If you listened to the most recent Girl Talk podcast, you probably noticed at the very end of the conversation that CCB mentioned the concept of practice dating. We were running out of time, so we didn’t get a chance to expound on that podcast, but I figured, let’s go ahead and talk about it here.
Soooo… practice dating. For those who have never used the term or who don’t think they’ve ever done it, I suppose the best way to describe it is to say that it’s the practice of going on dates with people to either get yourself back in the dating game or how CCB uses it, to act as a rebound buffer for the next guy.
The idea behind practice dating is quite simple – you are using someone as practice so that you’re better prepared for when someone else comes along who you’re way more excited about. Now, I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. And a lot of guys do it. But so do a lot of women. Probably a lot more than will readily admit it.
But even if you wanted to make it sound more flowery and say that it’s main purpose is to help you become a better dater, you still have to at some point encounter the question of it’s okay to actually put into practice. And if you think it’s not, then what do you say about those times when people inevitably do it without realizing it?
I’ll admit that there have been times when I’ve practiced dating with some guys, knowingly and otherwise. I’ve gone out on dates with guys knowing that the guy had a pretty small chance of this actually going somewhere. I’ve gone out on dates with guys just to get myself back out into the dating game. Heck, I even told you all the other day that I’ve dated folks for months who barely produced the tiniest sliver of excitement in me.
But you know what else I’ve realized? Every time I’ve attempted to practice date someone knowingly (yes, I used it as a verb), the situation has gone horribly. One time, I met this guy on a bus to Philly and he was cute enough and nice enough and chatty enough that when he asked me for my phone number, I gave it to him. And then when he asked me if we could go on a date when we both got back to DC, I told him yes.
This guy ended up being a huge thorn, y’all. Not only did the date suck, (well non-date, he was running so late that I left the place) but then he proceeded to call me constantly and text me at very early hours in the morning and when I asked him to stop, he professed his love for me. Yes, you read right. The guy I’d met once on a bus felt like he loved me and we should get married.
And that’s just an example of a time I knowingly tried to use a guy as a practice date. There have been times when I’ve looked up as I’m actively dating someone and realized that even though the guy was alright and we had some good moments, I was subconsciously using this experience to better prepare myself for the next guy. You know, doing things like becoming more comfortable with cuddling so that when I’m with someone I really like, I won’t repel from his cuddly arms. (Y’all know my cuddle aversion has been real at times, especially when it involves guys who are not my boyfriend.) And you know what happened with that guy? He turned out to be a major jerk who not only didn’t congratulate on me on my new job, but also decided the night I told him about the job was the perfect time for him to tell me I was a ball-buster (oh, but he still wanted to be with me). Ugh.
Now maybe others have had better experiences than that (truthfully, I have as well, but those two stick out for me), but to me – it just showed me that I shouldn’t have entertained these guys in the first place when I either knew my only interest was in using him to be better prepared for the next guy or when I realized that was the case.
What do you all think, though? Have you every practiced practice dating? Would you if knew for sure you wouldn’t get a crazy stalker person who wanted to marry you after one date?