Monday, August 8, 2011

May I ask you out on a date?

A few days ago, a European friend surprised me by properly asking me out on a date.  I was surprised partly because I had known him for over a year and there had never been anything remotely flirtatious in our limited interactions as teammates (rather than friends).  More importantly, I was surprised anyone still remembered the specialness of properly ask a lady out on a date.  These days, men suggest to "hang out", "catch up", "meet up" in replacement of a date - a much more sincere form of getting to know each other and showing interest. 

Just today, I received a Whatsapp message from another guy - oh yes I've been popular lately - saying "I think you're hot, can we go on a date?"  Are we teenagers now?  "I think you're hot, can we go on a date?"!  To me, that's not too different from saying "Hey I dig you.  Can I DIG you?  *wink wink*".  A week ago, yet another guy asked me to "celebrate his flat move".

Look, I am not complaining that I have (some very young) guys who find me attractive (still).  I appreciate the flattery.  I am merely analyzing the mentality behind dating and courtship in this modern world among the younger generation.  These days, most guys try to avoid the word "date" to describe that first spending-time-to-get-to-know-each-other-and-consider-if-any-potential-to-develop-into-girlfriend-or-boyfriend session.  "Date" has become a very sensitive word.  It symbolizes potential interest to develop and commit.  Of course, "commit" is another big word these days which people try to avoid. 

It goes without saying that a date doesn't have to turn into anything.  You don't have to sleep with the person.  Even if you slept with the person, you can still pretend nothing happened and stop at that.  There is no real commitment there yet it is special.  If a guy properly asks you out, it shows that he's sincere about exploring further, getting to know you.  He's really exposing his interest in you.  Whereas if a guy asks to hang out, he is intentionally keeping it ambiguous and neutral to protect himself in case he finds you weird yet you really like him.  He can easily blame you for reading too much into it.  Afterall, you are just friends hanging out.

I had gotten used to guys asking me to hang out, hence it was very refreshing and flattering being asked out on a date - though no concrete plans yet.  Having said that, in terms of execution, I much prefer a casual date doing casual "hang out" stuff, to reduce the awkwardness.  It's weird to suddenly doll up for someone you have known for a while, and act like a real lady.  It's even harder trying to pretend it's not a date by acting like normal. 

[And I have to admit that I am secretly enjoying these lil' butterflies in my stomach.]

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