Q: Your husband’s last blog How to Take a Girl on a Real Date had great advice for guys, but what about the other way around? What is your advice for girls going on dates? Should a girl ever ask a guy out on a date?
A: The number one thing Brian stresses for guys to do on a date is to uphold the dignity of a woman. He says if they do this then they will never have a bad date. I echo my husband’s sentiment and think the most important thing for a girl to do on a date is to remember she has great dignity and worth.
Before a girl even says yes to a date, she must know that she is a beautiful, perfect creation of God. Similar to the magnificence of Heaven, her worth can be likened to the “pearl of great price” that the man went in search of and gave up everything for (Matthew 13:45-46).
If we don’t know our own worth, then we may put ourselves in situations where we are looking for the guy taking us out to provide us with our sense of worth. We may try to act or look a certain way so that our date likes us. It’s not a bad thing to want to impress others, but our ultimate goal in dating shouldn’t be to please the guy who asked us out. Our goal is to please the One who created us.
God created women intentionally, unique within all of creation. Saint John Paul II refers to the great dignity and mystery of the design of women as the “feminine genius” (Letter of Pope John Paul II to Women).
It’s no coincidence that the creation story in Genesis builds in beauty and is crowned with the creation of Eve. As women, we can always imitate Mary as the perfect example of womanhood. We should look to her as our role model and constant inspiration for living out our feminine genius. How did Mary live her life? In a “service of love.” It was through this service of love, to God and others, that she was able to experience in her own life all that God had planned for her.
But what does Mary’s life have to do with dating? It’s not like she went on a lot of dates before she finally met Joseph.
What Mary did perfectly, and what we all need to try to imitate, is her consistent “yes” to God’s plan for her. Her aim was to please and obey God. She knew her worth and dignity came from Him. She was able to love and serve others, because she knew God loved her first.
Knowing that God loves you just as you are allows you to be yourself on a date. Since you are loved by Him, there’s no need to question whether or not you are lovable. Knowing that you were uniquely created, with your own beauty and mystery, will help you “guard your heart” and not feel like you have to share every detail of your life early in the dating process. Knowing that God wants us to love others will guide you to be respectful and thoughtful on a date.
Practically speaking, men like to pursue women. Women like to be pursued. That’s why every fairy tales have the prince chasing after the princess, not the other way around.
It is our job as women to let a guy prove himself worthy of getting to know who we really are. This does not mean that every guy who asks us out will be up to the task. It does not mean that we’ll like every guy who does treat us well. It’s okay to say no to a date. That’s why the guy asks us: so that we can respond, graciously and politely, with either yes or no.
Should a girl ever ask a guy out? I tend to believe that the majority of the time, if a guy is not asking you out, then there is a reason for it. It could be that he’s not interested in taking you out, or that he’s not ready in his own life for a relationship, etc.
If we as women take the lead early on, then it’s going to be harder for the guy to take the lead during the relationship. (Think: do you want him to call you at night and find out how your day went? Do you want him to ask you to prom? Do you want him to ask for your hand in marriage?)
If you want a guy to ask you out, try to show that you enjoy being in his company. Smile when he speaks. Laugh if his jokes are funny, and sometimes even if they aren’t. (I wouldn’t know what that’s like because my husband Brian’s jokes are always fresh, insightful, and well-delivered.) Keep conversations going by asking questions or sharing your own experiences. Most of this will come naturally when we find someone we’re compatible with.
But what if you’ve done all this, and the guy still seems like he doesn’t get the hint you’d like to go out with him and you really want to? Then you could try saying something like, “You know, if you asked me out on a date, I would say yes.” This could help diminish the fear a nervous guy has in asking you out. This approach still allows for the guy to take the lead and actually ask you out (and gives him the space not to ask you out, which you need to be prepared for.)
Remember that your worth is not determined by how many dates you go on or if you date at all. If you’re called to marriage, the right man for you to date will come along. Be patient as you wait. Trust in God’s plan and His timing, knowing that His plans are far better than any you could imagine.