Personal Weakness: I get all riled up internally when I am criticized or questioned.
Personal Strength: Once I calm down, I am usually able to sit back, think objectively about the criticism and take what I need from it to be a better person next time
Something hadn't been sitting right with me about these "leave your date at the altar bar" posts. Maybe it's because I was still getting push-back from people about it. And then maybe it was because I was specifically getting push-back from people I love and trust.
At first I was like, "GAH! JUST LISTEN TO WHAT I'M SAYING!" But then I realized that there really is a fundamental issue with the way I've been presenting this series:
It's not fair for me to go into the date knowing I have a tool that the other person doesn't know I have. So even if I feel like I'm being honest and doing the right thing, it's still a blind-side and unexpected, because it's not normally how people approach dates. I had to take a minute to be in someone else's shoes. While I'd appreciate the honesty, I'd still be like, "WTF?" And sometimes, "WTF?" is not a fun feeling.
I was also using my mentality and framing the whole dating experience very negatively, e.g. "I can leave because it will probably be BAD, and dudes never look like their pictures and this will be awful." So I was setting both myself, and my poor, unsuspecting date up for failure.
And now I have to apologize to you all, because this is probably the worst series of posts ever:
Part 1: Don't do this!
Part 2: Here's how to do it!
Part 3: Haha, I lied, that was totally wrong, do it this way!
At least I own up to it...right?
So anyway, allow me to flip this rowboat and do a little better (yeah, I don't know what "flip this rowboat" means, either). You can still leave a date if you need to and if the guy is a jackass, and I still maintain that you have the right to leave any date if you're just not feeling it...but why not approach the whole situation more positively all around? Here's how I'm planning on doing it next time:
Set specific, easily met parameters
I'm talking here from the perspective of online/blind dating. If some dude/girl finally asks you out, say something like, "Cool, I have an hour on Tuesday." By setting the time for just an hour (or other specific time), you're not walking into an open-ended situation where you panic and feel like, "I gotta get out of here RIGHT NOW." (Which, I'll be honest, is what I was doing.) You're also allowing for the time to be at least pleasant, since it's only for a little while. 60 minutes or so of conversation ain't too bad, and you can enjoy at least meeting a new person for that time frame.
Don't freak out
Unless the guy is a total douche, try to stay calm and see what can be gained from the date. Again, leave if you feel like you need to, but even if you're initially unattracted to the guy/girl in a bonetastic way, that doesn't mean you'd never be friends. (I'm pretty sure we're not all sexually attracted to every single one of our friends, right?)
Be honest (but kind)
Same as Tuesday's post, except I think you can leave that first 60 minute date without saying anything about what you were feeling. A "nice to meet you" will suffice. That gives you both a chance to process how it went. If you really, really weren't feeling it and he calls or texts or asks you out again, I think you can talk about the "friend vibe" then. (And actually TALK about it...don't elude to it or ignore him/her.)
I'd like to reiterate one more time that if a guy is a creep, an outright jerk, racist, offensive, etc., you do not have to go through these steps. Just leave.
BUT, overall, I like the feel of this better as a process. It's more positive while still letting me feel like I have options.
Better for you all? A little more clear this time around?