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Free yourselves from dating clichés

Why the best dates are not about the money or the detailed planning.


By Javelyn Ramos


FEBRUARY 2012

Free yourselves from dating cliches

Contrary to what people think, February 14 is not exclusive to couples. The same goes for dating—which goes beyond the romantic realm. Dating is all about spending time with someone significant to you, be it a parent, friend or lover. 


Furthermore, dating goes beyond the traditional movie-meal-talk-walk. There are other interesting ways in which you can spend time with a significant person in your life. But first, you have to free yourself from the clichés of dating.


“Dates should be for special occasions.”

Try going for daily dates which involve everyday activities. As Ayee Villa-Moya and her husband put it, “Every day is Valentine’s Day. To us, that’s far more special.” The couple started out with traditional dates, such as going to movies, concerts and out-of-town trips; marriage made dating more common and, paradoxically, more special. Villa-Moya says, “The best thing about making every day … Valentine’s Day, especially when you’re married is: There are no limits. We love the fact that being married means going home to the same place, our very own love nest, so the dates actually never end.”


“You need money to have a good date.”

Money is not always the answer. You just have to plan with more wit and creativity. Gmenier Mendoza, a digital content and marketing associate, shares the most memorable date he had with his girlfriend: A day trip to Manila that involved the LRT, post office, U-Belt and Chinatown. He recalls to have spent less than a thousand pesos for that adventurous date—inclusive of food and transportation!


“Valentines is exclusive to couples or ladies.”

Luis Mendez, a college junior, pays people to serenade his friends with cheesy love songs. Additionally, he buys roses and gives those out to his friends. Mar Borden, a stage actor, has his own way of celebrating February 14. He buys a bucket of chocolate and distributes it to everyone, greeting them a happy V-day.


“The date has to be well-planned.”

A little spontaneity does not hurt. It is enough that you set the time and venue; the rest of the details should just come naturally. Moreover, the best dates are those that force you to make the most out of a particular situation. A freak accident two months into their marriage left Villa-Moya and her husband no choice but to date in St. Luke’s I.C.U. She shares: “[T]here were no meals to share, because Hubby was on a liquid diet, no movie to watch, no sights to see, no new place to discover. [But] to this day, it remains to be one of the most defining moments of our life as a couple.”


Dating essentials

The examples above show that it is not the occasion, money or thorough planning that makes a good date. So what then is needed to make your dating life remarkable?

First, seek balance. As Villa-Moya advises: “Like everything in life, it's about balance. You must enjoy being together. And still appreciate ‘spaces in your togetherness,’ as suggested by the poet Kahlil Gibran.”

Second, be creative and responsible. As already mentioned, plan the logistics, but leave the rest of the details alone.

Finally, embrace new things. Villa-Moya says: “I'll quote Steve Jobs on this, ‘Stay hungry. Stay foolish.’ Keep wanting to learn [and] you'll never run out of ideas and activities to do or try or share with your partner.”


For more on dating tips that break conventions, get a copy of HealthToday magazine’s special V-day issue from major bookstores and newsstands.









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