Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Girl 'Dating'

Girl 'dating'. It's a tricky thing - perhaps even more tricky than guy dating. Of course, I'm talking about striking up friendships with girls at this stage in life. By this point, most of us have our set friends. We've worked them in, weeded out the superfluous and insane, and are pretty happy with our situation. Which is good, because unless you're prepared to work for it, they are what you're stuck with for the forseeable future.

As I write this, I realize my pursuit of a couple girl friends may imply that I am not happy with my current lot. This is absolutely untrue - I'm just looking to add, not replace. Besides, with all the secrets my current friends know, replacing them is out of the question.

In the past couple months I have met a couple girls who I really like. Plus, they're both single, which is a bonus as it's always great to have friends in the same situation as you - more amenable to spontaneity and commiserative to the trials and tribulations of dating. They say misery loves company.

So, as with regular dating there is the courting period where you decide if you like each other and there is the exchange of contact info. First, it may start as a Facebook connection. Then regular email addresses are given. Next, if things are really going well, you get each other's cell number. The communication pinnacle is the voice-on-voice phonecall. So far, with these girls I've made it to the top. Yeah, they want me.

Once mutual attraction (ok, I'm trying to think of a better word than attraction, but you know what I mean) is established, we can venture out into the world together. Making plans. This is a big step. Originally I met both of these girls in person and we got along well, but making a friend date, just the two of us, is different. No mutual friend as a distraction, no cleaning chore (I met this one girl while cleaning a friend's restaurant), no booze (ok, there might be booze), and no necessity (I met the other one while sequestered in dull Phoenix).

It's one thing to like someone's company for a short time or have enough in common to get through a brief conversation, but in order for true friendship to blossom there has to be enough to connect you for several hours. This is where it gets tricky. I've tried to strike up friendships with other girls in the past where I thought we had lots in common and it seemed like a natural pairing. Perhaps I flew too close to the sun, but I got burned. It just didn't work out. Girl friendships after the age of 25 is a delicate matter and not everyone clicks. Under 25 all you have to do is both like Singapore Slings, be willing to hold each other's hair back or wear the same shoe size.

The annoying part about starting a new friendship is that the person doesn't know completely how awesome I am yet so I am unable to show my entire personality lest it overshadow the awesome. Let me explain. One of these girls is really flaky (no, not you - the other one doesn't read my blog) and is spotty with communication, lackadaisical about plans, tardy and not one to confirm 'dates' until just before. If she were a guy I would think, "She's just not that into me", but she is. She's the one who always contacts me and asks me to do something and we have a great time when we're together. Could she be seeing another girl-friend?! If she were an old friend I could let the annoyed and organized part of my personality wail down upon her. I wouldn't stand for this behaviour from other friends (to be fair, none of my current friends behave this way), but noooo, we're girl 'dating' so I have to be on my best behaviour. Polite, accommodating, easy-breezy. It's exhausting.

What I find to be the strangest part of girl 'dating' is how I act similar to the way I would on a regular date. I pick my outfit carefully. I am on my best behaviour. I try to only show the most appealing parts of my life and personality. I use anecdotes and tested and true stories. The only things that are missing are the nervous butterflies and the anticipation of the end of the night. Oh, and the awkwardness of the opening greeting. (That is my least favourite part of regular dating. Can't we just all agree to high-five each other and remove the whole, "Should I hug him? Do I stand? Shake his hand? Nothing?" mental chaos.) Also missing is the "reach for the wallet" routine. And getting there 20 minutes early just so I don't have to search around the restaurant. Ok, fine, so there are many differences between girl 'dating' and regular dating.

Girl 'dating' - giving it a whirl...

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