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?
Finally, we have arrived at my 6th and final date in this virtual dating journey. I have been surprised with how much I've learned and taken from each of these dates, and the value I've found in really having to get to know the other person without physical distraction or pressure.
Having said that, bring on the physical distraction and pressure, I am so ready!! It has been a very long few months, and I think all of us are recognizing the importance of in-person connection and physical touch. While everyone may cope with it differently (I spent weeks trying to teach my dog to spoon), I think we all long for the simple personal connections we once took for granted.
But since it’s my last virtual date, I wanted to go big. By that, I mean a date that would make me a little nervous. Tyson was a perfect choice. There is just enough shared history where there's always the possibility of it turning weird at any time, but far more likely that it will just be super fun.
Tyson is a decorated student-athlete, future firefighter, and all-around nice guy. Unbeknownst to him, we call him the Hugh Hefner of CWU since he seems to always be surrounded by a group of very cute, very blonde females wherever he goes. We met last Halloween, and he always went out of his way to be a great host when my freshman friends and I wanted nothing more than to get out of the dorms on the weekends. He’s always a good time, fun to talk to, and there is just not much negative you can say about the guy...
Well, there is this one thing. Tyson is prettier than I am, and I don't know how I feel about it. For fear of objectifying this man who obviously has an impressive resume of accomplishments- let's just say he is ridiculously good looking. I'm talking the kind of good looking that much like looking at the sun; you can't always look directly at him for the safety of your eyes. So with a face that beautiful, his body must really be a total train wreck, right? That would be very, very incorrect. I am so glad I spent this whole paragraph not objectifying him.
So back to our date, Tyson was everything I knew he would be. He was up for answering anything I threw at him and not only put up with my quirks but seemed to enjoy them. He’s charming by nature, but also has a depth of character that often guys that look like him (see above paragraph) don’t always have.
The guy’s a catch, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a while before some lucky gal figures out how to make that kind of deep right field, about to go over the fence type of play.
We laughed, we flirted, and we got to know things about the other that we didn’t know already. All in all, exactly what a first date should be. Even iff the first date might have happened a significant period of time after the first kiss. Judge me all you want, I make no apologies. Again, refer to the paragraph above.
So, all in all, a great way to end this virtual dating experiment. In looking back on what I've learned, I would say the biggest lesson is to not be afraid to get out there and date!
I think most of us are so used to “hanging out” that we miss out on the value of a slightly more formal dating structure. Just last quarter, I had a guy hit me up and invite me to coffee to get to know each other better. Weirdly, as the date got closer, he kept bringing up how he cleaned his room, and it was sooooo clean. I found it odd and thought maybe it was an OCD thing. But then the day of and I get the "maybe you should just come over and watch a movie instead since my room is soooo clean" text. Ugh.
It happens a lot, but the fault is not just on the guys. We get what we expect for ourselves. And not saying that traditional Netflix and chill is a bad thing. If that's what you want to do, ladies, by all means, go for it!
Dates don’t have to be elaborate, they don’t have to be expensive, and the effort can be pretty minimal. I've had over the top dates, which are fun and def an experience, but to this day, one of the best dates I have ever had was a guy taking me to get a Slurpee and telling me I'm pretty. True story.
And now, thanks to this little experiment and the six great guys I got to spend Zoom time with, I have plans to go hiking, golfing, have dinner made for me, and go to a baseball game. Not a bad job if you can get it.
But even better, I have made really great connections with great guys that hopefully will only continue to develop. So i guess the name of this blog shouldn't have been “Looking for Love” but more like “Looking for a Good Time with Laynie”. Wait. Terrible idea. That sounds like a much different type of movie than the romcom I was hoping to star in...
Anyway, the moral of this story and this blog is really just to put yourself out there. It doesn't have to be with the expectation or even the desire to find a relationship. It is about meeting great people, making connections, and having a great time. We only get this college experience once so it is on us to make the most of it and I intend on doing just that:)
*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