Have you ever just not been in the mood to go out on yet another first date, but force yourself to do it anyway? You talk yourself into it, reasoning, “What if he’s the one and instead of meeting him, I stayed home to eat cereal out of the box and watch ‘Gossip Girl’?” So, being a trooper, you slap on some lipstick and head out. And then nine times out of ten, the whole evening turns out to be an exercise in humiliation and/or futility and you come home more miserable than you were beforehand.
That’s because while it can be fun, dating can also be brutal. To be at all successful you have to be at the top of your game. Do you think Serena Williams sits around drinking milkshakes and watching reality TV the week before Wimbledon? No. She trains, stretches, meditates and makes certain her cutest tennis whites are clean. But unlike Serena – who has to play even if she’s cranky or bloated – you can always cancel. Because let’s face it, there are times when a lady has no business inflicting herself on others. Here are a few of these times:
1. You’re Lonely: You’d think that going out when you’re feeling all alone would be an excellent idea. I mean, how better to get over it than to spend time with a potential new boyfriend, right? Wrong. Loneliness can cloud a girl’s judgment and make her do things like consider a 40-year-old virgin who still lives with his parents a viable dating option. Don’t ask me how I know this.
2. You’re Desperate: This is what loneliness turns into if left untreated. And by “untreated,” I don’t mean that this is what happens when you’re single for a while. Not at all. There are plenty of cheerful single women who are neither desperate nor lonely. Desperation will cause you to do things like drunk-dial the 40-year-old basement-dwelling virgin and beg him for another chance. Once again, don’t ask how I know this.
3. You’re Infectious: Nasal drip, hacking, and/or phlegm are not acceptable date accessories. If you’re sick, stay home. Seriously. At best you’ll give him your cold (not cool) and at worst, you could end up zonked out on Nyquil with some dork’s hand sliding its way up your knee as you’re suddenly hit with an attack of the sneezes.
4. You’re Not-Over-Him: What a jerk. Who does he think he is—leaving you for the baby-talking twit who lives next door? What does she have that you don’t? Well, for one thing, HIM. For another, her dignity. If you’re still pining away for the one who got away, don’t inflict yourself on a new guy. You’re not going to have a good time because he’s not him. He’s not going to have any fun because you, my friend, are a basket-case and should be back home, boring your girlfriends with your sob stories and stuffing your face with Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice-cream.
5. You’re Drunk: If you need more than one cocktail to get you into a date state, you should take off your fancy shoes, plop yourself back down onto the sofa, and text your regrets to the gentleman on his way to pick you up.