You are a guy in the modern world who knows a girl, and you like her. So you do what any reasonable man in your position would do, you watch her from afar wishing, wishing, wishing that you could be together. You want to ask her out, but you're scared. And you have every right to be. The thought of rejection can be debilitating, much of the reason's being that not only will some girls turn you down, but many can be really mean about it. You work up all your courage to finally talk to her. You get shy and quite possibly feel very in love while you stumble through the date invitation
"Um, hi, I, uh, was just wondering, uh, you seem like, like, um, like a nice girl and uh, I wanted to maybe ask if, um, if, maybe... would you like to, uh, go get dinner with me?"
And you've done it. It's over. Now the easy part,
"Eew! No way, that's disgusting! I can't believe such an idiot like you would even think to ask me out. You can go back home and play your video games now,"
...actually turns out to be the hard part. And now you think, she was perfect at first, but then she turned mean. You are crushed. You wonder how much of what she said is true. Are you really that big of an idiot? Are you really so obsessed with video games that "gamer" is the only word people can think of to describe you? Are you really so low to the ground that you deserved to be blown off so rudely?
The answer to all of these questions is no. You are just as amazing as the next person. You deserve someone as much as the next guy. You are incredible and you are worth dating. Nobody gets to tear you down based on stigmatic stereotypes that you don't even fit into anyway. The only thing people should be judged about are personality, morals, how they treat other people, etc. But a lot of people decide that if a guy (or girl, because this really isn't a one-sided issue) doesn't fit into their immediate "ideal" of tall, with broad shoulders, tan skin, strong, and defined facial features, then why bother wasting my time?
The solution? The One-Date Rule.
Sadly, the above type of situation occurs all too often, and with all too many people. It happens to men and women, college boys and girls, and all types of people far and wide and in between. The One-Date Rule is one I am quite fond of, a rule that I abide by and will continue to abide by as long as I am not already in a relationship. This rule is quite simple, and it goes like this: if a person of the sex you enjoy dating asks you out, ever, you must say yes to at least one date. Never turn someone down from the get-go. You need to spend some time with the person before you decide you aren't interested in dating them. So say yes to at least one date a.k.a "hangout" as many people now like to say. Hold a good conversation. Tell jokes. Find out what you each have in common, or don't have in common. Have fun. That is what first dates are for.
If everyone lived by the One-Date Rule, we would no longer have to worry about the embarrassment of being turned down without ever having been on a date. We won't have to fear the original ask-out because we would have the confidence that you will get at least one date out of it before anything is decided. And chances are, once you both have had more of a chance to get to know each other, the girl or guy who might have previously been rude enough to make a scene about turning you down will take more heart and will be friendlier and kinder if they decide they still don't want to take things further with you. It will still be difficult to take the rejection, but no longer will it likely be a huge public event, spoken about by every person on earth and their dog. The One-Date Rule will diminish the fear of being turned down for a first date, and will help reduce the number of harsh turn-downs.
Of course, there are a couple of reasons one must make exceptions to the One-Date Rule. The first is that the person may have done things to hurt people and thus is likely to hurt you. For instance, if you know the guy has a long, continued history of abusing his girlfriends, you already know he's not going to be good for you. The second reason is that if, for any reason, whether you can explain it or not, you feel uncomfortable or unsafe accepting a date from someone, you probably should not go. But take into consideration that a date can be awkward without being unsafe, and that's not the type of uncomfortable I'm talking about.
So if a girl walks up to you and asks for a date, but you know she dumps every boyfriend after two months unless he proposes, you have every right to say no, because you don't want to purposely put yourself into a dead-end relationship. If you would fear for your own safety or well-being by accepting a date with someone, it is fully acceptable to turn down a first date. Just be kind and sensitive to the feelings of the person you decline.
All in all, dating is amazing. There is a stigma around it, though. Guys especially have been getting more and more nervous to ask girls out for dates, and a big part of that is that so many girls reject guys in the harshest and most public ways. So for all the benefit I can see, I follow the One-Date Rule and believe it would help immensely if others followed it as well. This way, guys and girls alike will be able to have more confidence at the invitation for a first date. This will make the lives of each side drastically easier and less mortifying. So the next time someone asks you out for the first time, please try to remember the One-Date Rule and do everything in your power to stick to that guideline. Remember: a first date does not mean marriage. It is just to see whether you like the person or not and whether or not you think you both could work well together. So follow the One-Date Rule and have fun!