Saturday, July 02, 2005

Dating Thoughts #3: Little Help?

In today’s society we see that hanging out seems to have replaced “casual” dating. Whether this is true or not, or right or not is not the issue. The perception is the issue. Because of this perception, asking someone out on a date, excepting some circumstances to be discussed below, is perceived to mean that you have already decided that you “like” them. This means that after only one date, people are already asking you to decide if you are going to ask them out again, or not. It’s like you have to break up with them if you decide you don’t want to go on a second date. This puts a lot of pressure on you, and makes you not want to date “for fun” because if you just want to date for fun you have to be prepared to deal with relationship issues before there ever is even a real relationship.

So… the solution seems to be to find opportunities to ask someone out where it can be assumed that don’t already want to date them seriously just because you have asked them out, i.e. date-required activities, like a formal dance or a group date activity. Then you can ask someone out and explain what it is for, and then they can still feel like you are interested, but not that you are trying to start a relationship with them. This gives you the opportunity to go on a date, without the pressure of having to break up after the first date. You can date in the sense that our parents think of, and it also gives you a good lead-in to a second date, that is really the first “I am interested in you” date, but without the usual first-date-awkwardness.

Thus, if our church leaders would like us to date more, and I’m sure that they do, I feel like they ought to provide opportunities for us, as guys, to ask girls out. They certainly don't have any problem telling us that we need to date more. I know that there will always be people who make a stink because there will be some, or maybe lots, of girls that don’t get asked out who will feel bad. Well I’m guessing that more girls will get asked out that weekend than would normally, so overall it’s a step in the right direction. Currently my singles stake provides no date-required activities. They only have dances (stomps, mind you) three times a year. You aren’t going to meet people outside of your ward at an activity where you watch Testaments, or sit and watch a talent show in the dark. You are going to sit by people you know and talk to people you know and not meet anyone new. I feel like I’ve been to enough stake activities to know that there is very little mingling going on. In general, normal people don't just go up to random people at these activities.

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