May 6, 2010 

Dating can be exhausting. It's one of those things that sounds a lot more fun than it is. Like horseback riding (and if you've never been horseback riding, just trust me). Whether it's a blind date with someone your Aunt just "knows you will hit it off with" or you meet online, the dating game is fraught with pitfalls. But, with helpful tips from an experienced dater, I can save you both time and energy.

Rule #1 – Meet for coffee.
Do not, and I repeat, do not under any circumstances meet for lunch. That is an hour of your life you will never get back. A drink after work is acceptable but still harder to extract yourself from – and more expensive. You should never plan a "meet and greet" on a weekend night – there's too much pressure for it to be a "date" and there's no clear exit strategy.

Rule #2 – Be truthful.
If you claim in your online ad that you're 10 years younger and 5 inches taller than you actually are, I will just need to drink my coffee that much faster (see Rule #1). I really don't understand why people lie in their profile, especially about physical characteristics. When you don't look like that Glamour Shot ™ from 1992, it's over.

Rule #3 – Be up front.
If you have 10 cats or 10 kids or 10 divorces behind you, don't hide it. If it's a deal breaker for the other person, so be it. Better to know now than in 6 dates or 6 months from now.*

Rule #4 – Be yourself.
If you watch 80 hours of TV per week and rarely leave your sofa, don't say that you're an avid rock climber. You can't figure out if you're compatible with someone else unless they actually get to know you, not the "but I could climb Mount Everest someday" version of yourself.

Rule #5 – Dress appropriately.
Do not roll out of bed in sweats and show up for a "meet and greet" with bed head. I know it's a long shot that this person will be "the one," but you can never rule out that possibility. Therefore, dress for the occasion.

In the end, try to have fun and keep an open mind. The only way to meet that special someone is to get out there, even if it is exhausting. And, it's still better than horseback riding. Trust me.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service