Thanks to the rom-com, we’ve been conditioned basically since birth to expect a fairy tale evening when it comes to a date. We’re thinking a candlelit dinner, a walk on the beach, an amazing kiss goodnight on our front porch. In real life, we don’t even have porches because we can’t afford anything more than a tiny apartment (with roomies, of course) and we’re lucky if we get a make-out session during a Netflix marathon. But there’s something in-between movie magic and 100 percent perfection, and that would be when you finally have an enjoyable date. Here are 10 reasons why there’s no such thing as the perfect date and why that’s totally okay anyway.
You’re nervous for a reason.
Let’s just be honest: dating involves a lot of worrying. And a lot of nerves. If you can arrive at the bar totally cool, calm and collected without an ounce of anxiety, I salute you. The rest of us have a million things rushing through our heads and keep thinking that the date could be just a little bit better if we could just calm down already. But since nerves are generally a good sign that you’re interested in this person, I think we can take the butterflies in our stomach over total perfection any day.
You look forward to your first date all week long, and then Friday arrives and you’re blowing your nose every five seconds thanks to a horrible cold. But you still go on the date since you’re scared he’s going to think you’re not actually interested. You guys have an awesome time anyway but you cut the date an hour shorter than you usually would thanks to the fact that you’re basically dying from this cold. Maybe you would have gotten a romantic kiss goodnight which would have made it the perfect date, but life got in the way and you got sick. But who cares? You still had a fun first date, which is basically the most rare thing in the universe.
You might have no official date.
Maybe you’re finally confessing your love for your best guy friend or getting back together with an ex. Or you meet someone at a mutual friend’s party and hit it off, and then you’re in an insta-relationship. None of those were quote-unquote dates and yet you still have someone in your life. You can still find love even without a traditional dinner and a movie date, so don’t sweat it.
The best dates happen during the worst times.
Everything usually happens all at once to us, both the good and the bad. We get fired in the same week that we meet the love of our life. We deal with a break-up and a promotion in the same month. We can’t control when we fall for someone and you could go on the best date of your life while you have a million worries on your mind. It may not be perfect, but you’re pretty happy anyway.
First dates are always awkward.
Can any first date really be perfect? You’re sitting in a crowded restaurant and it’s super obvious to everyone around you that you’re on a date. Or at least that’s how you feel. There’s going to be awkward silence at one point and it’s basically impossible to get around the awkward nature of dates so let’s just all agree to accept it.
We all break dating rules.
We’re not supposed to mention your ex or say you want to get married or look too eager… and yet we’ve all said the wrong thing on a first date at least once. We happen to mention that we’re ready to settle down or we mention a previous date we went on that didn’t go so well. And so what? Rules are meant to be broken and sometimes you end up with the person anyway. It’s not like any guy is going to say to you “yeah, we can’t go out again because you broke rule #5.”
Nothing is ever all good or all bad.
Life is full of the grey areas, for better or worse. Ever notice how when you have a crazy busy week or month and it feels like absolutely everything is happening all at once, it’s not all good or all bad? You get a bunch of new freelance assignments and then a bunch of potential dates cancel on you. You get a stomach bug the weekend of your birthday. (These may have all just happened to me.) If we can’t expect life to be 100 percent amazing or 100 percent awful, then we can’t expect a date to be perfect either.
You’re not a professional dater.
It probably feels like you are because you go on so many first dates but no one wants to be so accomplished at meeting strangers that it becomes like their job. That’s kind of creepy. Dating is basically pretty because you’re dealing with a total stranger and trying to figure out if they can fit into your world. So since you already have a full-time job and a thriving career, just chill out a bit and accept that whatever is meant to happen on your dates will.
Perfection is super boring.
No one — and I repeat no one — is perfect. That model on the cover of your favorite magazine spent 10 hours in hair and make-up and has been insanely retouched. Her face probably looks completely different in real life. Having a perfect body, face and life takes way too much effort. You already have a life, and it’s a pretty good one. So if nothing can really be perfect, then of course dates can’t be either.
Real romance is in the details.
Think about the most romantic moment that you’ve ever experienced in your life. You probably weren’t wearing a ballgown and fancy updo. It might have been pouring and your clothes got ruined. Maybe the restaurant forgot your order or you guys missed your movie because dinner took so long. But you didn’t care because you were with the person you wanted to be with. So forgot the idea of perfection and find someone with whom you can share the tiniest of moments, and you’ll have your own perfect love life.
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