Dating: The two main things that irritate me
I have spent the last few years deeply involved in the singles world. I’ve learned a lot of things to do, and not to do, but by no means do I consider myself an expert. There are two main things in the LDS dating scene that drive me crazy and personally I think are the biggest issues we face today.
Issue #1 - LDS guys are not aggressive enough, if at all.
Now I know not everyone will agree with me. They will say “hey, I am or know lots of guys who are aggressive in pursuing life, careers, relationships etc. That’s true, there are lots of them. And guess what? They’re married. I’m talking about the LDS guys who are single over the age of 26, the selection that I have. For some reason, so many of these guys are content with waiting to see what happens, or what I see far too often, why should they put out the effort when the girls pursue them? Or they have been rejected or had their hearts crushed too many times and they don’t see the point in putting in the effort anymore.
I decided to brave a mid-singles activity a few weeks ago, and I ended up having a really good time and meeting some cool people. The activity was dance lessons and we were going to learn the cha-cha. The instructor was great and after he taught us a new move, he wanted us to switch partners. The first time he did this, we all stood there like deer in head lights. I know I was thinking “Do I go ask someone to dance? Does he?”. He saw our confusion and then said something that really resonated with me. He said “Gentlemen! It always has, and always will be your responsibility to ask a lady to dance! So go find a partner!” After that, it was smooth sailing. There were more women than men, so for some moves there were women without a partner. But it was ok, because if someone wanted to dance with us, we knew they would ask. I remember being so relieved when he said this because it took the pressure off of me to use my outgoing personality to make something happen.
But afterwards I got to thinking. Why, in a room of adults over the age of 30, people who own homes, have careers etc, did it have to be clarified that the men needed to be the ones to pursue the women? Isn’t this common knowledge? Men naturally want to chase, so when did it become the norm that this no longer happens?
One theory a friend of mine has is that the longer a man goes without sex, his brain starts to function improperly. I think she may have a point. When we have a bunch of 28 year old virgins wandering around, I really think the pistons aren’t all firing correctly. Men need sex pretty much to function. Does this mean that I think all those guys should go out and bone someone just to get their brains back on track? Not at all, but I think it explains some of the weirdness J
Another problem that I think has come into play is that women have become too aggressive. I am a perfect example of this. We have become so liberated and independent (which do not get me wrong, this is not a bad thing in most things), we have chosen to take the “I’m not going to sit around and wait, I’m going to make things happen” concept full force into our dating lives. We are making all the moves, asking them out, pursuing them, calling them first. I think this is backfiring for us in two main ways.
1. The guys have gotten lazy. Why should they pursue anyone, when we will do all the work for them?
2. We are doing ourselves a disservice by settling for a guy who isn’t willing to work for us.
Pretty much all of my life I have been what I refer to as a “place holder”. I have dated nothing but guys who are with me until someone better comes along. I have had my heart crushed each time, but looking back, I realize I went thru that hard time because I let it happen. I lowered my self worth just to feel good for a short time to be with someone. I also realized each time, I had pursued them. The other lesson I have learned from this is that no matter how hard you try, if the guy doesn’t truly want to be with you, he won’t. Stop trying to force him.
The irony to being a self confident, independent woman, is that there is nothing I want more than to be with a man who will take charge and be, well, a man. Someone who will ask me out, and put some thought into planning a date. Someone who does the right thing because he knows it’s what he should do, not because he knows someone is watching him and he wants to impress them. Someone who knows I am fully capable of opening a door, but wants to do it for me as a sign of respect. Someone who if he wants to be with me, will do what it takes to chase me and let me know that I’m wanted. And someone who knows that the best way to get me to shut up when I am being a pain in the butt is to kiss me J
There are some guys who are very good at pursuing women. They talk to everyone and date a lot. Unfortunately, these guys are quickly labeled as “players”. I don’t think this is fair to them. All of us should be players, dating a lot and getting to know everyone possible until you meet someone you want to be in an exclusive relationship with. And don’t assume that they are only dating you until you have had a DTR (define the relationship). Everyone should be free game until some sort of commitment happens.
So ladies, let’s stop being the pursuers. Stop asking the guys on dates, let them ask us! There is nothing wrong with introducing yourself to them, but let them take the lead from there. And if they don’t do anything, it’s ok! We deserve to be with men who truly want to be with us!
But guys, this means you have to step up to the plate J
Now this leads me to my other issue with dating….
Issue #2 – Girls should not be saying no to a date.
Sorry ladies, but unless you feel scared for your safety, you should never say no to a first date with someone. I don’t care if he isn’t your type, too tall, too short, has a hump on his back, tucks his shirt into his shorts (a real reason a girl I knew said no to a date) or whatever reason you come up with. Everyone deserves a chance.
My real opinion is that you should go out with someone three times before deciding if you want to pursue something, but for now I’ll leave it at the one date rule.
I can’t tell you how many amazing couples I know, that when they first started going out, she wasn’t interested. She thought he was mean, or strange, or boring etc. But after a few dates, he kept pursuing (back to my earlier point) and then she realized this was the one guy she couldn’t live without. But she never would have gotten to that point if she hadn’t given him a chance.
Not to mention, it takes a lot of guts to ask someone out. I have been surprised in the last year by the feedback I have gotten from guys about my blog, and how many times I hear “you can only get turned down for a date so many times before it starts affecting your confidence”.
What’s the worst that can happen? You get a free meal, and if it’s really bad you will have a good story to tell (which in my opinion is awesome). And who knows, you could meet someone really special.
So guys, be MEN! And girls, show appreciation to the guys who step up to the plate J