Winter Formal: Stranger Danger


Dear Heidi,

What do I do if I don’t know my Winter Formal date very well?


Worried about Winfo


Dear Worried about Winfo,

First of all, you are not alone. I can assure you that there will be plenty of people at Winter Formal, struggling to keep conversation with their dates. You are almost guaranteed to walk past a group of freshmen, uncomfortably asking their dates how their day was, how school is going or what their favorite animal is. It happens.

I know going to a dance with someone you don’t know very well can seem intimidating and even a little terrifying, but I have some tips that I’ve learned over the years on how to keep the night as light and memorable as possible.

Ask them questions.


Now, this does not mean play 24 questions on loop, as if you are trying to determine whether or not they are a good fit for your university. But, try to show genuine interest. Try to find something you are both passionate about, if possible. Then, go from there.

Don’t ignore them.


I know it’s very tempting to fill those uncomfortable moments of silence by watching people’s Snapchat stories or fake texting your mom when in reality you are texting your best friend about how awkward that very moment is. It’s not going to help the situation at all, trust me.

Actually spend time together at the dance.


This seems like a given, but it’s pretty common for people to completely ditch their dates once they enter the dance. I’ll be the first to admit that I have been that girl who left her date to go talk to her other friends. But that’s okay. Don’t feel bad about wanting to say hi to your friend who your date isn’t close with. However, be sure to eventually circle back to your date from time to time.

Introduce your friends.


If you bring an outside date, be sure to introduce them to your friends. By doing that, not only are you helping yourself out, but you are also showing your date that you care enough to introduce them to your friends.

Use the buddy system.

If all else fails, stay in a group. Keeping conversation for the whole night can definitely be a challenge. If you need a break from coming up with introductory questions to fill the silence, find a group of friends and hang out together. Dinner and the ride to and from the dance are all you really need to worry about. Once you get to the dance, you can always hit the dance floor and let the loud music do the talking.

At the end of the day, remember that this is your night. Your date is just happy to have been asked. Don’t stress too much about all the little details of the evening. Worse comes to worse, you’ll look back and remember having that one uncomfortable Winter Formal memory.  It’ll pass.

Good luck tomorrow night!