And so it’s yet another night where you’re sitting at yet another bar with another guy and you’re hoping that maybe/possibly/finally this one won’t waste your time. Won’t catch you off guard. Won’t not be a gentleman.
We’ve all been there. The dates where the guy talks about his exes ad nauseum. The dates where the guy cares not to be chivalrous and offer you a drink. The date where the guy asks you to buy him a drink (and can he get cab fare home too, please?) The one who looks nothing like his profile. The one who looks nothing like your ex. The one who your friend once slept with, as did your other friend, and that other girl you know.
We’re needy little things, and time and hope allows us to accept dates and book dates with guys who – other than being single – may have nothing in common with us.
But maybe there will be a spark.
Maybe they’ll live up to their social image.
Maybe they’ll want to go home with you.
And sure, that’s a nice concept in theory, but also puts us in shit situations. Because what comes from a potentially newfound flame comes the games that come with it.
Here are a few situations we seem to continuously to find ourselves in as millennials, that we need to either change, avoid altogether, or simply manage our expectations on.
- You accept a date with a guy expecting him to pay the bill: Which sure, fine. I’ve been there before. And though I hope the guy gets the bill on a first date (because I was raised traditionally and believe it’s the right thing to do,) I don’t expect it. There’s a big difference between hoping and expecting. If you expect a guy to pay for your drink(s), food, movie, etc. and indulge in it only to get the bill and realize he’s only paying for his half, or maybe even expecting you to pay for it in full, you’ve put yourself in a powerless position. I’ve had friends who have gone on dates without any money in their bank account, solely because they have no money to their name and they want to get buzzed or have a meal. And while I think that’s wrong, it’s safe to acknowledge that, if some of my smart, beautiful, successful friends (many whom are freelancers and are often chasing pay cheques) put themselves in that position, then many of us likely are too. Moral of the story: Don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t support yourself. If you can’t pay for your half of the bill on a date, don’t go on the date.
- If he tells you he doesn’t want a relationship, or isn’t on the same level you’re at, believe him: I find it so wild how our hopefulness and lust and being told we can’t get something we want literally causes us to not see what’s so very evident. We saw it on Bachelor in Paradise when Dean told Kristina point blank that he didn’t want to commit and wanted to explore his connection with D-Lo. She cried to friends like Raven after saying, “He’s just scared. He’s confused,” and she continued to pursue him. It was cringe-worthy, and it’s just as cringe-worthy when friends of ours try to re-write reality. So don’t be that girl. If he texts you or messages you telling you he’s just not that into you, or he doesn’t want a relationship, or he’s seeing other people or, or or, then believe him. And if that’s not what you want, then cut ties immediately and move on without analyzing or trying to convince him otherwise.
- If you’re dating multiple people at once (which, go girl! As long as you’re safe and not in a committed relationship, you do you) beware of the screengrab, speaker phone, and being recorded when out and about: There’s nothing worse than Insta-storying a date you’re on (not your date, but the setting) only for one of the boys on your roster to realize you aren’t really home in bed reading like you said. If you want to keep your story straight, be aware of the way social media plays. I have a friend who separated from her husband after he was spotted in the background of someone’s Instagram Story. The story was up for 24 hours so she was able to watch it over and over and over while Sherlock Holmes’ing her way through it. Also, be aware of what you text, be it words or images. By nature, we like to share flattering or confusing communications with our friends, so never assume that only the intended recipient will see what you send.
- If you start dating someone casually and you guys haven’t had “the talk,” assume he is dating other people: This is the most basic of all the tips. You might say “But he’s spending every night with me and texting me all day every day,” to which I repeat: assume he is seeing other people until you have the talk. Assumptions are child’s play.