Do you have an aversion to the word 'date'?

This is a rather interesting one, and actually one I have found myself coming across fairly often of late. There are some people who are the most sociable and charming people around, but they hate going on what they deem 'a date'.

I call it 'date-word-disorder'.

They hate everything about 'the date', they hate the word, they hate the process, they hate the fact that they encouraged to go on one of these menial encounters where they have to make small talk. But why?

I think it's a terribly British thing, as we're often accustomed to getting together by being out with friends first, almost as if this having a few mutual friends means they have a nod of approval of sorts. But in all honestly, I find this to be a rather easy way out as often it means the guy does not have to do the work. He simply slides into your social circle, becomes a fixture and then at some point down the line you ask each other 'are we going out with each other?'. To which both perplexed couples in the relationship start nodding to 'yeah guess so then'.

Ahh how romantic.

It's often so difficult to know you're even a couple as there's been no official 'dating' process. Those early stages can really be awfully confusing. What do you say when you introduce each other to new people 'this is my uhhh.. friend'. No no NO!

On the other hand, if we look over to our US neighbours, they go slightly gaga for the word 'date'. It's literally the first thing that's said in every movie when a guys out a girl and she says 'what like a date??'

CRINGE

So there is a very thin line to be drawn, however avoiding the word of suggestion of a date is not the way forward. Here are my top tips for tacking 'date-word-disorder'.

A date is not an Exam

It's not a test, it's a process. You wouldn't go for a job without meeting for an interview first, so why should you expect your life partner, the most important person in your life (hopefully) to not have to go through a process either.

Ask yourself why you hate it so much. Nobody will be marking you or judging you. It's just a great way to meet new people and to make new friends, you never know this person could change your life.

Remember your confidence

The mere fact that you love people and hate dates will be sending out mixed messages to guys. If you're charming and confident with everyone else you meet, but go to your date with a face that says 'I don't want to be here' not only will your date not think terribly highly of you, but you will leave the date not feeling terribly happy with yourself. Remember your confidence, remember your charm and be gracious.

If you hate the word 'date' find another word for it in your head

The power of association is a strong thing. If you get cold sweats thinking about going on a dreaded date, then call it a 'drink'. You're gong for a 'drink' with someone sounds a lot less terrifying and sociable. If that doesn't work for you, find a good word you're happy with that makes you feel at ease.

A date means REALLY awkward small talk

Well it can. But actually if you ask interesting questions of your date you might find it much easier. Especially if you can break the ice early. For example, instead of asking 'So what do you do for a living', ask 'So let me guess what you do'.  Then find a few cheeky and quirky and totally unrealistic occupations and go from there. You'll soon be laughing and a lot less stressed out.

A date means pressure

A lot of the time a date means you haven't been able to find a partner through your friends and social circle. That's fine and happens - but that doesn't mean you need to feel pressured. It doesn't matter what comes of meeting another human being, and a lot of the time great dates fail because too much pressure is put on the table.

Just relax and be your charming self. If you feel pressure it will come through and the other party will pick up on it - trust me.

A date means they have to get dressed up and make an effort

Shock, horror! Uhhh I'm sorry yes you do! You absolutely do. Why would you want to go to a date looking anything other than the best version of yourself. You are there to let him or her see how fabulous you are. If you aren't ready to start making an effort to get dressed up, you aren't really open to meeting new people.

I understand that if you go on a date a night for months you might be tired of it, but at least you'll look fabulous right?

What if we don't like each other?

Well you can't like everyone so this WILL happen. That's just the nature of the best. If you don't like each other that's fine but what did you really lose by meeting this person? Just keep an open mind and the more you're open to, the more will come your way.