Dating done right: Tips for not screwing up this year

By Jandean Deocampo
The Guardsman

Valentine’s Day is swiftly approaching. Actually, it’s more or less dangerously lunging in your general direction. You can probably hear its signature call from a mile away: the thunderous noise of chalk hearts trickling into tiny boxes.

The active singles of the earth are on the prowl. They’re stocking up on cheap roses, Merlot and wax candles, and probably taking every opportunity in front of a mirror to practice pick-up lines.

The trademark “lonely people” (as in the Beatles song, where do they come from?) are alert as well. You can spot them on their midnight jaunts to Safeway to purchase that one extra pint of Death by Chocolate. Or two.

But before you get a new haircut, or waste countless hours sobbing in front of your dating site profile, read these tips on how to make your personal quest to find someone special truly extraordinary.

1) Stop practicing pick-up lines. Seriously. A “pick-up” is a terrible way to describe a date. If you want tail, go ask Daniel Tosh for dating advice. Ask the girl/boy out on a date. Jesus. It’s not exactly String Theory.

2) Do not harass. If you view buying a potential date a drink as an investment, just stop and think about your life choices. Newsflash! This can be viewed as a form of harassment. You buy someone a drink because you’re nice.

If it takes a bribe to “win” you a date, you’re better off resuming your romance with the ice cream aisle. Furthermore, actively look for body language. If the girl looks like she doesn’t want to be asked out, don’t do it! You shouldn’t “go for it” as many of your good friends might suggest.

3) Learn the correct way to take rejection. Sit in front of a mirror. Repeat this to yourself: “I no longer believe in the friendzone.” The moment you belittle a person for rejecting your romantic advances by playing prisoner and victim to an imaginary zone, is the moment you become less of a person and more of a goblin.

And for you guys who mutter “bitch” after every failed romantic advance, speak a little bit louder. That girl who made a conscious choice may want to hear you speak your true name.

4) Prepare. And no, I don’t mean stalk your potential date and find out what he/she likes, or pre-package filler conversational topics. Hopefully, you’re beyond that. I mean, dress nice. Smell nice. Brush your teeth. Do this every day for the rest of your life, because you’ll not only appear better to other people, you also might just feel better about yourself. Bam. Knowledge.

5) Don’t feel like the most outgoing guy on the block? That’s okay. Don’t change that integral part of who you are just to please another person. You shouldn’t fake anything for the sake of romance.

But it would help to not voice your self-loathing, consistently talk about how shy you are, or any number of self-demeaning strategies to attract pity and feel more comfortable about the way things are going.

It not only distracts from your strong points, which your potential date is actively looking for, it’s extremely selfish. Rude, much.

Even if you choose to ignore this entire article, leave with this one stellar notion in mind, and that’s that dates are for having fun. Because people want to have fun. And when you ask a special somebody out, you are inviting a person, not a lamp, to join you in a cheesy activity for an hour or two. And people have feelings.

You have been warned.

Happy dating.

The Guardsman