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Giorgia Rose on UEA’s first and worst dates

Bad dates are unbearable and embarrassing, but luckily, they make for great anecdotes.

At UEA, many people are lucky to say they’ve experienced a few awkward getting-to-know-you moments at one of our campus’ choice romantic hotspots: coffee at Ziggy’s, a walk around the lake, a few Snakebites at the bar, or most notoriously, the LCR smokers’ area (where true love is found).

One third-year literature student shared with Concrete, “I once had a tinder date in Red Bar with this guy who was telling me a story about his mum, but finished it by eagerly saying ‘If tonight goes well, you’ll meet her.’”

There are so many things that can turn an average date into a terrible one. But the biggest date turn-off according to dating website eHarmony is, simply put, ‘If the person was weird’.

While ‘weird’ is such a vague and subjective term, it does perfectly encapsulate that gut feeling you get when things just don’t seem to click.

When a date is seemingly nice enough but their interest isn’t mutual, it’s difficult to decline an invitation to date number two. Rejecting feels harder than being rejected, as most of us feel too guilty to tell the truth and wind up trying to switch the blame onto ourselves: One second year student explains, “You’ve just got to say, ‘I’m sorry, I’ve decided to focus on my degree instead.’” But this isn’t always effective.

“Once, I lied and said I couldn’t shake the fact they have the same name as my dog.’” (This is very common for boys named Sam and Ben, apparently).

It’s particularly difficult to say no if your relationship started in friendship. A lot of people worry that rejecting an invite is bigheaded and presumptuous, and end up agreeing to go out just because ‘maybe they don’t mean it as a ‘date’?’

One third year Biology Student tells us, “The intent is completely dependent on the setting. If they ask you for coffee, it doesn’t carry the same date-like weight and connotations as going out for food, for instance… and if they take you to the city centre, it’s serious, they want to impress.”

One student shared some good advice: “It’s all about distance. If they want me to come over to theirs, that’s too personal – I have no escape. So instead, I say ‘let’s meet at the bar’, a place where it’s casual, you control the space and the way it’s perceived.”

When you say yes out of guilt, it’s dishonest and asking for a messy situation further down the road.

If you agree to a second date, how could you then turn them down for a third? And a fourth? Next thing you know, you end up married. When the situation gets out of hand, never forget, the safety of instant messaging is an easy solution. It’s a time-saver, non-confrontational and a far less awkward than a face-to-face explanation. So, everybody wins, and at least you’ll have a funny story

30/01/2018

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