“Love is a sweet tyranny, because the lover endureth his torments willingly.” ~Proverb
Relationships: the chess match of dating
We have all felt the roller coaster of emotion so intrinsically tied to the cultural phenomenon of dating. Chances are, this same roller coaster has led us to say some of the stupidest things, do some of the strangest things, and feel some of the weirdest things that any of us have ever experienced. Before romantic relationships are established, there is a very wonderful, very confusing period of time most refer to as “dating.” What is dating? Dating is the process by which we judge, adapt, impress, and test our potential significant other in an attempt to figure out if they are, in fact, compatible. This process is a beautiful mess of emotion, and my current focus.
How does it start? That depends. Most relationships (in my personal experience) usually stem from some sort of mutual contact or social environment. While I do know of a few, very rarely do I hear about my friends asking out random girls (or guys) who they saw walking down the street. In my experience, I have found it to be much safer to become interested in women whom I have at least one mutual connection. This connection usually serves as a go between and a somewhat clear indicator of what the girl may be like. For instance, if a college guy is really good friends with a college girl who he knows rather well, it won’t be a stretch for him to assume that her friends are equally as “cool.” We make this leap by a sort of substitutive property.
Best friend = fun/awesome
Her friend = fun/awesome??
[There Mrs. Jordan! I used something from high school algebra!]
So after the physical attraction is established and the relative compatibility is assumed, comes the fun part: the pursuit. The pursuit is a thing of both brilliant graceful beauty and elephant-like bumbling awkwardness. This is the stage of the pre-relationship where both parties are involved in a kind of chess match…. This match is usually fairly straight forward and short lived, neither party invests emotionally and both come out on top.
O wait, never mind, it’s not like that at all.
here’s how it really is… lemme break it down.. (insert beat boxing here!)
step 1: Establish a way of communication (get a number)
I would like to go on record saying that this isn’t nearly as easy as most females would like to assume. The battles over when to ask, how to ask, and whether to ask plague men of all ages and experience levels. There are a couple noteworthy methods I’ve discovered. The first is to plainly ask for the girls number without any kind of explanation as to why. This method is primarily used by men with an abundance of confidence and/or lack of tact. What most guys do is a sort of pathetic ballet in which we formulate situations in which a number exchange is necessary. For instance, “Hey, can i get your number in case I break my femur and need someone to rescue me?” or, “I’m trying to collect the phone numbers of every person I’ve ever met in an attempt to eradicate poverty.” (I’ve never asked for a girl’s number in an attempt to eradicate poverty, but how would she say no?)
Step 2: The first few dates
First dates are one of the most pivotal points in a pre-relationship. The date itself is where the chess match really kicks into high gear. The conversation will almost always start off the same way chess does, with small insignificant movements. “Hey, do you like lasagna?”
“yeah, I really do.”
“nice, me too”
This conversation is totally worthless but for the most part necessary in going deeper.
Body language is equally important in the first date environment because it is the real way we determine how we feel about the other person. Yeah i said it. It’s highly unlikely the the conversation had on a first date will be so insightful and eye-opening that both parties will instantly feel their lives forever changed by the words said over lasagna. But rather, they will feel out the body language of the other person to determine if they are enjoying themselves. If you’re still confused about first dates, read the first date blog.
Step 3: DTR (determine the relationship)
This is “the talk.” The talk that your friends ask if you’ve had and although you don’t want to admit it, you immediately know what they’re talking about. This talk is the final step in the chess match of dating. If it goes well, it also signifies the beginning of another game completely. That would be the arm wrestling match of relationships (terribly analogy, i’ll think of a better one and write another blog). The DTR is scary for the same reasons that asking for a number is scary. It requires both honesty and vulnerability on a level that we don’t usually experience. DTRs can be joyous occasions in which trumpets blast victory songs from rooftops or depressing ballads of defeat screamed by Creed knock off bands. Either way, music is mostly unavoidable. My personal DTRs have gone rather well because I usually wait to have them until I know for sure that I’ll receive the outcome that I want. You say I’m a coward, I say I’m spittin’ game. The two most important things about a DTR are also the most important things in any relationship: communication and honesty. Being dishonest in a DTR may seem like a good idea until you realize that you’re facebook official with a girl who just broke up with your best friend’s dad (who’s also a sniper for the marines, and eats Chunky’s soup).
Step 4: Facebook official
This is the most important step in any relationship because you’re not really in a relationship until facebook says you’re in a relationship. If you make it this far, you might as well go ahead and buy a ring.
“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” ~Wayne W. Dyer