Since Valentine’s Day has just passed, I figured I should probably say something about the holiday. Not that I have any good Valentine’s Day stories, or, for that matter, any good dating advice of any kind. But I should say something. And there are fair few people better to reference for any subject than Teddy Roosevelt:
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Obviously, Mr. Roosevelt (or his son) is a better man than I, and likely not the kind of guy to get shut down by any lady with half a brain, but his point works just as well for those of us surrounded by beautiful women and rejection.
Here’s how what he says translates for me and women-
Ask her out. Ask her if she’s a million miles out of your league, ask her if you just saw her on the train and haven’t said a word, ask her if you’ve known her your whole life. If she’s your coworker, and you’re worried things might be weird, ask anyway. If she’s a friend and you don’t want to lose that, ask anyway.
I once asked out a girl I just saw on the train. It was horrible. I was nervous, she was somewhat to very alarmed.
I asked out a girl I’d liked forever.
I once spent a week building houses in West Virginia and met an awesome girl, and being young and dumb and naive, was sure that she didn’t like me. Only adult me easily realizes that she did, and you know what I didn’t do? Ask her out. And I should have.
That girl on the train, well, she’ll at the very least have a funny story about a sweaty guy who wrote his number in a pack of gum and gave it to her, and she’ll know that some random stranger out there things she’s beautiful. Or maybe she’s really creeped out.
That girl I liked for a long time said yes then no, strangely. I didn’t know up to that point that that was a thing girls did, but since that time it’s happened three more times, but at least she knows how I feel. Or felt.
That girl from West Virginia, she might never know I liked her. She might have forgotten about me. I didn’t forget about her, and I occasionally wonder with something more than fondness- regret perhaps- what might have been.
Fact is, if a girl tells you no, two things- 1. Knowing how hard it is to ask someone out, I would think that excepting already being involved, you would think someone who is not a complete stranger would at least do you the courtesy of giving you one chance. And if they don’t, well, then maybe you need to shift focus. 2. You went out there. Tasted the blood and sweat and did your damnedest. And hopefully at least the lady can look back on you and your futile attempts as the actions of a good person. Maybe they’ll come around. Or maybe not.
Strap your helmet back on and get back into the arena. Regrets are the hardest part of the whole thing. Whether you dated and it didn’t work out when it could have, you asked her out and she said no, or you didn’t say anything at all, regrets fucking suck. Excuse my language.
So step in or don’t. There might be a moment- if she’s the right girl- that makes everything else -the fear beforehand, the heartache after- all worth it.
The Step- Ask Her Out
Have I Done It Yet- Unfortunately, yes.