So I’ve had a productive morning so far. I’ve submitted an assignment for uni, opened the door to a plumber in my towel (amusing aside – I was in the shower, thought the door was my housemate so jumped out to answer it, turned out to be a young, cute and rather flustered young man. Oops.) and I’ve arranged a date.
Well, it’s sort of a date. In the, I’m not entirely sure, those exact words weren’t used, it’s more a catch up with an old friend with the hint there may be something more. I haven’t seen this guy in about four years – we were in a university club together and then he went off sailing and I went off travelling. A while ago via the medium of Facebook he asked if I’d like to go out sometime. I said yes, and then nothing really came of it. Many months, a few Facebook chats and lots of ‘pokes’ later, we’ve finally set a day.
Tomorrow. Talk about last minute.
This not-really-a-date-possibly-a-date got me thinking about the notion of ‘dating’ itself. My last real date was three years and two boyfriends ago, so it’s been a while. Not that I haven’t met guys or anything; I just haven’t done the meet for a drink or go to the cinema with someone with possible romantic connotations for some time. And to be honest, I’ve never really been on many outings that could fall into the ‘date’ category.
And I don’t think it’s just me (though who knows, it might be!)
For us in England the whole dating thing is a little strange. We don’t really do it. Not the way our American friends across the pond do. I was amazed in California how many times complete strangers stopped me in the street and asked me to go for a coffee or lunch with them, how the guy in Madam Tussauds in Hollywood gave me his phone number (he wasn’t the only one) or how the man at Immigration just tried to chat me up instead of giving me the nth degree on why I wanted to enter his country. I don’t mean this to sound like I’m bragging, “oh look how awesome I am, all these guys after me”. I know I’m not ugly, but I’m not model gorgeous either, sort of average really. And I’m happy (mostly, depending on my mood) with how I look. But I know I’m not the sort of girl that guys stop dead in the street to stare at. What I’m trying to say was how alien I found all this. Never in England. None of this has ever happened to me, nor any of my friends as far as I’m aware in my home country. The most you get is wolf-whistles and lewd comments made by builders, but only while they’re in front of their mates. And as for being ‘chatted up’ in a bar, pick up lines such as “get your coat, you’ve pulled” seem to be used more to illicit a laugh than seriously. At least, I hope no one uses them seriously!
I’m still at university so everyone I know seem to have met their current partner either through drunken escapades (and yes, one night stands), through friends, or from being on the same course or in the same university club. In my martial arts club for example, out of nine ‘seniors’, I am the only single one. The other eight are all dating each other. As in, they’re paired up; not having some sort of weird open-relationship thing going on!
So a date. Coffee. Talking. Human interactions that we’ve almost lost in the computer-age. People put a lot of stock into dates. It’s about putting yourself out there and risking rejection. What if they don’t like me after all? What if we have nothing in common? What if it all gets a little awkward? What if… Forget what if’s! In my opinion, life is too short to worry about that. I think the most important thing is to just be yourself, have a laugh and if he likes who you are great! If you like who he is, even better! But if you don’t then don’t.
Nothing lost, but perhaps something to be gained.