Something I see over and over again is women complaining about not being asked out.
Of course, some of them post this on local LDS singles groups in spite of the fact that I and other men I’ve talked to have asked them out. Others post the “come on guys, ask. I’m not turning anybody down” and then a half dozen of us get together later and realize that all of us asked, but she was always busy, or said yes, then cancelled later.
In other LDS singles groups, I’ve even seen women telling each other that it’s better to accept and then cancel or even stand the guy up than to simply be honest and decline the date.
Well, I think it’s time for a man’s perspective on this.
What goes into asking for a first date?
First, checking the budget and the schedule to see if I have time and money for it. Now, neither of those is free, so there’s always an opportunity cost; I can always find something else to do with the time and money that a date will take. Now look around at what’s happening in the area and come up with a plan.
Then, assuming I already know who I want to ask, there’s overcoming the fear of rejection. This used to be easier; a couple double shots of mid-grade bourbon and go for it. Now I have to do it stone cold sober, so it’s more like 10-20 deep breaths and a five minute prayer that she will at least be polite when she turns me down. (When asking nonmembers, it’s two deep breaths and one prayer that she won’t turn out to be some militant anti-Mormon trying to save me from the Church, or insist on finishing the evening at some place where I’ll hate the music.)
Now on to the actual asking. Even this is more complex, since LDS women won’t offer an option even when they really can’t make it Saturday night. Nonmembers in that situation almost always do a simple “I can’t Saturday, but how about next Friday at 7?” or something similar. LDS women say they can’t and it’s up to you to decide how many alternatives you’ll throw out before you write her off as too scared to just say no. Be warned, though, if she’s not trying to say no and you don’t list off every free evening between now and the Resurrection for her to pick from, she will blame you for not trying hard enough later.
Some just plain won’t respond. That’s always lovely when you have to ask in a text or Facebook message. You wait 24-72 hours, during which time you don’t want to be a jerk and ask someone else, and then you have to either come up with some slightly more polite way to say “thanks for playing, but no thanks for playing with my emotions” so she knows the offer is withdrawn, or wait until the proposed time has passed so she can’t pop in and say yes at the last minute and try to make you feel bad if you did find someone else to go. (Again, different with nonmembers; only one did the silent treatment so far.)
Now, in the event you get a yes, there’s prep work to be done. Clear your calendar, buy concert tickets, set aside some extra cash just in case you end up in a situation where you can’t use plastic, make sure the car is cleaned out, tell your Home Teaching companion you can’t come watch the game with him that day, etc.
So, now it’s the night before the big day, and you’re making that special trip to the laundromat so your favorite shirt will be clean and pressed for the date. You already picked up the rest of the suit from the cleaners, and you’re going to fill up the tank and Febreeze the Taco Bell sauce stains on the passenger seat again in the morning. (For nonmember women, just go get some cheap universal seat covers at WalMart, if that.)
Time to go pick her up; if you’re really lucky, she forgot to cancel because she forgot all about the date, so when you get to her house, she’ll answer the door in sweats and a confused look. Now, if you prayed hard enough, she’ll feel bad and rush to get ready, rather than coming up with an excuse to cancel on the spot.
If she doesn’t cancel…well, I don’t know. I’ve only gotten to that point six times with Mormon women so far, and I winged it from there when that happened. It must have worked, since four of the six resulted in at least second dates, and three in third and beyond.
Now, when I ignore the bishop’s advice to stick with Church women, and ask nonmembers, I’m batting about 50/50 on getting the first date. Past that, the percentages are about the same: somewhere around two thirds will end up with a second date, and half in a third. Sure doesn’t sound like it’s LDS men that are the real problem.