Dating tips.

on September 22, 2010 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 26 comments by

Not for me, you sillies.

This weekend, I will be joining some friends and leading a relationships retreat for a college campus ministry.

I am excited. And a bit nervous. But mainly excited. 70/30 split? Nah, 80/20. Totes 80/20.

Talking to the girls is gonna be awesome. You know I dig standing in front of a group of girls and talking about boys, dating, life. I mean, not that I’m an expert [insert single-at-30 joke here], but I am pretty good at telling other girls what to do.

Just ask my sisters.

And I’m actually super excited about talking about singleness in college, about how to really LIVE, about how to make life choices when you are single. I mean, pretty much, I’m gonna talk about Scotland.

God’s timing is awesome. And hilarious. And weird. [Let’s be honest.]

But there is a point, later in Saturday, where I talk with the college boys. And, to quote the director of the ministry, I have to tell the boyz “5 things we wish the opposite sex knew”.

And to be honest, I need some help. I mean, I wish boys knew to tell me I look good in workout clothes. I wish boys knew that eating sushi is super attractive [to girls in Nashville at least]. I wish college boys would have known that dating can be easy and low stress and fun instead of so stinkin’ serious. I wish boys in college knew that when you take me on a drive through the country listening to really good music and the windows are down and the sun is shining on my face, I’m pretty sure we are in love and going to get married really soon.

Too specific? Maybe.

So, obviously. I need better tips.


If you could tell Christian college dudes one thing about dating, what would it be?

If you could tell Christian college girls one thing about dating, what would it be?

Bring it. Bring your wisdom, bring your jokes, bring your knowledge. Bring your A game. Just give me a large smattering of tips. That way, we can all influence their dating futures together.

It’s safer that way.


Hey- by the way. If you work with a campus ministry or a youth group and you are looking for a female speaker, email me. annieblogs [at] gmail [dot] com. Let’s chat.


  1. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 7:08 AM  |  reply

    In college I was lame. Dated the wrong girl for 3 years and then it ended and I was destroyed. I think I told you this story when we had lunch. It took me a while to get back on that dating horse, like 3 years. I’m not good at it…but I try. So here are my 2 cents…

    Guys. Step up to the plate and go for it. If you like a girl ask her out. Don’t wait around hoping you two will be alone at some point so you can make your move. Call her up. Ask her out. (When I’ve done that I’ve never been turned down, she probably will say yes). Take her to dinner. Make sure she knows it’s a date. Then call her to let her know you had a good time and would like to do it again. DON’T PLAY GAMES! They don’t work. Good luck.

    Ladies. Expectations have to be lowered. When he calls, he is not riding a white horse. He is a guy. Who is nervous, awkward, and has no idea what he is doing. If you expect a movie like romance on the first date he has no shot. Give him a shot. Please.

    There ya go, thoughts from a single 27 year old guy. Good luck.


  2. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 8:27 AM  |  reply

    I work at a state university and supervise about 40 student employees working in our campus center.
    In general, I would tell college males it’s okay to be interested and ask a girl out. My experience with Christian guys I knew at my state university (over 10 years ago) was that they were afraid to even ask.
    I would tell the ladies that just because he asks, doesn’t mean he’s signing up for the rest of his life. It’s one date.
    To both: take it one step at a time & don’t overthink things!

  3. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 8:43 AM  |  reply

    I don’t know who in the “Christian dating book” realm said this but they should be completely discredited. My number one advice for men wanting to date women… Don’t be a creeper.

    I cannot tell you the number of guys in my college ministry that didn’t date girls, but just “watched” them. Um… execuse me but wouldn’t you want to actually get to know the girl instead of watching her from afar and then never speaking to her and THEN emphatically declaring your intentions to make her your wife?… CREEPY!

    You do not have to marry someone you take out to coffee. You just have to pay for their vanilla latte.

    And dating advice for the ladies… Flirt with intention. I know far too many men who have been seriously hurt by women who have flirted with them and made them feel like they were wanted and desired to only be told later, “Oh, I have a boyfriend” or even worse… “Listen, you are great and all but I’m on a dating fast.”

    When flirting, it is best to actually have an interest in the guy and be open to the thought of dating them. And its not unChristian or immodest to flirt. We do not live in the era of arranged marriages, and flirting is a perfectly acceptable way to let a guy know that YOU are interested in HIM with being able to be a little mysterious. However, its when we as women flirt with men to receive attention from them that the damage to men’s delicate hearts occurs.


  4. Katie
    posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 8:45 AM  |  reply

    For all of us, but mainly for the ladies:

    Take all of your ideas about what you’re date/boyfriend/future hubby is supposed to be like and throw them out the window. Don’t be afraid to explore the opportunities with someone who is not at all who you think you want to be with. In my experience, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find yourself with someone who loves and adores you for who you are, who won’t change you, and who will completely sweep you off your feet with his quirkiniess, silliness, sweetness, cuteness, awkwardness, and so on.

    I emailed you the rest….

  5. Katie
    posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 8:46 AM  |  reply

    Take all of your ideas about what you’re date/boyfriend/future hubby is supposed to be like and throw them out the window. Don’t be afraid to explore the opportunities with someone who is not at all who you think you want to be with. In my experience, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find yourself with someone who loves and adores you for who you are, who won’t change you, and who will completely sweep you off your feet with his quirkiniess, silliness, sweetness, cuteness, awkwardness, and so on. — I emailed you the rest…

  6. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 9:07 AM  |  reply

    “…I am pretty good at telling other girls what to do.

    Just ask my sisters.”

    I just fell into fits of laughter. Only because I’m the same way with my sisters, but now one lives on another continent so she’s harder to boss. πŸ™‚

    I have to agree with Adam about the stepping up to the plate thing. I’m sure it’s one of the hardest things ever to actually get up the nerve to ask a girl out (I wouldn’t know because…I’m a girl) but I know guys, who liked girls, (and girls that liked them back) but nothing EVER happened because the guys would not make a move. The likelihood that you’ll get turned down is slim. Especially if you’ve at least been able to get to know the girl in perhaps a group setting (please don’t be a creeper as Alyson said). But step up. Be a leader.

    And I know this sounds…wrong? Or weird, I dunno, but I read this somewhere the other day and was like…yes. And yes some more.

    As I’ve matured, I’ve come to realize the sexiest (gasp) thing about a guy is his love for Jesus. I may have been silly and more silly in college and liked the bad boys, but goodness, now when I see a man who has a heart that’s truly living to seek God and be a light for Him, it is the best thing. And I think there’s been a shortage but more guys are starting to get it.

    For the girls…I wouldn’t suggest missionary dating. There are boys I liked and KNEW weren’t Christians, and while we didn’t date, liking those kinds of boys just gets your expectations all mixed up and makes it harder to recognize the ‘right kind of guy’ when he does come around. πŸ™‚

    Oh, and intentionality. That’s a big thing with me. Maybe because I’m 27 and single…but being intentional in relationships. A GREAT resource, though I’m sure you’ve heard of it, is Boundless.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.


    (Forrest Gump? Anybody?)

  7. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 9:10 AM  |  reply

    Don’t. Rush. …

    1. To date someone just so you aren’t alone.
    2. To date someone and never learn who you are and what plans God might have for you alone first.
    3. To the altar.

    I listened to a GREAT Matt Chandler Podcast the other day. Two hours, one of his “Culture and Theology” lessons, but this one was on God and Sex — however he spent a lot of time talking about the state of the people BEFORE marriage and “how” to date (of course a lot was directed at guys, but still good).

  8. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 9:31 AM  |  reply

    My best advice would be to be totally sold out to God and working for Him. Once you are in the midst of that…look to your left and right and take note who’s sold out with you. Then ask them out. Be sold out together.

  9. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 9:56 AM  |  reply

    Oh…for the guys. Don’t just be friends with a girl. I mean, being friends is okay, but the close friends thing. I can’t tell you how many times in college I thought a friendship was headed toward more because of time spent one on one and doing things that looked like dating. And then my heart got hurt…because I let myself think it was more than it was. And really, just step up to the plate. Like others have said, rarely will a girl turn you down. We’ll give you at least one chance!

    • posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 1:02 AM  |  reply

      I second, third, and quadruple that sentiment. PLEASE for all things good do NOT become close ‘friends’ with a girl you have no intention of having a relationship with. My BEST friend of 10 years shattered my heart because he couldn’t tell me how he really felt – that he didn’t really love me romantically. All you are really doing – and this goes for girls to – is keeping the other person from *their* person. And that’s just mean, y’all.

  10. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 10:28 AM  |  reply

    for they guys: be bold, don’t be a wimp. christians guys tend to be. at least where i’m from. you should tell them not to be. it’s not attractive.

  11. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 10:44 AM  |  reply

    1. It’s not settling to let go of the fantasy. It still should be a non-negotiable part that the person you desire to pursue a relationship with is a Christian and there is evidence that they are growing/actively living this out. (I would say this is for both genders)

    An example for the Girls – it’s okay to give up the fantasy that he might not be a strapping, dark-haired, 6′ 3″, sold-out-for-Christ, wants to dance in the rain, knows you want a bunch of random flowers over the standard roses, wears boxer briefs, and will serenade you in every romantic spot around town fantasy.

    2. GIRLS – don’t walk around boldly proclaiming that you are ‘dating Jesus’ unless you truly have felt called to a period of singleness. So many college girls use this as a mask for the insecurity or loneliness they feel because they are not being pursued…but, then somehow their fasting from men is over the minute someone is interested. It’s not wrong to be called to a period of singleness, but make sure it’s legit.

    3. GUYS – Don’t use “God wired us to be sexually attracted to women” as an excuse to never give women a chance. I FULLY understand that attraction is a big thing for men, and that’s okay. But, if you are attracted to some features of a particular gal and her relationship with Christ is evident, go to coffee and give it a shot.

    4. GIRLS – Don’t manipulate! You know you do it, dream about it, and are guilty of it, so stop pretending you aren’t. You wear a certain outfit because you know he will like it, it will get him turned on, etc. You just happen to be walking down the hallway in a towel from the shower during open house hours. You changes the route to class so that you ‘happen’ to run into him. Just be yourself and quit orchestrating a meeting with Mr. Right.

    5. GUYS – Don’t be a stalker. You don’t need to have coffee with each of her friends, find out her schedule, and watch her from afar. As Alyson said above, it’s creepy.

    6. GIRLS – Don’t continue to date someone with the mentality that you can ‘fix’ him. Then, the minute he expresses desire for something to change about you, you flee to your waiting female friends to weep that “he doesn’t love me for me”. Not cool. Not fair. You both are who you are. If something will be a non-negotiable in marriage, you shouldn’t be dating.

    Sorry – got a little long winded…guess I miss my days of teaching on this stuff with my high school seniors as they got ready for college! πŸ™‚

  12. Erin
    posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 12:38 PM  |  reply

    This is going to be fun Annie! You should link to your talk (can you do that?)

    I love all the guy advice that was listed (be bold, ask girls out, etc.) I can’t think of anything more important than that.

    BUT, for the girls I would say this — pay no attention to what he says and only pay attention to what he does. Period.

  13. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 1:46 PM  |  reply

    i feel so encouraged just by reading all of the comments to this post and i wish all of the people that commented on this post could come over to my house for dinner and keep talking πŸ™‚

  14. ashley eicher
    posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 2:56 PM  |  reply

    Oh boy…I have so much to say here. I will send you an email but my biggest one is..
    Just because you ask a girl out or just because a boy asks you out does not mean that you are going to get married nor do you have to be completely “certain” that this is “the one”. It’s a tall vanilla latte..not a marriage proposal. Relax, stop being do serious and just get to know the person you are spending time with..

  15. Wes
    posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 4:21 PM  |  reply

    I will just email you my recommendations. It’ll be funnier that way anyway.


  16. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 6:22 PM  |  reply

    I echo what everyone else has said. Let the guys know that we girls pay great attention to their words. We tend to overanalyze and dissect what they’ve said and this can lead to unfair expectations. We girls need to take guys’ words at face value and pay attention to what their actions demonstrate. But guys need to be clear about their intentions. Is going out for coffee just coffee or is it a date? Are we hanging out or is there something more? I think it’s hard to “just be friends” with a guy unless even that’s been clearly stated. We both tend to wonder if there’s something more (unless the other person is already married or in a relationship.)

  17. posted on Sep 22, 2010 at 11:46 PM  |  reply



  18. posted on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:41 PM  |  reply

    Great advice, people! Annie, you have some wise readers. Makes me wish I could do the dating thing over again. Ha ha – just kidding! Kind of.

  19. posted on Sep 23, 2010 at 6:21 PM  |  reply

    Something I wish I knew in college is that it’s okay to breath. Relax. It’s okay to be yourself. Have dreams. Be passionate about something. At some a guy will come along. But don’t miss out on opportunities and exciting things that God may have in store for you just because you think there should be a guy there too.
    I really wish I had known that deep in my heart back then. Maybe now I wouldn’t feel like I missed out on so many opportunities.

  20. posted on Sep 23, 2010 at 10:35 PM  |  reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by, junam, Cassie Kelley, Marianne Anderson, match u up and others. match u up said: Dating tips. | Annie Blogs: Not for me, you sillies. This weekend, I will be joining some friends and leading a re… […]

  21. posted on Sep 24, 2010 at 12:42 AM  |  reply

    I was supposed to be going to bed, and then I started to read all of these comments. Such good stuff!

    Here’s what I know. Courting is the dumbest word/idea I’ve ever heard of/accidentally experienced. Sorry Joshua Harris.
    After my experience with not dating a great Christian guy, I determined to never not date again. I got jipped, I never knew where I stood, and we both ended up getting hurt.

    My advice:
    1. At the end of the day, in most situations, guys and girls can not have a deep friendship with out one person at some point being interested. (the When Harry Met Sally philosophy) Be careful with your friendships.
    2. Guys- man up. Ask her out if you’re interested and if you’re not… then don’t.
    3. Girls- stop assuming and stop day dreaming about future weddings (aka girl porn)!
    4. Girls- give a guy a freaking chance.
    5. Girls- If a guy asks you out and that you’re really not interested in, say no to the date! Be nice, but firm. It only confuses guys and leads them on when you leave the door open.

    That’s all.

  22. Face
    posted on Sep 24, 2010 at 7:12 AM  |  reply

    To the girls
    Guys usually mean exactly what they say. Not more than they said, not less than they said, just what they said. Don’t over-analyze it. Just take it at face value.

    I also think that, unless there’s a really good reason not to, a girl should give a guy a chance and go out with him just once… there are just so many sweet, kind guys out there that never get a chance….

    Would love to see your final list.

  23. Merideth Schoolcraft
    posted on Sep 24, 2010 at 8:11 AM  |  reply

    I’m going to send an email to you in a few minutes because i think I have too much to write in a brief comment on here. If you don’t get the email, zap me a note and tell me. Praying for your talks this weekend!
    PS: Are you doing this at Kennesaw State? Just curious because I thought I heard from someone else they are doing something like this this weekend.

  24. posted on Sep 26, 2010 at 9:00 PM  |  reply

    Hey Annie. I am 29 and married to my college sweetheart, who loves Jesus, me, and our baby girl. He’s also the only person that I’ve ever kissed or dated. Also, I work at a Christian seminary, and I feel like I live in the middle of the dating game! So here’s what I’m learning from the early to mid twenty-somethings who surround me (they usually act like college students because they didn’t learn much in college.)

    1. Ask her out already. If she says yes, then you’ve got a chance. If she says no, then you’re in the same position you’re in now anyway, and God didn’t intend for you to be with her. So get over the ego and man up.
    2. Don’t just look for the girl you want to date – look for the girl with whom you want to raise your children. If she’s not someone you would consider marrying, then you’re wasting everyone’s time. Regardless of how sexy she looks in her tight clothes.
    3. Looks are important. Let’s just acknowledge that right here…it’s important to be attracted to the person you marry, and that’s not a bad thing! BUT they are not the most important thing. They will fade away. What will not fade away is a sweet spirit and a heart committed to Christ. So look for those things, too.
    4. Put the toilet seat down. Wear deodorant. Bring flowers. Open the door for her. PAY FOR HER DINNER. The right kind of girls like that kind of stuff, so don’t worry about being old-fashioned…gentlemen never go out of style.
    5. Tell her she’s pretty. Tell her when she does a good job at something. Tell her that she’s funny/smart/talented/kind. And MEAN IT. Girls struggle with self esteem too. We’re always wondering what you really think of us, so if you’re thinking something nice, share it. We need to hear it, just like you do.

    For Girls:
    1. Men are just as insecure as we are…and usually the most self-assured looking ones are the most insecure. Please remember that and be kind. They need to know that you think they’re brave and strong.
    2. SAY THANK YOU. When he asks you out, thank him, even if you know that he’s not the right person for you and you’re not going to go out with him. It took mega guts for him to ask, so thank him sincerely. Also, express your appreciation when he opens a door, pays you a compliment, or pays for dinner.
    3. If he’s not committed to Christ, then you need to say no to him up front. No missionary dating. Period.
    4. Look for the kind of man that you want to help you raise your sons and daughters. Is his behavior really the kind that you want your little baby girls to see? Is he a gentleman? Does he treat you with respect? Does he treat other women (like his mother/sister) with respect? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then your answer to him must also be no.
    5. You do not owe him anything. Just because he bought your dinner doesn’t mean that you need to kiss him if you’re not ready. You gave him the pleasure of your company…do not feel obligated to “give” him anything else.
    6. Let him take the lead. Don’t call him – let him call you. Don’t ask him on a date. If he doesn’t like you enough to call and ask you, then he doesn’t like you enough, and you might as well know that now. (I just read this one to my husband, and he gave it his emphatic agreement.)
    7. Be modest. Boys are very visual, so please don’t make it harder for them to control their thoughts. It’s good to look your best, but wear the kind of clothes that will attract the right kind of man.

    Well, that’s what I’ve got. Hope it helps!

  25. posted on May 27, 2011 at 12:15 PM  |  reply

    Adam made a great comment on this. Guys just seem to act normal sometimes, but the truth is that they get so nervous in front of their girls. Asking her out may take him weeks before he finally get the courage to do so. if I were the woman, I’d give him some hint that i like him,but not to the extent that he would think I am truly flirting. I just want him to feel at ease and start talking and asking me out that is.

    For guys who really to go out with their dream girls, there is no harm on trying. Get out there and ask her, if she least you you have made the move.

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