In comedian Aziz Ansari’s Live at Madison Square Garden standup special on Netflix, he talks about a common problem many of us who are single often run into, scheduling inconsistencies and how to bridge them. Oftentimes, we start texting with someone. There is a mutual interest. But since many don’t date one-on-one anymore, but meet in groups of friends instead, scheduling a meetup becomes nearly impossible. By the time one group arrives at said bar or club, the other has already moved on. Each side is too afraid to show any real interest. They are each apprehensive of making themselves too available and so lowering their market value. But without accommodating one another or by making the social paradigm so intricate, it becomes almost impossible for the two to get together. Some decry this new paradigm. Others say that when things are right, they will just fall together. But is that true?
Certainly those social butterflies who come complete with an entourage will want to dovetail their newfound love into the fold. But what happens when two people have an entourage? Perhaps you can combine them into a might army. Otherwise, this social paradigm is prohibitive. Rather than a way to take the pressure off, show a person’s social standing and benefiting from that, they are shutting the other out before seeing whether they have something together, before anything can even begin. So what’s the alternative? Certainly you shouldn’t make yourself too available. But others get caught up in the winds of their own social microcosm and miss what could be a terrific romantic opportunity. Consider keeping your options open for one or two nights per week. A little flexibility is required. But if you are bending over backwards without reciprocity, move on. Also think about seeing this person without your other friends, or if that makes you cringe even a smaller subset than the normal group. It’s okay to go on an old-fashioned date now and then too. You don’t have to look like a movie star with a huge following. But alone, if things go awry your friends aren’t there to see it, which is a huge plus.
You could bring up something you both are interested in. Say you are both movie fans and looking forward to the premiere of a certain independent film. You can just invite them because you share a common interest. It’s somewhere you would have been anyway. You can play a little hard to get. But don’t be unavailable or unapproachable either. You may look intimidating, even arrogant. It’s hard to strike a balance. There’s a feel to it. You want to telegraph interest without being too interested. The problem today is people try so hard not to look needy that they end up looking completely uninterested. For ladies, though we live in a more enlightened time, it’s often the case that a man likes to chase you. So play a little hard to get, but give a clear opening to allow him a place to move forward. Also, evaluate how shy he is or how perceptive. Sometimes guys miss what to women seems obvious. You might think you gave him a chance when he didn’t even recognize it. Experimentation is the only way to figure it out, trial and error. For guys, watch her carefully, get to know her and woo her. When things are right, they usually fall into place. But sometimes you have to goose things along a little bit. If you’re doing all the goosing though without anything from the other end, go out with your friends instead. This person is not worth your time. For more on the state of love today read, Modern Dating: A Field Guide by Chiara Atik.