I haven't consulted ole' Webster on what exactly constitutes a date. But I think a traditional date might go something like this:
Guy contacts girl to set up date in hopes of eventually convincing girl to remove all her clothing. We'll just say this happens by phone, though it could just as easily be by email, text message, or smoke signals. Guy feels anxiety and fear of rejection, or so I've been told numerous times over the years.
Girl agrees to date for some reason she can't quite fathom. Girl wonders if this will be the father to her children and whether she will eventually be interested in removing all her clothing. Girl spends the hours or days between phone call and date dissecting every part of the call with any and every available girlfriend. Girl attempts to discover and inspect all hidden subliminal meaning from the words, "Would Italian food be okay?"
Girl considers excuses for canceling date and runs them past her girlfriends for validity. Girl wonders if there will be alcohol available on the date to help dissipate awkwardness and anxiety...or no wait, maybe it's the guy that wonders that. It might be both.
Somewhere between 24 hours and thirty minutes before the date, girl realizes she has nothing to wear. Girl considers canceling date due to lack of appropriate clothing.
Girl and guy go out to eat, they have a nice time or have a boring time. Guy says he'll call girl. Girl doesn't believe him.
Guy attempts to determine optimum number of days or hours to wait before calling girl in order to increase chance that girl will take off all her clothing as soon as possible. Or, guy calls at a random time using the time in between to look cool as a cucumber or to pursue others in case girl never takes off all her clothing, or because he hasn't given girl another thought.
Girl spends next three days over-analyzing the meal with girlfriends. Girl tries to determine whether the words "I like alfredo sauce better than marinara" means guy was secretly turned off by a zit on her ankle. Girl tries to determine whether guy's attempt to kiss her or lack of attempt to kiss her means he was secretly planning never to call her again.
Girl decides to wash her hands of the entire situation, vowing never to give the guy another spare thought just at the exact moment the guy picks up the phone to call her.
Or something like that. I'm sure I have some of the details wrong or that they vary and I for one have never had Italian food on a date. (Or a zit on my ankle for that matter.)
This much I've figured out for certain: "fun" relationships have been mis-named. As far as I can tell, it goes like this:
- If two people enter into a relationship they enjoy, are having fun, and the relationship has some chance of lasting a good, long time, it is considered "serious."
- On the other hand, if both people enter into a relationship already certain that it can't or won't work out and that one or more hearts have a strong chance of breaking into little tiny pieces, then the relationship is considered "fun."
I've received my share of dating advice, some of it in the form of encouragement to try online dating. I figure it makes sense to try, but I've chickened out each and every time I start to click.
Finally I decided that an obscure, starter dating site would be the way to go. As a person hesitant about dating, my experiment worked quite well. In fact, it worked SO well that almost every last man who emailed me through the site was Turkish. I'm not talking American of Turkish descent. I'm talking living on the soil of the country of Turkey. I don't know how many miles there are between Istanbul and Houston, but I'm thinking I'm relatively safe.
My dad gave my girlfriends and me some dating advice not long ago, although at the time he thought he was giving my daughter advice on how to get her cousin to accompany us to a museum:
Dad - How do you get a dog to come?Without further explanation my daughter promptly began ignoring her cousin. Not many moments thereafter he jumped into the car as if going to the museum had been his idea in the first place. For what it's worth, I've also found it interesting to think about whether I'm playing the part of a cat or a dog when over-analyzing dates. Not that it makes any difference of course, but a little introspection never hurt anyone.
Cassie - You call him?
Dad - Right! You call him!
How do you get a cat to come?
Cassie - (confused look, while probably thinking something along the lines of "You don't")
Dad - (using her silence to support his argument)
Right! You ignore him!
And you've got to figure out if you're dealing with a dog or a cat.
This is some totally unsolicited dating advice I once gave to a friend who will remain unnamed. I'll also refrain from mentioning whether I know this to be true from personal experience:
If you find yourself saying to yourself or anyone else, "Oh good! He DID have a good excuse for not calling me! He was in jail!" it's time to (at a minimum) reevaluate your stake in the relationship.I mean, not that any of it matters. It's not like my girlfriends or me actually follow any of our own advice much less each other's, but if we did...
well, I'm not exactly sure where we'd be with men, but our collective emotional health would probably be right up there with the best of them.