Men and women think differently, but they do agree on one thing: finding the right person to marry is hard, exciting, scary, and a true desire. There are a lot of “chick flicks” and romance novels out there that attempt to describe true love and how to find it, but I know a lot of really terrific single women who are still wondering where their “knight in shining armor” is.
I recently polled some single LDS women to find out what it is they wish guys knew about dating. Here are some quick tips to help guys in the game of love.
1. Step up to the plate
Be brave and talk to her. It doesn’t matter what you say. It might be awkward at first, but many girls love to talk, so it won’t be that hard to start a conversation. You can always start with a playful text and then work your way up to an actual phone call or in-person chat. Here’s the trick: ask questions. People are flattered when they feel that someone is genuinely interested in them. Here are some examples:
• I’m doing a survey. How do you feel about YouTube videos with cats in them?
• I noticed you were reading [name of] book. Do you like it? Why?
• Have you heard about [current event]? What do you think of it?
When you do finally ask her out, have a plan for a date. Don’t just ask, “What do you want to do?” She’ll most likely say “I dunno. What do you want to do?” In the beginning, you be the one to make it happen. Nothing is more attractive than confidence.
2. Remember that (batting) practice makes perfect.
Brittany Long, a returned missionary who just recently got married said, “Popular media may promote that all girls like the ‘bad boy’ image, but that’s not the truth. LDS girls like Christlike men who don’t complain about home teaching, who can be called on to give priesthood blessings, who treat everyone kindly, and who don’t have to prove their ‘manliness’ by putting others down. Girls don't want to have to worry if the guy they're falling in love with can take them to temple or be the spiritual leader for their future family.”
Your wife and your children will look to you for priesthood leadership. You won’t have time to quickly repent and suddenly make yourself worthy when someone needs a blessing. Be ready all of the time. Every time you go home teaching, bless the sacrament, help someone move into a new house, perform ordinances, or perform any other quorum assignment, you are showing the Lord that He can count on you. A good woman wants to know that she can count on you, too. She’s betting her future, and even her eternity, on you.
3. Be a “catcher with courtesy.”
Be kind to waiters, mailmen, janitors, ticket takers, and, well, everyone. She’s watching all of those interactions. She’s also looking to see if you’re kind to children, to see what kind of a father you’ll be. Your girl will feel so lucky to be with someone who is truly Christlike, rather than someone she has to make excuses for to her friends and family.
The main reason couples have problems can be boiled down to one thing: selfishness. Almost every marital problem has selfishness at its core. Even problems with pornography, finances, and intimate relations, which are three of the biggest relationship issues married couples face, can be condensed into a matter of who is being selfish and unkind.
One way to show your unselfishness to her is to do little acts of kindness like opening her door for her. Of course women are capable of opening their own door, but be a gentleman anyway and show her that you want to put her first.
4. Keep your eyes on the ball.
No matter how good things are, and how much love develops in a relationship, it’s going to take some work and there’s always room to improve. Pay attention and keep your eye on the ball! Even the best baseball team out there will make some changes each year in hopes of making it even better. To keep the fire going, you have to continue to add some fuel.
Part of keeping the fire going is not making the girl feel like she’s doing more work in the relationship. Remember that the little things count. Notice them and let her know you appreciate them. Make her feel like she’s a priority.
Have you ever gone out to dinner and noticed a girl sitting at a table, quietly eating her meal, while her date takes a business call on his cell phone? Don’t be that guy. Life will still go on if you don’t answer that phone. Focus on her. If you don’t, she’ll find someone who will.
5. Remember that base hits win the game.
It’s the small, consistent base hits that will win the game. Relationships are built around a lot of simple, little things.
Be there. Be consistent. Be a stand-up guy all the time. Honor your priesthood. Do the little things—and don’t just do them, be interested in doing them. Show that you care through everything you do.
It doesn’t matter so much what exactly you say or do, but it’s the thought behind those words or actions that will determine whether or not you’ve struck out in the game of love.
Guys can get more great relationship tips in Base Hits and Home Run Relationships
With Trina Boice's advice, any man can learn how to step up to the plate. Learn tips, stats, and skills to make a powerful and lasting romance whether you're in the minor leagues of dating or the major leagues of married life.
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