Getting Personal [NaBloPoMo 14]

Friday, August 14, 2015 / 7:05 AM

Between watching one-too-many rom-coms, reading Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance, and talking with my best girlfriends, I've come to the conclusion that I've never been on a proper date. As in: Boy meets girl. Boy asks girl on date. Boy plans more than just, "Let's meet up at happy hour."

Or however that's supposed to go.

But in all honesty--and this is going to be half-embarrassing to admit and mostly amusing--I think I can only pinpoint one "date" that ever felt truly planned, and I'm not sure it entirely counted because it was with an ex-boyfriend and it was an anniversary.

Well, there's another "date" a few years ago that might count, but it ended with me discovering he was kind of racist and then having to lie about having a boyfriend to stop him from stalking me around coffee shops.


I asked an ex-boyfriend once why, when he first asked me out, he phrased it as, "We should hang out." Which wasn't very clear to me at all that he meant it as a date. He told me later that it's a self-preservation tactic "most guys" employ to save themselves from the sting of rejection. That by asking if a girl wants to "hang out," and she treats it like a date, then the guy knows how to proceed.

I think my response to that, at the time, was, "But rejection's a part of life, so why not get it over with instead of living in dating limbo forever?"

I still stand by that. Because why would you want to be in limbo? Sure, rejection sucks, but wouldn't you rather know if the other person is interested in you before you spent months and months in the "maybe, maybe not" zone?

Not that I'm an expert, by any means. I've been on both sides of being rejected and being the one to do the rejecting. Neither is really a fun place to be in. More often than not these days, to be honest, I find myself just not thinking about dating because it all seems like a complicated mess.

Is that a weird thing to admit? Is this all TMI? It's just something I've been thinking about when people ask me why I'm not dating so-and-so, or ask me if I'm interested in settling down and starting a family. But I have to learn how to keep a plant alive first before I can keep another human being alive.

And because I don't know how to end this TMI-fest, here's an Evan Edinger video that I feel like I identify with:

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  1. I don't do the whole ambiguous hang out quasi-date thing because I'm afraid of rejection. But, sometimes you think someone's interesting/attractive and want to get to know them better to see if there's any chemistry. I suspect someone is more likely to say yes to a low-stakes "let's hang out" invitation than a more formal date.

    And hanging out doesn't foreclose on other possible outcomes. One of my best friends started out with us meeting at a party, me suggesting a hang-out quasi-date where we realized that we're not romantically compatible, but got along really well platonically. If I had framed things romantically from the get go, I might not have her in my life right now.

    But keeping things ambiguous for months is just a waste of everyone's time.

  2. Traci, in all honesty, I cannot keep a plant alive but I am doing OK at raising my two kids...oh and, Jason and I never really went on "dates" but we hung out and I was the one who asked him out and then I asked him to marry me. (so much for tradition!) However, we did, after a few hang outs, decide to be boyfriend and girlfriend, so no guessing there.


  3. I think that only happened to me once. I feel like it happens mostly in movies or on TV shows, so we all assume that's how "other" people do things, but no one is really doing it. ;)