Step 1: Honestly, everyone is hard pressed to have the courage to ask someone out, let alone get them during one of the most advertised lovey-dovey holidays of the year. As cheesy as it sounds, be yourself. Unless you’re a jerk. Then try not to be a jerk. Adjust accordingly.
Step 2: Think about something nice to do and have a suggestion in mind in terms of dating options. Often in our world of technology and digital media, we fear face-to-face communication and thus we hide behind a text message. Don’t do that. Relationships do not spawn out of a cell phone. A date does not include texting each other under the table. Do your research so you can both be entertained and interact face-to-face.
Step 3: Once you have said suggested date, find a target. Often, as the awkward humans we are, we find ourselves hurtling towards someone screaming, “Will you go on a date with me?! I’m not creepy; I don’t want your babies just yet,” and then said target starts to back away slowly. Result? You feel sad and alone all over again. Take a deep breath, find someone who you think you might like and STAY CALM.
Step 4: For the love of all that is holy, please, please, please clean yourself up. If you’re a guy, shave and put on a clean — not semi-clean — shirt. Girls, break out the nice, not-too-slutty top and brush your hair. So many people underestimate the importance of smelling nice.
Everything is fine and dandy until you get in close and their breath smells like the back end of a garbage truck. (P.S. This applies to more than just the first date.)
Step 5: Realize that no one is perfect. You are going to have to make compromises about everyone. It is something you’ll realize after about the third date if it gets that far. Yes, she might eat your food. Yes, he’s an idiot. Welcome to life. When you try to date someone, don’t let that one little piece of lettuce in their teeth create a whole facade where you can’t actually see them for who they are.
Step 6: It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl. Do you go to college, do you work, do you have the freedom to leave your house without a male’s permission? Yes you do, if you don’t, you need to get some help about that. But don’t be afraid to be the one to ask a guy out. Break some stereotypes and realize that it takes a lot of courage for a guy to ask you out too.
Step 7: To women: As individuals, we love men; but as a whole they are slow. Speak up. To men: women like hugs and being told that they are pretty cool. Speak up.
Step 8: After steps 1-7 of mental preparation, attempt to talk to someone. Awkward can be kind of cute to the right person. Look at your must-haves in a person and your absolutely-not’s. Never, never judge someone by their looks. Always look at the words that fall from their lips.
Step 9: Don’t panic about being rejected. The worst that can happen? They say no and everyone moves on.
Step 10: Walk up to the person, be brave for just a few seconds of your long life to come, and ask.
College Avenue Reporter Kelly Shroyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org