"I've been dating since I was 15! I'm exhausted! Where is he?" Charlotte York, the lovable girl-you-wish-lived-next-door from "Sex and the City," blurted out this comment as she lamented the lack of eligible men she had encountered. Dating can cause happiness, excitement and anticipation, and on the other hand, stress, disappointment and embarrassment. It has become an entire industry, comprising Web sites, reality shows, toll-free numbers, singles groups and destination hotspots.
Dating takes a lot of time, energy and usually, money. So why do it? The fact that humans are social beings was established as far back as Aristotle, Socrates, Cicero and other philosophers [source: Perlman]. Then, there's a basic need to mate and carry on the species. Population is not a challenge today, but once upon a time, it was a real concern. Move ahead to modern-day psychology and you have Freud and other notable psychologists devoting their entire careers to studying human relationships. One man, Abraham Maslow, developed the famous Hierarchy of Needs. This hierarchy discusses the five stages that people can go through to develop their full potential. "Belongingness and love" is the third stage, just after the basic needs of biology (air, water, food) and safety (protection, order, stability). So, while dating is not essential, the social sciences would argue that human relationships are key to our existence. Since dating can be a step leading to love and potentially marriage and children, it holds an important place in society.
On any given night, people are out there dating: Some do it well, some not so well and still others handle it rather disastrously. In examining dating, the case could be made that you fail more often than you succeed; after all, if you succeeded immediately, you probably wouldn't need to do it again.
Read on to see some of those failed experiments in the study of "dateology" and discover a few ways to escape from a date gone bad.