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Say Yes to Dating

yes to dating

When I was eighteen, I dated an older guy who my friends said had popped out of a storybook. He was handsome, very successful, and always managed to say the right things. He’d pull out my chairs for me, open my doors, take me on carriage rides through Central Park, and treat me to some of the best dining Manhattan could offer. It was a big, beautiful world to see with young eyes. But deep down in my heart I knew that he wasn’t the guy I was meant to see that world with.

One year later, plain old everyday life led me to a man who proved I’d been right. I learned pretty quickly that one conversation can change the way you see yourself, love, and the world around you. He didn’t have much money and wouldn’t inherit a fortune. We didn’t eat fancy dinners or shop on Park Avenue. But as I’d sit on his futon late at night watching him dissect academic theories, I’d see the world through the eyes I always wanted to see with. We had some differences that proved insurmountable, but I had finally known real love. And I’d never forget that view.

Over the next decade, there would be dates of all kinds. There would be dancing on a Harlem rooftop with a musician who could sing Sinatra almost as good as the legend himself. There would be dinner across the bar from a charming bartender who fancied himself a philosopher…and had a smile to die for. There would be an afternoon picnic with an artist who sketched my face while talking Monet and Degas. There would be midnight salsa, late-afternoon French cafes, sunrises, sunsets, and walks through New York City in the rain.

And through it all, I’d learn who I was, what I loved, and what I wanted out of life.

So yes, dating can be maddening. But it can also be the reason you experience things you’d never imagined. Some men may resemble storybook princes; Some will make you laugh; others will make you cry. Some will bring out the best you that you can be. Others will make you question the choices you’ve made and the reasons you’ve made them.

In the process you’ll discover what you value. You’ll learn what you can’t live without. You’ll find out what you can and can’t handle. And you’ll make memories to hold on to for the rest of your life.

If you were to ask me today if it had all been worth it—the good, the bad, and the crazy of dating—I’d say absolutely. I wouldn’t trade the lessons for anything in the world. I certainly wouldn’t trade the laughter. And those tears—well, they make for some thick skin and a strong soul.

So take that leap. Who cares if he ends up not being the one. You’ll learn more than you bargained for. And when you least expect it, plain old everyday life may hand you love.

(Photo by Gabriela Hansen)

By: Jedediah Bila

Jedediah Bila is an author, columnist, and TV and radio personality. She has guest-hosted on television and radio, and has been a regular guest commentator on Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox Business, and other outlets. She is currently a Fox News Contributor, a featured speaker for the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, and a Pioneer Mentor at The New Agenda.


  1. Perfect! I am 45 years old, single more years than I’ve been married. The last 7 years of dating leads me into periods of wanting to be alone, but I quickly dust of my boots and get out there again! My dating stories soon become special or funny memories to share!

  2. Rocky Jowers says:

    What a great read, I didnt want the story to end. It brought back feelings of when i was young and dating, I don’t think i ate at as many nice places as you but the feelings were the same. Thanks again. Rocky

  3. Sarah says:

    Loved this—beautiful. thanks for sharing.

  4. GEORGE KNOOP says:


  5. I’d personally give anything for a date with Jedediah ;)
    And like her, I’ve learned much from my dating experiences.

  6. Bilwick says:

    Sorry: dating sucks, and there’s no getting around it. Like jobs suck, except at least with jobs they have to pay you.

  7. George says:

    I don’t think women have any understanding of how difficult dating can be for men. We have to do the asking, and the paying, often for a woman who treats us as if we’re barely worthy of her company. Women DO NOT owe men sex for a date, but they do owe men some appreciation.

  8. Lauren Sargent says:

    This is a very beautifully written articles. While it’s good to read the articles on dating advice, it is very refreshing reading about the experience that you can can gain from dating, whether it’s the good, the bad, or the ugly.

  9. Grandmother says:

    Jedediah, this advice is fine for women who are attractive enough to garner attention from top men, and who have no desire to ever marry. Unfortunately, if being a wife and mother is a longterm goal for a woman, this advice is damaging. A series of past lovers is a liability. So is a ‘thick skin’ and its accompanying unfeminine disposition. Men value youth, beauty and pleasant demeanor. As those qualities fade, the caliber of man that a woman can hope to attract diminishes. In comparison, the past lovers a woman experienced in her prime will be viewed as superior to the man who commits to the older version of herself. This creates an unstable relationship because the unhappy woman can end it with a no-fault divorce at any time. Jedediah, you are extraordinarily beautiful for a 36 year old woman, but the clock is ticking. You only have a few years left at most before you notice the types of men you could get attention from in the past are no longer interested. Consolidate on your beauty while you can, try your hardest to maintain your femininity, or you will end up unhappy despite any level of career success you may achieve.

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