If You Want an Answer, You Have To Ask a Question

Imagine catching up with a friend over tea at Common Grounds on Hawthorne just like you always do, but this time you spot an attractive guy at the next table. Your plan to leave him a note stating “You’re gorgeous!” will be foiled when you realize you’re running late, jump out of your chair, hug your friend and run out the door. In the car you’ll think to yourself, “This is what Craigslist Missed Connections are for” and once home send a note out into the ether for the guy in the beige button down and scarf working at his computer.

Then the lovely and miraculous – imagine a few days later someone responds. The guy you wrote to will somehow come across your note among the sea of notes that is Craigslist. You’ll Google him and it will actually be the right guy. You’ll send pictures of yourself via OKCupid and find out he has a dating profile as well. He’ll be listed as available and interested in long and short term dating. He’ll tell you you’re cute and he’d like to meet up. A plan will be made for the coffee shop on Wednesday.

You’ll buy skinny jeans and this guy will not only show up, he’ll be great. Funny, cute, intelligent, interesting, all good things. It will go well. He’ll lean in towards you. He’ll make eye contact and smile. Towards the end he’ll suggest you get a more adult beverage in the near future and leave you with a hug.

Days will pass and you’ll grow anxious as your new crush grows. Does he like you? Does he really want to see you again? Everyone will tell you to play it cool but you’re not cool. You know this about yourself. And you loathe dating games.

In the woods with the dogs you’ll come to a simple truth: if you want an answer, you have to ask a question. You put yourself out there once to this guy and he was awesome, what’s the harm in doing it again? Worst case scenario, he says thanks but no thanks. Best case scenario… who knows?

So you’ll write something simple like, “I enjoyed hanging out with you, let me know if you want to do it again sometime.”

Imagine him responding immediately that it was fun and indeed you should do it again. His schedule at the beginning of the week is booked but mid-week and after is open. Same time frame as before, or are you in the mood for something a little more intoxicating?

This will make you giddy. You’ll daydream of all the fun in store for you two and swoon at the prospect of becoming intimate with someone again.You’ll come across gluten-free Gorilla Munch cereal while facing shelves at work and think it the perfect lighthearted gift to help put him at ease about his Celiac disease. Second date is too soon, you’ll save it for the third.

The best part is you haven’t imagined any of it. It all happened, is happening. For the first time since you moved here you found someone worthy of a second date. Maybe you’ll go dancing and he’ll kiss you. Maybe this is the start of something incredible.

But five hours later, a wrench. An unexpected addendum to his initial response: “Hey Jennifer, in a moment of ill-advised flattery, I accepted your invite to get coffee. I’m in a relationship, and perfectly happy. I’d be very cool with being friends, but that’s all I’m looking for.”

Imagine yourself freezing, deer-in-headlights style. Crying over a douchebag half way through your shift in the middle of a packed grocery store would be way too lame. So you’ll just be left wondering what the hell is wrong with people, hoping you can remain dry eyed until you’re in your car and driving home.

Note to self: Stop checking your email at work. You’ve never been good at holding back impending waterworks and now you just look like an idiot.

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4 thoughts on “If You Want an Answer, You Have To Ask a Question”

  1. I have no words for this. No words!! I know there’s not much I can say…so sending all the love in the world to you. The positive side to this is that it’s just leaving you open for the best that is yet to come!

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  2. Um, oh my God! I had no idea…about any of it. Totally oblivious to super cute guy in coffee shop and the surrounding events. Wow.

    Okay, first things first: your courage and willingness to seek an answer, no matter the outcome is something I can only hope to achieve in my lifetime. You have been and will always be an inspiration to me. I’m so sorry things didn’t work out with this guy. Although I don’t know him, I feel inclined to call him a douche bag. I’m sure that’s not nice or fair of me to do so, but, well, I did it.

    I hope we can meet for coffee again soon…although a change of venue would be fine with me…if you want.

    I’m sending you many thoughts of love and joy at this very moment…hoping they reach you through brainwaves or the internet.

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  3. I’m so sorry! Crap!

    I wonder if you might not consider that when you do meet the love of your life, it’s going to feel different than these crushes do. Your heart knows, and your soul, what you need, and they’re not letting you settle for anything less. Besides, you’re not going to be here, right?

    And still, I hate to see you hurting. You deserve to be loved – and so you shall.

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