Despite the fact that I identify as a feminist and feel passionately about gender equality, 6 months ago I found myself in a sexist situation. I had a hardcore crush on a guy I barely knew. Admittedly, I was initially drawn to his appearance. After all, he was wearing a collared shirt with a tie to class. His beard was scruffy and he wore club-master sunglasses. It was obvious from the beginning that he was meant to be mine.
Yet ‘love at first sight’ is an unexpectedly weird sensation. Although at a few points in my Tinder expeditions I did experience ‘love at first swipe’, there’s something very confusing about a sudden magnetic attraction to a complete stranger. Especially when this particular rando is sitting behind you in a college class and not at a coffee shop in LA, where I had planned to move at the end of summer.
Unlike Matilda it didn’t matter how long or hard I stared, he wasn’t moving in on me. Summer classes only last 6 weeks, so with each passing day I felt my chances were slipping away. I searched for opportunities to casually start conversation, I walked the long way if it were in his direction, I went so far as to add him on Facebook. Haters gonna hate, and no I did not message him. He started to walk at my pace. His cellphone conversations ended as I walked through the door. Each time I looked back to check him out, his eyes were already facing my direction.
I contemplated asking him out, but found a million reasons not to. By 22 I’ve acquired the basic skill set to know when a guy is into me, but there are a lot of blurred lines in the 2015 dating game. He might have had a girlfriend he didn’t post pictures of on Instagram or Facebook. It happens, a lot. There is also the possibility he didn’t find me attractive. Rude? Hell yeah. Impossible? Nah. His friends could have shared my dirty laundry. Or … he could have googled me…. this could be a good or bad thing…depending on which article he chose to read.
And so I began to ask myself the same series of questions I had asked myself since my first kindergarten crush. How do you get a guy to notice you? How do you get him to ask you out? Why the hell can’t I just ask him myself?
You should, just get your Olivia Benson on first. Public information is for the public for a reason, bitches. I once googled a guy and found some felony charges. It took me three dates to find out he robbed an old lady, search engines are the real deal. Don’t knock it ’til you try it. Play detective, but don’t fabricate stories about their lives in your head. Guy’s don’t gossip as much as girls. Just because you’ve made out with one of your “mutual friends” doesn’t mean it will ever come up. You’ll have to get to know them before you find out if they are a lifelong friend or someone they met once at a party 6 years ago. You can find out a lot about someone from the internet, but only from those who put it out there. Other times you’re left to search for other clues.
As the lyrical genius Ricky Martin once sang “talk to me, tell me your name.” Sometimes it really is that simple, but with so many options, its hard to tell if someone is single or in an undefined relationship. First things first, check Facebook; tagged pictures and of course relationship status. Then look at his Instagram. Private account? Be your own judge; just don’t be a creep. If it’s public; check the photos his friends tagged him in. Don’t go FBI style and look through his followed accounts. You know who you are. If he’s clear of girlfriend evidence for a considerable amount of time (6+ months) he’s most likely single. If he’s single, and you like him, you’re running out of excuses.
Casually bring up an awkward Tinder experience into conversation. My date the night before with a touchy Texan banker made the cut. It gave this guy the opportunity to tell me about his own mismatches; a girl who ordered a salad at an Italian restaurant for instance. Not something I’d do, so perhaps we’re compatible.
For years I found an identity through my relationship status. I loved being single. My walk was consciously confident. I dated, but mostly for free drinks and casual hookups. My love life was purposefully neglected to prepare for a move. But I found myself walking faster to catch up with this guy. Eventually I did, and he insinuated we should get drinks– but to be fair did not ask. I couldn’t, and I weren’t sure if I had actually been asked, so I shrugged. I quickly realized this hurt my cause and shortened my window of opportunity. I had to act fast or he would think I wasn’t interested. The next week I caught him before he got on the train. I forced “I could really go for a beer right now” out of myself, recycling his own words from he week before. My odds were good but it wasn’t less nerve-racking. He agreed and we turned into the Beantown pub.
Ask him out. He might not be the guy you’re going to marry, but he could be a good date for a friend’s wedding. You may have nothing in common. He might be a crappy kisser or wear basketball shorts outside in the winter. He might be the type to text you “hey” every six months for the next five years. Theres a chance he spends too much money gambling on football or that he’s a Donald Trump supporter. However, there’s also the chance that your gut is right. That he likes your favorite bands, that you have compatible taste buds, and that you never would have known any of this if you didn’t just do something that scared you.
We assume romance will come to us and disregard all the times we’ve let it pass right by. At the bar I ordered a Sam (summer) Adams, buffalo wings got involved, and somehow we found ourselves at Hong Kong on a Thursday night doing Karaoke with a crowed of 10. I texted my best friends from the bar bathroom to inform them I was in love. Still am. <3