Also, while I did not average going on 3 dates a week last year like he did, I am a 24 year-old girl who graduated from BYU. By nature of these facts alone, I have plenty of good and bad dating experiences, and therefore feel qualified to write this post.
Now, having established my credentials, here is my list of eight things guys should not do on dates:
1) Do not do a marathon date
This is probably the most violated rule of them all. You asked us to go on a date, not six.
Think of it this way. Zack is running an actual marathon in June. He prepares for it by doing several short runs each week. The same concept applies to dating. We are training for the marathon called “exclusive relationship” or “marriage” by going on lots of short dates before the actual event. You’ll hurt yourself if you run the marathon at the beginning.
Remember: you do not increase your chances of her liking you by increasing the amount of activities you do together in one night.
And girls, if the date is turning into a marathon, it is okay to suggest the date be over. A few months ago, I went on a date to a comedy show that ended earlier than expected. My date felt pressured to find more things to do, so I simply told him, “Well, we don’t have to do anything else. I had fun, but the show is over now, so maybe we should just call it a night.” He very eagerly complied (perhaps a little too eager…) and took me straight home. It worked out great!
2) Do not begin the date by saying, “You’re gonna hate me when this is over…”
Story: I was supposed to go on a group date with a guy. The first thing he said when he picked me up was, “Okay, there are three reasons why you are going to hate me when this is over. One, my group date is actually tomorrow, so it’s just the two of us tonight. Two, I’m taking you to your work (the BYU Museum of Art). Three, my car is about to break down.” I looked at his dashboard and every warning light imaginable was lit. I found out two weeks later that he didn’t even have a valid driver’s license or car insurance. Needless to say, the date didn’t go too well.
Moral of the story: don’t tell the girl how awful the date will be at the beginning, because she’ll just look for reasons why she should hate you. At least give her the benefit of the doubt until she figures the reasons out on her own!
|True Zombie Love...|
3) Do not ask the girl to go on a hike, to a secluded park, or to a graveyard
I was studying in the library at 9am on a Saturday when a young man approached me and asked me to go on a date. First of all, I had never met this man, and secondly, he wanted to take me on a hike.
Okay. So the guy probably wasn’t a crazy rapist or murderer, and most of you guys aren’t either, but please take your date somewhere public. It helps her feel safe and comfortable. And unless you are both dead already, stay away from graveyards. That’s just a creepy date idea no matter who you are.
4) Do not pray at the beginning of your date
My old roommate was a mere 10 minutes into a date when the guy pulled his truck over and announced, “I’m so sorry, we forgot to pray!” She hid her confusion, stifled her laughter, and let the guy say a prayer to bless them on their date.
Weird! You pray before meals, you pray before you go to bed, you can even pray alone before your date, but you do not pray together on a first date!
5) Be careful with the dating roommates thing
So this isn’t an official “Do Not,” because sometimes it does work out. However, I have been involved in more love triangles, squares, pentagons, and trapezoids than I care to talk about. Most of these have involved roommates, and luckily we all managed to stay friends. Despite the positive end result, there was way too much drama going on while in the moment, and one wrong move could have made us enemies.
Please be careful, courteous, honest, and perceptive before getting into those kinds of situations.
6) Do not let her decide what to do when you pick her up
Because A) putting her on the spot will make her indecisive and she’ll say “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” and then you’ll waste twenty minutes trying to figure out what to do. Or B) she will get upset and vent to her roommates about what an unorganized, unprepared dater you are, and then you will be blacklisted.
7) Do not do ninja dates
|WHAAAAA! Beware the Ninjas!|
You go to hang out with your friend and then SURPRISE! Ninja date!
Ninja dates are often initiated when a guy calls a girl to “hang out.” There is no mention of the word "date" in the conversation, just an "I really want to go [insert form of entertainment] tonight. Want to come?" Those last three words mess us up. Our minds start racing. Is this a date? Should I pay for myself? Can I invite my roommates to come? Will there be an awkward doorstep scene? Ninja dates are awkward and confusing.
Be clear that your intent is to go on a date with the girl. Also, and this applies to all kinds of dates, make sure she knows exactly when you will pick her up, where you are going (unless it’s a surprise), and what kind of clothing she should wear (if the activity involves a specific dress code).
8) Do not prey on unsuspecting women, unless a heavenly messenger told you to
Okay, so maybe this is just a “Do not do this to Jen” thing, but I’m pretty sure I can generalize that statement to most women out there.
I have been asked out in the library (see #3), at the grocery store, while running to the bathroom (it was more of a fast walk, really), while leaving church with friends, at the gym, while running home from the gym, while at a BYU Philharmonic Orchestra concert, and by a homeless man on my lunch break. Not to mention all the Egyptian/Palestinian/Guatemalan men I came across while traveling who cut to the chase by asking me to be their wife and have their babies.
The point is, in each of these cases I did not previously know the man who asked me out, and that bothered me. Each instance was a complete surprise. I was obviously preoccupied doing something else important and did not wish to be bothered by a stranger claiming he wants to date me.
So, unless a heavenly messenger told you to sneak attack, get to know her a little bit before you ask her out. Talk to her, befriend her on facebook (but don't ask her out on facebook!), and make sure she knows you aren’t a creep. You don’t have to become best friends, just make some sort of normal human interaction with her before you go for the kill. Believe me, it helps.