1. Are you turning this date down because you feel ambivalent towards him or her?
If you get asked out by the awful, cruelest, vilest person you’ve ever met, then, okay, we understand your impulse to turn him or her down. But sometimes people will turn someone down because they think the person is just a little bit … meh. A little boring, maybe, someone who doesn’t immediately get your heart pumping.
But here’s the wonderful thing about people: they can surprise you. You might go on a date just to find that she actually shares your same interest in 80s slasher flicks, or he spent a year volunteering for the Peace Corp. And the more you know and like about a person, the more your body reacts with butterflies in your stomach and rapid heart beating.
Don’t cheat yourself out of a great relationship just because you aren’t in love from the get-go.
2. When’s the last time you went on a date?
No, we’re not appealing to your sense of desperation. But dating, like any other skill, takes practice, or you get rusty. You might as well take them up on the offer and use it as a chance to check up on your dating skills. How good are you at maintaining conversation? Are you able to make your date feel at ease? Are you able to quickly establish a rapport with someone, even if it isn’t a love match? The only way to get better at dating (and thus increase your chances of finding someone you really like) is to date. (Plus — have we said this before? — people can surprise you.)
3. Did you get asked out by your boss, your co-worker, your parents’ best friend, your former elementary school teacher, your current professor, your best friend’s ex, your little sister’s best friend, an evil dictator, a cult leader, a prisoner who asked you out via letter, an already-married leader of a Fundamentalist Mormon Sect, an already-married anyone, or a minor?
If so, you have a pretty good reason for turning the date down. Otherwise … are you sure you don’t want to reconsider?
4. Do I live up to the standard that I’m holding potential dates to? Does ANYONE?
Take a good hard look at yourself, and at your standards. Are they really realistic? Are you being too hard on other people? Would you turn yourself down for a date?
5. If it’s not the person you have a problem with, then what is it?
Maybe you just got out a relationship and you’re not ready to date: that’s fine. But sometimes people hold themselves back for silly reasons: they become disillusioned, they’re insecure, or they simply don’t want to put themselves out there.
Finite breaks from dating are perfectly acceptable but make sure it doesn’t go on too long. Ultimately, there’s no time like the present.
6. Still not convinced? Remember our One Date Rule.
We strongly, strongly believe that almost anyone who works up the courage to ask you out deserves a chance. Just one date! One drink! One cup of coffee! If after that you still are completely uninterested, then that’s fair: you tried. But you might be pleasantly surprised.