Dating Advice for Mormon Men

Updated with a new #8! 

A frequent commenter on this blog recently suggested I write a book of dating advice for LDS singles.  I don't feel qualified to write that book for women, I feel like I haven't figured it out for myself yet.  But, I definitely know what the Mormon men out there are doing wrong.  This got me thinking. First, I'm not trying to beat up on Mormon men, they've got it hard enough. But there are patterns I've noticed that are hurting the men's chances with the ladies.

So I'd like to share some advice right now.  Below is a list of tips for avoiding the most obnoxious LDS male dating behavior that makes women like me run screaming back into non-LDS land. (This is not exclusive to Mormon men, but for some reason, the prevalence is much higher.)*

*All Mormon men do not need this advice, some of them are very good daters.

1. Women don't like cheap.  
I don't know what goes on in Utah, but in the rest of the world, frugality is NOT cool or impressive on a date. VERY unattractive.  Women are impressed by your financial power and success, this is an evolutionary fact. Nature has dictated that we be attracted by men who can take care of our physical needs.  As disgusting as that is, and it pains me to say it, but it is absolutely true. Before you men get judgmental about it, it's the equivalent to the way Nature made you attracted to beauty (or fertile women with good DNA).  Even if you're not financially successful, you should treat her as though you did have the cash. (Cut back on your video game habit if you have to.)  If you like the woman, take her to a nice restaurant and treat her like a queen. The sexiest line I've ever heard from a man was, "You don't ever have to worry about how much anything costs." All of my girlfriends swooned when I told them about it.

2.  Do not make a big show out of paying the check
Don't show off how much tip you are leaving (but don't be chintzy on the tip either, we notice), do not tell your date how much dinner cost or your tickets or whatever.  And for the love of all things holy, do not complain about how much it cost.  That says to us that you don't think our company is worth that amount of money.  She will never want to go out with you again. 

3. Dress up.  
My biggest pet peeve, and it's worse with LDS guys, is a man showing up for a first date, or any date in jeans, a t-shirt and tennis shoes.  (Unless it's appropriate to the event you are attending, but even then, you should try to dress up as much as possible.) Because the woman probably spent AT LEAST an hour getting dressed up for him and he shows up in clothes he'd wear to hang out with the guys. It pisses me off.  It is disrespectful.  It tells me that you do not like me enough to bother getting dressed.  It's a compliment for you to dress up for your date. And it scores you instant points right at the beginning.

4. Ask the woman out on a date and be a man about it.    
Ask her out to her face. Do not text, do not email, do not IM. The phone is acceptable, the other forms of media are weenie and make you look like a weenie. So if she does accept, you already have a strike against you. You should make all the plans for the first date.  Have everything taken care of ahead of time. Just make sure you talk to her first. You don't want to take a vegetarian to a steakhouse. 

5. Ask the woman on a real date and be a man about it.
This is not a typo, it bears repeating. Do not ask a woman on a stealth date. You all know you have done this. In order to avoid getting rejected, you ask the women to an ambiguous activity in an ambiguous way so that she could construe it as friendly instead of a date. It is annoying not to know if the man I'm about to go out with is interested in dating me or not. And it is annoying for me not to know whether I'm dressing up for a date or whether I can expect to pay for myself or not.  ANNOYING.  It makes you look like a weenie and gives you negative points.  Be direct. Let the woman know you are taking her out because you like her.  We like that.

6. Do not be coy, do not make us chase you.  
We don't want to chase you.  Because the man who tells us directly that he likes us and wants to date us and asks us out on real dates is right around the corner.  That man will get the girl, not you. We aren't programmed to be aggressive, and it hurts our self-esteem. Many of us have non-Mormon men assertively chasing us.  That makes the shy Mormon boys look bad, and again, weenie. So you're already losing before you even got to the plate. You're a grown man, get over it and grow a pair.   

7. Show some manners.  
Good manners go an awful long way with the ladies.  It tells us that you respect us and that you like us enough to treat us well. It's also a preview of how you might treat your wife.  Please and thank you, hold the door, show her consideration, offer your coat if she's cold, etc. Everything your mother taught you. For example, if you're meeting your date at the theater and she happened to have bought the last ticket unknowingly (though she shouldn't be buying it in the first place) DO NOT LEAVE HER AT THE THEATER by herself.  Buy 2 tickets to another movie, or sneak in with her anyway. Or, DO NOT PEE IN THE PARKING LOT IN FRONT OF HER. Especially after she asked you not to do it.

How could I forget this last one? It's the absolute WORST behavior!

8. Do not audition us for dates! Commit to one night with a woman already!!
Really.  If you find a woman intriguing or at all interesting, ask her on a date (see #4, #5).  That's what other men do.  It's one night of your life.   So, if it sucks, now you know and you can move on.  Think of all the time you just saved yourself.   You don't have to wonder about her anymore.  No more auditions or tests.  One date and it's "Next".   Not to mention that this makes women angry.   If a man can't commit to spending two hours with me, then he is an annoying weenie.

An example:  There are now 3 eligible men in my ward (which is unprecedented, we've had a 200% increase!).  One of them isn't interested in me.  One stares at me but won't speak.  The third says hello (and it took him two years to do that) and makes googly eyes at me.  I'd go out with any of them if they asked.  But unless they man up and do it, I couldn't care less. 

NOTE: When I feel so-so about a man and then he treats me well and does all of the above, my so-so turns into yes-yes.  Likewise, I could be really excited about a man until he fails to do the above, moving him down to so-so or no-no. These behaviors often determine whether you get a second date or not. They are that important.

Some readers might think this is so obvious they don't need to be said. But, you'd be wrong about that. I've had the dates to prove it.  Believe me, an awful lot of men out there never learned any of this, or they forgot it, or, they think they are god's gift to women and can act like jerks if they want to. Good luck with that.


arbee said...

I think you need to have this made into a handout or something... :)

Re #4: I went out with a guy, that took me to a steakhouse and I am a vegetarian! Ummmmm...yeah, didn't go out on a second date. The good part is at most steak places, there are some good sides to order.

JL said...

Nice one. That's a violation of #4 and #7. Inconsiderate. You can get good potatoes and vegetables at a steakhouse.

Maybe I can send it to the church and tell them to call it, "For the End of Singleness". They can pass it out in Elder's Quorum. That would be awesome.

Sterling Fluharty said...

Thanks for the list. I see now that I have violated some of these rules from time to time. Are you interested in a male critique of this post?

JL said...

Feel free. I'm not trying to bash the mormon men, so speak up.

Sterling Fluharty said...

Are you saying LDS women appreciate more the money that is spent on them than the quality time that Mormon men are willing to spend with them?

Is going on a two-hour well-dressed date the best way to figure out if a person is good for you?

Why do women want men to take them to same restaurants and movies that they would take just about any date to? Don't women want to be treated uniquely?

JL said...

ALL women want to feel special. If you make a woman feel very special, she will be yours regardless of ANYTHING else.

Men can make us feel that way by how they treat us, by showing respect and consideration. It's not about creative, frugal, or unique dates, unlike what the New Era told you. If a man shows that he is willing to put in an effort and that he really wants to impress you, which sometimes means spending money, then it makes us feel good and we will be impressed.

When a man is cheap on a date it sends the message that his date is not worth very much to him. This doesn't make a woman feel good. Go out of your way to make your date feel good and she will definitely want to see you again.

Talking and spending time together is the best way to find out if a person is good for you. But if that person makes you feel bad then you won't want to spend any time with him at all, no matter how good for you he might be.

jillmaren said...

Love the tips.

But I think part of the problem lies in the fact that the women often "reward" this behavior. Take for example the many, many, many women in my old singles ward who furiously courted a group of male friends of mine: they'd bake them cookies, show up at thier house unannounced, bring them dinner, pay for movies, concerts, etc. RELENTLESSLY.

As you said, competition is fierce and some of these girls don't mess around. It's sick and wrong, but they really ruin it for the rest of the women. They spoil these guys so they think they won't have to work for a woman, so if someone comes around that they're interested in, they'll wait for her to do the pursuing. Otherwise, someone else will.

JL said...

Those women aren't single in their 30s. They all got married. The women who are left are the ones who learned to date outside of Mormonia.

So, we have men and women operating in different dating paradigms. Both groups waiting for the other to be the initiator. Hence, the twain shall never meet. Sad.

Sterling Fluharty said...

Part of my problem is that I am respectful and considerate by nature, so just about every woman feels good after spending some time with me. I am already concerned that one of my coworkers, after spending a day driving around with me last week, is going to dump her boyfriend and ask me out. As a consequence, I have a pattern of pursuing one of either two extremes: I forgot about all other women and focus all of my energy and attention on just one or else I casually date and hang out with several different women without giving any one of them an indication that I am seriously interested in them. I wish I could figure where to balance my need to more or less pursue one or more women with my desire for just one of them, the one who is best for me, to single me out and beat the competition.

JL said...

Sterling, you bring up a pandemic problem with Mormon dating. I'm going to answer this issue with a Dear Celibate post.

Sterling Fluharty said...

Thanks. I look forward to it.

Sarebear said...

Hi JL! This is Sarebear from Piebolar, you posted back in May on my blog comments. I was about a month out from my second recent total knee replacement surgery (I'm shockingly young for it, at 37 and 38, due to arthritis because of bad genes), and so could only tolerate a minute or three stolen at the computer back then, with my knees propped up, sitting sideways to the computer, which is a bit awkward. Recovery from this is, well, a bear. Takes a full year per knee, and I'm recovering from two.

I've recently been going through a failed trial of a medication, Geodon, that has been driving me BUGGY!

I hope yours has worked out for you, the one I'm going back on has worked well enough.

I just struggle with trying to endure well the physical trials of pain that I am being given to endure, right now. Being in constant pain, recovering from surgery(ies) for over 7 months now, gets a little old, but as Mormons we are raised to "endure it to the end, and not complain".

When are we allowed to be human? I'm not a robot, and I get so weary after so long of this pain. I know EVENTUALly it will go away (they tell me, for some few patients, it'll hurt forever, but I try not to think about THAT option; it just isn't an option for me. Especially given the blessings that said I'd heal fully and well. It just takes a LOOOONNG time. I feel like a crippled old lady, and I'm only 38!!

Physical therapy sure is a test, alright.

Anyway, I was sure tickled to see you post, and wanted you to know what was up with me, and that I was thinking of you and hoping things are well with you.

Life is a bit discouraging at present, as I'm not physically capable of doing as much as I'd like, but I've got to remember, all in due time, and patience. One step at a time. One painful step at a time.