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 3 and I feel like I’m starting to take some strides forward in this whole virtual dating thing. Yes, I know. After last week, there was nowhere else to go but up. I entered into this week’s date determined to learn from my previous mistakes. So, how did I judge whether I have accomplished this or not?
Well for starters, it was the first time I rewatched myself on a date and didn’t have the continual and overwhelming desire to gouge my eyes out with a fork the whole time. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is called improvement.
This week, I made the conscious decision to take my energy level down a notch (or five). I now know how fine the line is between being comfortable and outgoing on a date, and appearing like you may be having some kind of manic episode. I’m playing it safe this time and going for a vibe that is both friendly and accessible, yet still mentally sound.
We also changed up the traditional Zoom dinner date into a lunch. Now, the lunch date is a tried and true tool of the savvy single woman in traditional dating. It says, “I’m interested in getting to know you, but I’m not confident enough to commit to dinner quite yet”.
However, the lunch date is a much larger show of confidence than its sister, the coffee date. When a girl wants to meet you for coffee this is code for, “I met you online and I don’t want to be murdered so Starbucks seems like the safest bet…”.
In the case of John and I, the virtual lunch date this week really was just about convenient scheduling. It did have the unforeseen benefits of better lighting and an overall more casual feel. So two thumbs up there.
Now let me introduce you to John. I will admit that looking at my dating history one would not be entirely incorrect to say that I have a type. Even my previous virtual dates for this blog prove the point so there is no trying to deny it. Football players have always been my kryptonite. I don’t know why, and short of going to therapy to figure it out, I’m not sure it’s that important.
But, since the purpose of this blog is to try new kinds of dating with new kinds of people, I do think that it is important that I venture outside my traditional dating genre.
So with this in mind, I have made the rather dramatic step outside my comfort zone and on a virtual date with John, who is...wait for it...a rugby player. Okay, maybe I oversold the change being that dramatic. But still, baby steps, right?
So ladies, even if you aren’t that impressed with how much I deviated from my traditional type of guy, I can promise that you will be impressed with John. He is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Unless the cover of that book has John on it. And it's a romance novel where he is not wearing a shirt. But I digress…
John looks exactly like what you think a rugby player would look like. In short, he looks like a freakin tough guy that you would expect to see in a pub somewhere roughing up overly privileged frat guys. With his full sleeve of tattoos and intensity, you’d never guess what I got the chance to learn over our time together.
John is a softy. A truly genuine guy with a ton of depth and character, and the best smile in Ellensburg.
The great thing about going on a first date with someone who plays a sport you know nothing about, is that there is always something to talk about. I had only been to one rugby game before their spring season was sadly cut short this year. It was super fun to watch, but at no time could I have actually told you what I was watching.
I was fascinated when the teams got together in what I was sure was going to turn into some kind of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader kick line. I was so excited about the possibility of a sport that incorporates two of my favorite things; football and fabulous choreography. Thanks to John, I now know that it is called a scrum and is used to restart play and sadly for me, does not involve dancing at all.
Conversation was easy and I really feel lucky that I had the chance to get to know John better. He is such a sincere, impressive guy. With the exception of a few weird phrases I used during our convos (example- I felt the need to respond to something he said with “very intriguing” like I was in a Sherlock Holmes movie??)
The date was easy, fun, and almost cringe-free. Definitely a winner - and as a bonus he's going to help me with my golf game. So turns out, maybe I’m a rugby fan after all?
*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