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Friday, April 3, 2015

How Not to Screw Up Prom (and Other Good Dating Advice)

Dear Bro. Jo,

Thanks so much for your blog posts, especially the one about writing missionaries.

It was really helpful!

I'm writing because I need some advice, on well, how not to screw up prom.

Here's a little back story. I got asked to prom by a really nice guy who wanted to ask me specifically and who I've gone on a couple dates with, not exclusively.

I'm writing because I want prom to go well and I want him to have a good time with lots of fun.

Most times when I am in a "guy girl situation" where I have to focus on specifically one guy, I get pretty nervous at the beginning and don't know what to say, but then warm up.

Do you have any tips on what LDS girls can do to make prom "good"?

Sorry for the kind of weird question, but its making me nervous. 

Thanks so much for all you help,

- Nervously Optimistic

Dear Optimistic,

I'm glad the Missionary Writing Advice was helpful!

Since this is a guy you're familiar with, and have even been on dates with in the past, that's a great start.

I think the key is to not put too much pressure on yourself and not put too much pressure on him.

I'm sure he asked you because he thinks you're a great person that would be fun to take to the dance, so the hard part is already over!

No need to convince him of what he already knows.

Being a good date is about helping the other person to be relaxed and have fun; as Sister Jo always says, asking a person questions about themselves not only helps you to get to know them better, it helps them feel important and special, AND it takes pressure off of you when it comes to worrying about what to do and say.

Don't interrogate your dates, but help them to feel comfortable by conversationally asking them how things are going in school, with activities they're involved in, and ask their opinions on stuff.

Good conversation is to listen to their answers and ask follow up questions.

Don't just ask "how is baseball going?", but follow up with "what position are you playing?", "how was your last game?", "is it weird that your dad is one of the coaches?"; stuff like that.

Remember, particularly at your age, dating can be great Missionary Preparation because it puts you in potentially awkward situations where your goals are to talk to people, get to know them better, and connect with them in some way.

Look for things that you and the person you're talking to have in common so that you can both add to the conversation.

Avoid topics that are too deep or too sensitive until you know them better.

You don't ask a first date, or an investigator you just tracted into, about deep personal stuff unless the Spirit prompts you to do so, unless the conversation leads there.

And hopefully your Prom date is taking escorting you as part of a Fun Group; Casual Group Dating (even if it's to a "formal" occasion) can reduce the pressure of having to do all of the talking and remove any other pressure that's not supposed to be part of dating at your age.

If it helps to have a list, here's:


1. Be Clean. In mind and in body. Do your best to look your best, and keep the evening (and conversation) appropriate.

2. Be Relaxed. Breathe. Realize that this is "just a date", and don't put too much pressure on either of you. Keep expectations realistic.

3. Be Yourself. We can tense up when we pretend to be someone else; and, after all, he asked you because he wants to go with YOU, not someone you pretend to be. Be the BEST YOU, you can be: look your best, smell your best, be your happiest, but don't be fake.

4. Be Appreciative Everyone, especially guys, likes to be thanked and acknowledged for the things they do for others. It makes us feel good and makes us want to keep doing things for people. Don't gush, just be sincere. Over-thanking can be annoying, so don't go on and on, don't repeat thank you's you've already given, and save the "thanks, I had a god time" compliment (if it's true) for the end. If he opens the door (he'd better! and she should let him), then say thank you; every time. If she compliments you, be gracious.

5. Be Positive. Even if you've had a rough day. No one likes to hang out with someone who's a downer all the time. Find a way to put a positive spin on things, Polyanna! Smile!

Have Fun!

I'm sure it will be a night to remember.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks so much for the advice, and the list was a nice way to put it.

I'll let you know how it goes, and thanks for the well wishes.

Also thanks for using the optimistic part of my signature, it'll help me be more so. 

hanks again,

- Optimistic

Dear Optimistic,

Any time!

Hope you have a great time at Prom.

- Bro Jo

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