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, this week I found my date through the relatively modern form of letting someone know you are interested. I shall call it Insta-flirting.
For those of you who perhaps aren’t of my generation, here is how Insta-flirting works. A guy will like older pictures of you on your Instagram to draw attention to himself. Now, this is not as easy as one might think. There is a delicate balance between letting a girl know you find her attractive and going full-blown stalker mode. For example, if you like an old pic of me in a bikini when I was 14, that will be a hard no. If you like too many old pics- you look desperate, and it's not happening. But, this week's date got it just right. He liked a volleyball pic that was not that old, which tells me he very casually appreciates my accomplishments.
Then, it was my turn. After getting the notification, I went to his Instagram to see who exactly this guy is. Now, many times this is where Insta-flirting ends as you look at the guy’s Instagram and find out he’s either forty, obsessed with posting pictures of his truck, or wayyy too comfortable posing in front of Confederate flags. But as soon as I saw Keelan’s profile pic, let’s just say it caught my attention.
I have a weakness for both big guys and man buns. In fact, I have followed an Instagram account for years specifically devoted to guys with man buns visiting Disneyland. While this may seem like a very specific subcategory at first- if you are into man buns and you like Disneyland, then this is the account for you.
So anyway, now it's my turn to put in some work. I see he plays lacrosse, and I know nothing about the sport, except it reminds me of catching butterflies for some reason. But, I do know another lacrosse player for CWU that happens to be dating my friend. I reach out to them and ask about Keelan, hear good things, and tell them that if he is interested that he should DM me.
Now, I know what you're thinking... why not just cut out the middleman and DM him yourself? The truth is, at heart, I'm an old fashioned girl living in a modern world. I like the guys to make the moves, and I’m already pushing my limits sending him a message through a friend like a third-grader.
The next day, I received a DM from him with only a basketball emoji. I literally sat there trying to figure out what this meant for over 15 minutes until I thought I finally had it. He was cleverly letting me know the ball was in my court, right? Um, no. Keelan lets me know I over thought it. He was, in fact, "shooting his shot." Uh-oh. This guy's got game, and as we have learned from my previous dates, I do not.
After he asks for my snap, I ask him the question that most will run from, except for the very bravest of men. "Wanna go out on a virtual date with me so I can blog about it and make a video of us?” His answer,“ I'd be down, but only if I get an actual date after." Um, helloooo Mr. Alpha, where have you been all my life??
That is the backstory for this Cinco de Mayo zoom date, and I'm going, to be honest. I was way more nervous than I'd been on my other dates. While I love me an alpha, sometimes guys that are this smooth turn out to be either over the top with super cheesy insincerity, or just giant flirts casting a wide net to see what they can catch.
After my date with Keelan, I can tell you he was neither of these things. He kept me laughing, seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me, and wasn’t afraid to challenge me as a good alpha should.
Keelan was fun, honest, and appropriately flirty. Also, he reminds me of a Disney prince, so that might play into some kind of subconscious fairy tale thing I have going on. And let me tell you, he was by no means the only one flirting.
Having to watch back every hair flip, head tilt, and girly giggle was tough, but I make no apologies. I was into it, and when he pulled out a list of questions for me….my heart!
After two hours, the date ended with a plan for a second date next time I was in Ellensburg, an offer to cook me dinner, and one very happy Laynie. He was cute, he made me laugh, and he had moves. Sort of the triple crown of first dates and a great start for a girl looking for love, don’t you think??
*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