To flatter and follow others, without being flattered and followed in turn, is but a state of half enjoyment.

10/30/2011 The Lady 11 Comments

My Friends,
This week, we were sent two emails that were so strikingly and uncannily similar in content that I had to check back again to make sure that the same person did not simply email us twice. The fact that two people wrote in about the exact same issue this week only strengthened my faith in divine intervention. [Please note that I am not stating that God has a direct hand in our blog].

I would love to include both of these emails in this post, but for the sake of time and space, I will simply summarize.

These two wonderful young women who wrote us this week are frustrated. To put it simply. During their time at BYU [which has been much more than just their freshman semester] they have never been asked out on a date. Not once. They both assured me that they are not ugly, that they both shower regularly, and they are both involved in their wards and at school. They are happy with their lives, but they just don't understand why other girls get asked out while they do not.

This is my answer to my two young friends:

Once upon a time, there was a young woman who wrote for a secret dating blog, who called herself The Coquette. She was thus called The Coquette because during a period of three years, she went through men like people with colds go through Kleenex tissues, because she believed that men should be "soft, strong, and disposable". She was a black widow spider who devoured the men who wandered into her sticky web.

Then The Coquette moved to a new city called Provo in the province of Utah to complete the last couple of years of her college education. Here The Coquette had a completely new set of experiences. While her friends, The Romantic, The Blue Stocking, and The Charmer spent their weekends being courted by men [some were awkward and some were charming], The Coquette spent her weekends watching Persuasion and reading romantic [not graphic] novels. During a period of two years, The Coquette could count the number of dates she had been on on one hand.

The Coquette just didn't understand what had happened. "Perhaps this is punishment from the gods for luring all those men to their deaths," she thought to herself. But since she only believed in one God, that didn't seem plausible. "Maybe I have just lost my youth and beauty already," she said looking in the mirror. But the mirror reflected back the image of a beautifully average-looking young woman. "Maybe I smell bad." But all the men who came around to flirt with her always complimented her on her personal hygiene. "I wonder what it could be," she thought.

One day, she was just so fed up with not getting asked out that she called her mother. After explaining her frustrations, her mother, who was very wise told The Coquette of her own dating experiences.

This is what The Coquette's mother told her:

When I was in college, my roommate had a magazine that had in it one of those quizzes that would reveal to you your appeal to men based on how many men you had kissed, held hands with, etc. Well, my roommate who had dated many people scored quite high, but I, on the other hand scored a zero. I received no points at all. In fact the quiz told me blatantly that I was completely sexless!

But the very next weekend, I was asked out for a date. We were doubling with my date's friend, and his date. Now I was friends with my date, but his friend and I enjoyed each oth er's company so much that we eventually got married. And that is the man you call "Father". That quiz claimed that I was sexless, that I had no appeal to men, and I almost believed that what it told me was true, but your father proved that quiz wrong. I didn't need to be asked out by a countless number of men in order to find the one who really mattered.

The Coquette thought her mother was very wise, and went away from their conversation quite satisfied.

Now The Coquette still spends her weekends in almost the same way while her friends go on dates and others plan their weddings, but she hardly bats an eye. The Coquette is involved in her ward, she is friendly, a little flirtatious [much less so than the days of yore] and of course she would love to be dating, but she has decided that no matter what, she has a life to live. She has decided that dating [or not dating in her case] is only as stressful as she makes it. She has decided to believe that romance will come much easier to her if she worries about it much less.

The Coquette may spend the rest of her mortal days being completely sexless [and she means that in the most respectful sense] but she does not want to spend her days waiting, wishing, and hoping that someone will come knock on her door and whisk her off to the temple.

There is no secret key to dating. No magic formula. No set rules.

And The Coquette plans to live happily ever after.

Con Amor,
The Coquette

Disclosure: This post, my friends, was not meant to leave you feeling hopeless about your situation, but rather to make you feel that you are not alone. Dating is completely different for everyone. Some people get asked out on a billion dates, others get asked out on very few, others get asked out on none at all, but it will work out. It may be as disheartening as the Infernal Regions, but I have faith that things will always work together for our good according to the timing of our loving Heavenly Father if we are acting in righteous ways.

P.S. The Romantic sends her love to you all.

P.P.S. You all know how I love to beat dead horses and preach to the choir and all that jazz, but if you have yet to vote for us for the student blog competition, please go to this post. If you have already voted, please accept a virtual high-five from yours truly [Please high-five toward your screen in]. Perfect.

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Anonymous said...

We live in a modern generation. If you want to go on a date with a boy so bad, why don't you ask him out?

Anonymous said...

I definitely just high-fived an inanimate computer screen.

Kailee said...

I love this post...thanks so much for writing it! I think there are a lot of girls in Provo like this and we don't realize how similar everyone is. Sometimes it takes time. For me, it's feast or famine. For a while, I feel like I'm going on no dates and other times I feel like dating is the only thing I do in the world. But, I will admit that I have never dated anyone and never been kissed. For a while, this really bugged me and I felt like such a loser. Well, I've come to realize that there is nothing wrong with me, I just haven't found the right guy yet. Yep, I cannot wait to get married someday, but I want it to happen with the right guy, not with someone I only half-heartedly like. I'm living my life happily and I know that the right guy is going to come at the perfectly right time for me, and I will be so happy it turned out that way. And so will both of you girls that sent the email. :) (wow, sorry long comment!! haha)

Colonel Paisley said...

I always say that you don't need a significant other in order to validate your existence. You have a life to live, whether or not you are dating someone. That's not your purpose.

I know happy single people and happy dating people. I also know lonely single people and regretful dating people.

Your attitude is the most powerful thing you control.

Heidi said...

While I do agree that a girl asking a guy out is a viable option in the times that we live in, I have to say it's not always as simple or as easy as that. I personally don't like the idea of asking a guy out for a couple of reasons:
1) I feel like that it is still generally the responsibility of the men to step up and do the asking. I believe that even certain members of the General Authorities of the Church have expressed the view that it is still the man's prerogative to do the asking.
2)I have several friends (girls) who have expressed the opinion that if a girl does the asking, often (though admittedly not always)it causes the men to become lazy and assume that it's all the girls' responsibility and therefore they don't have to do anything. They have also expressed the view that this laziness is not desirable in a man and that they would rather have a man that is responsible and bold enough to step up and ask them out.
3) I have personally done the asking at least 4 times, and been turned down one of those times. Also, none of the dates that were accepted went anywhere (which is fine, of course). My conclusion, even after being accepted, was that it did not make me feel very good when I was the one asking. As a girl, I want to feel special, noticed, beautiful, and appreciated. When I was doing the asking, I didn't feel this way at all, because there wasn't some nice, cute guy (or any guy at all) noticing me and wanting to make the effort to spend time with me. It was all one-sided and all on my side. I do feel somewhat that I got a taste of what the men go through, and I understand that it is very hard for them too. I applaud the efforts of these men, and understand that they may at times have a difficult time stepping up to the plate. However this brings me back to what I stated in #1.
I have since decided that I do not want to do the asking again, and am honestly truly content waiting for a man to come along and ask me out because he wants to go out with me, so that I can experience that special feeling of being noticed, even if this means going for long periods of time without dating (which btw, it has). In the meantime, I'm not really just sitting around and waiting at all. I'm keeping busy working on other things I can control and on improving myself so I can be the kind of person a guy might want to date, and someday, marry.

I have to say that I do realize that it doesn't always have to be as serious as that. Sometimes a date really is just a date. However, I'm just going off of my own experiences and how they made me feel. Though there's nothing wrong with a girl doing the asking if she wants to(which if it doesn't bother her, then she should go right ahead and do it. More power to her), it may not always be the best, or the most simple option for every girl. Every person and situation is different.

Miss Coquette, I loved your story, especially what your mom said. She is so right.

btw, sorry I just wrote a novel. I had a lot to say.

Anonymous said...

on the other side of the coin, asking a guy out can be a good thing. Sometimes it gives them the hint that you're interested and the push that they need to get their act together.

If you really don't want to ask them out, then simply invite them to do something with you and some other friends sometime. That is usually enough to tell them you're interested in them as at least a friend and not some guy you say hi to at ward activities.

I understand both sides of it, and if a girl is ALWAYS doing the asking...then yes, the guy is probably lazy and not really worth your time or not interested. But a guy who is interested will usually reciprocate, allowing you to feel special and attractive as well.

Sarah said...

Okay, so this is the opinion of a married woman (I know, I'm not single and I'm reading the blog; I just can't help myself). But I was once more like the Charmer, going on several dates in a week, and I decided to analyze exactly why I got so many dates. There were three reasons I could come up with.
1) Be available. This doesn't mean make no plans. This means that if you see a cute guy and you want to talk to him, don't huddle with your friends/roommates and think about it. Split off. Be alone, be approachable. Then, when/if he talks to you, send out signals. I had a lot of friends and roommates that would be SUPER buddy buddy with guys. Guys never asked them out. They were just pals. You need to flirt, you need to probably smile more than usual and be interested/interesting. Most importantly, you need to give them that opportunity of asking you out or asking you for your number by being with just them. Guys don't want to muster the courage to ask a girl out in front of other people. It's stressful.
2) The law of reciprocation. It's simple. He singles you out and talks to you, you do the same to him next time you meet. He starts a text convo, you start the next one. He invites you to come hang out, you invite him to come hang out the next time. It works because it's obvious. Some girls try to be so subtle, afraid that they'll scare the guy away, or thinking their signals are caught. No. Just use the golden rule: do unto others as they have done unto you.
3) Be cute. I'm not just talking about being gifted at birth with beauty. Every girl should wear at least mascara; if you wear more than that, great (just don't overdo it). Make sure your hair is clean and tamed looking. Wear clothes that flatter your figure and aren't too zany. I know, extreme fashion forwardness or crazy t-shirts and a million colorful bracelets are fun, but most guys I know judge a book by it's cover. Zany can equal "she's wild and cooky," and super fashion forward can equal "she's high maintenance."
Mostly, just be yourself, be relaxed, and don't worry about it like the Coquette said. Everything works out, just maybe not on our specific time table.

I recently heard that Sis. Beck gave a devotional at Stanford and one of her comments were to the effect of....

More women are getting baptized than men. 30% of LDS women will not be married in the temple during their lifetime.

....I'm just saying girls, you can't be too picky, and you can't just wait around forever. Both men and women ought to step up to the plate.

I've wanted to reply to this for a while, but I cut my thumb while making a pie for a lady-friend and it's hard to type with a homemade band-aid on your finger.

Now, excuses aside, it's time for the fun part!

First and foremost, I agree wholeheartedly with the Coquette and her mother. All it takes is one. Out of everyone you date, whether many or few, you will marry one. I love the story of The Coquette's mother - swooped out of a "sexless" life by one man. And take note that it wasn't even the man she was on the date with! God is sneaky like that (and I say "sneaky" with the utmost respect).

Second, I would like to echo Colonel Paisley's words and add that I (as do many other men) find it attractive when a girl has her own thing going on.

Sarah - your words should be required reading for anyone wanting to date. Of both genders. Ever.

I wish I could say more. But other than the few personal side-notes I've added, everything I would say has been covered.

~Sexless McGee

Katri said...

I'm in the same boat. But then I remember...I don't want to date those losers my friends are going out with! :)I'd rather wait!

Georgiana said...

I can certainly empathize with the e-mails in this case; it has been said that 90% of the men in Provo date 10% of the women. I am a full believer in that "statistic," and yet, I still don't understand it; I have had many wonderful roommates and for some reason, they also find themselves dateless. I have never dated in Provo. I know that it isn't a problem with me, because I have had dating success in two other towns in which I have lived. So what is wrong with Provo? I'm not sure. I wish i knew. I certainly appreciate The Coquette's story and think it is empowering in that it reminds us that, indeed we do only need one. Your future husband will not judge you as unworthy due to your lack of past boyfriends. In fact, he may even value that trait.