Dating is tough even in the best of circumstances. Sure, we have all these social media tools that save us time and energy in figuring out our interest level before meeting in person. But even as efficient as sliding into dm’s and snapping each other can be, the ultimate goal is to make a connection that can translate in person. So, what happens in the middle of a global pandemic when that part of dating isn’t a possibility? In a world where we are now going to school, church, and even the doctor virtually- could virtual dating now become the new normal?
So week two, second date. Hopefully, I've learned, grown, and am much better at this virtual dating stuff, right? Incorrect. If I thought last week's video date was hard to watch, I was completely unprepared for this one.
I thought I took what I learned last week and took the necessary precautions. I wisely switched to a fork from chopsticks to avoid food falling everywhere, worked on my lighting, and put my hair back (since last week I thought the way my hair shadowed my face made me look like I had a beard).
What I didn’t count on was watching myself continually eating on this date. Like a lot. It was like I had a plate of regenerating food because I was eating over half of the date. This wouldn’t seem like that big of a deal if the date weren't an hour and a half.
That's right; I was pretty aggressively shoveling food in my face for over 45 minutes, none of which stopped me from talking at the same time. The fact my date didn't bail 20 minutes in, out of sheer disgust, is a tribute to what a gentleman he is.
Which brings me to this week's date, Rey. I met him this winter in class. He is a digital journalism major like me. He is also a student-athlete, a radio show host, naturally inquisitive, and comes from Clark County, Washington.
So we are starting with what seems like quite a bit in common. However, unfortunately, for me, this is probably where the similarities end. This is because Rey is perhaps one of the most empathetic, mature, grounded, and wisest people on the planet. All the things I want to be when I grow up.
I was super sick with mono during the winter quarter, and Rey would text me regularly to ask how I was doing, if I needed anything, and helped me keep up in classes. Rey's also the first guy you want to talk to when you are feeling down about yourself, and he is the ultimate hype man. You will always walk away from a convo with him feeling like you can do anything.
That’s why I have nicknamed him Rey the Reverend. With how articulate, wise, and inspiring he is, he would be a great spiritual leader. If he decided on a career in the clergy, that is a church I will be attending.
It is for all these reasons I was looking forward to our date. Because we have had so much in-person interaction, I know it will be pretty comfortable (maybe that's why I never stop eating), and he's always easy to talk to. In fact, maybe I was a little too comfortable.
At the time, it seemed like the date went perfectly. There was never an awkward moment, and we were talking the whole time. It wasn't until watching it back that I saw it for what it truly was. A masterclass in what a girl should not do on a first date.
Rey was so charming and easy to talk to, I brought up every topic that Cosmo articles say not to. Ex-girlfriends, dating history, first times - I asked them all. Complete with many, many follow up questions. I get it—bad form.
But in my defense, I feel like some of these questions are necessary when you go to a school the size of CWU. There’s nothing worse than starting to fall for a guy only to find out he's hooked up with one of your friends or teammates. So, I'm just being pragmatic, asking these questions in advance if you really think about it. I would argue I'm just doing my due diligence to avoid any future awkward situations.
Now to the parts of the date I have no excuse for. I spent a full eight minutes sharing all my plans for my dream wedding, in agonizing detail. I'm talking down to the color of my bridesmaid's dresses. I know, I know. This poor guy. Or how I told him about the time I performed my very own rap while doing the robot. There is cute and quirky, and there is just plain weird. I have crossed over that line.
To his credit, he rolled with it all with amazing grace and humor. Even that moment when I asked him what he would change about himself physically, and he told me he only had seven abs so he could never have an eight pack. I mocked him openly about the poor guy that can't have an eight pack only to learn he lost the ab muscle when he was stabbed. So yeah. That happened.
After watching the date, I was so horrified with the difference between my perception of the date while it was happening and what I was seeing when watching it back I had to text Rey to get his overall impression. Luckily for me, there was no judgment. He seemed to enjoy talking to each other openly and honestly and thought we could have talked even longer.
I think this is the benefit of going on a date with someone you are pretty comfortable with. It really is a judgment-free zone where the traditional rules of dating don't apply. So I guess the moral of this particular story is….what does Cosmo know?
*If you’re a CWU student, 18-24, not a serial killer, and interested in taking me on a Zoom dinner date- DM @881theburg on Instagram
Laynie Erickson is a CWU Freshman and volleyball student-athlete. She is a native of La Center, Washington and likes scary movies, breakfast for dinner, and nice boys in sweater vests. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @laynieerickson