by Charlie Cakes aka Charlotte Makala
“My outfit is wack and my mascara is everywhere.”
“You look great!” I lovingly lied to you. “You look fine.” I tried to convince myself that your smudged mascara was a look. “How was it? Did you have fun?” I asked. It was your first date with a guy you met online. It was a bust, so you spent the rest of the night drinking the ‘bad-date-vibes’ away.
You went on a rant about how men are too particular and about how you felt judged and jaded. Then you continued your rant by sprinkling dull bits and pieces of him into the atmosphere. You talked about how his personality was lacking and how he was so different compared to his texts. It was like the dude you’d been talking to for the past month wasn’t even real.
While I’m not a fan of dating just for the sake of dating, I have a few girlfriends, like her who are subscribed to Bumble and Tinder just like many, if not most single millennials – I think. We (speaking on behalf of much but not all of the single millennial population) are at a point where we are very, VERY ready to settle down.
While I may not believe in dating apps, I do believe in date-ventures. What is a date-venture you ask? That’s my Charlie-Cakes way of infusing the word adventure into the word date and while it might seem redundant, since a date obviously involves adventure, I argue that we need to start using the word, or at least the idea behind it.
The idea behind a date-venture is that you make up in your mind that the date WILL be an adventure and note I didn’t say fun, delightful or a perfect match. I just said adventure, this means, while it may not be a match it doesn’t have to be boring.
“How, Charlie? How do I ensure I never have a boring or bad date ever again?,” You ask helplessly. In my infinite wisdom, removing a monocle from my eye, I respond “thusly”:
- Make up in your mind that it’s an adventure.
Be willing and most importantly, curious. At the very least, tell yourself that you will learn something new. So, let’s say, you’re on a date and he’s a mechanic but you already know it’s not a match, let your goal then become to learn something about cars and the automotive industry that you can boast about at your next social event. Who knows? Your one fact about cars might just spark the next flame.
- Stand firm. It’s still an adventure!
Ok, so in this scenario, you’re out on your date rocking your cute red pumps but maybe … he’s not as cute as the pumps. You can always use this opportunity to learn about someone outside of your friend circle. Think of it as “an exploration in the mind of (insert his name here)”. What does he do for a living, how does he do it? How does he move in his world? Think of your date as a good book, scratch that, a fascinating mini- documentary (you’re the director, so I’ll let you decide the length of the production, but I would aim for short, especially if you’re sure it’s not a match -you don’t want to mislead him or give him false hope.) It’s an opportunity to genuinely see the world through someone else’s lens, and he might become a good acquaintance you can introduce to your other single friend (Hint, hint).
- Don’t give up on the date-venture, it’s funnier than you think!
Ok, so, it’s definitely not a match and to top it all off, he’s (fill in the blank, i.e.: weird, self-absorbed, boring, etc.). This is where you hang in there and soak in all the details of everything that is happening to and around you, creating the perfect funny story. Imagine how you would tell the story to make yourself laugh. While in real time you might have already nudged the waiter to send the bill ASAP and are feeling hella awkward, remember that your awkward date story might be the comedy routine that is a huge hit at your next girls’ night or at the office cooler, it might even make it into my next comedic skit. So, while you endure the awkward in the moment, remember there IS a future payoff, the payoff being the joy you spread at your own expense.
These words are for you my friend, the ones I wish I wasn’t too tired to say when you stumble in at midnight and the ones I hope wouldn’t be overshadowed by a hangover.
In the end, I believe you are responsible for the amount of fun you choose to have regardless of the measure of compatibility. He might offer to pay for the meal, but go dutch on the fun. As you guard your heart and God guides you towards the one, remember one thing love, it’s an adventure!
In my mind, I circle back to that morning in the kitchen, when your mascara made its way to your cheek and I asked, “Did you have fun?” I go back to that moment and this time, you tell me you had an adventure.
Written by Actress Charlie Cakes also known as Charlotte Makala, Author of The Color of Promise.
Check out Charlie Cakes’ YouTube channel HERE!