The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper

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Sex and Relationships

Dating in Today’s Society

Who knew our lives wouldn't be like the movies?

I’ve had my fair share of dates. Some that have gone on further than the first and some that I have quietly laid to rest and prayed never to see again. We’ve grown up in a world of fairy tales and fiction, repeatedly showing us that the handsome Prince and beautiful Princess are always each other’s ‘firsts’, and ‘lasts’. The reality of this happening, not to mention with a member of the Royal family (thanks, Meghan), is very slim but this shouldn’t deter you from putting yourself out there and seeing what is on offer.

The problem with dating nowadays is that there are so many different terms under the dating umbrella that it’s easy to get confused about where you stand and it is nerve-wracking to ask. How many dates should you go on before asking whether they’re seeing someone else? And how many more before you can consider exclusivity? The answer is: there is no specific answer. Everybody goes at their own pace and may be testing the water before taking a nose dive into a relationship. It is almost expected that people won’t just be dating one person at a time. This is okay, as long as you go into every date with an open mind. The last thing you want to do is get hurt, so make sure that you aren’t expecting anything from your date. If something does come out of it, then it’s simply a bonus.

If you feel that you’re at the stage where something should be happening and things are getting on a bit but you’re still unsure of what part you’re playing in the other person’s life, there is nothing wrong with being honest and asking. Wouldn’t you rather know than be sat twiddling your thumbs, constantly checking when they were last active on Facebook? If they don’t give you the answer you were hoping for, it just goes to show they’re not the right one for you. It’s better to know early on than be six months down the line and mentally planning your wedding or picking out baby names. Come on, we’ve all been there.

One of the things that seems to be a reoccurring nightmare in today’s society is the enjoyment of playing the ‘game’. Girls do it. Guys do it. And most of us can say it’s happened to us at one point or another. The ‘game’ usually refers to someone leading you on for their own personal gain. This can be physically or emotionally but either way it can have severe consequences on our confidence in ourselves and trust in other people. The best way to avoid this from happening is to be upfront and honest about what you’re looking for whilst you’re dating. Let them know where you stand and then give them the benefit of the doubt. But if they’ve left you on read for over a week, then suddenly ask if you want to ‘hang out’, be wary. It takes someones seconds to reply to a message; if you wanted to wait a week for a reply, you’d have sent them a letter.

“You wouldn’t pick up a sweet off the floor and put it in your mouth without knowing where it’s been”

Meeting someone that you’ve connected with on a dating app such as Tinder or Bumble is the norm in today’s society, but this doesn’t mean you should be any less wary. Horror stories do circulate about unpleasant encounters so try and make sure the person is legitimately who they say they are, ask them for their surname and do a little search on social media. If they say they don’t have social media, question this. Although not everyone is as involved as most on social platforms, it might be something that could ring alarm bells. Take every precaution possible and if you’re still not sure, ask if a friend can tag along to the initial meeting. If they are who they say they are, the friend can leave. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry.

Some say that there are specific rules that you should follow on first dates, such as ‘no sex’. These rules weren’t written for or by a specific person so do what you feel comfortable doing. If you want to go the full hog, then you do you- we’re not here to judge, but protection is a necessity. They may be a really lovely person but put it this way, you wouldn’t pick up a sweet off the floor and put it in your mouth without knowing where it’s been.

The most important thing about the whole dating experience is to have fun. You may not find your Mr/Mrs Right on your first couple of dates but that isn’t reason to give up. There are billions of people in this world. Not all of them are complete idiots.

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