The Dating Plan” – Fiction By Sara Desai

The advantage of online dating is that you can type what you want to say, and your words appear on the page like magic. The danger of online dating is that you can type what you want to say, and your words appear on the page like magic. You have the option of avoiding awkward, squirmy conversations when you’re up close and personal, but you also lose the element of surprise. Things that go well can quickly turn awkward.

1. Write a Will

Taking stock of your life should be the number one priority when you’re putting yourself out there. Jot down a will before you move on to your next date. Note the date your will goes into effect. If you see a date on your calendar that you can’t remember having set, you need to make a note of it to make sure you don’t forget to update it.

Don’t forget: While you’re typing out your online profile, think of what you want to leave behind and who you want to leave it behind to. According to The Wall Street Journal, “A third of prenuptial agreements call for the splitting of assets, and up to 40 percent of divorces start with either asset distribution or an annulment of the prenup.” The last thing you want is to be divorced and have someone win the lottery or inherit a heirloom while you’re stuck with the bill.

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Remember: If you die tomorrow, your will is still in effect. The best way to keep tabs on these things is to update your will every year, preferably before your birthday.

2. Get a Social Security Number

If you’re struggling financially, don’t think you can just leave the job market. You also need a social security number. According to Lifehacker, “Social Security numbers are assigned to you when you get your first job—and it’s good to get a Social Security number at the latest possible date. In fact, the earlier you get one, the better; that’s when it will be used the most in your report.” If you’re living in a country that doesn’t ask for social security numbers—Japan is a popular example—this can be tricky. Go to the American Social Security Administration website and get your personal number.

Note: This doesn’t apply to Canada—apply for a number in
A lot of people are afraid to date. We’re terrified of rejection, which is why a perfect stranger will always seem like a safe bet when we’re overwhelmed with options. (You can never really know until you try, though.) And let’s not forget that dating can be messy: You may be sleeping with someone on the third date and trying to figure out if you’ll even stay in your relationship.

Luckily, we know you’ve got nothing to fear. Here are some reasons why being single is cool, and dating is a terrific idea.

1. Dating is a way to make friends

When you’re single, you have a ton of time on your hands. You get to spend hours and hours alone, figuring out what you really want to do and who you really want to be. You get to try things you’ve never done before, be who you want to be, and be free of pressure from friends and family who say “You should do A, B, or C.” You get to go out and do the things you want to do and meet the people you want to meet.

The best way to be friends with someone is to hang out with them. You don’t have to have a formal date or anything. You can just spend time together, talk, or do whatever it is you enjoy doing. That’s how you become close friends with someone. And trust us: If you find the right person, you’ll be close friends for life.

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2. Dating helps you be yourself

Remember when you were in a relationship, and you’d see pictures of the person you were dating and think “This person looks nothing like me.” Well, that is because you dated your ego. You loved the person you were with because of what they made you feel, not because of who they actually were. Dating lets you be whoever you want to be, and ultimately let that person see all the awesome stuff about you that they didn’t know before.

Sure, you don’t have to introduce yourself as, “I’m a drummer for a rock band.” But you can do whatever you want. You’re around people for the first time—who knows what your talents are? If you have talents that you aren’t sharing with the world, you can always discover them when you’re dating. You don’t have to feel like you have to


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