Dating can be weird, awkward, and uncomfortable, but you’re not going to meet the love of your life sitting at home. While it would be nice if your dream man showed up and swooped you away, it’s highly unlikely. There are plenty of reasons to put yourself out there and date a little more, whether you’re looking for the love of your life or just a fun fling.
- Even If It’s A Disaster, You’ll Have A Great Story To Tell. Both great dates and terrible ones are great topics to discuss over brunch with your crew. We’ve all gone on at least one rendezvous that later provided some entertainment over cocktails. Plus your married and coupled friends will love dating vicariously through you. My dating story go-to is the time I went out with a man I’m convinced was an international spy; he spoke several languages, had several different names, and randomly would go on trips to South America. It’s one of my favorite stories to tell and always gets me laughs.
- People come into your life for a reason. You should always feel strong and confident to say no when you need to, but you should say a big hell yes to whatever plan the universe has for you. Life is funny like that — it’ll bring you the right people at the right time. You just need to take that leap of faith. Great things can happen when you say yes more often, and that can include giving someone a try even when you’re feeling tired of the dating scene.
- You could meet your future husband… or just a new friend. Your date could be the love of your life. Or not. Your date may not be the one, but you could have found a new friend or even your new optometrist (It happened to me, true story). Either way, it could be a win/win situation. And if you two don’t vibe so well, maybe your bartender, server, or the hot guy at the next table will be right for you. You’ll never know unless you try.
- You could find a great new place to hang out. Even if you decide not to date this dude long term, you’ll have some excellent references for your next girl’s night or possibly next date. Seriously, I’ve gone on dates before just to try out new dishes at restaurants. My date was impressed by adventurous spirit, and my appetite was impressed by the delicious food.
- You Could Learn Something New. Take dates as an opportunity to get a cultural experience or learn about your city. Suggest museum visits, a bike ride in the park, or a new film. You’ll have an enjoyable experience, and even if you don’t keep dating the guy, you’ll have fresh and impressive topics to discuss with the next man who comes along.
- You can practice your social (and flirting) Skills. First dates are essentially interviews, and unless you are a born Casanova, the more you practice, the better you get. So take the opportunity to bat your lashes, smile, be charming, and develop your knowledge on a few interesting topics. If you’re staying home and waiting for the perfect dreamboat to ask you out, you may forget how to form proper thoughts altogether.
- You can figure out what you like. Dating is like trying out different foods: you won’t know what you like or dislike if you don’t try it out. Do you like something a bit more sweet? Or are you into something spicy? You won’t know unless you start developing your tastes, and dates let you expand your palate. You may not figure out your date’s life vision right away, but at least you’ll get a sense of the nuances you like, dislike, can move past, or are a hard stop.
- Life is Too Short To Not Try. You might end up falling in love or you might not, but the last thing you want to do is waste your time by playing it safe and not even taking a chance. You never know what might happen, and even if things don’t work out for the long term, you might have fun at least for a little while. Don’t you think you’re better off living your dating life to the fullest?
- If a first date isn’t perfect, there’s nothing wrong with trying again. It’s not a hard rule, but if you’ve been on too many “meh” first dates, try actually going on more than one date with a new guy. First dates can be awkward and uncomfortable. Maybe you’re too critical of him or yourself. Give it some time and go easy. You may just have a happy ending or at least a hilarious memory.