Well I Think You Need to be More… Flexible

11/28/2011 The Anti-Austen 12 Comments

Hey folks,

In an attempt to be more relatable and be less of a mysterious advice-bearing dapper man [because who can reject paisley?], I’m going to mix in my dating stories/situations with my advice that I wanted to share with y’all last week.

Part of the reason that the Dating Game in Provo is so hard is because everyone takes it too seriously.

Try not to care or worry too much. Be spontaneous. Be open to unstructured plans.

Let me introduce you to Fraulein. She’s a girl I met through work back in February, and she remembered me when she reappeared at work on Friday. We chatted again, and when she came back again on Saturday, we discussed our evenings – neither of us had plans. I picked her up later for a nonchalant dessert date. Conversation flowed well, and I would definitely ask her on a second date if she hadn’t already graduated and lived out of state.

Lesson one: If a guy asks you on a random date on the day of, don’t refuse him simply on principle. [If he’s a complete creeper, however, you may refuse.] Individual situations always change; maybe he only just worked up the courage to ask you out. If you don’t have official plans, humor another human and humble yourself. You may be surprised by a spur-of-the-moment date.

Another lady friend, Matilda Jeffries, is in my ward. We spend a fair amount of time together through a variety of apartment/ward activities, and I’ve always thought she was attractive. Our personalities are similar, and we’ve even had a fun-filled 6+ hour one-on-one adventure. However, her roommate has told me that she’s not interested, and I therefore became less interested in the relationship.

Lesson two: Don’t be afraid to sacrifice a potential relationship for a lasting friendship. I’ve been friendzone’d by countless females, but I am happy about many of those situations. I feel like I’m better friends with a lot of these girls simply because we didn’t think it would work out if we dated.

I’ve lately noticed Matilda spending some time with another guy in the ward who is much more handsome and studly than I. A younger, less experienced version and I would mope and whine about how I “never get the girl.” I would ask useless, hypothetical questions like “why wouldn’t she pick me, then? What does he have that I don’t?”

Lesson three: Questions like those help no one. They reemphasize my lack of self-esteem and encourage my to find things wrong with myself. Or I could simply walk away from the situation with a casual “Good for her. I’m happy for her.” Because frankly, the dating game is hard, and I would be a sick and twisted person if I wished upon anyone to stay in the dating pool forever and never leave. Also, Matilda has never dated anyone before, so she could use the experience. The less selfish and greedy I am, the happier I am with my dating situation.

The last girl that deserves mention tonight is Miss Sora. We met through our on-campus jobs and became friends who went on lots of dates, hung out a lot, cuddled, and held hands. We have very similar interests, personalities, and humor styles. We never kissed or officially “dated”; we took our time with the relationship, and I was happy with that. After one week of minimal communication, however, we talked about the situation. She told me that her feelings for me hadn’t developed in the way she was hoping over the past three or four weeks. I expressed similar feelings, and we “parted the closest of friends” [thanks, Billy Joel]. We are still friends, and we are both very happy that we communicated our feelings clearly and openly, thereby avoiding all potential awkwardness.

Lesson four: Communicate. Don’t be reluctant to share your feelings and be emotionally involved in a relationship. Note: “emotionally involved” and “emotionally invested” are different. Don’t completely validate your existence by whether or not a relationship works. Don’t weep bitter tears into your pillow because he decided he wasn’t interested, or if she doesn’t want to date anyone right now [she actually just doesn’t want to date you… but that’s not the point]. So engage in some emotional interaction, but be mentally and emotionally prepared for all outcomes. Allow yourself room to be disappointed – that same space can potentially also bring you great happiness.

In summary, think of the scene from the Incredibles that uses the title to this post. After Elastigirl says that, Mr. Incredible stammers out a “Are you doing anything tonight?” And that, my friends, is my invitation to you. Be flexible – in four ways:

1. Be spontaneous. Invite someone on a spur-of-the-moment date.

2. Be able to change your course if you know your train won’t be received at the destination. Decide that you don’t need roads where you’re going, and point your train to the sky.

3. Don’t get in a rut. Be able to change and be changed. More importantly, accept changes.

4. Don’t get your expectations up. Unless you expect every single outcome and will be happy with whatever happens.

Good luck with your dating lives, my friends. Dating is like our fair Brigham Young University – it is not without challenges, but we have the option every semester to sign up for STAC 125 – Flexibility. I still think that would be a fun class to take. [Who wants to take it with me next semester?]


Colonel Paisley

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Anonymous said...

Well said, Colonel. You're absolutely right about [she actually just doesn’t want to date you… but that’s not the point]

I should take Flexibility. I could use the chance to revive the flexibility I had from my Tae Kwon Do days. Hey, don't they have a martial arts class here?

With that said, I find myself particularly drawn to point 1. I love the random "Hey, let's get a Frosty" type dates which say, to me, "I had a spare moment and you popped into my head. Also, I'm hungry."

jess said...

flexibility is a great class :) 15+ minute naps are required each time!
and this is also great advice. Women love to analyze things and that just creates more of a "thing" to analyze than it solves problems.

Anonymous said...

You are wonderful. This is all great--thank you!

Anonymous said...

Paisley, I like you. :) Also, as a girl, I love going on spontaneous dates if I'm free. And on the other side, I've known plenty of guys who don't go on for-fun dates and they're the ones who take everything too seriously.

Tallulah said...

I just really liked that the title of your post is a quote from the Incredibles. I happen to adore that movie.

Elizabeth Jane said...

Well said, Paisley. Thank you for taking the spontaneous stance.
Random side comment: I am actually taking flexibility next semester! But I would probably never know who you are if by chance we happened to be in the same class - which I think is fantastic. Oh the mystery of it all .. Happy stretching!

And you have no profile for me to stalk, so I cannot look for you either in the class! :)

Elizabeth Jane said...

Well where is the fun in that? That would simply be no fair, Paisley.

You... should send me an email. Let's chat. :)

Summer said...

That was just what I needed to read today! Great advice :)

Anonymous said...

Random Frosty Dates (yes, capitals) are the best!