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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Just First Dates

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Doctor's Orders (First Dates Only)

I recently met a person who was, shall we say, co-dependant.  In fact, she was diagnosed, co-dependant.  She had to be in a relationship.  And all of her relationships were not so productive.  She was needy, and the men that she was with were not so giving.  But she stayed with them because she needed to be with someone.  Anyone.

Eventually, she saw a doctor…a doctor of the mind.  And this is what he told her.  Get this…. His prescription was for her to go on a bunch of first dates in 6 months, just first dates, and never a second date.  Go on as many first dates as she wanted to, but never make it to that second date.  Use whatever excuse she wanted, but to restrain herself from going on that second date.


This posed a problem.  “What if he really was a great guy?” she asked.  “I just say, ‘no thanks, I’m not interested,’ even if I am?”  It didn’t matter, because that was the doctor’s order.

It got me thinking though, what if we all did that?  Co-dependant or not, what if we all went on first dates, and then stopped.  We just meet people, have a nice time (or not), and that’s it.  Our time with them is done.  We don’t pursue it any further; we take it for what it is, and move on.  And perhaps, that’s just what dating is.  Ultimately, that is how you find the “right one.”

How strange is it though that people move in and out of our lives, for one reason or another, and we never see or think of them again. What impact have they really had though?  What is this dating all about?  And why would a doctor tell you to date a plethora of people only to dismiss them right afterwards?  Perhaps it is good for the individual, but think of all the others who are being dismissed, that it is not good for.

It brings about the issue of the complication of dating.  When you go on a date, you aren’t always thinking of the present moment.  Often times, you’re already thinking of the second date.  What can I do during this date to get me to the second date? People aren’t in tune with what is going on with the current date, they are not mindful of what is happening; therefore, the date they are in is not productive.  There are so many worries going on that they can’t focus on actually enjoying the person and situation they are in.  Instead, they want to know what it will lead to.

Still, does it truly make sense to bombard oneself with a bunch of first dates—the most stressful of all—only to not make it to the carefree second date?  I say, no.  I am no Doctor, but I see it as hurtful on both parts.  On the person who was given this diagnosis, she is going to feel frustrated and let down because she cannot pursue those who she thinks she might have a relationship with.  On the person she went on the date with, he will just be confused and feel like a piece in the puzzle—a used part.  How is that fair to either of them?

Yes, dating and relationships are tricky, but why make them trickier by placing extra rules on them?  People don’t need that stress, what they need is to live their lives with ease and freedom and to date accordingly.  If they meet someone they like, and want to date once, or twice, then they should be allowed…doctors orders or not!  If you go on a first date and it’s not right, but you go on a second anyway, that is in fact the tricky thing.  If your gut tells you the first time that something isn’t right, listen to it.  It’s usually right.  Your gut has been with you longer than this guy.  So move on…In the world of dating, there are plenty of questions and answers, but ultimately, you know what is right and wrong.  No one can tell you otherwise.  Not a friend, doctor, parent, or me.  Stay true to yourself and what you know, and remember what you want.  And especially, what you don’t.  That will steer you in the right direction. And hopefully, in the end, you will find what you are looking for.


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

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