HAILEY THOMAS | Scroll Photography

Dating Column: Pity dates: Being real versus saying yes

HAILEY THOMAS | Scroll Photography

HAILEY THOMAS | Scroll Photography

I have done the unacceptable and the incomprehensible. I went on a pity date.

I didn’t want to go, but I felt bad saying no, so there I was, sitting in my living room waiting for the dreaded knock.

A pity date is defined as a date where you don’t really like the person who you’re with, but you didn’t want to turn them down. You said yes out of pity, according to the Urban Dictionary.

While I waited, I came up with ways I could have gotten out of the date.

I could have claimed to be a pirate, fleeing from persecution on the high seas and said that going out would blow my cover.

I could have claimed to have a rare disease that prevents me from engaging in activities like bowling and getting frozen yogurt.

But I didn’t.

So why did I say yes?

“Although we like to think of ourselves as being choosy and selective, when actually faced with an opportunity to go on a date with someone, it’s difficult to turn the date down because doing so might cause the person pain,” according to an article in The Huffington Post.

I went on my pity date. I wasted this individual’s time and money, all in the name of giving somebody a chance, and afterwards, I felt like a terrible human being.

Doug Craig, a counselor at the BYU-Idaho Counseling Center, said it’s important to trust yourself.

“If your gut tells you no, then you’d better believe it,” Craig said.

I will never say yes to a date I don’t want to go on ever again, even if they offer me a free kitten, ice cream and the most charming conversation about their truck I’ll ever have.

I don’t think an outstanding reason is needed to say no to a date. If my gut tells me that I should not go on a date, then I should not go.

Katie Oates, a senior studying exercise physiology, said if you don’t feel comfortable or you aren’t attracted to the person, then it’s OK to say no to a date, and she wouldn’t go out with someone just to be nice.

Even though I don’t have a problem saying no to dates anymore, I still try to be kind when saying no.

There’s no need to decimate someone’s self-esteem and insult their ancestors when saying no.

“Human beings are prosocial animals: we don’t like to reject people, and we don’t like to cause other people pain,” according to an article in The Huffington Post.

Even if the individual who asks me out cries, promises to watch every Nicholas Sparks movie known to man and begs, if I have a bad feeling, then I should trust my instincts.

Oates said she feels guys shouldn’t pressure girls into dates.

Going out with people in the name of giving them a chance doesn’t do either party any favors.

It wastes time for both of you and your date’s money.

“I think if you genuinely are not interested in that person, then it’s OK to say no,” said Jeri Lynn Wylie, a junior studying art. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going on the date either. I’ve heard some people say you should give everybody a first date, and I feel like that isn’t a terrible thing.”

Craig said the idea of giving everybody a chance doesn’t apply if you feel like there’s something wrong.

If you don’t want to go on the date, then don’t go.

Stay home, learn how to knit or pet a cat; but don’t go out with somebody in the name of giving them a chance if your gut is telling you otherwise.

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