It’s Prom season! For many girls, this is a time of excitement, dress shopping, and daydreams of a perfect night. You have spent hours online looking for just the right way to style your hair. You know exactly how your make up is going to be applied, and what your dress will look like. You have even found the perfect pair of shoes.
The only thing you lack is a date.
As the mother of two sons who have both attended their fair share of dances (some fun; some not), let me give you a few pieces of advice to consider.
Number one: Cultivate friendships long before prom season.
Do not wait until two weeks before prom to start texting or talking to a boy. Boys are not dumb; they will see that you are simply trying to finagle a date out of them. Be genuinely kind and friendly to the guys in your friend circle. Always. Their egos are more fragile than you think. If you only start talking to them just to get a date, chances are, they will be afraid you will stop talking to them after the date is done. Nobody wants to be used.
Number two: When a boy asks, say yes.
If you had any idea the amount of courage it takes for a boy to ask you out, you would always find a way to say yes (assuming, of course, that you are old enough to date and the boy is a respectable human being. Nobody is asking you to say yes to anything that would put you in a compromising position. Ever.). Dates are so stressful for the boys to execute, and the last thing they want to face is rejection. Most guys are nervous, insecure, and worried — just like we are. Don’t reject a date because the guy is different than you or isn’t as cool as you would like them to be. Keep an open mind. You might have a better time than you think.
Number three: Be kind to your date.
Not every date is going to be had with the guy of your dreams. Sometimes you will get asked out by boys you do not have much in common with. That is no excuse for bad behavior on your part. My son asked a girl in our ward to Mormon Prom last year. She is literally the most popular girl at school, is drop-dead gorgeous, and could have had any boy at school that she wanted. My son is darling, quirky, funny, and shy. They definitely ran in different circles. At prom, she treated him with the utmost respect and courtesy. She never badmouthed him or bemoaned having to go on the date with him to others. She talked to him at dinner, showed interest in his hobbies and made him feel like a million bucks. Not once did she make him feel inferior. She stuck by his side and got to know him better. They both parted ways as new friends.
Your prom date is not asking for your hand in marriage. It’s one night. Show up, be polite, and try to have a good time. You might find an unlikely friend in the process.
Number four: Don’t go looking for a boyfriend.
Just because he asked you out, does not mean he’s in love with you. Chances are, he is looking to have a fun date and nothing more. Don’t confuse a “promposal” with a real proposal. So many times, I’ve seen girls put much more onto a prom date than is necessary. When a boy feels that kind of pressure, it is stressful and takes the joy out of the night. It’s just a date. One night out of your life. Don’t try to make it the most romantic night of your dreams. Have fun. Laugh. Smile in the pictures. Prom is meant to be FUN!
Lastly, remember who you are.
Whether you are going to prom with your boyfriend, a huge nerd, or someone you cannot stand, remember who you are and what you believe in. Keep your standards high. Choose a dress that makes you feel beautiful and still upholds your values. Be appropriate in your behavior. Don’t use this special night as an excuse to make poor choices. Don’t feel pressured to lower your standards, or pressure him to lower his. Stay strong, have fun, and create memories that will last a lifetime.