Monday, May 19, 2014

Dating Post #3: Barry White and Sadie Hawkins

Congratulations, you've succeeded at a legitimate method of obtaining someone's contact information.  Now you're ready to ask them on a date.

OMG it's SO terrifying.

Why is asking for a date so scary?  Maybe it's because we have these dysfunctional language translation devices in our brains that work something like this:

Seriously, guys, I'm a PowerPoint ninja.

I will say this once:  if you want dating to stop being something that freaks you out, you need to get the heck out of this mindset.  When dating (or anything) becomes a big deal, it becomes stressful.  Therefore, to make dating not stressful, you need to make dating not a big deal.  How is this done?

First, Date Often.  I knew a couple of guys at church who made a point to go on a date every week.  I actually went on a date with each of them, and when they asked me out, I wasn't thinking, holy cow, he wants to marry me; I was thinking, cool, I am his date this week.  No pressure!

That leads me to my second point:  Your "Date" is a Person, and Not an Activity.  When a date is an activity, it says, "Hey baby, I've created an entire series of events solely around you."  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you're afraid of sending premature "I love you" vibes, there's a different approach.  When your date is a person, it says "I was going to this thing anyway, and I thought it would be nice to not go by myself."  Hence, you bring a Date.  And you get bonus points because your date now thinks that you're super thoughtful for inviting them to go to this activity with you.

Now, what if you're one of the 63% of my readers who are female?*  You're probably thinking, how does this apply to me? I can't ask a boy out because societal norms and traditional gender roles!  Sisters, it's 2014.  You can ask out a man, and really, unless you get all Glenn Close about it, you shouldn't worry about coming off as too "forward" or "aggressive."  If you're still nervous about unleashing your inner Sadie Hawkins, here are my secrets to asking a man for a date:
  1. Cultural Activities.  This goes back to the "your date is a person" philosophy.  Until you turn into one of those ridiculously wealthy old ladies who sits alone in her private box at the opera house every weekend (one day...sigh), you'll probably want to attend concerts/plays/ballets with another person, and nobody is going to think that's weird.  In Boston (or any other place with large university and arts scenes), it's really easy to find events that are inexpensive enough to buy two tickets.  Speaking of cheap things...
  2. Online Discounts!  I tell you, Groupon has revolutionized the art of girl dating.  You can find discounted dinners for two at pretty decent places, and if you want to be all sneaky and "cool" about it, you can just be like, "oh hey, I have this Groupon that's about to expire (in twelve weeks)...want to come to dinner with me?"  Plus, you've already bought the thing so there's none of that awkwardness about who pays.**  
I hope this has been at all helpful and supportive of my main thesis which is that dating is not this big scary difficult thing.  So go ask someone out this week.

Just maybe not like this.

*This is a made-up statistic.
**Although, frankly, if most women expect men to pay if the men do the inviting, shouldn't women pay if they're doing the inviting?  Again, it's 2014, ladies.  Loosen the purse strings.

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