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First dates. If you’re already cringing or rolling your eyes, you’re not alone.

First dates—and lots of them—are a nearly unavoidable part of the BYU-Idaho experience. It’s one of the only locations where acronyms like “DTR” and “NCMO” have become completely integrated into the local lingo.

Students notice that the cultural norms surrounding dating are distinct in Rexburg.

Marco Reyes, a freshman studying psychology, said that the dating process is rushed too much in the BYU-I bubble.

“You go on a date and get friend-zoned or you friend-zone the other person too fast to get to know if you actually like the person,” Reyes said. “And many people forget that dating is taking time to get to know someone on a personal level.”

Maybe this is a story you’ve heard before:

Act 1: Boy meets girl, then asks her out (or vice versa. You know, equal rights and stuff).

Act 2: Boy and girl go on a date.

Act 3: Boy and girl never talk again.

It’s a modern day tragedy, right up there with the likes of Hamlet and Macbeth.

Is it pressure to get married? Fear of commitment?

Whatever the reason, this “one-and-done” trend is common here at BYU-I.

Bryanna Neal, a junior majoring in university studies, said she feels that one of the factors in creating that culture is the sheer amount of people looking to date.

“Up here there’s so many options, so you’re kind of bombarded with different people,” Neal said. “I don’t really like it though, because you don’t really get to know anyone. You’re getting to know someone on first dates, which are kind of weird.”

Adrian Felix picks Emma Fisher up for a date.

First dates make people nervous. Kaitlyn Herman, a sophomore studying psychology, feels the culture of Rexburg makes first dates feel like they have much more gravity than they really do.

“A lot of the time people assume it’s going to move fast, so they freak out when you should just go with the flow and have fun,” Herman said.

Even though date No. 1 may not be the make or break moment for a prospective relationship, there are things you can do (or avoid doing) to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible.

Neal said she has one particular first date pet peeve.

“Long dates,” Neal said. “If I do not know you and you take me on an 8-hour date, I’m not a fan. I say one to two and a half hours is perfect for a first date. It’s simple, you get to know them and you get to see what you think.”

Reyes feels that mutual communication is a “must” on first dates.

“I hate when they don’t try to make conversation, and I feel like a blabber mouth that needs to shut up,” Reyes said.

Herman said that her favorite dates involve things like mini golf and rock climbing.

“Active dates, where you also have time to talk and get to know each other better—those are good,” she said.

Neal said that a “Let’s do it again” text is a way that girls let guys know that they had a good time and are interested in more dates.

“Try to give them affirmation, so they know that you appreciated it and had fun,” Neal said.

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