Thursday, November 27

Looking Before You Leap

I used to think that it would be easy to let someone know how I felt about them. I even have a draft sitting in my blog somewhere that I will dig out some day suggesting that we all should rely on friendships to ease the process. I'm now wondering exactly how easy this might be, especially for those of us who are "asking-out virgins". It's not entirely about rejection though.

I think that there are many valid and even honourable reasons why a person might resist doing the deed. I've already covered information gathering in posts like this one, and maybe they just don't feel they know enough to justify a further move.

Some might not want to appear as being that guy or girl: not quite a slag but the one who tries their luck with everyone anyway. I think anyone on the receiving end wants to know that you've considered them more than what gender they happen to be. But how can they ever possibly know that about a proposer without a deep knowledge of their private lives? Sometimes that's not accessible.

A related point is how some, after their first try at asking out, suddenly do indeed blossom into a fully grown Casanova, falling into an asking-out spiral where they become desensitised to and objective about the whole process. In other words, some people don't want to lose the "innocence" which they were relying upon to figure out who would really be good for them.

There's also the possibility of causing offense. Now in discussion I've been told that some guys will never cause offense when asking a girl out, but firstly I'm not sure how they can know this for someone whose never done it before; there are plenty of unfortunate stories about nice enough guys who turn ugly under these situations without even knowing it.

Finally there's the possibility of spoiling something good. Although I still refuse to believe this could happen to a sound friendship, enough people have this fear to give it some credibility. Perhaps a disclosure of this sort can wreck friendships, and if that's the case maybe the loss isn't worth the gain?

Why is there a need for any explicit and formal approach anyway? It might make the whole thing contrived and forced, when leaving it all to the blessing of the universe and allowing it to take care of things may be a better idea.

I think that for me, the ideal way to form a serious relationship is to naturally fall into one. I know of couples who don't quite know when they became an item, and it seems that this forms a natural bond that could be difficult to achieve when being explicit (of course some kind of conversation has to be had at some point, but the answers are usually known by then). And similar to how friendships in general can naturally come and go, a relationship such as this one can ebb and flow too without any lasting damage.

This is all just an ideal though and unfortunately real life and the timing issues it presents sometimes means we don't have the luxury of waiting and seeing what happens with every individual we meet. Unfortunately some observers describe this sudden burst of being proactive as desperation.

As a closing note there is another reason why some may avoid asking others out, and that's to avoid any "bad marks" on their record; I reckon there's something impressive about a single person not having any previously failed relationships under their belts (although I do acknowledge that not all relationships end in failure). However, is a vacuously empty perfect record really worth anything in the long term?

Originally drafted 30th August, 2008.