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Date Troubles
Trouble

Date trouble--almost always the source of your major disasters. You can live with your homecoming dresses and prom dresses ripping, and with spills on it, and just about anything else. But what happens when your date leaves you stranded at prom? Or when he hooks up with his ex and you're just standing there, feeling really small and hurt? Below is a list of the basic things he can do that will ruin your night, or hurt you. Sometimes there's nothing you can do about it, but other times, you can take precautions, or handle the situation so that you don't come out of it too badly.

Bad things he can do:

  1. Not dance with you.
  2. Hit on your friends.
  3. Disappear.
  4. Get drunk.
  5. Hit on you when you obviously don't want it and/or
  6. Expect something in return for taking you to prom.
  7. All of the above.

Here's a couple of scenarios, all of them true stories.

Hits on you, hooks up with his ex, and ditches you.
It was my freshmen year and this really hot junior named Nate had asked me out. Well I was really excited because I was a freshmen going to prom. Me and my mom had spent a lot of money on my Mari Simone cocktail dresses for dinner and the prom dress (I should have worn one of my homecoming dresses or quinceanera dresses). Anyhow, when he came to pick me up, he said he was supposed to be renting a limo, but he showed up in an old little escort!! It was horrible, and then when we got there he wanted to go in a corner and make out. I said I didn't know and if he could just hold on for a moment while I went to the bathroom. When I came back he was all over his ex girlfriend and he told me to find my own way home because he wasn't taking me home and that the only reason he had asked me to prom was because he heard I was easy. Well no one would drive me home, so I had to call my grandma to come and pick me up. It was the worst time of my life, but now I'm a junior so maybe this will be better.

So, was this girl stupid for going with Nate in the first place? No. You see, she had her dreams about prom, and she was happy to be going. She couldn't help it that he turned out to be such a major a**hole. However, there was something she could have done that might have helped. Before prom, she could have talked with him and explained what she wanted that night--basically, no sex/making out, and a gentlemanly treatment. Of course, he could, and probably would have lied (he already lied about the limo), but at least she would have spelled it out for him so that he'd be on his guard. The worst that would have happened then, is that he might have ditched her before prom, and therefore spared her the nightmare. On the other hand, she actually managed the night quite well, because when he asked her to make out, she didn't do it "just because" he'd asked her to prom.

Gets drunk.
My date had been drinking with his buddies in the limo on the way to prom and when we got there he and his friends were already drunk. Well, they managed to get through the teacher at the door who was on the lookout for drinking, and when they were inside my date got sick and barfed at the table behind the punch. I was so embarrassed. His friends thought it was funny, but the teachers kicked them all out and next Monday my date got suspended. I left him when he got sick like that. I didn't want to help him because, like I told him, you got drunk and that wasn't right. It was the worst night of my life, but it turned out well because some of my friends were there dateless and we all danced together.

I didn't know him that well but he had asked me to the prom and he was one of the hotties at school. Everything was going alright and me and my friends were with him and their dates and we were talking and laughing. Well I noticed that he kept looking at my best friend Lisa and I tried not to let this bother me.

Have you heard a story like this one before? Of course you have. I, for one, agree with the girl in ditching her date when he disgraced himself. I know it's our duty to help others in times of trouble. But at some point you have to draw the line. He shouldn't have been drinking--we all know the rules on that--and his drinking not only made him act like a pig, but it ruined her night. He was wrong there, because in escorting her to prom he was in fact responsible for her welfare, namely, that she enjoy herself, and that she not be embarrassed or shamed by his actions. There is, therefore, no excuse for his behavior. As for her, could she have avoided this disaster? If she had talked to her date beforehand, then possibly yes. But if all his friends were drinking in the limo, the pressure may have been too strong and he would have started drinking too. In this case, there's not much she could have done about it because, if she'd started nagging him in the limo, then she might have looked like a little nazi freak, which is not the best thing to be. So her alternative? To do what she did, and ditch her date.

Date disappears, you find him with your friend.
I didn't know him that well but he had asked me to the prom and he was one of the hotties at school. Everything was going alright and me and my friends were with him and their dates and we were talking and laughing. Well I noticed that he kept looking at my best friend Lisa and I tried not to let this bother me because, hey people can look, and it's not like he and I were going out or anything. So I went up to dance with some other friends and later when I came back I couldn't see my date anywhere, and I also couldn't see Lisa. Well I knew what was up and I got really angry so I went around looking for them asking if anyone had seen them. Someone told me they had seen them go behind the stage, so I went there, and when I got there they were making out. I was so mad I burst into tears. I didn't talk to Lisa for a month. I still have not talked to him, which is ok I guess because he hasn't tried to speak to me since that night, not even to apologize.

What would you do in this situation? THis is difficult because the blame does in fact fall on your date. You see, as I said above, in asking you, or escorting you to prom, he is responsible for you (as you are for him) in that he should not behave in such a way as to cause you shame, or anger, or hurt you, or anything negative. That's part of being a gentleman, and it is also his responsibility on that night (just like it's your responsibility not to hurt or embarrass him). So should she have not gone to dance and left her date and her best friend alone together? Should she have spoken to her date and told him not to look so hard at her best friend? Should she perhaps not have gone looking for them, only to find them doing what she already knew they were going to do? It's impossible to say for sure, because everyone is different, and not all the situations are the same. It also doesn't help to say that a real best friend

When you accept to be someone's date for prom (whether you are the girl or the guy) you are responsible for their welfare that evening...It's your duty to see that your date does not end up looking ridiculous, or being hurt in public on account of your actions. In other words, you can't just do whatever you want that night.
would not have behaved that way, because we all know that best friends sometimes do whatever they like. Anyhow, here's what I would have done. As soon as it became obvious to me that my date and best friend were interested in each other, I would have told my date to go screw himself. Yes, that's right. I would have told him this and I would also have explained that he came to prom with me, and that it's not right to disgrace me publicly, just as I would not disgrace him publicly. I would have also added these words, "since there's nothing I can do about the way you're acting, I can at least tell you to screw off and this way avoid further embarrassment." That's what I would have done.

Special note. I've mentioned it a couple of times here and elsewhere in this area. When you accept to be someone's date for prom (whether you are the girl or the guy) you are responsible for their welfare that evening. You are both going to appear in public as a couple (not necessarily dating), and that means that you have to take into account how you may affect the other person's image in public--that is, avoid embarrassing them, avoid hurting them, avoid generally doing anything that will diminish them in the eyes of their peers. Don't know exactly what that means? Then let me spell it out: it's your duty to see that your date does not end up looking ridiculous, or being hurt in public on account of your actions.

In other words, you can't just do whatever you want that night.




So let me just sum a few things up here. First, I don't want to give you the impression that going to prom is a heavy trip full of responsibility. It is, yes. But that's normal and where it concerns public behavior, it's how you act most of the time anyway--that is, responsibly--so it's not like you have to do anything special prom night. You just have to be yourself, and be good and kind to your date and to others--nothing new here.

Second, as for what to do when bad things happen, well, there are really only two things. First, you can avoid alot of bad things if you talk to your date first, and reach some kind of agreement, or at least make him (or her) understand that prom is important, that not being hurt is important, and that generally being civilized, curteous, kind, and generous are all important. In other words, take preventive measures. Second, bad things can happen no matter what preventive measures you take. So, when bad things happen, all I can say is don't let yourself get too freaked about it. Always remember, first, it could be worse; second, there's always tomorrow and the world won't end because of what just happened; and third, what's the big deal anyway: you went to prom to have fun, and you're not going to let some stupid little thing (no matter how big) ruin that for you.

Third and finally, I don't want to give you the impression that prom night is going to be a mess of horrors and terrible things happening. I also don't want to give you the impression that your date will always turn into a pig. That's just not true. In 99% of the cases, you will have a great time, and your date will be a perfect and wonderful gentleman (or lady). That other 1%, well, it's like a lottery-- you never know. And if you should be in that 1%, then all I can say is, be careful, try to plan for it, deal with it when it happens, and no matter what, don't let it get you down. It's not worth it.

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