On the first few dates we are on our best behavior, but that doesn’t stop us from passing judgment on others when they share something we disagree with. So when a date mentions that he or she took 6+ years to graduate from college, or informs you that they are in their 30’s and have 3 roommates in a 2 bedroom apartment, or when he or she orders pork-wrapped shellfish, what do you do? Well, most people would grimace. Their eyelids would widen, their eyes would flit left and right, and their jaw would probably drop. Most people wouldn’t know how to respond. And if they did, their voice would most likely be dripping with contempt.

Brace yourself for the chance that you will more than likely hear or see something that stuns you. Try to keep your facial expressions to a minimum, control the tone of your voice and be non-judgmental in your response even if you are bursting at the seams on the inside. You don’t need to have another date with this person, but you also don’t need to make them feel bad about themselves.

While you’re prepping yourself mentally for dates, take it to the next level and try to actually stop passing judgment and not just pretend. The fact of the matter is that no one is perfect. While you may be disgusted by someone’s lifestyle choices, they may be just as turned off by yours. You’re both single and while you may not be right for each other, that doesn’t mean you’re any better than the other person.

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