Britney Spears once said, “I don't understand the whole dating thing. I know right off the bat if I'm interested in someone. I don't want them to waste their money on me and take me out to eat if I know I'm not interested in that person.” While I won’t comment on Britney’s wordiness, I do agree with her assessment. I never go on dates with people I’m not physically attracted to or interested in getting to know. After all, that is the whole point of dating, isn’t it? That we, perchance, meet someone at the library, grocery store, or through a mutual friend, and we see that sparkle in his or her eye that tells us there is much more lying underneath. Therefore, we make a connection (even if it’s someone we’ve known for a while) - get a phone number - meet up some place - and then try to probe into the other’s soul, hoping that something good comes out of it in the end. But what if the outcome is negative? Do we then take on the notion some have that dating is akin to mating? That we are hot-blooded mammals always seeking fresh meat to devour and so we wine and dine as part of a ploy to ensnare potential mates into our beds? And those already in relationships? What does dating mean to them? Well, here are a few narratives from people who have had some good dates and some bad ones. Enjoy!


1. Live in the moment (with your legs closed).

One of my best dates is also my most memorable. My first date with my husband (before we got married) was ‘totally’ unplanned, completely off the cuff and unlike me. Scenario: He calls me up at 11pm or thereabouts, tells me he is back in town, and asks if I want to hang out. We had been talking on the phone but we had never met so of course, bells are ringing in my head, this African man just wants some loving. I do not know why I gave him a chance but I thought, “let’s see what happens when he doesn't get what he wants tonight," so I agreed. He picks me up from the reggae club where I was hanging out with my cousins and we sit in his car for about an hour just talking and chilling. I find out he’s half-Jamaican so we head to a Jamaican restaurant to get some food. Eventually, we wind up at his place where we watch a movie, and just hang out (no, really!). At about 5 am, he takes me back to my cousin's house in time to wake with the rest of the household. Although I was right about his intentions that night, I am glad he did not act on his desires. If he had, this might just as easily have ended up on the list of worst dates - corny but true.

 -Chioma D. 23. Female. Business Development Consultant


2. ‘Cos giving is sometimes better than receiving.

On my girlfriend’s last birthday, I gave her my credit card to go on a shopping spree to prepare for a night out in town with me. While she shopped for an outfit, shoes and did her hair, I ordered a birthday cake with her name and all that on it. After that surprise, I took her to Spindle Top (some hot spot in Houston, Texas) where we had a romantic candle lit dinner and luckily, there were very few people around. To end the night I also took her on a horse and carriage ride that she absolutely loved. Seeing the happiness and excitement in her eyes was enough to make that one of my best dates ever.

-Daniel F. 25. Male. Software Engineer

3. Some Mills n’ Boons ‘ish.

One of my most memorable dates took place in Abuja, Nigeria. My friend and I were dating two brothers at the time and we usually went out to dinners and parties together. On this particular night, my date and I ventured off on our own because he said he wanted to take me some place. He had upset me a little that night, so I had the whole ‘whatever’ attitude going on. While driving to our destination, I noticed that things went pitch black quite suddenly; there were no other cars or streetlights in sight. I tried not to notice and just mentioned lightly that I hoped he was not planning to rape me, cos he could just ask nicely instead (we had not had sex). In response, he just kept driving and we started going uphill. Before I could voice my protest, we got to the top of the hill and the sheer sight of what I saw kept me mute. I was staring at the landscape of the entire city of Abuja. It turned out, that we were on top of the Kantampe Hill, which according to geological research is the center of Nigeria. I can’t express the overwhelming sense of pride that I felt in that moment and of course, the swelling affection for the young man that had brought me there. It was a moment to treasure.

-Karena O. 23. Female. Graduate Student


4. An all night affair.

A woman that I had been dating for a couple of months surprised me one day after work. She picked me up and said she felt like eating out and drove to a very classy restaurant that I had always wanted to visit. We had a wonderful time – ate, drank, and got merry. After dinner, she started driving on the freeway and I asked where to. She plainly told me that we were heading to Universal studios were she had rented a room for the night. She added that she was going to #$#$%#$@#^! Phew! That was the perfect date. She was direct and told me what she wanted and what I was going to get. There is nothing more pleasurable for a man, than a woman who knows exactly what she wants.

-Iloye B. 26. Male. Music Artist/Producer


5. Love to be spoiled.

One of my best dates was in one of the sexiest locations in the world – Miami, FL. We were staying in a hotel by the beach and my boyfriend told me to dress up because he was taking me to dinner. Now, here’s some history - we had been together off and on for about three years and he had never officially taken me out to dinner. Naturally, when he asked me to dress up I was in shock. So I took a shower, dressed to kill and was ready for him to take me wherever. Since our hotel was in the heart of South Beach, we walked to an out-door restaurant where he told our waiter to get me whatever I wanted. Let’s just say that I got everything I wanted that night and more. He offered the most amazing complements and all that sweet talk was just what I needed from him at that stage in our relationship. After dinner, we took a nice long walk back to our hotel and the rest of the story is not for you PG 13 folks!

-Ndidi N. 23. Female. Development Assistant


1. The fish must’a burned on the grill.

I was introduced to this girl through a mutual friend once, and I was meeting her for the first time at her house. I picked her up and thought it’d be nice for us to head out to Hard Rock Café. On our way, I noticed that my car started to smell of fish. It was quite nauseating but I didn’t think too much of it. I just figured that maybe she had been cooking prior to my arrival. Well, when we got seated at HRC I noticed that she had a pair of cat eyes tattooed on her chest (like how eve has paws) and to make things worse, she kept talking about her ex-boyfriend the entire 15 minutes into the date. I told her that I had an errand to run and had to drop her off at home. And that was how I got rid of one bad date.

-Daniel F. 25. Male. Software Engineer

2. Nigga, drive!

A friend of mine told me that he was meeting up with some hot chicks that he had met online and asked me to come along. I didn’t think it was a bad idea at the time, so I decided to join him. He told me that we were meeting them at Walgreens (I still wonder why Walgreens?), so we drove into the parking lot and waited for a little bit. After a few minutes we saw a car cruising into the lot with one side of it tilted very low to the ground and we made fun of the car and the girls inside cos they looked like they stepped out of a BIG MAC commercial. I told my friend to call the “hot chicks” to let them know we were at W’s and to our dismay, the almost 300lb chick on the driver’s side of that car picked up the phone. In the midst of my laughter and his shock and confusion, my friend looked at me and mouthed the words “Nigga, drive!” This was the worst non-date ever.

-Opuada P. 27. Male. Fitness Instructor

3. Never apartment hunt while trying to share a romantic lunch.

My boyfriend would come at least twice a week to take me to lunch from work. During one lunch break, I decided that it would be really intimate for us to go apartment hunting and then get a quick bite to eat afterwards (I thought that if we could do both in about an hour, we would feel like we'd achieved something as well as had a nice hour together... bad idea!). We ended up fighting over my indecision and his anything-you-say-is-fine attitude before I got back to work. I ended up back at work, leafing through the apartment magazine on an empty stomach.

-Chioma D. 23. Female. Business Development Consultant


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