Simmer down

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I went on a date the other night. This doesn’t happen as often to me as people would assume for a BYU student.

There are many reasons for the actual lack of dating at BYU: the guys are to blame; the infamous “hanging out” is to blame. The demographic of who’s actually “smart” enough to get into BYU is very much to blame. But women are to blame as well.

A few days later, after saying my date was fine with no painfully awkward moments, someone asked me, “Do you like him? Is he weird? Do you love him? Are you going to marry him?” This really happened.

After I gave them my, “Are you really being this ridiculous?” look I replied, “No. I’m not going to marry him. I will go on a second date if he asks. If I go on a second date, then I will decide if I want to go on a third. Then, after a third date I’ll see if I want to go on a fourth, then a fifth. I’ll ask him to do things with me. That’s how dating works.”

Why do girls freak out about what the date meant? Why do they think there’s some grand meaning behind what he said and did? Why do they expect everything from the guy from the get go?

He’s a guy. The date meant, “Well, I didn’t hate that. I probably won’t hate a second.” Women over-analyze things and create these expectations they think the guy knows and is OK with. In reality the guy has no clue. He may want to ask you out again but is terrified you’ll think it means so much more than him just wanting to get to know you a little bit better.

On the rare occurrence you do get asked out by a man (and not a boy — there’s a difference, literally and metaphorically) who has a life plan past his next paycheck, women need to understand something.

He’s a guy. They’re immature. That’s OK. He’s trying to avoid the girls who, after a first date, have already decided whether he’ll be in a grey or black suit at their wedding; he’s trying to avoid the girls who wanted a baby yesterday. Ladies, simmer down or else he’s out of there.

I’m not saying all guys don’t want to get married and have a family, but for a guy going into dates thinking, “She’s going to want me to marry her,” it’s stressful. And although at BYU the majority of our dates are with LDS guys, it doesn’t change the fact they are guys and that most struggle to commit. And don’t think your boyfriend or potential boyfriend is different. He isn’t.

Marriage means a lot of things to them, but it also means they have to be responsible for the financial welfare, physical protection and emotional support of another human being. Marriage means in a few years, or nine months later, they have to grow up and be a father. That’s terrifying for them, and when they think women are chomping at the bit to start a family, it’s hard to handle the pressure. They think by date three (or whatever perceived magical number) they have to decide. Because that is the pressure that has been put on them, especially from women.

It makes it hard for the rest of us. The only detail about my wedding I have planned is that I will have short center pieces because I’ve gone to enough wedding receptions where I’ve spent the evening craning my neck around tall flowers to talk to others across from me. I haven’t picked out onesies for my future children; I’ve picked out what motorcycle I would buy if I had the money. I like watching football, not pinning home decoration ideas to my Pinterest account (which I don’t even have). I like getting to know someone well before I want to commit to them in any way. I have to build trust and respect, and I have to feel like we’ve made each other a priority before I start throwing around the “L” word. 

Women try to force their relationships in a certain direction that fits in a neat little box. Life isn’t neat. Stop forcing DTRs (I can’t even handle that term and can’t believe I just used it); those conversations actually come up naturally by themselves by both sides of the relationship. Stop reading into everything. Stop freaking the guys out. Let them take you out on nice, casual dates. Thank them for it and literally tell them if you would or would not like to go on another date.

What happened to dating? Why do so many people act like children in relationships? Stop asking too much and giving too little.

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