h2>Dating : The worst dates I ever went on taught me the most.
It was awkward, painful and weird, but definitely worth it.
I watched a lot of movies growing up and they introduced me to the concept of soul mates, love at first sight, prince charming, etc. I watched them religiously, and waited for the day I would meet a guy who swept me off my feet from the first look while he picked up my dropped books in the hallway (I forgot I went to a segregated school during those 2 hours at the cinema.)
When I graduated from university and moved back home, I became what some people call “a serial dater.” I went on a lot of first dates, but not a lot of second ones. Being a typical Pisces, I loved to see the good in everyone for the sake of a relationship and would probably imagine at least the next 3–5 years of our lives if we ended up together. Two hours, one coffee cup and a disappointing man later, I would just come back home with one more characteristic I knew to avoid when I was searching for ‘The One.’
When women describe their dream man, there’s one thing they fail to tell you. When they say they want someone generous, it’s because they’ve experienced someone who wanted to split the bill down to a cent. If they say they want someone smart, it’s because they’ve experienced someone who tried to convince them the earth is flat. Our dream man doesn’t come from someone we want to love but rather an opposite character of all the men we haven’t.
When I went on good dates, I spotted all the things I like and spent the next day convincing myself I can overlook the things that just didn’t make sense: it’s okay if we’re not the same religion, it’s okay if his family doesn’t share the same values, it’s okay if he talked too much about his career, because after all he is generous, ambitious and kind just like I wanted. A lot of women I know have this compensation personality trait and it goes from mild to extreme, and if you have it too, you know it usually ends up leading to much, much worse endings than when you spot a single negative characteristic and end up hitting brakes on the relationship before it had even started.
I always tell myself that when I get to my next one, I’ll be older, wiser and think of it as a business decision, rationally making the right choice about a man before allowing him to enter my life and probably revealing every detail about my being. Unfortunately, that hopeless romantic inside of me is still alive and thriving, but the more I fall into great, unexpected relationships with men who don’t have the ‘it’ factor I had been writing about in my diary for years, , the more I realize it might not be such a bad thing after all.
I’ll conclude the article with this: If you learn one good thing about yourself during a bad date, relationship, marriage, whatever it is, then it was a useful one. Allowing yourself to grow from mistakes but not regret what they’ve put you through is a major key to surviving this life and living through embarrassment and the earlier you learn it, the better.