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The Get Out Guide to Dating (Video)

By by jessica rodrigo/jrodrigo@vicad.com
Feb. 13, 2013 at 4 p.m.
Updated Feb. 13, 2013 at 8:14 p.m.

Victoria West High School seniors Rachel Heyde, 16, and Brandon Ellis, 17, took a ride with Billy Newman and horse, Rose, of Rockin N Carriage Company to illustrate the romantic fun you could be having this Valentine's Day.

About the lovebirds

Rachel Heyde, 16, and Brandon Ellis, 17, are West High School seniors. Their friends say they're never without the other. This year, they will celebrate their fourth anniversary. They've known each other since third grade, and in July 2009 at church camp, the two became more than friends.

The young couple usually spends their time hanging out with friends at the movies or going on group dates.

Next year, the couple will head to Texas A&M together and start a whole new set of chapters in their lives.

"We're really lucky," Rachel said through a smile.

The search for the perfect soul mate is a daunting one. There are awkward first dates, awful cases of word vomit or - even worse - actual vomit. Add in a community that isn't exactly known for its romantic tendencies, the task of getting a date can feel hopeless.

Alas, the silver lining of love can be found anywhere, even in the Golden Crescent.

For 21-year-old Tony Bermea, the main culprit of the lack of romance in town can be pointed to one thing - location, location, location.

"There just aren't very many places to go," he said.

Bermea said bars aren't his ideal scene to let Cupid's arrows fly. He is more keen to find a special someone while studying on campus. "When you're in school, you meet like-minded people," he said.

But what next? What's your move after you have met a person who catches your fancy?

Nancy Braus, an etiquette teacher in Hallettsville, said if you have an eye on someone, there is only one answer - make the first move.

Communication, over all else, is the most important step. Braus said it can help make meeting that special someone easy.

But cool it with the texting and Facebook messages. With all the different forms of social media and technology available to replace face-to-face contact, Braus said a lot of new dangers abound for those looking for love.

"A lot of fabrication can go into dating with technology," she said. "When you're dating someone you met through (technology), there's so much disappointment."

She encouraged people to meet each other in person early on in the relationship. Have dinner, visit a park, do something that requires conversation and interaction. Sometimes, the ability to talk to someone else is the hardest thing to do, but once it has been checked off the list, the next two might seem like a breeze.

Spending time together helps eligible bachelors and bachelorettes get to know each other. Shared experiences, like bowling, fishing, eating the same foods, help build common ground for relationships.

"You can know someone physically without knowing them intimately," she said. "The principal rule is know who you are dating."

Though bars aren't Bermea's cup of tea, for most people, it is where the seed of romance begins.

Bartending veteran Mato Meyers, who works at Steve-A-Reno's Rock & Roll Blues Bar, said she's been the medium for many romantic love affairs - both long-lasting affairs and short, one-night wonders. The spark of romance, however, is a rare occurrence.

"In about a week, I might have one person order a drink for someone," she said. "It doesn't happen as often as you think."

But she explained that doing your homework could help. Watch the person - don't stalk - and see what they're drinking. Or if you want to seize the moment, ask the bartender what the person is drinking and buy them another one. An easy rule for girls, buy something fruity or universal, a Cape cod or chocolate martini. For guys, go with a beer - as long as he's drinking a beer.

"A lot of my customers will buy drinks for other people, but I think it's because they're more old-fashioned," Meyers said.

What if you don't want the drink or the relationship for that matter?

"Always say something positive - there is always something nice to say - and it's best not to say it in a text," Braus said. "Break it down to reality. If it's not going anywhere, you can make it clear."

Bermea, who is single by choice, said he believes fate will find him the right person eventually. For now, he'll stick to the books and focus on school.

"I'm doing my own thing. ... I'm trying to establish myself as a person first."

WANT TO BOOK SOME ROMANCE?

Rockin N Carriage Company offers romantic setting

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