What’s one thing you can offer to the next generation?
How about your wisdom? Everyone has at least a little of it. The more experiences we have, the more wisdom we collect. Once you get some, you can pass it along, help someone with their own life. Many don’t listen, it’s true, but some do. I’m sure you can think of someone’s advice you actually managed to hear and use.
Wisdom isn’t foolproof. It has some chinks in its armor, so to speak. It’s susceptible to a person’s memory. It’s forgettable. It’s also easily misunderstood. A person can hear some good advice and totally screw it up in their brain. Have you ever done that? Heard a good idea and then tried to do what you were told, but mess it up anyway because you misinterpreted? Or maybe you didn’t hear all the advice. Selective hearing anyone?
Now, before I move on to the dating advice, let me set up some backstory so you can get a sense of my credentials on the topic. I’ve had some seriously bad dates. Car problems, like a dead battery or a flat tire, felt like the dating plague to me. Bad food I don’t want to think about, because it brings nauseous memories back. Blind dates with girls so odd the memory of them is similar to those of the bad food. I’ve been married for a long time now, so I have some credence there too, I think. I’ve had some good dates too, though my advice doesn’t focus on those. My advice, to those of you out there who are in the dating cycle is this:
Bad dates are the best; hope for bad dates.
Why would I say that? Because I think you learn a lot more about a person in bad situations than you do when you’re having a great time.
You learn more about how a person reacts in those unfortunate situations. You learn how they deal with poor service, or low quality food, or broken vehicles, or whatever else can go wrong. If you find someone who can handle all these things with grace and style, check on their back for access panels. They’re probably a robot. Every real human has a breaking point and it’s valuable information to know. Why else would you be going on a date? Just to see how many bases you can reach? First base? Second base? If that’s true, we just now learned a little too much about you, didn’t we? You’re one of those scumbag types.
It’s good to date a scumbag once in your dating life too. Once you’ve been up close and personal with one of them, then you can spot them easier. When you can spot them easier, you can avoid them.
That last bit was mostly for the ladies. There aren’t any scumbag type ladies, are there? Ladies looking for shallow relationships? I suppose there could be, but they’re more rare than the scummy guys. More advice for the ladies: some guys grow out of that scumbag phase, some don’t. Advice for the guys: grow out of it already.
Anyway, if I was to enumerate dating advice, it would look like this:
- Don’t be afraid of having a bad date.
- Have a cheap date sometime.
- Have a group date sometime.
- Have an interrogative date.
- Have an out-of-your-element date.
With number one, I don’t mean make the date bad. Nature has a way, at least in my experience, of making unfortunate events happen.
By number two, a cheap date, I mean, go watch airplanes land at the airport, or watch a sunset, or go for a walk. These are the kind of dates where you learn how important money and patience are for the person you’re dating.
Group dates are good because you see how your date responds in a group setting.
An interrogative date is only where you ask each other lots of questions. What’s your favorite food? Which hockey team is your favorite?
An out-of-your-element date is like, say your date enjoys to watch gymnastic competitions, but you don’t. Or maybe your date enjoys monster truck shows, but you don’t. Go. You might find out some things about yourself.