Eleven Twelfths

Today I came to a realization: In a month, I will be thirty, and yet in 29 and eleven twelfths years, I have never been asked on a date in person. I have been asked out via phone call, Facebook message, text message, and dating app messaging. But never has a guy walked up to me and said, “Would you like to get dinner with me some time?” I always thought it would be great to be asked out in person. You’re in the same room with them and you can see their facial expressions while you realize that they like you enough to spend some time with you. After musing about my realization, I thought perhaps a deciding factor in whether or not I should marry someone in the future should be how he asked me on our first date. If it wasn’t in person, perhaps I should just say no. But that’s just setting myself up for life as a spinster whose best option is to marry foolish Mr. Collins, the man who somehow thinks condescension from a great lady is a thing to boast to every person in the room.

Is it my fault for never getting asked out in person? Do I just not know any guys who are grown up enough? I know that is not the case; I know a lot of mature single guys. So then is the problem that I don’t make it clear enough to guys that I’m interested? That’s entirely probable. I’ve liked so many guys over the years and have completely convinced myself that they liked me in return, but none of these crushes have been the ones who have asked me out [not in person]. Perhaps I don’t know how to show that I’m interested, after all. Perhaps all the interest is just in my head. But surely that’s not the reason, either. If a guy is interested enough, he’ll ask regardless of the show of affection given him, right?

So are the men the ones to blame? Do they not know how to talk to someone and ask a simple question? Asking a girl on a date doesn’t mean asking her to spend the rest of her life with you. It’s just a date. It’s asking someone to spend an hour or two or three with you. You get to know each other a little better. That’s it. Is it just too intimidating to ask someone out in person? I do understand the intimidation factor, but at the same time, I really don’t want to understand it. IT’S JUST ONE DATE. But perhaps it’s not the guys’ fault. Some guys are comfortable talking with people, some are more shy, some are risk-takers, some take in every possible scenario before walking out the door. Not every unattached guy I know is too intimidated to ask a girl out. Every guy is different, so you can’t say they’re all just too scared.

Is it then the cause of the society in which we live? 21st century dating, as I’ve witnessed through my friends’ and acquaintances’ dating lives, is one of two things. There’s Tinder, seeking pleasures just for a night or two and then going separate ways. And there are serious relationships. I often don’t hear that someone is dating until they’re really quite serious. There seems to be no in between, no going on dates just to get to know someone. A date has either to end in someone’s bed or lead toward a long-term relationship. My mom says that when she was younger, it was normal to have a date with a different guy every weekend – or perhaps two different guys each weekend. She and her friends went on dates because it was fun. Fun. That’s why we date. It’s fun.

Shouldn’t the asking on the date also be fun?

Or is this lack of in-person asks based on something else? Something that, during this pandemic, has proved to be incredibly helpful, but in many other parts of life has been incredibly hurtful. Yes, I’m talking about technology. Have we forgotten the feeling of in-person interactions? Have face-to-face encounters become less important in our eyes? When someone texts or messages you, asking you on a date, you’re not necessarily with people. You could be sitting at home in your pajamas watching the same TV show you’ve watched time and again. You get a text asking you out. You get all excited that you’ve been asked out by someone, but you have no one with whom to share that feeling, least of all the person who moments ago provided you with the feeling. Just imagine how much more special it would be if you were standing there, a couple feet apart, each acknowledging to the other that you like one another. That sounds pretty darn nice.

I’ve heard people express concerns that, once we’re on the other side of this COVID-19 crisis, we will forget what it’s like to have in-person interactions and more work will be moved to remote work. People seem afraid that, after this pandemic, we will spend less time face-to-face. But I hope that, after this crisis has past, it will have reminded us of the importance of in-person interactions; of physical touch; of hearing another person’s voice clearly instead of through a microphone, across cyberspace, and out through a speaker. Humans are created for person-to-person interaction; otherwise, what’s the point of living? We need people, proximity, shared emotions.

Perhaps when I turn thirty-one, I will be able to say, “He asked me out in person!” That’s my little hope for the last twelfth of my 30th year of living.

Read from the beginning: https://soarwithlaughter.com/2014/09/02/soar-cloud-high/

3 thoughts on “Eleven Twelfths

  1. Thanks for sharing, sis! I think people are craving that interaction. I know I am. I miss bars and group outings and arts venues and people on the street in NYC…I hope and can only imagine it’ll be the same in NOLA. But I agree that text date inquiries are not fun at all.

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