Love, Actually: Taking the (first) plunge
Brandt Ranj, Staff Writer
April 12, 2012
Filed under Opinion
“Listen, do you want to know a secret?
Do you promise not to tell? Whoa, oh…
Closer, let me whisper in your ear.
Say the words you long to hear.
I’m in love with you, ooh…”
- The Beatles, “Do You Want to Know a Secret”
Of all the topics I’ve covered through this column, asking somebody out may be the most practical. There are two situations you find yourself in when it’s time to try and take that next step: either you haven’t been friends yet or you are. Admittedly, the former makes one’s life far easier — but it’s also far less likely.
For example, you spot a special someone on the first day of a new semester and make a mental note about them. Having a friend in the class can help in this situation, especially if you find out that they’re already friends with your love interest. Once you find out whether or not they’re single, ask them out. I understand that it seems much more complicated than that. Men, who more often than not do the “asking out,” have to sweat this one out.
Being confident, however, is a major positive that could potentially swing their answer. Eye contact and solid plans are also key, the former illustrates that you’re serious and personable. The latter shows that you’ve considered some options and came up with one you feel is worth doing, it too gives off an air of self-assurance. An on-campus date might be the best option for those without a car — takeout and a movie, perhaps?
Now what if you know the person, you met, became friends and all of a sudden you discover, “hey, I want something more”? The first thing to consider is how it will it affect your friendship, then exactly what’s changed. Have the friendly feelings simply evolved into something more? Are they giving you signs? Is there a group dynamic that might change? And finally, what happens if the feelings aren’t reciprocated?
Unfortunately that last question is the one most people in that situation consider the most often and is the reason nothing comes of these feelings. My advice here is to use your gut. If you feel as though a relationship between you and your friend would be a good idea, then go for it. If you stand to lose that friend (at least for a little while), think really hard about it. Ultimately, you can’t yield a positive outcome without taking the chance at redemption.
Telling your friend that you like them typically involves a sit-down conversation where one person does a lot of explaining in the beginning. Try not to end your profession of feelings with “but if you don’t want to, that’s totally cool too.” Although seemingly a good way to cover your bases, it essentially undercuts any points you may have made earlier in the conversation about making it work.
My final bit of advice is to the ask-out-ees: think about it. If you’ve been asked out, it typically means that a fair bit of time and consideration went into that decision. Don’t dismiss it offhand, or worse yet, fall absolutely silent upon hearing the news. If it’s unexpected, hear the asker-outer (I’m using technical terms here, folks) out, then formulate your response.
As for those brave souls who might have caught the love bug during that week of warm weather, remember: “fortune favors the bold.”