published Friday, June 25th, 2010

Male Call: Dating: The never-ending eighth-grade dance

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago during a late-night text message conversation with one of my girlfriends.

"Maybe my new crush will be there."

"Whoohoo! You'll have to come over tomorrow and tell me all about it!!"

"Ok. But he might not even be there. Or like me back. (I can't believe I just said that. I am 36 not 13.)"

"You want me to write a note that says: 'If you like me check yes or no. Or maybe -- to have that wishy washy option?"

"Just ask him if he likes me in study hall."

Lucky for all of us, we've graduated from leaving notes for our crush in his or her locker, but that text-message conversation made me realize that dating keeps us 13 forever.

No matter how old we are, the same questions plague us about a new crush.

"Does he like me?"

"Does she just want to be friends?"

Honestly, it seemed a lot easier in junior high when you could pass your Crush of the Month one of those "will-you-go-out-with-me?" notes with the multiple choice answers during American history. By the end of second period, you'd know if the answer was yes, no or maybe. It was nice and simple and direct. If the answer was "no," you could quickly go on with your life and on to your next crush.

Then we all grew up to an adult dating reality that's a lot more complicated. A reality that involves a great deal of psychoanalysis in addition to an understanding of psychology, sociology and anthropology. And the ability to read body language as a second language.

It doesn't matter how long you've been dating. The questions we all ask ourselves at the beginning of a new relationship are always there like a bad yearbook picture.

But even though we're all supposed to be serious grown-ups, I think it's kind of sweet to recapture a feeling from a time when we were all a little less jaded, a lot more carefree and didn't have a worry beyond the weekend.

While I'd rather not relive the horrors of my Ugly Duckling Years (especially the scary '80s hair), I don't ever want to lose that junior-high 'high' that comes with a new crush.

And for those wondering what happened with Mr. Crush from the epiphany-inducing text message convo: I think he checked "maybe."

Gina Bever is a local public relations professional and woman-about-town. She's known for providing her friends -- male and female -- with thousands of hours of free therapy and (asked for) relationship advice.

ASK GINA: Send questions about relationships to Gina at malecall@timesfreepress.com.

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rdecredico said...

This is a horrible waste of space and a complete bastardizaion of any thing even remotely journalistic.

Good work helping to keep people in this are ignorant and stupid~!

June 25, 2010 at 12:37 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

I hope her friends are not taking her advice seriously, there is a reason this woman is single, and obviously her friends are also. Perhaps she needs to read Nicholas Sparks novels.

June 25, 2010 at 6:28 a.m.
AmaCr3 said...

Ordinary guy: There’s a reason your user name is not extraordinary guy, good guy, or even pretty good guy. Are you saying that “it’s no wonder this woman is single” simply because she has crushes on guys? Infatuation is a normal and necessary human response, without which, dating would be pointless and pretty unexciting (or ordinary, since you seem that is a term near and dear to your heart.) If you’re so confident in yourself that you never have butterflies in your stomach when you like a woman – because you’re just SO sure that everyone woman will like you back – I’d be willing to bet you will wind up extremely unliked by women for the majority of your life. Maybe you have a girlfriend, maybe you’re even married, but if you demoralize your girlfriend or wife the way you just demoralized this candid and honest woman who shares her personal feelings and experiences for the benefit of others – I guarantee your relationship is a ticking time bomb. Please remember that I said this each time you look into you surly, miserable existence in the future.

June 25, 2010 at 9:53 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Crushes are great...however the "advice" this woman dispenses on a weekly basis, is in most instances tripe. My point is this woman overthinks everything...just let things happen and enjoy, it does not take a rocket scientist to know if someone likes your company.

June 25, 2010 at 10:07 a.m.
HappyGirl said...

Every week I read Male Call and almost every week ordinaryguy has something negative to say about the author. If I didn’t know any better, he’s bitter toward some girl who broke his heart and is taking it out on Gina. If you don’t like what she has to say, don’t read her column. And for the record, Gina is a good friend of mine, I respect her opinion, and I am happily married.

June 25, 2010 at 10:08 a.m.
ELGUAPO said...

As an adult male I find this column refreshing. I can remember the streeful game of standing around at junior high school dances not wanting to look stupid wondering if she would talk. A couple of weeks ago, one of my best friends was forced(he ran out of excuses) and attended the 50th class reunion of our high school class in Lake Wales, Florida under the condition that my wife not try to match him up with one of the unmarried women classmates. He said he hated being in situations where two people are expected to be a match. In school he was reserved(shy and quiet) and did not like to dance. But yet he was to become a Colonel in the Army with tours in Vietnam, an area administratior with Florida's child welfare program and the vp at a state university. He is not shy and not quiet but still feels playing stupid childhood games is stressfulbut a necessary way of life.

June 25, 2010 at 3:06 p.m.
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