The Fine Line Between Friendly and Creepy

We (hopefully) are all aware that there is a fine line between friendly and creepy when you’re first getting to know someone, be it as friends or as something more.

what we see when you're doing something wrong

A lot of it has to do with whether you dig the person or not. Has anyone seen the recent episodes of How I Met Your Mother? Well, in one of them, Ted hooks up with this chick who actually did stalkerish things to get him. The group decided that if you’re into whoever’s doing these stalker deeds (stalkereeds?), it doesn’t seem creepy at all, but sweet. However, if you’re not into them, then it comes off REALLY creepy.

Dr. Nerdlove agrees:

If a woman (or a man, for that matter) is attracted to someone, she is more likely to feel comfortable with them and more willing to accept certain behaviors… that is, her boundaries may be different for this person. This doesn’t mean that attraction is an all-encompasing passport to do whatever you want; just because somebody’s boundaries may be relaxed in certain areas doesn’t mean that they no longer exist. It’s very easy to shut down another person’s attraction to you in an instant, whether it’s by being an asshole, saying something rude or inconsiderate, or pushing at her boundaries.

Hear that, boys? This explains why we suddenly pull back someone even when we were feeling the vibe just a few moments ago. Don’t keep pushing at those boundaries. And don’t think that just because we agreed to hang out with you more than once that we’re committed for a real try. Especially when we’ve just met.

Now, I’m usually pretty open to people. I’m a friendly person. But if you’re pushing for more than friendship, my standards will go up for you. I have standards for friends, yes, but they’re even higher for people I would date. Most people, if they’re not douchebags, have an either/or clause.

Either you’re extremely attractive or your personality is the bomb. 

Now, these are the bare minimums for me. Like, friends-with-benefits bare minimums. Usually, I’d rather you less attractive but with an awesome personality. I’ve found that really attractive people usually haven’t needed an amazing personality because of their looks, so they haven’t been able to cultivate it yet.

I’m sorry for throwing all those generalizations out there. But in my experience, it’s true. I’m not saying it’s an end-all.

For me, I label someone as creepy and/or undateable if:

  • they don’t know how to converse
  • they seem really desperate
  • they don’t have a sense of humor

Conversation is a big one. Unless I just met you randomly at a party and we’re ready to get it on, people usually like other people they can talk with. For an extensive amount of time. In conversation, be interested but not so interested that everything you say is a GODDAMN QUESTION. That’s just strange. I want to hear your opinions too. I know dating conversation is different than normal conversation because it’s more about getting to know the other person rather than commenting on something together (the majority of the type of conversations I have with friends), so just try your best to have a balanced two-way information share session.

Don’t talk about yourself too much, because that just shows me you’re not that interested in me, you’re just interested in stroking your ego. Look into the person’s eyes.

Catch conversational nuances, like tone… 


A (Summer)ization, 2012

Summer has about come to an end, with three weeks left until school starts, so I decided to evaluate and summerize (ha, get it?) what I’ve accomplished so far.

Every summer, I’d start out with this super awesome checklist of things that would make an awesome summer. A summer resolution, if you will. Ok, some of the things on the checklist weren’t exactly glamorous—many of my friends had laughed at #36: register to vote—but I vowed to get every single one done.

What I said I’d accomplish this summer but didn’t (yet?): 

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get out more
  3. Travel to visit friends at their supercool, awesome internships in supercool cities
  4. Pick up piano again
  5. Learn a new skill
  6. Get a head start on fall semester reading (to be fair, this was definitely not my fault that the professors have not uploaded syllabi yet)
  7. Starve off my soda addiction
  8. Be super active and exercise daily
  9. Finish Insanity
  10. Explore all the ethnic neighborhoods of Chicago
  11. Read the books I said I would
  12. Color Run

However, the list of things that I did accomplish and the caliber of things that I accomplished makes me feel somewhat better.

What I did accomplish:

  1. Turned the county river into my own person Lazy River ride (after a two hour search for the perfect entry point)
  2. Swam in a park lake after park hours with a few beers and friends
  3. Made random friends everywhere
  4. Watched the Olympics with my best friends
  5. Ate an entire gluten-free pizza during a Lord of the Rings marathon
  6. Visited my grandparents for a week
  7. Explored an ethnic neighborhood
  8. Went to all three days of Lollapalooza
  9. Went to the beaches in Chicago
  10. Got over a huge, debilitating crush
  11. Learned how to cook
  12. Got my tragus pierced
  13. Toured Europe for two weeks
  14. Spent an afternoon reading outside
  15. Made the trip back to Ann Arbor to hang out with college friends

There were also a few pleasant (and not so pleasant) surprises along the way.

What I didn’t expect to do: 

  1. Gain weight
  2. Serve on jury duty
  3. Attend my first solo concert, which was one of the best experiences of my life
  4. Took two weeks of power hour boxing classes
  5. Have fun at my job, befriending my coworkers, leading to hilarious coworker outings
  6. Reconnect with a relative I previously had nothing in common with
  7. Have as much fun as I did at Lollapalooza

All in all, there were many experiences that made this summer special. And, the things that I haven’t accomplished yet? Well, I still have three weeks to do them, which may make for an amazing end to the summer.

Love, Fanfiction Style.

Thanks to fanfiction, I had a very clear idea of love by the early age of 11. I wholeheartedly believed that my soulmate was nearby, possibly in my class and spent a majority of time trying to seduce said soulmate.

My soulmate would have a heightened awareness of my presence and find my irresistible, due to the way I smell, laugh, and possibly breathe. Even the particular way my clothes wrinkle. And my clothes wrinkled beautifully.

Sometimes, I would sit down with someone and talk to him. It didn’t matter what I said, I was sure that by the end of our encounter, he would be smitten with me.

Occasionally I’d throw in a lip-bite here and there as the bazooka of my arsenal.

Now, I didn’t just throw my seductive wiles out there aimlessly. If you thought that, shame on you; you should’ve known better, seeing how well-prepared I was up till now. I had a couple of targets chosen carefully to meet the criteria of a real man, according to the Hermione/Draco fanfictions I preferred: aloof, emotionally stunted, and generally loathed me.

There were many reasons for the hate requirement. First, it would make for the best kind of love story, one filled with angst, emotional rollercoasters and the hard, rough grip of a fifth grader’s definition of passion.  Second, I was sure that he hated me only for appearances and the fact that he hasn’t gotten to know me yet.

But until he realized I was his soulmate, I figured we’d fight with each other and be unnecessarily snarky. I went through all three years of junior high as a hyper-agressive WonderWoman without her sense of justiceI was proud when I gave one of my potential love matches a 3-inch scar on his shin from where I kicked him.

In junior high, I also put my hair up every day to invest in my big reveal. I was trying to make everyone forget what my beautiful self looked like with my hair down. And then, at some big moment some years later–preferably at a big dance with a double staircase entrance, wearing a yellow dress and holding the hands to a giant animal-like prince–they would see me with my hair down and then I’d have a hard time getting the guys off me.

Strangely, after all this trouble, I never met my soulmate! I became quite frantic–if I wasn’t able to find someone while I was 11, how was I supposed to meet anyone later on? I’m getting behind on the game! Some people in my fifth grade class already had steady girlfriends and boyfriends!

My day finally came one eventful day in 7th grade.

The big reveal. 

It was everything a girl could dream of.

A few boys ganged up around my desk during passing period. Somehow, I knew this was it. My heart started pounding in my ears. This was my moment! But which one would it be? At this point, I’d be willing to take any of them.

“Why is your hair always up?” 

Shyly, I shrugged, blushing demurely like a fanfiction heroine. The key here was to be alluring yet mysterious–this makes them want to know more about me and soon they would be caught in my web.

He reached over and took off the elastic on my ponytail. I acted horrified, throwing my hand up to catch my hair before it cascaded wonderfully down my shoulders, blinding them with my beauty. They needed to work for it a little more.

“Come on, let me see,” he insisted.

Well, what’s a girl supposed to do? Deny her soulmate? That’s ridiculous.

I took a deep breath, closed my eyes momentarily before releasing my hold on my hair.

A long pause. I heard Cinderella birds chirping, marriage bells, and a crowd.

The shrill sound of a bell screeched in my ears. Passing period had ended and they walked back to their seats.