Shamed by the dating game

By and

“Any guy can sweep any girl off her feet; he just needs the right broom.”

I wish I could say I came up with that line on my own, but I can’t. No, that line came directly from Will Smith’s lips in the motion picture “Hitch.”

Hollywood always seems to have the right lines. Later in the movie, Big Will turns to Albert, played by Kevin James, and advises him on dating by saying, “One dance, one look, one kiss, that’s all we get, Albert. Just?one shot to make the difference between happily ever after and, oh, he’s just some guy I went to something with once.”

You see, Will Smith, or Alex Hitchins, is a “date doctor.” He knows what to say, he helps the guy get the girl and eventually everyone lives happily ever after.

Sadly, there are millions of people who seem to think that they also are “date doctors,” and now that I’m approaching 24 years old, I seem to be meeting these self-proclaimed professionals almost daily.

The dialogue always starts out about the same-something like, “Oh it’s so easy, Matt. You just see a girl you like, walk up to her and ask her out.”

Then the advice starts to go all over the place. Married people explain how they figured out the tricks, tests and hysteria associated with dating, and single friends explain ways of dating that they heard work.

All of these people seem to know what that “right broom” is that Hitch was talking about.

I swear, I’ve heard it all. There’s the, “You gotta be the bike in the window, man! Let her be the little girl that wants to buy you, but for now she can only look and hope she can someday afford to take you home.” And let’s not leave out, “You can’t make it too easy. You gotta date like three girls around the same time. That way, you don’t put pressure on a girl all at once, and slowly you can bring it down to the girl.”

Or the advice I usually get from my mom: “Just go for a walk! Find a nice girl and walk.” If that’s all it took, Mom, believe me, I’d just go for a walk.

And that’s just it. That’s the shame of dating. It’s not that simple. Somehow, something that could be so uncomplicated and maybe even possibly stress-free has become this undesirable mountain of a process.

Rules developed, people began dishing out advice and now too many of us over-think this dating thing.

When the over-thinking occurs, that’s when disaster strikes. Do I open every door for her? Do I shake her hand, hug her or kiss her? Do I call her the same night I got her number, or do I wait a couple days? Do I call her for a second date, or does she make the next move?

Those questions come once you’ve already gone out or gotten the digits, but what about before you so slyly landed the date? Am I up to her level? What if she just says yes to be nice? Do I meet her at church? The club? At the game? In class? Do I use a pick-up line? Do I call her? Talk to her in person? Text her?

Yikes! Too many questions! But if you look at the two above paragraphs, I’d bet that’s how most poor, single 20-something brains think, multiplied by four.

And for what reason? There really is no reason. It’s because we’ve heard so many different opinions and answers, but really all we need to successfully date or meet people is to be left alone.

Most married people won’t admit it, but the way they found their soul mate was by pure luck and accident. It just happened. None of the rules or great advice mattered. They sucked at dating just as much as the rest of us.

Take my good friend down at BYU. He was receiving the same crazy advice on how to meet girls when one day he was startled by a girl in one of his classes as she nudged his shoulder, pointed out the window, and declared, “Look, a deer!”

Two months later, they’re on the highway to wedding town.

And as I said before, Hollywood always gets it right. Will Smith’s final lines in “Hitch” describe the best-known philosophy for dating-“Basic principles: There are none.”