Do you make the first move?
I have only had three relationships in my relatively short time here on planet earth (the last one being my very happy – and enduring – marriage to my completely bonkers husband), and in all three instances I was the one to initiate the formal courtship proceedings.
Writer’s note: I did not in fact propose to my husband – he was the brave one to take that leap. However, had I not been the one to first declare my attraction, said proposal may never have happened.
To me, there is only so much angst that one can go through before reaching that crush crossroads: either declare your love for the person, or do everything in your power to get over your quivering loins (and moony eyes) as quickly as humanly possible.
While most would say the former is pretty much one of the hardest (and scariest) things out there, hot damn, I cannot even IMAGINE taking on the latter. Sure, there is the chance that you will be left with a relatively heavy heart, especially if your plans to profess your love fall short of a successful outcome, but COME ON.
Never knowing if the other person likes you back? Constantly destroying yourself by wondering, “What if?”
That, my friends, is Dante’s ACTUAL tenth circle of hell.
The first boy I ever asked out was a dude name Jacob*. He was a year older than me, and we did improv and theatre together, sat next to each other in chemistry and physics, and just generally had a great time.
He was really into skateboarding and making movies, and I was into pretending I was into skateboarding, but I did like to make movies, so our friendship was pretty stellar.
One day after school he was in the editing suite, piecing together the score for his latest project when I thought to myself, IT’S NOW OR NEVER.
I awkwardly stood in the doorway and mumbled through my much-practiced lines. Our dialogue was something along the lines of:
V: Ummm, do you want to go see a movie with me this weekend?
J: Ummm, sure.
V: Like, just the two of us?
V: Okay, great!
I leave. He then follows me out a few seconds later and qualifies:
J: Uh, were you just, like, asking me out on a date?
V: Um. Yes.
J: Oh. Okay. Yeah, so, I really like you as a friend, but I don’t think it’s the best thing if we go out.
V: Okay. Sure. No problem.
Okay, I would be lying if I said that this exchange didn’t leave me feeling REALLY bummed out, but truth be told, I would much, MUCH rather have endured that short (intense) grieving period then never knowing if he liked me or not.
And hey, in the end, our friendship survived, and I ended up dating his (much better looking) friend Ryan*.
About the better looking, not about dating him.
My solid-steel guts were also the catalyst of that relationship. After months of extreme back and forth ICQ flirting (holy crap ICQ!!!) I accosted him as we were exiting the gym after our high school’s annual holiday square dancing jamboree.
I basically just dropped all of my Christmas cards, gifts, exams, and papers on the floor before turning to him and blurting out:
“Soooooo, I don’t know if you like, but if you do well, that would be awesome, and if you don’t, well, that’s okay, because I really like you as a friend, and I don’t want to lose you as a friend, but if you like me more than a friend, well, I think we could have something great, and…yeah.”
To which he replied: “Oh. Yeah. Great. I’m totally in the same boat.”
I was so happy I practically started crying. Then we went ice skating and didn’t kiss for a week.
Ahhh, young love.
My next boyfriend I snagged by asking him to go for a late-night walk down at the beach, which was actually just a smoke screen for me to seduce him into kissing him under the moon AND GUYS SERIOUSLY IT WAS SO ROMANTIC.
Oh, and I also told him: “I like you.”
(In my head I was thinking – PLEASEPLEASELIKEMETOOANDKISSME)
And he did! (Like me AND kiss me!)
Finally, my last foray into making the first move was when I told my beautiful, brilliant husband that I liked him, by literally doing just that.
We were eating dinner (AS FRIENDS) and I wasn’t saying much. When he asked me what was wrong, instead of lying, I took a huge gulp of water, looked him square in the eye, and then said:
“I REALLY LIKE YOU.”
To which he replied, “Oh. Thank you!”
What a gentleman.
And then Ilikeyoutooblahblahblah…
SUCCESS TIMES THREE!
Now, I’m not going to lie and pretend that letting these guys know how I feel didn’t make me sweat like a glass blower’s arse. And sure, my track record is pretty good.
But I swear it – I felt a million times better just saying those words, rather than having them fester away inside of me like a rotten banana peel made out of feelings.
Because dudes, that is just the worst.
So I implore all of you – take your love and run with it! You never know what amazing relationship adventure (short or life-long) you may end up on.
And then when you do, please be sure to tell me all about it.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent. And nerdy.