You are old enough to date. You would like to find someone who is attractive and who shares your religious beliefs.
In the past, though, each time you tried to start a relationship, you felt as though you crashed and burned.
If you would like to get to know a girl better, what factors do you need to consider? And what sound principles would you do well to remember?
What to Do First?
Before you decide to pursue a particular girl, there are some basic skills you need to master, and these will help you to be friends with anyone.
Consider the following suggestions:
1. Cultivate good manners. Love is not ill-mannered. What is the point?
Good manners show that you respect others and that you are developing a mature, Christlike personality.
However, good manners are not like a suit you wear to impress others but take off when you get home.
Ask yourself, Do I display good manners when dealing with my family members?’ If not, then it will seem forced when you do so while interacting with others outside your home.
Remember, to find out the type of person you really are, a discerning girl will look at the way you treat members of the family.
What girls say: “I definitely find it attractive if a boy displays good manners both in small things, like being kind and considerate not only to me but also to my family.”- Tina, 20.
I am put off when I have just met someone but he asks questions that are too personal, such as ‘Are you dating?’ and ‘What are your goals?’ It’s rude and makes me squirm”- Kathy, 19
2. Maintain your personal hygiene. Good hygiene shows respect not only for others but also for yourself.
If you respect yourself, others are more likely to respect you.
On the other hand, if you let your hygiene slide, you will sabotage your efforts to impress a girl.
What girls say: “One boy who was interested in me had really bad breath. I just couldn’t get past that”.- Kelly, 24.
3. Cultivate conversation skills: The basis of a lasting relationship is good communication. This involves discussing not only your interests but also the interests of your friend.
What girls say: “I am impressed when a boy can converse with me naturally, when he can remember things I told him and can ask questions that keep the conversation moving.”- Christy, 20.
“I think that boys are attracted to what they see, but girls are more attracted to what they hear.”- Lucy, 22.
Applying the above suggestions will help you to enjoy good friendships.
However, once you feel that you are ready to start a serious relationship with a particular girl, what should you do?
The Next Step
- Take the initiative. If you think a friend whom you admire might make a good marriage mate, let her know you are interested in her.
- Be clear and forthright in declaring your feelings. Yes, it can be nerve-racking. You fear rejection. But your being willing to take the initiative is a sign that you have grown.
What girls say: “I can’t read minds. So if someone wanted to get to know me better, he would be honest and straightforward and just tell me.”- Nina, 23.
“It could be an awkward transition if you have been friends for a while. But I would respect someone if he simply said that he would like to get to know me as more than just a friend.”- Helen, 25.
- Respect the girl’s decision. What if your friend says that she doesn’t want a more serious relationship with you? Dignify her by believing that she knows her own heart and that her no means no.
If you ignore a girl’s explicit rejection of your attention-even becoming provoked by her rebuff-are you really thinking of her interests or your own?
What girls say: “It irritates me when I say a definite no to a boy but he keeps on trying “- Sarah, 20.
What Not to Do
Some young men feel that they have little trouble getting girls to like them. They may even compete with their peers to show who can grab the attention of the most girls.
However, such competition is cruel and will earn you a bad reputation. You can avoid that outcome if you do the following.
- Don’t flirt. A flirt uses flattering speech and provocative body language. He has no intention of pursuing an honorable romantic relationship.
- Don’t toy with a girl’s feelings. Dont expect that friendship with a member of the opposite gender will operate according to the same rules of the friendship with a member of the same gender.
It’s unrealistic, even egotistical, to think that all girls will like you.
But some will if you remember this: How you look on the outside is less important than what you are on the inside.