Use Your Bad Dates For Good!

‘Tis the season of giving instead of taking, of thinking more about others than ourselves, right? And I don’t know about you, but I can use all the reminders about that I can get. Which is why I remembered a great blog someone recommended to me on Twitter. It’s called Single For Good: Each Bad Date Deserves a Good Deed. From the title alone, I think we could all take a lesson from it.

The author of the blog, Bianca, told Single Edition that she began it one Valentine’s Day (which she hilariously calls “Single Awareness Day”) when she realized if she was going to be single, she may as well be single for good.” Here’s what got her started:

“I thought about how much I could do for the community,” said Bianca, “if I simply tore myself away from the temporary discontent of the bad date (though my best friends Ben & Jerry are still on speed-dial) and channeled my dating frustrations into performing acts of service for life and Earth. I whole-heartedly believe singles can change the world for the better, one bad date at a time. Volunteering is the Nyquil to my all-the-time, sniffling, whining, heart-aching, bad date illness.”

What a great idea. She now blogs about her experiences in dating along with the volunteer activity she’s doing in honor of it—or perhaps to try to forget it as quickly as possible! In her most recent post, for example, she served up breakfast and played Bingo while volunteering for the Senior Breakfast Club. “It’s all about your outlook…” she wrote in her post “and a positive mindset is the way to go.”

It’s healthy for us sometimes to put our lives in perspective like this. Yes, bad dates, bad days and generally sucky weeks of life stink. But so does loneliness to a senior in a nursing home or a dog at a shelter. So does illiteracy to a high-schooler or an adult immigrant. So I propose we all take Bianca’s blog to heart, whether we’re dating or not. If we have a bad date or an awful work meeting, instead of turning inward to gripe about our own lives, let’s reach outward and use our energy to make someone else’s life better. Even if we don’t volunteer for big organizations or planned events, doing small acts of kindness can help.

Here are some ideas for today: Instead of being bummed about that guy who didn’t call you back, help a guy with a walker carry his basket in CVS. Instead of getting angry in mind-numbing traffic, let someone cut in front of you with a wave and a smile. Instead of being frustrated that the date with your girl friend didn’t cross over into romance, help a mother and her child cross a busy street. As they sang in Wicked, “Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” For all we know, the people we meet along the way in our lives—especially when you’re single and meeting more new people than ever—will change us for the good, too.

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Big love,