“Sometimes dating feels like a never-ending Kobayashi Maru.”-Jessica, Awkward Embraces. This is my new favorite quote and sadly, very true. Too often dating feels like a chore or worse, like torture. For those of us wary of strangers and not always comfortable with ourselves, sitting across a table from someone new for an hour can be daunting to say the least. While I was taking my first baby steps in dating, I had a good friend who always told me about how much she loved dating and how fun it was. Fun?! She never allowed herself to be stressed about dating at all and just thought of it as an opportunity to meet someone new and to eat a nice meal. She made it sound so easy, I tried my very best to alter my thinking. It didn’t work. So, I started trying to figure out what would make me more comfortable so I could be a little more relaxed. If you’re worried about not liking the person and getting stuck for an entire dinner, meet for coffee. If, like me, you get nervous when someone’s staring at me, make the date more active. Meet at a park or an art gallery or, my personal favorite, go mini-golfing. These are all quiet activities that will enable you to have a great conversation while doing something fun. It takes some of the pressure off and will hopefully let you feel more like yourself. Dating doesn’t need to be stressful. Think of it as an opportunity to meet someone new and to go out and do something fun.
Dear Lady Steamy-
Two of my friends (one work friend, one hobby friend) met at one of my parties and really hit it off. They dated for a while and then broke it off. Can I still invite them both to my parties? Should I warn them the other might be there?
Matchmaking Party Hostess
Dear Matchmaking Party Hostess
It can be incredibly awkward all around when two of your friends break up. One can only hope that they are mature enough to casually interact with one another after this happens, but that is not always the case. The key is to be kind and respectful, but not to read too much into things. Don’t assume that they are both devastated over the matter. You should absolutely casually mention to the them that the other person is coming to the party and leave it at that. If they choose not to attend because they feel like it’s too awkward, then that is their decision. Unless one person did something truly awful, you can and should stay friends with them both. Respect the fact that they may not want to see each other, but don’t make too big a deal out of it in case they’re fine and would be embarrassed by you making a fuss. If you do want to check in with them at the party to make sure that they’re doing okay, that might be a nice touch as well. Sometimes we act brave when we’re trying to save face, and a kind word can go a long way.