Asking a guy out can be difficult, but it's a vital part of the dating process.

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Back in the 1930s, cartoonist Al Capp wrote a comic strip called Li'l Abner, in which he introduced a character named Sadie Hawkins [source: Capp Enterprises]. Poor Sadie was not one of the more attractive girls in her town, so her father, in an effort to help her get married, came up with the idea of Sadie Hawkins' Day -- a day when all the unmarried girls could pursue the eligible bachelors in town, and hopefully get themselves husbands.

Over time, the concept of Sadie Hawkins' Day gained popularity in the real world, and schools began holding Sadie Hawkins' Day dances in which the girls could ask out the guys of their choice. While Capp probably never intended for it to become a national phenomenon, Sadie Hawkins' Day gave women a chance to have some control over their social lives. However, while it may be funny in a cartoon, in real life, asking a guy out can be nerve-racking.

Sweaty palms, a dry mouth, butterflies in your stomach -- as a teenager, even if you're the most popular person in school, this is how it usually feels to ask a person out for the first time. Once upon a time, only men had to experience these symptoms, because the responsibility of initiating relationships rested solely with them. Men were the hunters, and were in charge of beginning romantic courtships. However, things have changed over the last few decades, and woman have about as much equality on the romantic playing field as they have anywhere else.

Dating can be stressful, but like anything else, it gets easier with practice. The more you know, the better it will go, so read on for some tips on asking a guy out.