Tuesday, August 3, 2010

the dating game

Making friends as an adult is just the grown-up, married version of dating. It's not "a lot like dating." It IS dating.

You meet someone. You see that person (at church, at the park, at a playdate, whatever the case may be), and you *want* to sit next to her, but it makes you nervous. What if you say something stupid? What if you can't think of anything to say at all (well, in my case, this is not a hypothetical. I can never think of anything to say to someone I don't know well)? What if she doesn't like you and thinks you're lame and wishes you would never have talked to her in the first place? What if she has a BFF and isn't looking for any more friends, thankyouverymuch.?

And then it just gets more complicated, because even if you muster up all your courage, and you sit next to her, and you talk to her, and you don't make a fool of yourself, and you (think) you hit it off with her, that's only really 1/4 of the equation. What about her husband? And your husband? Will they "connect?" And will *you* like her husband? And will he like *you?* And will your husband like her? And will she like him? Gah, it's all so confusing!!!

So let's say that all the stars align, and everyone *seems* to get along with everyone else. So you decide to get together to eat appetizers and play Rockband some night (the couples-equivalent of dinner-and-a-movie). It goes as well as a "first date" can be expected to go. You come home excited because you *think* you could really like them, but also nervous and apprehensive, because, what if they don't like you as much as you like them, and if only they really knew you they would love you, and darnit, why do you have to be so shy and stay in your shell and not let people see the real you all the time?!

Soon, you see them again (at church, the park, a playdate, wherever), and you get those butterflies. Should you say something about what a great time you had? Will that seem desperate? Should you invite them to do something? Will they think you're pathetic and/or needy if you want to do something with them two weekends in a row?

You wait it out, and eventually, you all get together again. A second time, a third time. After the fourth "date," when you talked until 2 in the morning, you finally feel like you know the real them, and they know the real you. You finally feel like you've made a real connection. This could be it! They could be "the ones!" You want to see them again, but since you made the last invitation, should you wait, let the ball be in their court?

And then it comes. The call, or the email, or the facebook message, saying, "We should get together again soon. Does Saturday night work for you?" And you get that giddy feeling. It's pathetic, really. Why should someone have that effect on you?! But you can't help it. This proves everything! They like you! They really like you!

And so a relationship begins. And the dating game NEVER ends!

(Our best couple friends divorced about a year ago, and we have yet to fill the void they left in our lives! We have other friends, dear, dear friends, but no one with whom we both feel absolutely at ease with, like we did with them. I hate dating!)


diane26 said...

Every time we start to make a "couple" they either move or get divorced. Every. Time.

-A said...

This post is so terribly true. Making my "own" friends as a painfully shy person is hard, but making couple friends is nigh unto torture. We have the added stress of being very last-minute-plans people and therefore receiving a high percentage of "rejections." But if we don't call and invite, will our friends initiate? (I can sometimes be a real worrier.)

Most of the time, I'm pretty good at not taking these things personally. I figure if people *really* don't want to see us, eventually they will tell us to just stop calling.

Or move to the Pacific Northwest . . . ;-)

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