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A kid I know would like to join the dating scene. This person sees other kids getting together to go to a movie, or hanging out on the weekends, or always having a partner at school events. How does this happen? How does a person go about getting asked out?
If this is your situation – either because you’re a new to this stuff or new in town or because you want to join a different crowd – here are some tips to get things going in the right direction.
- Let others get to know you better. Join a school group, get involved in a community project, work with others in some sort of mission or task. Friends do things together. To have someone to do things with, start by doing things with other people and making friends with them.
- Seek out group activities instead of one-to-one dates. Doing things with a lot of people lets a lot of people get to know you – and lets you get to know them. The idea of dating one person is old-fashioned. Hanging out with a more fluid set of characters is less stressful and gives relationships a chance to develop.
- Ask someone out yourself. This is so obvious we often overlook it. Instead of wishing someone else would invite you to go with them somewhere, be the one doing the inviting. The key here is to start with something so casual that accepting it won’t imply any sort of commitment; start with going to the gym together or going to a movie and work up to going to the prom.
- Invite yourself. Sit at lunch with kids you’d like to get to know better. Ask a group you know is going to see a movie if you can go along. Again, start small and casual so it’s easy for others to say “yes.” While you might not feel comfortable or welcome crashing someone’s birthday party, you could indeed happen to show up someplace public where you know they’re going to be.
- Go slow. It’s a huge turn-off if you seem needy or pushy. Don’t be a stalker. Concentrate on doing things that interest you with people who share your interests. It will be easy to talk to these people and you’ll have fun. Don’t try to make things into something significant but let friendships develop naturally.
Yeah, okay, but what if you need a date now? What if there’s a party or dance or other event you really want to go to but you don’t want to go by yourself? How can you get someone to go with you?
First, don’t just wait around for someone to ask you. Do the asking yourself. If you want to go but need a partner, find one.
Second, see this situation as a one-time thing. Instead of trying to invite your ideal date, invite someone whose company you enjoy, who is likely to have a good time at the event, and who won’t read too much into your invitation. Your best friend’s sister or brother. Your own cousin. Someone you know from your old school. Go and have a good time. Inviting someone no one else knows protects you from feeling scrutinized for your choice of partner.
Third, if all else fails, go solo. Just go. And then mingle, talk with people, and have a good time. Don’t just stand by the food and watch everyone else, hoping someone talks to you. Pretend you’re having a marvelous time and you’ll convince yourself that you really are – and you’ll convince others that you’re a marvelous person.
Keep in mind that building friendships and going places with other people is something you’ll do your entire adult life. There’s nothing really mysterious about this and there’s no timetable. It’s something that will improve with practice.
Your objective is to become a well-rounded, interesting, and engaged person, not someone’s possession. Be your own person and others will notice.