What should I be doing instead of this?
Home · Articles · Columns · Diva · Dating


By Erma P. Sanders · March 29th, 2001 · Diva
I happened upon a little gem the other day. It's Dating: Clues for the Clueless by Christopher D. Hudson et al. Don't let the front of the book, which says "God's Word in Your World," nor the fact that the book is shelved in the religion section of your local book store prevent you from gleaning a few good dating tips. Maybe it was fate or the hand of God herself, but I opened the book right to the chapter titled, "How to have a miserable time." Lately I've been thinking about that very thing.

It's pretty easy to come up with a list of things to do improve your chances of having a good date. Like selecting something fun to do, considering your date's likes and dislikes, bathing beforehand. Sometimes we might forget what can and will go wrong if we let it. So with no one's permission whatsoever, I'll tell you what this book suggests will guarantee you will have a miserable time on a date.

Insult your date in some way. Nothing can ruin your evening quite like being insulted for your attire or your car ... or really anything. Indeed, insult me early enough in the evening and we may never even leave the house.

Talk about past boyfriends/girlfriends. I am stunned and amazed at how many people bring up a past relationship on a date. If you are still dwelling on the one that got away, you aren't ready to start dating again.

Complain all evening. One of my favorite sounds is the sound of my own voice complaining about something but, short of my food being poisoned or being attacked by a swarm of wasps, I can pretty much deal with anything on a date. Remember, the average date is only four hours long. No service or experience is so bad that you can't suck it up.

Name drop. The book says bragging about celebrities you've met is a no-no. I don't really understand that. I mean, don't act like the girl in Saturday Night Fever who was trying to impress John Travolta with all the celebrities who came in her office, most of whom he didn't even know. But if you've met somebody interesting and have a little anecdote to share, I say by all means share it. Although in my case not too many dates have been impressed that I met Tiny Tim in a bar in Sarasota.

Insult your date's church or religious affiliation. I never would have thought of this one, but I told you the book is shelved in religion. And I think there are exceptions here. If your date mentions anything about worshipping a head of lettuce or drinking cyanide-laced fruit punch so you can be together forever in the hereafter, all bets are off.

Make sure the conversation centers around you. Boy howdy, now there is one of my peeves. The only thing worse is someone who can't fill their share of the conversation, and you are rattling on just to avoid the eerie silences.

I have a few more suggestions to guarantee you'll have a miserable date. Call your date by the wrong name, flirt with other people in his or her presence, drink too much alcohol, tell an insensitive joke, give monosyllabic answers to all questions, primp your hair or makeup constantly, blow your nose a lot and stuff the used tissues in your pocket, and end the date with, "Well I've got someplace better to go now."

Geez, with all the potential for a miserable time, it's amazing anybody dates at all. But if you plan ahead it can go oh so right. Whether you are Christian or not, pick up this book for some ideas on how to have more good dates than miserable ones.



comments powered by Disqus