Dear 100 Hour Board,
I want to date but it seems like when I socialize and go to ward activities I end up with very casual guy friends (we chat at church activities but aren't super close and neither or us have any interest in each other) and female friends. How do I also make friends with guys that I might want to date in the future?
Female friends are great but I don't want to marry them
Ask your casual guy friends or other guys you meet on dates! There was a fantastic fireside given at BYU a few months ago I went to called "It's Just Dinner." (I couldn't find a copy of the actual fireside, but pages 24-27 on the BYU Two magazine sums it up pretty well. I'm rather disappointed in myself for encouraging people to read this magazine seriously and not sarcastically, so if y'all could never mention this again, that would be great.) Basically, we should just ask everyone out to dinner, because a date is getting to know people better and not a long-term commitment. Maybe that dinner with your casual guy friend will turn into a better friendship, or even a romantic relationship. My old roommate had assumed our home teacher was a casual guy friend she wasn't romantically interested in. Six months later they started spending more time together, became best friends, and now they're the most adorable couple I've seen. You never know how a friendship will go if you try to get to know each other better. And maybe as you get to know each other better they'll realize how cool you are and how you have the same interests as their roommate and they'll set you up with their friends. (Didn't see that coming, eh?) Get your female friends to set up double dates. Mention that you're willing to go on blind dates. And if any guy assumes that a date means you're a couple, give him a copy of the Two magazine with the "It's Just Dinner" article dogeared.
-guppy of doom
Don’t just socialize. Flirt. It’s great to meet people and associate with them as friends, but if you spot someone you’re attracted to, make that attraction clear. Socializing at ward activities is a good step, because it makes you visible, so continue with that momentum by making yourself especially visible to the man/men you’re interested in. Go up and talk to them specifically, and flirt your little heart out.
I understand the feeling, but like Luciana said, there's a difference between socializing and flirting, and it really does take a conscious effort. It's good to make friends with everyone and to be generally friendly but if you're friendly to everyone then no one will necessarily pick up on the fact that you're interested in them. Pay special attention to people and express interest in them. Go out of your way to interact with them, they'll notice the extra effort. It's hard for anyone to put themselves out there, but we've all got to help each other out by doing it a little more. I feel your pain my friend.
Keep it real,
Do some recon. Take some time to look around the room a little during sacrament meeting. Be as conspicuous as you want. Pick a few cuties out. Hang around a bit and at first eye contact (or second. or third) say "I don't think I've met you yet. What's your name?" Ask how they like the ward, if they're going to the next activity etc. Sit next to them sometimes. Invite them to something fun you're doing. Done. You've made a friend and almost expressed enough interest with those steps alone. If you flirt along the way, ask for a number, or drop a heavy date hint—you're golden. If he doesn't ask you out you can wonder whether he's dense, not interested, or just not dating right now OR (and this platinum status) you can straight up ask him out.
This strategy should be seasoned to taste. Apply the principle in your own style. But you will need to be a little brave for a minute to reach out and try to connect.
Best of luck,