. Instead, I would recommend getting pasta like ziti, not one that could get messy like linguine.
This all seems quite stressful, and who likes to be stressed out? There has to be a way to go on dates without getting overwhelmed with all these “dating requirements.” Do not let the stress of dating make you not want to date like it did for me. For a long time, I felt weird about going on dates. I am definitely the type of girl who would rather be comfortable in sweats than be uncomfortable in a tight dress. I would rather stay in my comfort zone. Yet, after doing so for the longest time, I realized that it has not gotten me anywhere. I have not met my ideal man or anyone I can see myself with long-term. I have realized that in order to have different, I must do different.
I am writing to encourage more people to go on dates and get to know each other face to face rather than through the phone. You learn more, experience more and it can be a lot more fun. Sure, some will be awful, awkward and embarrassing. But, the worst ones make for the best stories. Through it all, you never know who you’ll meet. This far into my dating experience, I’ve connected with guys using this method more than any other. I get to be myself with the mindset of “If he doesn’t like it then he’s not the one for me” and then I’ll be off to my next date. I feel empowered because everything feels more real, so I am more aware and cautious with my actions. I get to be in control.
I have never felt better about myself than I do now. It is ironic how you can learn from the old days in a new day. I definitely think couples did it better back in the days of traditional dating. It may sound cliché to get picked up at your house to go to dinner or sit on the hood of a car and count the stars, but do it anyways. I never thought I would see the day that I’d give this advice, but my experiences have led me here. The “D” word may not be such a bad word after all.
Sarina Nassar, a senior, studies psychology. She is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.