So you’d really like this one to work out, huh? They’ve got it all going on: The looks, the brains, the intangible little bits of attraction you’re looking forward to waking up to for the rest of your life…or, you know, how ever long. Whatever, you’re not getting carried away yet, but you’re in the market for a main squeeze and your arms are wide as can be around this one.
Remember being excited? You do now! All those wasted months of missed connections and opportunities not taken are behind you. You’re back, baby!
Just don’t mess this up.
In fact, why don’t we dive right in and talk this through:
1) Do you know this person?
I mean like, you know of them. You’ve certainly seen them before, but how big a blip on their radar are you really?
Wait, before you answer, if you’re going to emit an emphatic “Yes! I am a big, blinking obvious blip.” Or “well, I mean, I’m around. See and be seen, nawmean?” Then that’s fine, let’s move on.
If not, this may be trouble not too on far down the road. You know how getting to know someone is sort of a process? And that’s just for an even-keeled, nothing-else-goin-on friendship. Well, guess what? It turns out that getting someone to enter into a mutually beneficial, mutually-painful-at-some-point, life-altering affair is even more of a whole thing.
And maybe your charisma is on some guy-with-a-gelled-up-ski-jump-haircut-from-a-90s-teen-dramedy shit, and you’ll just sort of walk up and end the game right there. But if not, you may want to slow play this one. Step into their world. Make a connection. Ingratiate yourself. What’s that endearing, sheepish smile, propensity for wit, and self-deprecating sense of humor for anyhow?
Remember, you’re looking for something that’ll stick here. A real home run, not some bloop single that inexplicably falls between three fielders and then leaves the next morning on a hurried trail of excuses, shaky-sounding obligations and “I had fun though”s.
2) So you know them? How well? You’re sure you want to take this step?
Yes? Fantastic. And hey, you know what? Good for you. Recognizing something new and really going for it. You’re the kind of no-bullshit go-getter that everyone wants to entourage for.
You’ve got some doubts though? If you have any doubts, it’s probably not worth it. There are a lot of ways to love someone; you don’t necessarily need to combine them all. Sometimes, “friends” is better. And whatever you might wonder about from time to time should maybe just be left as a musing. If things are already so good, why incorporate something new? Not everything is sexual tension. Not every “Well, why don’t we just also date? We get along so well as it is, why would anything established change?” line of pondering requires a full investigation.
If you have something set and special with someone already, why mess with the formula? No level of curiosity is worth tolling the death knell of an already steady friendship. You’ll come to someday on the (proverbial) other side of the world, and wonder why you had to try something new.
3) Is this person good friends with an ex or two?
NO? You’re doing great. You understand the ramifications of your actions in all-important walks of life. You’re an unabashed winner and everybody loves it.
Yes? They’re “pretty good friends, but not super close”? Well, keep in mind that playing the field in your group of friends or acquaintances is a dangerous game. Just because something has ended doesn’t mean there aren’t still lingering feelings or resentments. There’s no reason to poke this particular bear. Sure, maybe you’re getting what you want, but there are always unseen damages, including, but not limited-to, destroying another friendship in the process. And yes, this is a two-way street and that makes this latest person a willing accomplice, but why even bring them along for the crime in the first place?
Date outside the immediate pool. It’s cleaner. Plus, you get to be/have arm candy. You deserve to be shown off a little bit…
4) Do you already live with this person?
No? Well then, you’ve made the wise choice of living alone or with someone you won’t have charming, sitcom ready sexual tension with.
Yes? Oh man. Please reconsider. It seems like a great idea at the time, but this should be avoided. You can’t put on the icing before you bake the cake. This has worked out well like once in the world’s history. You will not be the second. This will lead to massive amounts of stress, an irreparable shift in household dynamics, and a delightful week or two before the consequences of your misguided, if well-intentioned dalliances come crashing down on you both.
5) Curveball: How much do you double-text?
Oh, not at all? Good! What a levelheaded, mature young adult you’re shaping up to be. Confident, cool, collected…it’s a wonder you’re reading this guide in the first place. You go, Champ!
Well, “some double-texting,” you say? Oh, oh, oh, but just to correct spelling errors, right? No? Sometimes because you want to be expand your role in their consciousness? Mmm. Don’t do that. I mean there’s no reason to be aloof or get off on being withholding, but you know, ease the hell up, eager-Ethan. At least try to act like you’re a been-here-before-Bernice.
Yeah, sorry, that sucked. Regardless, you may want to take it easy. You sent it? They’ll see it. As it turns out, people are often looking at their phones and don’t need the excuse of a second or third buzz without reply.
The point here is to not let these precious, initial interactions become oversaturated. Like, you know them, you like them, they ostensibly at least kinda like you, most of the inside jokes can wait. You’ll want reserve talking points and anecdotes.
You’re in this for the long haul, remember? You don’t want to have to be asking if you’ve already told them a particular story until at least your second child together…again, not that you’re thinking too far down the road or anything. But yeah, I mean, you’ll want to keep some repeating yourself too much until Clara Marie’s in at least sixth grade.
So there you basically have it. Make sure that you know them, that you’re willing to potentially compromise whatever your current relationship is, that they aren’t too close with an ex, are not your roommate, and that you communicate only to an appropriate, productive degree.
So get on out there and go see about that solution to all your world’s problems!