Thursday, October 23, 2008

Before You Make That Date

Dating is one of the most anticipated and feared of all teen social encounters. What can you do to make sure your dating life runs smoothly? Consider these seven things before making or accepting a date.

1.Know how you feel about the other person.
Nothing ruins a date faster than misread signals. Before asking somebody out or accepting an invitation you should honsetly examine how you really feel. Are you genuinely attracted to this person? Could you see yourself in a relationship with this person? Do you feel comfortable being with this person one-on-one? If you can't ever see yourself as being anything but friends, don't make the date.

2.Find out how the other person feels about you.
Many an embarassing moment has been born from misread signals or wishful thinking. Nothing is worse than putting yourself out there only to be rejected. Before asking somebody out find out if they are interested in you. Ask around to see if they already like you, think they could like you, or only see you as a pal. If they really only want to be your friend, don't push for more.

3.Suggest an activity you will both enjoy.
The whole idea behind going out on a date is having fun. You want to spend time with somebody who interests you and at the same time find out if you could connect on a deeper level. Nothing will ruin this faster than choosing an activity that only one of you enjoys. Ask your potential date what he/she likes to do and find something you both like, then plan the date accordingly.

4.Consider going out as part of a group.
If your parents don't want you going out one-on-one dates, or if it you feel uncomfortable heading out alone, consider the safety of group dating. This can be a good choice for the get to know you dates because it takes some of the pressure off and lets you be more relaxed... more yourself. Choose friends you trust who will make your date feel comfortable and don't forget you are still on a date.

5.Be clear on the financial situation.
If you ask somebody out and intend to pay their way make sure this is clear. If your finances are tight make sure they don't mind going dutch. If you accept a date always bring enough money to pay your own way, never assume that your date will foot the bill. The "who will pay" question can turn even the hottest date cold - make sure this is clear well in advance.

6.Make sure that the date is OK with both sets of parents.
If your parents don't want you dating yet, respect that and make plans to go out in a group. If the person you are interested in is not yet allowed to date, don't suggest that you sneak around. If it is really important for the two of you to head out alone talk it out with the parents who object. Otherwise respect the rules set out by the parents and stick to hanging out together with friends.

7.Don't have higher than life expectations.
If you expect the date to be something out of a Mandy Moore movie then you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. Be realistic; you are getting to know one another in a whole new way and one or both of you may not want to take things further after the date is over. If you have realistic expectations you are more likely to relax, have fun and be happy with the way the date turns out.

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