7 do’s and don’ts of dating

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7 do’s and don’ts of dating

Rylee Smith

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Opinions Editor 

Valentine’s Day is here whether you can afford it or not. If you’re lucky enough to have a date, make the most of it. Get out there and represent those of us who don’t. 

To get you ready for the big day, I talked to the people you find yourself on a date with- other students- and consulted expert opinions to compile a list of do’s and don’ts for dating. Anyone who’s been on a few dates can attest to the fact that it’s dangerous out there in the dating world. It’s best to be prepared for anything. 

Do: Pay for your first date, if you’re a guy. If you want to have a debate about how times are changing and women should be stepping up for true equality, you can make that argument. If you want to go on a second date, you can listen to me. Or you can listen to a survey conducted in Money Magazine that found that out of more than 4,000 respondents, 78 percent thought the man should pay for the first date. If your date falls into that majority, you might not want to disappoint her. 

Don’t:Forget to brush your teeth and take a shower. I feel uncomfortable that we still have to have this conversation, but here we are. Andrew Paredez, a junior majoring in communications, said that he ran into this problem when a recent date had bad breath. 

“I didn’t know what to do,” Paredez laughed. 

If you’re going to blow your chances with someone, this is probably the most embarrassing way to do so. You probably already have toothpaste (and deodorant!) in your house. Give it a try.

Do: Look out for clues that the person you’re interested in dating isn’t already dating someone else. Dariana Ceron, a sophomore majoring in business management, was surprised when her date with her boyfriend was interrupted by a stranger. 

“Recently, I was on a date with my boyfriend and a guy sent me a drink. I’m not old enough to drink, so I just gave it to my boyfriend. He was happy to have the free drink. The guy didn’t say anything about that, so I think he kinda noticed I was with someone,” Ceron said. 

If you know how expensive drinks are, you know there’s a good chance that guy is going to get behind on rent if he keeps buying drinks for girls that are obviously taken. You can try to go for someone who’s at dinner with someone else, but it’s not your best bet. 

Don’t: Keep asking for pictures of someone when you’re texting. There’s a great new invention called Snapchat, where you can casually send selfies back and forth while having a conversation. There’s also the older invention, called “getting to know each other” which requires you to just talk to someone and let them send you, or not send you, what they want. 

Do: Keep a first date positive and light, and get into the more serious and personal conversations once you get to know someone better. The last thing you want to do is tell a story about how you misheard your high school boyfriend when he said “I’ll see you,” and you responded with “I love you too.” Okay, maybe that’s just me. But I wouldn’t tell that story on a first date! Psychotherapist Chloe Carmichael suggested in an interview with eHarmony that you should practice giving information about yourself without crossing into the territory of over-sharing. 

“You want to be comfortable sharing… and putting in personal boundaries by not having to share every single detail,” Carmichael said. 

Don’t: Pressure your date to do anything he or she doesn’t want to do! Inviting someone to a romantic picnic in the park or buying movie tickets doesn’t entitle you to anything.

“I just feel like if the guy pays they feel like you owe them something. It’s important to be understanding of my beliefs and not try to push sex,” said junior Mari Woodmansee. 

Do: Listen to understand what the other person is saying (not just to respond), and follow up on what they told you. Communications professor Jamie Butow says that really paying attention is the best way to show someone you care. 

“[It’s romantic when] they call to check up on you after a presentation at work, and ask, ‘How did it go?’ They ask because they know it’s important. And that goes back to listening, that you were able to follow up,” Butow said. 

If you’re thinking about someone, this is the perfect way to tell them. It’s preferable instead of, for example, pretending you’re taking a selfie when you’re really taking a picture of them and sending it to your group message. Not that I’ve ever done that before… 

This Valentine’s Day, the world is your Olive Garden. You have what it takes now to have a great date night. And if you’re handsome and don’t have a date yet, don’t worry. It’s not too late to ask me.