The (many) don'ts of college dating
A ridiculous set of college dating dont's provide useful insight for those seeking free dinner.
Published: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 16:09
Most of us have experienced those dates. You know, the bad ones. For some reason, these instances always seem to involve wallet-forgetting, garlic breath, dramatic food-spillage and awkward silences. And college students certainly aren’t immune to these terrible dates. Sure, some “oops” moments are understandable, and a date can be salvaged, but no one wants to sit across from a date who clips their toenails at the dinner table.
That brings me to date etiquette. What is that exactly? Well, by definition, etiquette means: the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. Thumb through the pages of your handiest dictionary (come on, I’m sure you have one of those microscopic, pocket editions) and look up the word: date.
By definition, the word “date” has a few meanings.
- The day of the month or year as specified by a number.
- A sweet, dark brown, oval fruit containing a hard stone, often eaten dried.
- A joining of two individuals romantically interested in one another.
Disregarding the first and second definition, it’s safe to say many of us have experienced number three. If you haven’t yet, perhaps you’ll blossom into a churning love-machine and freshman year will be your Molly Ringwald “Pretty in Pink” moment. Sure, some dates are disgustingly spectacular and leave you walking away grinning ear-to-ear, spaghetti-splatter free. Then, there are the total disasters. Those dates you wish could be forgotten.
No need to fret just yet. There is a way we can fix the “bad date epidemic”. The solution: proper date etiquette.
To understand how to excel in date etiquette and make college dating a butterfly-inducing experience, let’s go over what should NOT be done on a first date – or any.
Grandmas and Cats
When shared in a sentence, those two words make most people laugh or cringe. If you live with your grandma and good ol’ Nana is a cat lover – let’s say she has sixteen of those feline friends roaming her overly floral home – don’t relay that to the date right away.
The problem here isn’t exactly living with good ol’ granny; it’s the cats. Cats by no means are bad, but 16 of them can be a little intimidating. That amount of any animal is. This can cause the date to question whether you live at a petting zoo, the humane society or a giant litter box.
Smell nice. Please. Do not come from a rigorous, two-hour workout smelling like you sat in old food. If showering is out of the question (maybe you gave that up for Lent and have extended the stink-streak) at least Febreze yourself. Better yet, find a garden you can roll around in – there’s a nice one located outside of UNO’s Welcome Center.
But, too much of that “fresh garden scent” can cause a distraction. If you find your date passed out, face-first in a pile of steak, don’t assume they like to eat like a dog – their lights probably “turned-out” from an excessive cologne or perfume aroma. If they seem fast asleep, go ahead and slide their little noggin’ off the plate and enjoy their meal. Think of the stealth food-stealing as being practical and managing your college budget. At some point you should probably make sure the date is breathing.
In today’s world, cell phones dominate daily activity. They make calls, streamline videos, shoot quick emails and connect to social media; I’m surprised they have yet to create a mobile phone that can cook a burrito or do my homework.
With that being said, try to refrain from having over-excessive cell phone use on your date. Obviously, a call or text is sometimes unavoidable, but try to be engaged in what your date is saying, instead of your most recent Facebook notification. If cell phone use becomes a priority on a date, the date might assume you are uninterested.
I do, however, fully encourage cell phone as an emergency tool, particularly on those bad dates. Watching the latest YouTube clip featuring an over-fed dog, jumping through flaming hoops, can be a lifesaver when your date has decided it’s socially acceptable to bring a hamster to dinner.
Too personal too fast
This rule is very important. It’s crucial that you do not reveal too much about yourself too quickly on the first, second or even third date.
Revealing to your date that you want to be married in a year, have a honeymoon in the Bahamas and produce six children before you are 35 is an overwhelming amount of information when first meeting someone. Instead, stick to basic topics like, interests, work, life goals, hobbies and any other conversational topics that don’t involve cat-loving-grandmas or planning a wedding.
This subject can get a tad touchy, so be sure to use your own judgment when attempting to share your sports thoughts and opinions.
As a sports lover, I am well aware that the support of a rival athletic team can make or break a relationship. If you choose to bring this topic up on the first date, choose your words thoughtfully. I would suggest not starting the conversation off with, “So how about those Cardinals? I’ve seen blindfolded 8-year-olds play better games than that!”
After a comment like that, there’s a good chance you might be picking up the check.