UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 17, 2024

Students, faculty recount dreadful dates, offer advice

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A forced, sloppy kiss or a pawned-off dinner tab can leave a person swearing off dating for life.

Dating is simply a part of life for young adults, and unfortunately, dreadful dates seem inevitable. Like Pat Benatar said, “Love is a battlefield.” Everyone’s fighting to score a winning date with a trophy girl or guy, but put on your armor — it may require conquering some bad dates in order to discover a gleaming one.

Jonathan Morrell, Director of Student Support Services, is all too familiar with bad dates, and looking back, he said he wishes he would have handled his poor date situations differently.

“It was a Sadie Hawkins dance,” Morrell said. “It was a mercy date. I went because she asked, and it ended up being a waste of her money and my time.”

Morrell said in order to have a successful date, both people involved have to want to be there, and in hindsight, he should have been honest with the girl who asked him out and not attended the dance.

“A lot of people go on mercy dates in this culture,” Morrell said. “Just rip the bandage off. Truth is important in dating.”

Jay Phillips, a freshman CIT major from St. George, has strong opinions about what could turn a date sour.

“If a girl kept talking and distracting me from a movie, it would be so annoying,” Phillips said. “I once went on a really bad date when I didn’t have a car. After, I walked the girl home and my parents had to pick me up.”

There are many aspects that can transform a pleasant date into a crummy one, and part of a successful date is knowing when to take a hint, said Cadie Erickson, a freshman general education major from Hurricane.

“On this one date, we went on a bike ride,” Erickson said. “After the bike ride, he wanted to hang out, and I’m too nice to say no, so he hung around at my apartment literally all day. I told him I didn’t feel good, and he still wouldn’t leave. He hung around for hours.”

Luckily, Erickson now has a strategy for future dreaded dates.

“My backup plan is to tell them I’m epileptic and say I’m slipping into a seizure,” Erickson said. 

While dealing with another person in an awkwardly romantic situation can be uncomfortable, it’s important to take chances and have hope, Erickson said.

“Go on a date with an open mind,” Erickson said. “Hope for the best. Hope the person isn’t creepy.”

Morrell said it’s also important to not be selfish when dating, and respect the other person by making him or her a priority.

“Leave the electronic devices at home,” Morrell said. “Focus on the person you’re with.”