The young women organization leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints encouraged young women in the church in 2010, “Become the kind of person you would like to date.” The same goes to all the guys out there. Through my dating history and by talking with others, I’ve found various traits that stand out to both genders.
1. Say “Yes.”
I feel that in our society it has gotten easy for us to say “No” when someone bravely asks us out on a date. Think of the courage it takes for that individual to ask you out and how crushed they would be if you said “No.” Unless that person asking you out is a creepy stalker, convicted felon, Neo-Nazi, or rapist, go out with them! One date isn’t going to kill you. Even if the date doesn’t go well, there’s a chance for you to network with your date’s friends and maybe find someone you’d really enjoy going out with. Give people a chance and get to know them before you turn them down.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, said, ““If we are to persuade young men to ask for dates more frequently, we must establish a mutual expectation that to go on a date is not to imply a continuing commitment. … Young women, if you turn down a date, be kind. Otherwise you may crush a nervous and shy questioner and destroy him as a potential dater, and that could hurt some other sister.”
2. Cancelling Is A No-Go.
Another custom I have noticed is some dates that say “Yes” will cancel shortly before the date with something they had “totally forgotten about.” That’s bad manners! If you honestly do have to cancel, offer an alternative date for the future. If you don’t offer any exceptions, the other person will assume that you aren’t interested and that you’re just trying to get out of a date with them. Unless you have a true emergency, don’t cancel. It’s just plain rude!
3. Be You.
Although you want to show your best self on a date, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Your date wants to see the real you and not a mask. Make an effort to have fun with your date no matter what the activity is.
I once asked a girl out on a dinner date. I didn’t have a car at the time and it was in the middle of winter in Rexburg, Idaho. All of the sidewalks were coated in ice and the temperature wasn’t the best either. Yet my date was willing to walk with me across town while hanging onto my arm to prevent her from slipping. We talked and laughed the whole way over to the buffet in town. The date was quick but memorable. I could tell she was being her genuine self and was making an effort not to let the weather stop her from having a good time.
4. Control Your Emotions.
Just from talking with friends of both genders, I know that emotional stability is critical to a successful relationship. Although it can be tough at times, control your emotions. Do not overload on your date with all that is wrong in your life. True, we each have our bad days, but don’t be the one who always has a “problem” and is emotionally needy. This is exhausting physically, emotionally for both involved.
A website called, “Science of Relationships” did a survey where participants were asked to list in importance what were their top twenty most sought for personality traits in a partner and emotional stability was in the top ten for both genders. To learn more about the results see this link: http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2012/4/19/the-top-20-most-desired-personality-traits-in-a-future-spous.html
This is an important quality to have! I’ve been on dates where I’ve maybe said four words while I listened to my date talk the entire time. Each of us has the desire to be heard. Listen to what your date has to say rather than thinking of the next thing to say. Be willing to listen and take turns. An article titled “10 Ways To Ruin a First Date” said, “Refrain from overwhelming the conversation. Talking just to fill the silence is not a way to prevent a date from going bad. It is a way to ensure that the date will be ruined.” http://relationships.answers.com/dating-tips/10-ways-to-ruin-a-first-date
6. Don’t be critical.
No one enjoys being around a pessimist or critic. Want to make your date not like you? Criticize them often and you’ll do just that. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “In a dating and courtship relationship, I would not have you spend five minutes with someone who belittles you, who is constantly critical of you, who is cruel at your expense and may even call it humor.”
7. Treat Your Date Like Gold
Everyone wants to feel important and special. The best dates are those where you feel uplifted after your dating experience and not “second” in importance.
I once asked out a girl who I found very attractive and was surprised she’d say yes to someone like me. I was extremely humbled. Throughout the date, she’d ask me questions about myself, was polite, and was just such an all around sweetheart! I later learned she had been feeling sick all day, yet didn’t cancel and made the date one to remember. I could be myself around her without any worries. I was just blown away by how kind she was. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “A girl has the same obligation to show good manners as a boy. She should appreciate the efforts he goes to and thank him. She should talk to him and help him have a nice time. She should never be texting others during a date. She should never ‘ditch’ him to go do something with others during the date. She should make every effort to be pleasant and talkative.”
These seven traits are just scratching the service of revolutionizing your dating experiences. Men and women, let’s step up our game when it comes to dating! Let’s make sure that we’re courteous and kind, even if we aren’t interested in a long-term relationship. By doing so, we will be a date to remember!