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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Guest Post: Making the First Move, An Act of Faith

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Erin Whitehead is a writer and performer in Los Angeles. She performs comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade. She is a featured writer for She has faith that she'll figure it all out one of these days.

I think I might have just accidentally asked someone out in the comment section under a wall post on Facebook. To be clear, I'm aware that's probably the worst way to ask someone out short of sending your friend over to the other side of the cafeteria to do it for you. I did actually have a guy break up with me that way. But he was eleven. I should know better.

See, the problem is faith. Not my religious or spiritual faith – I feel pretty solid there. But my faith in myself as a dateable human being has been faltering lately. And by lately I mean for the last fifteen years. You guys can relate, right? I mean, you're traditionally the asker-outers. Even in this age of lady power and equality, the most confident of babes often still leave it to the dudes to make the first move. And let me be the first to congratulate you. Just the thought of presenting myself to a semi-stranger as a person who finds them attractive and would like to get to know them better gives me a panic attack. And yet you guys walk up to women all the time and put yourselves out there. Way to go.

Since I'm also a person who apologizes to customer service representatives for asking questions, it's probably not surprising that I worry about wasting other people's time. Obviously one of the scariest things about asking someone out is the possibility they could reject you. But scarier to me: What if they say yes and then I somehow disappoint them? I could be boring or weird or less attractive in the light of day. I could be completely myself and make what I think is a great impression and THEN get rejected for just being me. Stir up all that anxiety and the what-if's and you get a recipe for me (sort of, kind of, in a veiled and jokingly way) asking someone out on my own Facebook wall.

When I'm home alone, dancing around my apartment and talking to myself I actually think I'm a catch (trust me, it's quirky and adorable). When I'm out with friends laughing and talking I think, 'See, people like you! You'd be awesome in a relationship.' And then I go on a date, panic, and end up acting weird and nervous and laughing in the wrong places or telling anecdotes about all the times I've spent the day in Urgent Care because my anxiety makes me think I have exotic diseases.

That's the thing about faith; whether it's faith in God or in yourself, it's not enough to have it when things are easy. You have to be able to summon it in times of darkness. Like when you (maybe, possibly, kind of sort of) like a guy and you find the faith in yourself to walk up and ask him out in person with the confidence that even if he says no, you're still a dateable human being. (Is that how you guys do it?)

Image via indyposted.

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