The Case for the Date
October 21, 2008 by Staff
In college, dating is particularly rare and according to University of Georgia junior Megan Troutt—it can be downright scary. “I’ve had two friends that have been on like, real dates in college— no one does it,” she says with a chuckle. “One friend was so nervous about it she took a shot [of liquor] before he got there to pick her up.”
So why the decline in dating? Most students agreed that it probably had something to do with the dominating presence of “hooking-up.” Troutt and her friend Amy Saye both said that hook-ups were the leading cause of the dating stalemate. “Most guys think that if they’re not going to get anything, then why date?”
Where We Are Today
Despite the negative reputation dating has received, some college students are hopeful about the possible return of formal dating. “I wish it was like the good ol’ days when you could hang out with a girl and not feel like you were soul searching,” says UGA senior Ryan L. Pope. “I’ve tried to take this passive approach to simply hanging out with girls and getting to know them. And maybe it’s the old fashion way, but I like it.”
Pope tends to believe that there are other males out there like him that are trying to bring back dating, but they are few and far between. “A lot of guys have lost their… manhood. It doesn’t matter if you’re an extrovert or introvert, a girl will respect you if you initiate. Now just because she respects you doesn’t mean she’s interested— those are two different things!”
But males are not the only ones who feel this way about dating. “I feel like there are no first dates any more,” says female junior Spencer Martin. “You just meet and greet in a group or hang out at a party. Nothing’s ever established.”
So what is a lonely guy to do? How can girls do their part to revamp the dating scene? For the good of two-for-one specials everywhere, we must start dating again.
Bringing it Back: For Her
Any male can put on a clean shirt and open a door, but ladies need to do their part, too. “Don’t always turn down guys,” says UGA senior David Ward. “Even if you’re not 100 percent sure that you like the guy or think he’s not prince charming, just have fun. Let a guy buy you dinner.” The more girls start saying yes to casual dating the less guys’ feel the pressure of rejection.
Once the date is in session, ladies need to make sure it is an enjoyable experience for the male as well.
“Ask us some questions, too,” says Pope. “While girls usually dominate the conversation, it can be draining if she doesn’t ask anything about you.”
For some basic girl-to-girl advice, Saye says that women need to “stop being so promiscuous.” Who’s going to buy the cow if they get the milk for free?
Bringing it Back: For Him
Unfortunately for the gentlemen, the fate of the dating world rests mostly on the male shoulders. Luckily, there are some easy tips for getting back in the game:
“When talking to a girl, know what you’re going to say,” advises Pope. A simple conversation seems easy enough, but many men do not know where to start. “Find something in common fast and don’t linger on the weather, classes, or even someone you know in common. Find out what she likes and harp on that because girls love to talk about themselves, and are more comfortable when doing so.”
One of the major problems with the culture of dating is terminology and everyone seems to have a different dictionary. “I knew it was an actual date because he said ‘can I take you on a date’ and not just ‘do you want to hang out,” says senior Katherine Walton of how her now-husband Steve first approached her. “He had to use the actual word [date] though, because otherwise I might not have known how to categorize it— it was surprising and refreshing when he did.”
The Bottom Line
“I feel like guys have started taking the easy way out,” says Ward. “Why ask a girl and get rejected when you could just buy her some drinks and hook-up? Guys need to realize that confidence is a big deal. It really doesn’t matter whether or not the girl says yes— it’s still your job to ask.”
The Time Has Come
Now that you understand the basics of bringing the date back from the dead, here are some helpful conduct tips for the big night from David, Ryan, Amy, Megan and Spencer:
- Be on time. Despite popular belief, showing up when you say you are going to does not make you overeager, it makes you trustworthy.
- Open the door. When it is appropriate, always open and hold the door for your date. Do not awkwardly run around the car to open her door before she gets out if she is going to have to wait for you. Let your chivalry be natural and smooth.
- Have a Plan. The idea of spontaneity is a glorified one, but it is always better to be prepared. Allow for some flexibility, but generally it is good to plan out the date.
- Relax. The hard part is over— she agreed to go out with you. Remember that she is just as nervous as you are: if you are calm and relaxed, she will be as well.
- Show your excitement. If you are excited about the date, show it. It will boost his confidence and allows him to relax.
- Ask about him. Yes, he asked you out because he is interested in you, but it will be good to learn things about him as well. Just remember that it is not an interview: be natural with your questions.
- Be reassuring. Understanding that things do not always go according to plan will help your date go smoothly. If he seems to be stressing about something, assure him that you are having a good time regardless.
- Thank him. It takes a lot of confidence for men to ask women out— let him know you appreciate it. Even if the date was horrific, thank him just the same– for both the date and a good story to tell your friends.
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