Dear Underwear Drawer Readers, it’s 2013. We need a new perspective on love, dating, and respecting ourselves and the people we get involved with. I hope you enjoy my 10 Oh Hell Nos of Dating with a few hell yeses as well. I appreciate such loyal readers.-Langston John Blaze
1. TEXT MESSAGE CONVO– Some times we come across people via Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and all social media sites, we decide we’re interested in. The moment you decide to give a person your number who you meet online, take it to the next level. Don’t initate text message conversation. At this point, you’ve probably already communicated through online. Now it’s time to match a face with a voice and personality and break the mode of hiding behind your structured safety net of texting. Technically, you could have kept the communication strictly online if you never planned on verbally speaking. If you do talk, be the person you are when your friends are around because likely that’s the real you; not the somewhat cooler over confident persona created online. It’s okay to text; just don’t make it your only form of communication.
2. SEND ME A PIC– Although misunderstood, this popular text message request can be taken the wrong way especially with enough social media sources available to see someone’s image. Some people feel it’s away of asking for a sexually graphic image. Leave something to the imagination in photos. You might regret sending a risque photo later on.
3. THE PULL– You’re walking through a club or some party atmosphere and suddenly, you feel a slight tug on your hand or arm from an unknown person, initiating the absolute wrong way to get to know you. Respectfully introduce yourself. Saying, “Excuse me” with a smile. A simple offer of a handshake is always the best way to start a friendship or potential relationship.
4. WHAT’S YOUR NAME?– Typically, you didn’t save this person’s contact information in your phone and you feel ashamed for not knowing who they are as you text them back and forth. Warning: It’s a dead giveaway when you reply, “How do you spell your name?” or if you come off very general. Be honest. Make a joke out of the situation to make light of it.
5. HEY STRANGER– Normally, this statement can mean two different things. The person feeling guilty or the opposing person who’s been more consistent says it. In some ways both parties can be in the wrong. We often expect someone to know how we feel if we express it to them through action. Actions speak louder than words but you need to be open if you like someone. On the other hand, when someone uses the phrase yet they’ve been less consistent and hardly communicative, “Hey stranger” can be plain annoying when talking works both ways. Create a balance between what you say and how you act.
6. I “LIKE” YOU-Often people are sending friend requests out to Facebook users who they think are attractive but do not know. Due to this fact, you want to make a decent first impression online. So if your request happens to be accepted, be subtle in indirect communication. DO NOT “LIKE” every photo your new Facebook Accepter has posted. It’s a major turn off to most users.
7. INTERNET HANDICAP– People depend on the internet for everything now. Walking in a store has been substituted for a virtual cart and finding love through physical interaction as been subsituted for online profiles. It’s okay to date online. Be safe but allow your charisma to develop offline also. Grocery stores, cafes, art shows, and parks are great places to meet people. This reemphasizes to not let your online persona handicap your physical interactions with people.
8. NEVER SERVE TEMPTATION– It can be tempting to flirt or go beyond flirting while in a relationship with someone, but as much blame as the person in the relationship should take for their actions, is as much as the seducer should take responsibility for too. Men are physical. We can truly love our spouses and girlfriends/boyfriends but allow our sexual interests outside the relationship to cloud our judgement. Do not consciously show interests in a man or woman who you know is married or in a serious relationship. Look but don’t touch.
9. THROW THE “DON’T CALL THE NEXT DAY” RULE AWAY– After a first date, someone came up with the over confident rule of not calling the next day. That rule was cute under the age of 21 but we are adults. Respect your feelings. Allow time to collect your thoughts and reflect on the date before you interact with the person again. If you do take a day or more to begin communicating with the person again, let it be because you are considering what you want in dating and the person you went out with.
10. STOP FORGETTING TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF– Often times, we get into a relationship, trying to learn who the other person is but we have yet to take the time to learn ourselves. So many of my friends have graduated college but still don’t know what they want to do professionally. Your single years are for traveling, trying new activities, and learning new things. When you don’t take time to take care of you, you end up the imbalance of trying to maintain a sense of self while enduring a relationship. A relationship shouldn’t be enduring. It should be the next positive piece to life’s puzzle. Everyone’s first relationship should be with themselves.