By Chiara Atik for HowAboutWe.com
I have a rule about dating, and it's sort of controversial among my friends: I will go on one date with anyone who asks me. It's called the "One Date Rule," and if you're a picky dater, maybe you should consider adopting it as well.
Here's the theory: When I was little, I refused to eat anything besides pasta, pasta, and pasta, with a side of more pasta. Maybe chicken fingers, but only if you caught me in the right mood.
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My mom eventually instigated the "No Thank You Helpings" rule: One spoonful or bite of what I didn't want to eat (aka anything that wasn't pasta.) I had to eat the bite, and if I still didn't like it, I was never pressured to have any more. But I did have to try.
I soon discovered that I loved asparagus and pot roast and mashed potatoes, still hated spinach, and would gladly pass the rest of my life without ever eating another bite of catfish. And now I happily eat much more than just pasta.
When I grew up, I transferred my picky eating habits to my dating life: I had to really, really like someone in order to agree to a date. If I just felt lukewarm about them, I'd pass on drinks or dinner: Too much effort.
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Here's the problem with that strategy: If you're a picky dater, there aren't too many people that you really, really like. And eventually, a girl's got to eat some vegetables. So I started forcing myself to No Thank You Helpings of first dates.
Now, if I guy invites me out on a first date, I say yes.
Even if he is sort of nerdy.
Even if he is sort of boring.
Even if he's, well, let's just say not someone I'd pick out of a crowd.
Just one serving. One, low-key date. And if after that I'm still not feeling it, I can simply say "No, thank you" to the next one.
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And I've learned that I write people off too quickly, that humor is more important to me than looks, that sometimes if there's no spark, there's really just no spark, but other times the first dates I've dreaded the most have turned into second, third and fourth dates.
But the most important thing I've learned is that there isn't really anyone out there that doesn't deserve at least a chance, especially if they make the effort to ask me.
My friends think it's crazy ("Why go OUT with him if you know you don't LIKE him?") but it works for me.
Are you a picky dater? Would you ever consider adopting a First Date rule?
[In Moonstruck, aka the most romantic film ever made, Cher's character accepts JUST ONE DATE from Nicholas Cage even though she doesn't want to. And then they fall madly and passionately in love. So you know. There's that.] [For the record, if, for instance, a known serial killer asked me out, I would say no.]
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