Thanks to Eliza, longtime D3T (are we going with that? I heard we’re going with that.) reader and commenter for her guest post, below:
Getting married at 19 has its advantages (e.g. helping each other through tonsillectomy recoveries, difficult puberty years, etc). I really only had a year of navigating the complicated, mostly painful, and rarely exciting dating game (late bloomer, okay?). As the older and wiser married friend, I listened to my friends’ tales of painful breakups, creepy stalkers, and awkward blind dates with a benevolent and slightly smug smile on my face. That smile would be wiped clean when I realized finding my spouse was the easy part; the hard part (besides that whole getting along thing) was finding other couples to be friends with. Now instead of two people you have 4 complicated variables you’re dealing with and trying to find chemistry between. As we started navigating these complicated waters, I started seeing the eerie similarities between dating as a single and dating other couples.
“Life as a child bride is going to be easy and awesome!”
Josh and I started out lucky. We had mutual friends that got married around the same time, so it was easy. Everyone was comfortable. If one person got up to go the bathroom, you didn’t panic and try to figure out what on earth you could talk about with the other spouse. It just flowed. But soon they moved and we had kids and we just didn’t get together as much as we wanted. So we started looking elsewhere. Our church ward was ripe with eligible young couples so we started the screening process. At first we would observe from afar. On a scale of one to ten, what was their collective coolness at? What were their personalities like, did they take themselves too seriously? Did they have our same sense of humor? Did they have kids? After talking it over, Josh and I voted on whether to pursue a courtship or not. Now before you judge me, hear me out. After our assessment, more often than not we determined the couple was just a little too cool/attractive/rich/hip/awesome for us. We’re nerds and we know it. We just couldn’t keep up with their I-phones, trendy clothes, and everything else that goes into that mysterious world of being cool.
We’ll never know unless we just cowboy up and ask them out.
But on the other end of the spectrum there are some couples we just knew we wouldn’t click with, based on our interest level in World of Warcraft and D&D.
“No problems here. Ask if they prefer Friday or Saturday night. I assume they’ll be cool with the Guns & Parrots of the 80’s Expo we want to go to”
So it was a delicate balance, this assessment business. Well, shortly after we moved into our second apartment we found the perfect couple. They had a daughter our son’s age and were really nice and fun to talk to. So we began the courting process. We hinted at hanging out, gave them all the right signals, warm smiles, etc… Turns out after a brief conversation with her, I found out that they are like 8-10 years older than us. I felt so betrayed. Here we are putting all this effort into a relationship that just could never be. It’s not that we didn’t want to hang out with them because they were “old” it just made me feel so young and immature. I mean she was a teacher for goodness sake, they had real careers and a house. We were living in a tiny basement apartment having heated arguments over who got the leftovers and if Spanish words were a legitimate way to win scrabble. They were adults and we couldn’t even rent cars without one of our parents (parents are the best. They’re so old and can do so many things. Sigh). With heavy hearts we sadly decided to move on and found ourselves in a rebound relationship. The new couple was perfect, and they seemed into us, so we invited them for dinner and games. It was a smashing success. After they left, Josh and I sat up in bed giddily reviewing the night remembering when they laughed at our jokes or when our eyes met and they had a subtle twinkle in theirs, etc… We saw them at church and were confident of their approval. They promised to host the next time. We waited and waited and waited. Weekends went by and… nothing. We started to get paranoid. “Oh gosh, oh gosh, we were WAY too forward, we showed WAY too much interest.” So we backed off a little, passing them in church pretending not to see them till they said “hi”. We played hard to get. How you like me now? Well, apparently they didn’t.
After driving by their house, one of us (mostly someone whose name rhymes with “schmosh”) would go into a tirade of how awesome we were and fun and funny, if they didn’t like us that was just too freaking bad! Well we kept getting ready to totally move on but then we would see them at church and they lead us on again, telling us how much fun they had and that we needed to do that again. They said they would give us a call. Whatever! We all know that line. We felt like the annoying girl that never gets a date and chalks it up to the boys being “intimidated” or that they’re just not the initiating type.
Well time has passed and we’ve gotten over our hurt and built our confidence back up as other couples have shown interest. But we really still haven’t found that one couple that we are comfortable enough to call twice in a row and not wonder if they’re just being nice to accept. So we’re cutting through the crap and are starting an online friend service that matches couples up based on coolness, interests and compatibility. Who’s in?