Posted by: Lula in London | November 10, 2007

Why Guys Hang Out, Part III: Because we let them (red card!)

For some reason now that I live in London I’m able to get a bit more perspective on my Utah years, that would be 6 of them in a single’s ward (how did I ever survive?). And so my thoughts turn to hanging out and the mistakes I made. So as I do my flashback, I like to see myself as more assertive and a bit more girl-power movie like. Not in a Spice Girls sort of way, but more of a The Prince and Me sort of way. Apologies for the chick flick references.

Not that I got a lot of dates while in the land of RM-a-plenty, but perhaps I could if I had been a bit more Julia Stiles. Here’s what I mean:

When a guy in the ward says he’ll have to “come over sometime” I should have responded in one of two ways:

The Missionary Commitment Pattern (MCP): Great, you want to come over sometime, let’s set a day for that to happen…how does next Sunday after church work for you? WILL you come then? Great, when can I expect you?


The Fun Way (TFW): I’m sorry, my “sometime” is completely booked. My secretary just informed me I only have room left for specific dates in my schedule. I’ll know your serious when you book an appointment, here’s her number. Then hand him a card that says “Dates Only” with your phone number.

Now I admit this is a bit Mormon Hollywood, but hey that’s what makes it fun. Can you imagine if every girl in the ward carried around one of these cards? That’s right, we’d all start going on dates because it can’t get any more clear than when it’s in writing. Think of it as a red card on the soccer pitch when the ref has spotted a foul. If the ref sees a foul and lets players get away from it, the game is ruined. That’s a bit like the situation we’re in now don’t you think? We’ve been letting guys get away with hanging out because we’d rather have hanging out than nothing at all and they know it!

Here are some instances when the red card is useful:

  • He tries to be sly by asking for your phone number in an oh so casual I’m not going to formally ask you on a date but I want to hang out sort of way. You give him the card and say “My number’s on the back.” This also works for email addresses and IM names. Red card.
  • He makes a joke by asking you what you are cooking him for dinner. Red card.
  • He gives you a back rub with you while watching tv with your friends but doesn’t follow up with anything (and it wasn’t in that brotherly favor kind of way). Red card.
  • He comes over and keeps you up late talking. At midnight: Red card.
  • You’ve cuddled/snuggled/made-out/snogged and there’s been no date. Red card. RED CARD!
  • You went to the movies with just you and him, and you paid for your ticket. Red card.
  • He uses the words “something sometime”. Red card.
  • You’re invited over to the guys’ house for games. They start to make this a weekly thing as a way to interact with girls but not date them. Red card.

In fact, I’m a designer, why don’t I make a card here? Feel free to download it and put your number on the back. Cut them out and hand them to the girls at the next FHE. I’m sure the bishopric won’t mind a bit.

Dates Only Card (jpg)


You’ve received this card after a failed attempt to try “hanging out.”
To book an appointment, please call the number on the back of this card.
Good luck.


Here is the high resolution version of Dates Only Red Card (pdf, high quality.)

If you can think of more instances, just comment below. If you try these cards, let me know how they pan out. I dare one whole single’s ward relief society to try the experiment for a month. Who is up for it?



  1. I like it 🙂

  2. Excellent idea, if only I had the courage to hand such a thing out!

  3. So funny and true! My friend (who is not a member) made an interesting suggestion based off this very topic. He noticed that while it’s fun for us to have a solid group of guys and gals to do things with, it puts a serious damper on the dating scene. There is always some sort of activity where young LDS singles can mingle, socialize, and interact. There is no reason for guys to take the girls out because they will just see them at the next activity. He then suggested that group activities be limited to one per month. That way if a guy sees a girl he’s interested in getting to know better, he’d better do something about it or else he might miss his chance!

    Interesting idea? I wish I had discovered this site earlier! I love it!

  4. I would never be brave enough to have a red card, however, if a guy asked me to make him dinner – and I liked him – I would be tempted to say “I only make dinner for official second dates.” The second was a last minute addition. They would be so shocked.

  5. Lucky you having the guy actually INITIATE the “cook me dinner” scenario. In all my single years 1995-present I never experienced that, it was all LDS single females grabbing the guys and dragging them over to our apartment and shoving food down their throats “See what kind of awesome subjugated wife I’d be? See what a great cook I am? Pick me! Pick me!”
    Can’t compete with that. No wonder I’m 37 and still single.
    We need more blogs like yours. That’s why I created my own.

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