Recovering from embarrassing situations

You spilled juicy red tomato sauce on your white blouse. You passed gas as you opened the door for her walking into the theater. You shared slobber on a first kiss.

Embarrassing situations happen on dates. Sometimes they’re completely preventable and other times you just can’t help it.

Maddi Dayton, 19, of Evans, Georgia, believes in a simple solution to awkward, potentially scarring events.

“As long as you laugh about it, you’ll be OK,” said Dayton who is studying English education. “Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Dayton emphasized the importance of understanding that BYU has a different dating culture than others parts of the world. Take each date one at time and focus on having fun.

Whether it’s passing gas or burning dinner, there’s a chance you’ll have an embarrassing moment on your journey to find your special someone. Instead of letting it ruin your time together, go with the flow and laugh it off. Your date will remember how you reacted more than what actually happened.

—Joshua Jamias

The Art of Humor

Humor breaks barriers in social settings. People have courage if they can use laughter to address a situation or problem. Humor also allows individuals to get to know each other and connect on a higher level.

“Flirting with humor is a two-way street,” said James Hodgson, a sophomore majoring in political science. “It allows people to connect on the same page.” Establishing a connection through laughter sends a message that you are friendly. If you feel a little shaky on the art of humor, don’t let that deter you from having fun.

Be careful of is using too much self-deprecating humor. It’s unattractive and comes off like you are not confident in yourself.  Instead, use humor that is witty and uplifting. It allows you to break the ice and get a good laugh, but not at your own or someone else’s expense.

If you think you are bad with humor, this could be because you haven’t been talking to the right people. “Humor is subjective, you have to find the right person that has the same humor,” Hodgson said.So whether your humor involves knee slappers, dry humor or witty humor, it is all good humor when you find the right person to share it with.

Love Science

The chemistry behind relationships

What happens inside our bodies as we date? Allan Judd, a physiology and developmental biology professor, explained some of the basic physiology behind dating.

Positive experiences trigger the release of a neurotransmitter called epinephrine. This hormone causes your pupils to dilate, which allows more light into your eyes, causing them to sparkle.

When you anticipate kissing or holding someone’s hand, your body releases epinephrine. This hormone causes your heart to beat faster, your palms to sweat and your blood pressure to rise.

A good boyfriend gives his girlfriend chocolate, but a wise boyfriend makes it dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains cannabinoids, a neurotransmitter that makes people think everything in the world is better!

Oxytocin is a powerful neurotransmitter that influences us to trust the person we are with when the hormone is released. This is why you sometimes long for your ex again.

Kissing triggers the release of oxytocin. As the hormone flows through your body, you begin to trust the person you are with. This is why our bodies trust people with whom we are physically intimate.

Fear is another trigger that causes the release of oxytocin and epinephrine. These hormones keep people coming back to scary movies, midnight hikes and haunted houses.

Oxytocin also influences us to think others are more attractive – especially the person we are with when the hormone is released. This is why people get “twitterpated.”

Good dates consist of food for a reason. Eating triggers the release of dopamine, which sends endorphins and cephalin into the body. These hormones create feel-good sensations.

Knowing these hormones affect our decisions of who to date and who to marry, Judd encouraged students to include their hearts and minds in those important decisions. Don’t leave them up to your emotions, Judd said.

Embrace Your Natural Flirt

Flirting is not as hard as the world makes it out to be. Flirting for many people is a natural habit. But for those people who have realized that flirting doesn’t come naturally, there are a few easy steps to follow to become a master at it.

Know the signs when others are flirting.

One of the biggest indicators that a person is flirting is their body language. Body language includes touching one’s hair, physical proximity and physical touch.
Natural flirts use their eyes. Eye contact tells a lot about body language. If a person is a bashful flirt, they probably won’t make as much eye contact.
Breanne Vance, a dietetics major from Springville, said that eye contact is a great way to know if someone is really flirting. “It’s all in the way they look at you,” Vance said.

Master the art of teasing

Teasing is one of the funniest ways to flirt with a person. Being able to make a person laugh is a good way to break the ice and become more comfortable around them.
“I like to joke around and tease,” said Webber. “Teasing is a lot of fun; if I can get a girl to laugh, it means a good thing.”
There is a line when teasing. It is important not to go from flirting to hurting someone’s feelings. When one becomes too personal with teasing is when feelings get hurt.

Learn the different degrees of flirting and how far to go

Kelsey Pollard, a junior majoring in family studies, says that there are two degrees of flirting.
“There is flirting to go past friendship and general flirting that is only for fun,” Pollard said.
It’s important to find the balance between friendly flirting and more serious flirting to avoid sending the wrong message.

Be careful with physical touch

Don’t creep the other person out. Physical touch, when used sparingly, can be a good way to show someone you are interested. Physical touch can be anything from touching their arm to seating close enough to them that legs touch.
“Physical touch is OK when you are making your intentions clear you like someone,” said Scott Webster, an engineering major from Arizona.

Find out what works best

The best way to become a natural flirt is practice. Find out what you are most comfortable doing. Be aware of the comfort level of the person you’re flirting with.
—Hannah Childs

Vaguely Interested Guide to Football for Those Who Have to Feign Interest

General Rules
▶▶Each team has 11 players on the field.
▶▶The team with the ball has four plays (called downs) to advance 10 yards closer to the end zone.
▶▶If the team drives the ball forward 10 yards or more they get another four downs.
▶▶If a team gets the ball into the other team’s end zone, they score a touchdown (six points) and can choose between attempting to kick an extra point or to run the ball into the end zone from the two-yard line for two extra points.
▶▶A team may score by kicking a field goal. The football must go between the goal posts. Field goals are worth three points and turn the ball over to the other team after the attempt.
▶▶If the defense tackles the offensive player carrying the ball in to the defense’s end zone, they receive two points and possession of the ball.
Scoring
+1 Extra point/P.A.T. (point after touchdown)
+3 Field goal
+2 Safety
+6 Touchdown
+2 Two point conversion (after touchdown)

Game Basics
▶▶The field is 100 yards long and 53⅓ yards wide. The field is labeled with major divisions every five years and minor division every yard.
▶▶Teams alternate which direction they defend each quarter. A game consists of four 12-minute quarters. A coin toss settles the side the teams choose for the initial quarter.
▶▶The clock stops running briefly when a down ends with a first down, an incomplete pass, a penalty or the ball goes out of bounds.

Important Terms
blitz- Linebackers are sent to rush the quarterback.
end zone- The 10-yard-deep area beyond the goal line. Getting the ball into the end zone generally results in scoring points.
false start- The offense moves before the ball is snapped resulting in a penalty.
field goal- The offense kicks the ball though the uprights, scoring three points.
first down- The offense advances the ball more than 10 yards, gaining a new set of four downs to progress 10 yards or into the end zone.
flag on the play- Droll comment from announcer after an official pulls a yellow cloth from his pocket to indicate an infraction of the rules occurred.
fourth and long- The offense has more than 10 yards to progress to the first down marker. Often a team will choose to lose possession and punt the ball in fourth-and-long situations.
fumble- A player holding the ball drops it before he is tackled to the ground. Whichever team recovers the ball gets possession.
Gatorade shower- The winning team of a big game dumps a five-gallon bucket of Gatorade on their coach in the last seconds of the game.
interception- A defensive player catches a ball intended for an offense’s receiver.
lateral pass- The football is passed backward or to the side.
line of scrimmage- Imaginary line teams cannot cross until the ball is snapped at the start of a down.
offsides- The defense moves before the ball is snapped by the offense, resulting in a penalty.
passing- Throwing the ball to a receiver to gain yards.
pass interference- A defender grabs an offender’s arm preventing the offender from catching the ball.
penalty- A rule is broken by an individual or team. Teams are assessed a penalty through the loss of downs, yards or both.
pigskin- Nickname for the football.
possession- The team that has the football and is on offense, moving toward the opponent’s end zone.
punt- A team that cannot make it to the next first down marker kicks the ball down the field on their final down so the opposing team will gain possession of the ball in a worse position.
red zone- The area from the 20-yard line to the end zone.
rushing- Running with the ball to gain yards.
sack- Quarterback gets tackled behind the line of scrimmage.
snap- The center throws the ball between his legs to the quarterback, starting play for the down.
tackle- The player with the ball touches the ground with anything but his hand or feet. Play is stopped when someone is tackled.
third down conversion- The ability of a team to advance at least 10 yards forward after three downs.
touchdown- Getting the ball into the opponent’s end zone.
turnover- The ball changes possession from one team to the other either through downs, an interception or a fumble.
turnover on downs- A team is forced to give up the ball because it could not move the ball 10 yards or score a touchdown in four plays.
two-point conversion- After a touchdown, if a team chooses, it receives one play to get into the end zone from the two-yard line.

Weekday Dating

Busy students can make time for dating during the week. Weekday dates don’t have to be long, extravagant or expensive. In fact, weekday dates are exactly the opposite: casual, short and cheap.

“Dates are longer and more formal on the weekend,” said Annie Mckell, an exercise science major from Riverside, California. “But they are shorter and more casual on weekdays. It seems to take off the pressure when it’s during the week.”

Shorter, more casual dates allow you to interact in a different setting than the traditional weekend date.

Sophie Hansen, an art history major from Boise, said, “You get to see a more realistic side of the person during a weekday date. On the weekend, people put on their date faces.”

Weekday dates can include routine activities, such as lunch at the Cougareat or studying at the library. Other examples of weekday dates include going for a walk, grabbing lunch together or doing a short activity, like bowling in the Wilk. These dates allow you to see the person in day-to-day circumstances, rather than just on a formal date.

“Weekday dates are good because places aren’t as crowded and the prices aren’t as high,” said Murphy Campbell, a business major from Tampa, Florida.

Happy hours, weekday specials and other deals are available throughout the week. Dates during the week are also cheaper because they generally involve fewer activities.

Another benefit of weekday dating is not having to endure the seven day gap between Friday night dates. Weekday dates allow you to get to know someone faster.

Lucia Blasko, an English teaching major from Ellicott, Maryland, said, “If it’s a weekday date, and you like the person, then you don’t have to wait as long to see them again.”

Some people struggle to find time for weekday dating. Students who fall into this category should consider scheduling activities that are already a part of their daily routines. Eating, studying and exercising make great dates.

Dates during the week also give students a chance to relax.

Madeline Hansen, a journalism major from Boise said, “Weekday dates are good because it’s nice to have a break.”

More weekday dates means less stress from school, more money in your wallet and a higher quality dating life.

Opt-out Options

Tom and Summer have been on a date for a couple hours and as they exit the record shop, Summer apprehensively says, “Now, I think I’m going to call it a day.”

But Tom persists, “Yeah? You want to maybe get some dinner or something?”

Summer protests, obviously wanting to get away from Tom, but he ignorantly doesn’t notice and continues pressuring her into prolonging the date.

“I’ve got a great idea! Let’s get breakfast! Pancakes?”

Summer finally gives up and goes with Tom to get pancakes, where she ultimately breaks up with him.

Guys, don’t be like Tom from “500 Days of Summer.” If your date wants to go home, take her home. She’ll probably go along with your marathon date if you twist her arm long enough, but that won’t lead either of you to have a good time.

Some girls don’t wear their emotions on their sleeves like Summer, so it’s a good idea for you to bring up the option to continue the date or go home early. But you shouldn’t guilt them by saying, “I spent a long time planning this super fun thing to do afterward, do you want do that? Or would you rather go home?”

“You have to make sure it’s a real option,” said Sarah Griffes, a BYU sophomore. “You have to say something like, ‘so we could go do this thing, but if you don’t want to, that’s totally fine.’”

Don’t just recognize the warning signs as they come up, give your date the option to go home before she grows bored or tired.

— Donovan Baltich

The 6 B s of Car-less Dating

BIKE

Ride a bike to her house, put her on your handlebars and you’re off! Or you could ask if she has a bike. That works too.

BORROW

Ask a friend for a car. Make sure to reimburse him for the gas.

BIMSHEE

Bimsheeing is a good option, but a five-mile walk might change the smell of her perfume.

BUY

Some guys can’t afford cars because they are paying for college, but start saving money now so you can buy one in the future.

BLADE

Flash back to the ’90s and take her on a rollerblading date. Soon every girl will want a chance to go out with the Provo “blader dater.”

BUM

Ask the girl if she is willing to drive. “I don’t mind. He can still open the door for me” said Jamie Baumgartner, a junior from Littleton, Colorado.

Matthew Smith

Being present on a date

Being present both mentally and physically on a date can be a struggle for some. Whether he can’t stop talking about his high school glory days or she’s stuck on Instagram, being present can determine if there will be a second date.

▶▶“She was really bad at talking but good at texting,” said Sam Millar, 18, of Fresno, Calif., when referring to a girl he took out who struggled in face-to-face conversations but could chat away with her thumbs. Avoid awkward situations by engaging socially.

▶▶ “Engage in a conversation. If you’re mentally present, focus on them. It’s easy to stop thinking about yourself if you’re talking about them,” said Kylie Martinez, a 22-year-old human development major who was married in December 2012.

▶▶ “Be open to having a good time,” said Ray Millar, who is studying computer science. “Be laid back.”

Talk and focus on enjoying your time together and there’s a good chance it’ll lead to more dates in the future.

— Joshua Jamias

7 Reasons Not to Date a Banana

1

Bananas Go Rotten
Nobody is perfect, but someone who doesn’t respect you should be tossed in the trash.

2

Bananas Change Their Colors
When you’re love interest acts differently around other people, how can you be sure you know their true self?

3

Bananas Can’t Hold Hands
Holding hands is a great way to show affection to someone you care about, and a banana only offers a limp peel.

4

Bananas Are Slippery
Whether they won’t commit or they like to trip you up, these shady characters won’t help you keep both feet on the ground.

5

Bananas Have a Bunch of Baggage
Emotional trauma needs to be dealt with before beginning a new relationship, but a banana pretends its fine when it’s not.

6

Bananas Bruise Easily
A banana gets offended at jokes on the back of a candy wrapper and can’t take a little teasing.

7

Bananas Get Mushy Too Fast 
Sharing your emotions makes your relationship stronger, but coming on too strong too soon may frighten your partner.