i've had a bit of dating experience. it's kind of ironic that i go to my married friends for advice on dating because (no offense friends) i have more actual dating experience than most of them. by "dating experience" i mean that i have been on a bajillion first dates, almost dated many guys, and actually dated a few.
here's the thing: i love hanging out with the guy i like. i like being spontaneous and him just coming over after studying or something. i think hanging out is fun. there is less pressure than an actual date (and i can wear leggings and a t shirt). buuuut, a girl wants to get asked on a date every once in a while, especially by the guy she is interested in. she wants to know that he is actually interested in dating her and not just hanging out with her. i know that eventually dating and hanging out become more synonymous as you start dating more seriously. but the best flattery a girl can get is having a guy she likes and has been hanging out with ask her on a date. a guy once told me "i really like hanging out with you but i want to ask you on a real date again." it was so great! because it wasn't like we couldn't hang out in between dates, but i also knew that he was interested enough to invest some real time and money into furthering a relationship with me. i was worth it to him. so guys let's get out of the apartment and go somewhere on a date! let's make it an adventure or romantic. whatever. let's just go on a freaking date.
let's be real folks, it's what we here at byu like to call "cuddle season." basically it's the time when the weather is frightful and people want to stay inside. and having someone else to help you keep warm wouldn't be bad either. and let's just say that you like this guy and you have been hanging out and you started cuddling. if you keep hanging out and you still like him there is the hope that you would start dating (please note that this would include going on some actual dates- see above). or you could become cuddle buddies. and to be honest, cuddle buddies is really just the nice way to say booty call. girls, let's not become someone's booty call. we are worth more than that. i'm not saying that you should stop cuddling with any boy unless you are dating. that's completely unrealistic and you will probably end up being a cat lady slash a mormon nun. but, if you feel like your relationship is not going toward an actual dating relationship, but is stuck in the cuddle stage (no dates, just hanging out, watching movies and cuddling) then run the other way. there is a guy out there who is going to take the time to get to know you, take you on real dates, and who will not just want you to be his booty call. it's better to be alone than to be someone's booty call. you are worth it. don't settle.
finally, sometimes when you start liking someone you aren't really sure of what you want. that's fine. you need to shop around a little to make sure that they are really as awesome as you think they are. so play the field and go out with other guys. it doesn't matter if you are secretly preferring one guy over the rest and you hang out with him more and you cuddle with him. keep your options open. this goes vice versa. don't get upset if a guy you like goes out with another girl. unless it becomes a chronic issue and it's obvious you are just a booty call (see above). the best things in life take a little time. a friend once told me that a guy who really cares won't rush into a relationship. so don't worry. don't rush things. be smart. be logical. think with your head and not just your hormones.
*i wrote this post a while back but i'm finally publishing it. i think these thoughts are worth reading and that every girl should remember these things as we start the new year.