Dating is a dance in which neither partner knows the steps. There we go, one partner trying to do the tango while the other struggles through a waltz. Sometimes, the dance ends and both partners decide this awkward hoedown is something they want to figure out together for the rest of their lives. Most of the time, however, the dance ends with one or both of them clutching figurative sprained ankles.
Both sides should be willing to cut the other a little slack. But there are a few things girls can do--or, more specifically, not do--to prevent any awkward toe-stepping during the courtship dance. (To check out a list of mistakes guys should avoid, click here.)
1. Being too quiet.
I’ll agree that maintaining the balance so both parties enjoy fulfilling contributions to the conversation can be difficult, and both sides make mistakes in this regard. I’ve heard girls complain when a guy talks about himself for the span of the date, but we have no choice when the girl reverts to such shyness that she is almost indistinguishable from a remarkably pretty potted plant that has learned to occasionally nod and say, “Hmm.” We’ll do our best, and you do your best. That’s all we both can expect.
2. Giving too much attention to others.
If we’re with other people, it’s perfectly acceptable to talk to them too, but please don’t neglect us in favor of your friends or the other guys. (Especially the other guys.) If your friends happen to be present, you should still make sure you give your date the time he deserves.
3. Giving mixed signals.
Sometimes girls act like they're interested and we think things are going along great--until we try to make a move and get rejected. Reciprocating our attempts at physical affection is by no means mandatory, and we should not feel like we’re entitled to some level of such affection. But let us hold your hand or kiss you if the timing’s right, we both want it, and it's within the boundaries of chaste behavior. A little shyness is natural, but unwarranted fickleness will simply send us back home scratching our heads at the perpetual mystery of femininity.
4. Expecting us to read your mind.
Let’s say I tell you we’re going to a Mexican restaurant and you secretly hate Mexican food. Please tell me you think it’s a bad idea. Otherwise you’re going to have to suffer through chalupas all evening, and I’m going to have to suffer through you suffering though chalupas without knowing what’s going on. Whether you do or don't want to do something, please, let us know.
5. Holding unrealistic expectations.
Girls, we love you, but we just don’t understand you. You’re like a mystical temple unearthed in the Amazon, hoarding fabled treasure inside but guarded by deadly traps. We’re trying to learn more about you and not get eaten by giant tarantulas or crushed by rolling boulders in the process. Please excuse us for making mistakes in our attempts to court you.
Let’s all try to be more understanding. We guys can be a little stupid, but we’re not the only guilty parties when dating goes south. Maybe, if the above suggestions are taken into account, we can both avoid sprained ankles as we continue through this crazy dance we call dating.
Your turn: Is this list complete? Accurate? What are some other mistakes women make in dating?
Ryan Kunz is proud of the fact that he is a Star Wars nerd and remains socially adept and reasonably conscious of fashion. He enjoys writing, hiking, spending time in intellectually stimulating company, and talking about himself in the third person. He will someday be a bestselling novelist but in the meantime is studying advertising at BYU.