To a worthy member of the male species.

10/23/2011 The Lady 8 Comments

Women and Men of BYU’s Premier Dating and Relationship Blog,
I am a man in need of your advice. I have been reading your blog for a month or so and have come to appreciate your different insights and opinions (as well as your preference for anonymity). I will try to keep this brief, while providing the details necessary to explain my current situation.

My story:
High school wasn’t easy for me. Socially, I was a late bloomer (if you can call a quirky social awkwardness “blooming” at all). I went on a few dates, and dated a couple girls who were, for some reason, attracted to (or at least not deterred by) my social awkwardness.

Then came the mission. I enjoyed my service to the Lord and had some of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I joined the Dear John Receivers club just before my 21st birthday, about six months before coming home. The man that returned is a much more disciplined, knowledgeable, and mature person than the boy that left.

Shortly after my return, I started a long distance relationship with a girl that I had met while serving. For the record, I did not have these feelings during my service. I scrimped and saved to visit her once a month (at one point, my diet consisted of milk and Club crackers). We were together for eighteen months, but things became rocky after the first six. There were a lot of factors that contributed to the slow collapse of our relationship. The one most pertinent to this plea is that she and I eventually crossed some very important lines (but not to the furthest degree). When the breakup finally came, I was devastated. Possibly because she had been dating her new boyfriend for nearly a month before breaking up with me.
A month later, I went to my branch president and repented of the things which I had done. I will forever be grateful to him for his love and understanding. I have experienced the healing power of the Atonement first hand. As part of this process, my ex and I forgave each other.

I had no interest in dating after that. I spent the next year and a half rebuilding myself. I found hobbies that I enjoyed and began to rebuild my confidence in myself. I’m proud of how far I’ve come (yet still aware of how far I have to go).
Six months ago I decided that I was ready to start dating again. If
there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last six months, it’s that I have no clue what I’m doing. I've been on a few dates with one girl from work, but that's it. Nothing serious. It doesn't look like it's going anywhere. Since it's really not going anywhere right now, I've decided that I need to date more people. However, since I haven't been very social in the past, I'm not sure what to do. Most of my life is school and work. My ward doesn't really know me. And I'm not sure how to go about asking random women (i.e. girls I'm not already friends with) from campus on dates (or "Just find a girl and ask her out!" as a buddy of mine puts it).
To be honest, I'm embarrassed that I haven't mastered the art of dating as it seems so many of my friends have. I should know the things I'm asking. However, I feel like my past, both the unfortunate choices I've made and the heartbreak I've dealt with, have rendered me unable to make a move (my biggest move in the last year: putting my arm around the girl from work. in fact, it wasn't even around her. it was behind her). I was out with a girl last night and she practically said "hey - kiss me" and I let that fly right over my head.

This is my dilemma. I'm a great guy with a lot to offer who just can't seem to get back into the dating game.

C'est la vie.

Dear Gallant Sir,
[That is about as creative as I can be at the moment].

Bless your heart.

And I do not mean that in the negative connotation. I truly mean it. Bless your big, tender heart. I feel that if we knew each other in person we would be good friends. Men like you I feel are so incredibly special. Not special in a "special" way or a "sweet spirit" way but in the sense that you are unique and distinguished type of man. A type that I admire greatly.
Do you remember how I address my "Two Year Hiatus" every stinking week? Well no surprises here. I am going to bring it up again. Because guess what? It applies. Once again I have found another person with whom I can relate. Humanity is truly confounding.

The Two Year Hiatus occurred because I was devastated. Well, at least for the first year. The second year was working out of the devastation. I became physically ill. Depressed. Obsessed. I was a wretched human being for a year. I do not know how anyone put up with me. Remember Miss Marianne Dashwood in her dramatic love-sick, depression induced, deathly illness? That was me. I finally realized what that felt like, and now I no longer roll my eyes when Marianne is so dramatic, because I was there once before. Though seemingly silly and preposterous to others, it was very real to me. Marianne and me.

You have felt the same thing my dear Gallant Sir. Choosing to join the human race again is a hard, yet incredibly triumphant decision to make. Welcome back Sir. You deserve this comeback. But make sure it is in fact a comeback. If you are going to come back to the dating world, you have to come back truly ready and willing. You cannot fence sit on the issue. Make this a William Wallace sort of comeback.Yes, it is so much easier to say than it is to do.
Step One: Make yourself known in your ward. You don't need to be eccentric or anything, but make a few good friends. In my opinion [and we all know how valuable my opinion is], a few good friends are ten times more valuable than a murder [such as a murder of crows] of flimsy acquaintances. I know it is easy to get caught up with just school and work, but we all need good social lives for balance. [Another secret: Everyone is a little socially awkward. Some are just better at pretending than others].

All the other steps are almost unnecessary to point out. You can ask your roommates to double with you, or even set you up on dates. You can double with the friends you make, or they can set you up. The possibilities are endless really.

And as a girl, I would rather be asked out by a boy whom I know and have some sort of friendly relationship with, instead of being asked out by some random guy on campus. Because if I have already met you and have conjectured that you really are not some psychopath serial killer or rapist, I would rather go out with you than someone I do not know at all.

So Gallant Sir, welcome back. This won't be easy. In fact, most people you go on dates with, will not be the person that you marry. Dating is a process. Making a comeback is a process. Loving is a process.

If it is worth anything, I have faith in you. This can be the best sort of comeback.

Con Amor,
The Coquette

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jenerator said...

Gallant Sir,
It is very likely that following this post, a lot of girls who read this blog will want to go on at least one date with you.
Just throwing that out there.

Anonymous said...

Good point jenerator.

Sincerity is far more important than suavity.

A. said...

I was thinking the same thing, jenerator. I was thinking I wanted to go out with this guy. Perhaps a sign-up sheet?

If you're reading this, Mr Gallant, I hope that gives you hope!

dreamer said...

I was thinking the same thing as well. I definitely want to go out with this guy.

The Charmer said...

Dear A., I think your sign-up sheet proposition is a fantastic idea. Just picture it: The Anti-Austen meets Maybe BYUSA would let the Anti-Austens host the dating game at their next big party. And we could use one of our fantastic bachelors who writes in regularly to the blog.

After all, the one thing I like more than giving dating advice and getting free food is playing Cupid. ;)

A. said...

I might actually got a BYUSA activity if that happened. :)

Anonymous said...

Gallant Sir- Since I just found out that you are Featherstone McGee, I feel it necessary to point out that although you may have some insecurities about jumping back into the dating scene, you definitely seem to have yourself figured out. In your perfect man post you mention everything a girl looks for: we want to be respected, protected, and courted. We want to know that you are faithful to your Priesthood and that you are willing to work hard. We want to laugh with you. It seems like you have all these qualities and now you just need the confidence to go with it. Let people see the real you! And not on a blog, in real life. Trust me, there are eligible, down-to-earth, deserving girls out there. But just as there are great guys like you who are under the radar, there are great girls who under the radar too. Keep a look out.

jenerator said...

I really like this sign-up sheet idea. Especially because now that you and Featherstone are the same person...