dating = awkward

if you are a single guy, the whole “are we just hanging out or is it a date?” question can get pretty freaking muddy.  i know it was for me and i wasn’t even a guy.  i guess it’s pretty freaking muddy for everyone.

here’s a little story.

there was a brother and sister that i was friends with.  sort of.  we hung in the same circles.  knew each other.  their names were steve and eve (not really, but they did rhyme).  my car was in the shop and steve offered to drive me home from Red Robin where a bunch of us were hanging.  great.  thanks.  on the way he asked if i wanted to come over later that week and watch movies at his house.  i knew his sister too, so cool, sure.  did that.

the following weekend, i went on a date with a guy i’d been into who finally asked me out.  he had a boat.  pretty much my only requirement when i was 18.

then i got an angry phone call from steve’s sister.  apparently i was a two-timing slut.

she got extra super duper upset when i asked her who i was cheating on exactly.  turns out, a ride home from Red Robin and watching Weekend at Bernie’s on VHS (it’s been a long time since i was 18) equals a dating relationship in steve and eve’s world.  so a day out on a boat with another guy made me a cheater cheater pumpkin eater.

boat guy?  we had an amazing day that ended with some hand holding on his couch.  i called that a date.  boat guy called it a friday.

we were all wrong.

here’s another.  craig was my best friend for 2 years before we ever started dating.  we hung out everyday, all day.  one night craig called me and said, “i’m coming to get you.  we’re going on a date.”  this was nothing new.  we always went on each other’s dates.  i recognize now how annoying that must’ve been for those we were dating.  however, on this night, craig made it clear that he and i were going on a date.  together.  alone.  i said, “you can come get me, but it’s not a date.”

he hung up on me and showed up at my door 10 minutes later.

he drove us out to the middle of nowhere and told me he was tired of just being my friend and wanted more.  my boy is brave.

i didn’t speak to him for 3 months.

*just realized i already told this story here*

i couldn’t date craig at that time for reasons that would require an entire series of blogs to explain.  but in short, i was an emotional whack job.

there’s never going to be a way to 100% avoid awkward dating/not dating moments, but hopefully these clarifications will help:

1.  if you ask her out, it’s a date.  if you take her somewhere intending to entertain her and pay, that, my friend, is a date.  it doesn’t mean that you are now bound to her and only her.  it is only A date.  but she will be wondering what the next move is and may potentially get bent out of shape if you take some other girl out the following night.  not your fault, that’s just how it is.

2.  hanging out with friends and focusing on her, not a date.  that is a getting-to-know-you moment.  i recommend a few of these before actually going on a date.

3.  if you kiss her, she’ll think you’re dating.  sorry, but she will.  girls are weird like that.  she may not go so far as calling you her boyfriend, but she will think she has some sort of claim on you.  fair warning.

4.  if it comes to it, define the relationship.  there is no crime in dating a few different girls if your not in place where a relationship is on the table for you.  but make sure you are taking their feelings into account.  don’t be a player or take advantage of the fact that they think you’re super neat.  that’s not fair.

5.  don’t take it farther that you’re willing to commit to.  to say most girls will follow your lead is as true as it is not true.  you’re three dates and one excellent good night kiss in; you think things are cool, you could be into this, but she’s ready to stake a claim.  it’s a matter of interpretation.  yours and hers.  see number 4.

dating is sticky.  there’s no way that you’re going to be able to avoid the awkwards or hurt feelers all the time.  just be decent and try to keep your eyes open.  if things start to feel like they might be going in a direction you’re not ready for, ease off.  girls are far more likely to read more into it than guys do.  sorry.  wish i had more to offer.  but i don’t.  hang out, be chill, don’t escalate things to a place you’re not ready to deliver on.

good luck with that.

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12 comments on “dating = awkward

  1. MH says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more! I, of course am a female however, after a sequence of dates (2-3) with my now fiancé, I insisted that we have a DTR (Define/Determine the Relationship). At first he seemed really awkwarded out by me asking this of him, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to invest my time into something that wasn’t real! This was the first *relationship* or person I dated that I ever did this with, and I am glad that I did! Apparently it worked!

    A lot of times I don’t even think guys realize what they’re doing (girls too) and if the other party realizes that something might be happening between the two, it’s only fair to bring it up (i.e., a DTR).

  2. Ed Cyzewski says:

    I wish someone had laid this out so clearly to me back in the day. You really can’t underestimate the importance of a good old defining the relationship talk. Call it whatever you want, but it’s important. Really, really important.

  3. Jenn says:

    I think there needs to be lessons about dating, for both parties but really for Christian men – I find that this generation in my experience is all about the emotional benefit with out the commitment, they are happy to call and ask you on something that appears to be a date – two people together, in public (though the whole come over and watch a movie is a fine line in the hang-out we are friends and we like each other mutually thus really are dating…), it involves certain conduct and boundaries.

    I have more personal experiences than I wish to acknowledge, but the worst one, the one that when I get together with my girlfriends they laugh about is this. I met a guy at a party, I was well intoxicated, he apparently thought I was wonderful, me I was ambivalent towards him. He friended me on FB, asked for my number. He called, we arranged coffee and a walk/talk/watch live jazz music festival afternoon. Said afternoon was painful, he’s not a deep person/talker on ANY subject even himself – lord I tried, but we managed to walk, talk and watch for 3 hours, he suggested food, I starving said sure, he did not pay. Then he suggested a movie, at which point I was damn well confused. You’re having fun? You’re actually interested? We ended up watching the Hangover – which I laughed through and he cringed – I also laughed at that point because he deserved it – pseudo -date karma. In the end he insisted on walking me to my bus stop and when it arrived I got a limp side hug. Sadly I gave him a second chance which was worse and ended with him putting me on a bus and not driving me the 5 minutes by car home. Needless to say I snicker when I see him in church. He tried and yet failed. He failed where no one should fail. If you are interested be interested and think it through, girls notice the little things – like the car issue and the side hug. Mixed feelings are the pits, you spend 8 hours with me but don’t pay for anything and side hug me – so are you super shy or are you just trying to fill a Saturday. It turned out to be a spare Saturday for him and I wasted 8 hours and $45.

  4. Matt Gates says:

    Shortly after joining a new church 12 or 13 years back, I asked out this girl whom I was getting along with well and there seemed to be the possibility of something there. She said yes so I proceeded to buy concert tickets, pick her up at her house, take her to said concert, take her out to eat afterward and then take her home and drop her off. We’d had fun (or so I’d thought) so as I walked her up to her door, I said, “That was fun, we should do that again sometime!”. She said something along the lines of, “That’d be great!”, gave me a hug and then went inside.

    The next morning at church I was talking to a couple friends of mine about it and they started laughing and said, “You know she’s got a boyfriend, right?”. As a matter of fact, I did not as he didn’t go to our church (and possibly not to any church that I recall), she’d never mentioned him in the couple of months I’d known her and she said nothing about him when I asked her out.

    She wasn’t cheating on him, however; somehow she honestly didn’t realize that we were on a date despite all of the stuff I mentioned above. She thought I was just being a really nice friend by buying everything and picking her up. I came to find out as I got to know her better that although she was a very sweet girl, she wasn’t the sharpest crayon in the box. :oD

  5. Its only fair for both parties to agree whether you are dating or not. I have some good male friends so it is a myth that men and women cannot be just friends.

  6. The chemistry should be on both sides when it comes to dating. Love is out there for everyone 🙂

  7. […] is advisable cull different spots for different woman. It is thumb rule in love with multi partner. Girls live or work in the same area: Its highly recommended to evade dating colleagues from same […]

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