By Alexander Kenny, Contributor
The semester is nearly over and your secret crush from Composition 302 is going to slip away forever. She probably won’t be the mother of your children and the person with whom you share rocking chairs and Scrabble. But she might be. Human courtship is complicated and fraught with undateable grouches. Gazelles and orangutans determine if a mate is worthy by sniffing each other, then they close the deal in minutes. Some Tinder relationships begin this way.
Secret crushes remain secrets because asking someone out is terrifying. In such a vulnerable position, being told “No thank you” becomes “I’m not attracted to you,” which becomes “You’re not attractive,” which becomes “something is horribly wrong with me.” And now you live with twenty cats and knit doilies most evenings. The stakes are high. You risk losing your crush as a friend because the relationship becomes lopsided. You risk feeling unlovable. Saying one word is scarier than saying “I love you.” That word is: Coffee?
I say go for it. Dare to eat a peach. The humiliation of rejection pales in comparison to the shame of living in cowardice and wondering what might have been. When you two met, you each decided within ten seconds whether you were attracted to one another. Taking initiative demonstrates strength and confidence. If you haven’t been coldly rejected yet, then you haven’t asked out enough people. After graduation, your dating pool will shrink from the 10,000 available students at GMU to the four irritable gnomes with whom you share an office.
In 2018, it’s totally acceptable (and kind of hot) when a woman asks out a man. This demonstrates confidence, power, and a likelihood she read “Fifty Shades”. It’s incredibly attractive when a woman asks me out. She experiences the same fear as a man and still decided I’m worth the risk. I’m not, but we won’t worry about that for another six weeks.
Before asking out a fellow student, try to get the interview. That’s the five-minute walk after class where you just happen to be going the same direction as her. Catch your crush at the door and ask “What are you doing for Paper #2” or “What do you think of this class” or “What would you do with a time machine?” It really doesn’t matter what you ask. It’s just an excuse to walk together and test the chemistry. This is Date 0.5. If your crush waits for you at the end of next class, you passed the interview.
You could hedge with, “Do you want to go out for coffee sometime,” but intentions are ambiguous. It’s possible only one of you knows it’s a date. Friends do coffee all the time. Rip off the Band-Aid quickly. Go bold: “I like you. I want to see you outside of class.”
Any response is good. Even a “No” is good because this adventure becomes easier with each failure. Hopefully, your crush says “What would you like to do?”
If you’re on the easier side of an unrequited crush, take it easy on the poor guy. Try “I’d love to but I’m spoken for.” Lying is useful here. If the creep keeps asking you out, you can always shut it down by saying “I’m not attracted to you” or “My boyfriend plays linebacker for the Vikings.”
The activity is up to you. Consider something cuter in order to stand out from all the mediocre chumps who ask out your crush. Creativity is more attractive than expenditure (unless you own a jet or a lunar module. I use: “I want to take you out for ice cream sundaes.” No pansy Fro-Yo. Go straight to junk food. Or Toys R’ Us. Or the zoo. If you like being near each other, the activity doesn’t matter. But sitting across a double latte for an hour is boring and too much pressure. I’d have difficulty on a coffee date with anyone except Tina Fey.
The end of the semester is the best time to ask out your crush. If you get rejected, you won’t have to see each other after finals. Unless, of course, you two have the same major and you have to see that beautiful face avoid you until the day you toss your mortorboards at graduation. Or you could have the entire summer to Netflix and chill with the future mother of your children.
Photo by Allie Thompson