I heard on a morning radio show once that there is a surge in new relationships around the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays and a dramatic increase in breakups around Valentine’s Day. Granted, this was on a Utah radio station and it might have been focusing on Utah couples rather than reflecting national trends. It does seem backwards from the stats Facebook once reported (check out the nice little infographic here). So what have we learned? I am not a great source.
What I do know for sure is that my apartment has experienced a dramatic increase in romantic happenings this last week. Cupid just popped in one day and has been wreaking havoc ever since. Lydia had a boy come in from Chicago and spent the weekend with her. I got to meet the good sir as I was the only roommate home when they got back from their date. I did the whole bit where I lingered on the couch, made conversation, and then realized I forgot something in my room. My displaced studying was nicely accompanied by an acoustic version of “Girl from Ipanema” wafting through the wall between me and the living room.
Jane surprised me at the beginning of the week when she shared her sudden increase in affection for a boy she had been on a couple of dates with already. She sounded so sure about him that I just had to ask about the other boy who was planning to fly in from California in March. She shrugged and said that he had signed up to run a half marathon while he was out here. I asked if she shouldn’t still tell him that she had decided to date someone else? It struck me as very un-Jane-like when she declared that she had never told him to buy a plane ticket and that it was his choice. I couldn’t hold back my amazement at the life she was currently living. She was quick to assure me that it wasn’t always like this. In her sweet, Jane-like way, she tried to convey that she struggles through long periods of singleness–sometimes these periods will last a whole six months.
Even Kitty got a date! I was very happy to hear that a nice boy from the ward was taking her to dinner. She came home afterwards and asked for help on her post-date text. Jane asked if they had discussed anything in particular on the date to which she could refer? Lydia jumped to listing out all the considerations when constructing a post-date text. I honestly couldn’t even handle this conversation. I have never been a believer in “post-date text” formalities. I personally believe that whatever happens should be genuine. If you had a great time on a date and naturally feel inclined to text your date and say thank you, then do it! If you thanked your date genuinely at the end of the evening and forgot to send a “required” redundant text because you were headed to bed, it should not reflect badly on your dating performance. (Honestly, the rules aren’t even clear to begin with! Some say to send it the same night. Some say wait a day. It should be the girl who does it. No, wait, it should be the guy. Who made these rules anyway? People like to discuss why single people aren’t dating as much. I would like to submit that it is entirely the fault of the post-date text.)
Back to Jane. She went on her 3rd or 4th date with Boy #1 on Saturday and came back pretty mellow. As per tradition, we asked for the low-down on that night’s happenings. He had tried to take her to a very nice restaurant but she had felt uncomfortable with that and they ended up going somewhere casual for salads. (Egh.) Dinner was followed by a showing of Charles III at the Shakespeare theater downtown. Boy #1 and reached over to hold her hand but she whispered to him that it was too soon. Jane told us that she felt Boy #1 was too much like a little boy. This was her complaint about Bingley last semester, so I asked what made this guy boyish? Her answer was because Boy #1 had said that he aspired to be a mission president.
Okay, first, I didn’t understand how that made him “boyish” and second, why is wanting to be a mission president bad? Lydia guessed that it meant he saw the Church as a hierarchy and just wanted to work to the top. Jane had dubbed his comment immature as it showed a lack of appreciation for what mission presidents have to go through. Jane and Lydia’s father is currently serving as a mission president and apparently he has had to deal with quite a few wayward missionaries, inappropriate activities, and emotionally draining discussions. In Jane’s mind, a mature man wouldn’t “aspire” to preside over those things. I am not sure I agree with this interpretation, but the other two girls nodded in validation.
Sunday morning Jane was surprised with a text from Boy #1 expressing doubt that the relationship was going to work out. With the poor Uber driver subjected to our conversation, my roommates spent the first half of the ride to church telling Jane how ridiculous this guy was for dumping her because she didn’t hold his hand. I thought that was kind of jumping to conclusions a bit and not giving the man any credit, but I didn’t have time to play devil’s advocate as Lydia then turned the conversation to how wonderful her boy is. Probably not the topic I would have chosen given Jane’s fresh situation, but they are sisters so I will assume that Lydia knew it would be fine.
I have learned that our Jane is very fragile and that her emotions underscore each area of her life. We sat next to one another in sacrament meeting and she broke into quiet sobs near the end. I put my arm around her and tried to subtly comfort her as we waited for the meeting to end. Kitty took a less subtle approach and got up dramatically to run through the chapel and get tissues. Her movement drew a lot of eyes to our pew but the tissues were very much welcomed. I was a little confused at this emotion as Jane had just expressed the previous night how she may not be interested in Boy #1 after all. Either this was a confirmation of the reality of her interest or a confirmation of the fact that girls just like to be liked. Either way, poor Jane was having a rough time.
To finish this little romantic drama, Jane ended up calling Boy #1 Monday (yesterday) night. It turns out that he had assumed she and Bingley were still involved so he decided to bow out. Jane reassured him that that wasn’t the case and they now have plans for dinner this coming Friday. If that wasn’t enough to boost her spirits, yet another gentleman I hadn’t heard of yet, sent her the most glorious bouquet of flowers in a glass vase. Did I mention this guy is currently in China? As much as Jane frets about singleness, I think she will end up loved wherever she goes. 🙂
As for me, I spent my Valentine’s evening giving a presentation on how we won the Cold War. Romantic, no? Dating is something of a foggy idea at the moment as I can’t even make it to game nights because of my late classes–though I did have another stranger on the street ask me out. I did go on what felt like a first date the other day…it was just lunch with a new girl in the ward but we spent the entire time getting to know one another and by the end we were even talking about potentially getting an apartment together. (I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious….) We clicked right away and I think we will be good friends. We are planning to rent a car and get out of the city for President’s Day. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Happy Valentine’s Day!