I had a seven-hour conversation with a few friends (a guy and a girl) yesterday. We met shortly after Church and talked until midnight. The conversations ebbed and flowed, going from the ironies and difficulties of dating to choices in life to  how we fit into the Church as individuals. I actually learned some interesting things during the dating dialogue. I don't really have another place to share them, so I thought I'd post them here.

Things Girls Expect in Dating, But Guys (or Just I) Have No Clue

  1. Girls send signals that they're interested. Yes, they are the same signals they send when they are trying to be friends, but girls expect guys to be able to tell the difference. Huh?
  2. When a guy has gone on a first or second date, and it wasn't an absolute catastrophe from her perspective, she is probably waiting by the phone every moment of the day, watching chick flicks, wondering why he hasn't called yet. If the guy is planning to ask her out, he should call and let her know that, even if he doesn't have anything planned yet. If the guy is planning to not ask her out, he should call and let her know that, too - so she can move on with her life. And girls totally don't understand if the guy doesn't know if he wants to ask her out again.
  3. Girls make very fast decisions about whether they would be willing to date guys. It takes minutes, not days, to determine if a follow-up date would be a good thing.
  4. Girls are afraid of hurting guys with rejection. They don't realize that dangling it over our heads by missing phone calls (on purpose? just hard to reach?), saying they're busy (not interested? truly busy but still interested? busy right now, but ask me in 6 months?), or whatever else is way more painful than just telling the pure and simple truth.
  5. Even though many girls would like to be asked to do something (have the date planned before), the ones who are interested are willing to show it if a guy asks her if she'd be willing to go out. That makes planning dates so much easier - since then you know her unavailability isn't tied to a desire to avoid you.

and the mirror...

A Few Things Guys Really Want From Dating, but Girls Are Clueless

  1. Straight answers. Rejection doesn't really hurt as much as guys think it does. When they actually get rejected, they recover really, really fast. A guy would rather get a text message saying, "I'm not interested in dating you" than a thousand "I'm busy" or non-responses. If girls are currently tied up, but might be interested in the future, they can put a timeline. "...but you can ask me out again in 6 months." or something like that.
  2. Clearer signals. Girls act exactly the same when they want to be good friends with guys as when they want a guy to ask them out. I know. I've ruined dozens of friendships by reading the wrong signals, only to find that my best friend is suddenly (and permanently) avoiding me. And then I see her with another guy. Had I never asked her out, we could still be good friends. Since I did, we haven't talked since. There are other ways to show interest. I think. Dating is complicated...
  3. A little help once the relationship starts. Many guys (at least those in the Mormon dating world), after 1-3 dates, will try to understand how interested a girl is. A giveaway from my perspective is calling, inviting me to do something (date or nondate), or deliberately sitting nearby at Church or activities. Guys like to know that girls enjoy their dates and want to continue going. They don't want to date someone who is just saying yes to be nice.

Yeah. I know. Totally ironic place to post dating tips. But I still date. Deep inside, I believe that it'll work out for me. I'll be attracted to and fall in love with a beautiful girl, she'll fall in love with me, and we'll be married in the temple. We'll make the relationship work through thick and thin, raise righteous children, and be an eternal family. It's a lofty ideal. And for some of us it may not happen in this life, even if we are righteous. But it's still the goal I have in mind.

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