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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Complicated Dating

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Should Dating be Complicated?

Should dating be complicated?  Simple question, not so simple answer.  I would naturally respond with a resounding “no.”  Of course, when I am on that date, the answer might change.  I have always been one to say throw out the rules of dating, because they are ridiculous, and who made them up to begin with?  Yet there are still so many out there who follow them—can’t call until 3 days after the first date, play hard to get, and all that crap.  What a waste of time when you could be enjoying each other’s company.

Dating is really the act of meeting another person and seeing if something cliques.  Yet, nerves become involved because people think ahead too much—will we clique?  Then what? Will there be a second date?  Then, a third?  Will I meet his family?  Will we get married?  What does he think about children?  Agh!  Stop.  You don’t even know if you like the dude yet.  It’s madness, I tell you.


Dating gets complicated because people complicate it for themselves.  It would be easy to say, “Relax,” but that is something not always easy to do.  Unless you’ve got a special prescription, but not everyone does.  So let’s break it down.  How can we make dating less complicated, more casual and fun?  No worries.

Step 1: Relieve any pre-date anxieties.
You have made the date, it’s not for a few days, and you are already freaking out.  What to wear, how to do your hair, what will you order for dinner—all that stress can wear a girl out, and by the time you get to the actual date, you will be exhausted.  The best way to prepare for a date is to not prepare at all.  Tell yourself, “hey, I’m going on a date and I might like this guy.  I might not.  But it’s a chance to meet someone new, so I should give him, and myself, a chance.”  Don’t worry until you have something to worry about.  Not that I’m saying you will…but you know…just in case.

Step 2: Don’t date with a script.
All too often, people go on dates with thoughts in their head of what they might say, or even jokes they could throw in during those awkward silent moments.  You might think that’s a good idea, until you get nervous and totally screw them up.  Then what?  Embarrassing.  Dates should not be scripted.  Go in with an open mind and attitude and the conversation will flow.  You’re getting to know each other so ask questions, be open and share stories, don’t plan them.  You’ll find that it’s a much more enjoyable way to spend time with a person if the conversation is fresh and hasn’t been planned for days.

Step 3: Go with your beliefs, but be willing to accept his.
Times have changed.   I’m a full believer in equal opportunity—girls can pay for dinner, especially if she asked they guy out.  If it was a mutual thing, they can split the bill.  When I pull my purse out to pay, it’s not just a gesture, I mean it.  Yet I have met some guys who do not like that at all.  They think it is the man who should pay and think it emasculates them if a woman pays.  They are, really, just being gentleman, which is much appreciated.  Part of me feels bad that they pay and I want to give my fair share.  That’s where compromise comes in.  Maybe he pays, you leave the tip.  Or if you do dinner and he pays, maybe you get the movie tickets.  Either way, you learn about each other and what type of person he is, and he’ll learn what type of person you are.  Just don’t argue too much about it.  After all, if you want a second date, you have to learn to understand each other’s beliefs when it comes to men and women.  Then again, can men and women ever understand each other?

That question I will leave for you to dissect, but the point is, dating should not seem so daunting.  It’s supposed to be fun, remember?  People get themselves so worked up over it that by the time the date comes, they are too frazzled to focus.  The best thing to do is relax before that so that when it comes, you are your wonderful self.  Both you, and he, will respect that.  What comes after is up to you.


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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