How to Get a Date For Your Formal

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We all remember that crucial episode of Laguna Beach when Kristin, LC, and company get asked to prom.  Banners strung up on overpasses, garages filled with roses, and the unforgettable fish-in-the-bathtub display all served to woo those girls into attending prom with the Stephen Collettis of the world.  In college, however, the process of finding a date for formal isn’t the MTV-scripted fairytale we wish it were.  We have to ask the guys now—and that’s not always easy.  So what’s the best way to ask a guy to your formal (without seeming creepy or over-the-top)?  Read on for HC’s comprehensive guide.


Lucky you!  No fanfare need be involved.  As soon as you find out the date for your event, let your guy know so that he can put it on his calendar.  If there’s a scheduling conflict, you’ll want to smooth it out now rather than arguing about it at the last minute.
Extra Credit:  Always have three or four guy or girl friends in mind as “back up” dates in case your BF can’t make it.

If You’re “Exclusive” with a Guy

If you’re exclusively hooking up with a guy but not yet dating, you don’t want to over-assume and just tell him when your formal is.  Utilize the flirty text and ask him if he’s got anything going on the weekend of your formal.  Mention that you have some fun plans in mind . . . if he takes the bait, you’re good to ask!
Extra Credit: Pass him a note when you’re in class or sitting at the library together.  It’s the old school version of the flirty text.

If You’ve Been Hooking Up with a Few Guys

You’re single, but you have options.  The important thing here is to decide if you like any of the guys you’ve been seeing enough to spend an extended evening with them—formals are notoriously long events.  Think about which guy is the most social/outgoing.  Can he handle his liquor?  Does he know at least a couple of your friends who will be going?  If yes, this guy is your pick.  Mention you have a formal coming up the next time you two are together—if he seems interested and asks questions, ask him!  If he ignores you or changes the subject, move on to guy number two.

Extra Credit: Find out if he has a friend who wants to go and set him up with one of your friends.  The group dynamic will ease any awkwardness.

If You’re in a Drought
It happens to the best of us.  If you just haven’t had luck with the lesser sex in awhile, it’s time to grit your teeth and go for the set-up.  Set-ups are great because it takes the pressure off of you.  Ask one of your sorority sisters or friends to give you three options of their single guy friends.  Then take to Facebook and decide which one looks good to you.  You may not find the love of your life, but it’s a great way to meet a new guy (and maybe end your drought)!
Extra Credit: Figure out a way to meet your set-up before your formal.  If your friend knows a party they’ll be at, go!

...Don’t get stuck in the limo alone! 

While we all want a bit of romance, sometimes the best formals are the ones we take our guy friends/girl friends/gay best friends to.  If you’re not feeling up to the drama of getting a date, go ahead and ask your platonic bestie (they’re more likely to stick with you the whole night, anyway).

Who are you all asking to your formals?  Tell us in the comments below!

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About The Author

Allie Jones is an English and American Studies double major at the College of William and Mary.  She's interned at W magazine and is currently the Senior News Editor at The Virginia Informer.  When she’s not chatting up colonial impersonators in Williamsburg, Allie drinks too much black coffee and thinks about going to the gym. She enjoys singing for her friends and planning parties for her chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Allie looks up to Liz Lemon, Carrie Bradshaw and Jon Stewart; 2 ½ of which, she realizes, are fictional characters. 

You can find out more about the high-brow television programs she watches over at her Twitter, @allierileyjones.