I think I’m the only one who feels this way, but bring back the chaperones (at least for the initial dates)!
Before you think I’m a total crazy person, let me paint you a picture. You meet a guy at a bar or you say hello to each other a few times in the hallway at work or school. You think the guy is kind of cute, so when he asks you out for drinks or coffee, you say “yeah, that sounds like fun.” Then you spend your Friday night getting dressed and primping and calming those first date nerves. The date is going well—you’re getting along—joking a bit, asking those awkward first date questions like “what’s your favorite movie? What kind of music do you listen to?” When suddenly his hand is holding yours and stroking your thumb.
Granted I move slowly and am not a very touchy person. But seriously, don’t touch me. I don’t know you. I’m more than happy to give a date a hug and maybe a kiss at the end of the date (depending on how it went), but hand holding 20 minutes into a date? I have since learned to avoid movies during these first few dates. Movies=cuddle time in the minds of many.
If I had a chaperone, this wouldn’t happen! Sure, it would get annoying having another person there eavesdropping on your conversation and watching your every move, but it would force you to get to know the other person on a more personal level. Sometimes I think our generation is too quick to get to the intimate and physical aspects of relationships. The sex may be great but do you know the person? What makes him (or her) tick?
Besides, when premature physical contact (i.e. handholding) happens, I have an inner monologue and start accidentally ignoring the guy in question. It goes a little something like this: “This is weird. My hand is getting really sweaty. Did I put lotion on? Is my skin cracking? Now he’s looking at me, did he ask a question? What should I say? Just nod and smile, that usually works. Oh, he’s pulling me closer. Crap. How can I pull away without making him feel bad? Is he desperate? Is he hoping this will lead to something more? Maybe it’s just a sweet gesture… I still hold hands with my mom and I held hands with all my girlfriends in elementary school… Am I over thinking this way too much? Oh, oh, sneeze! Hoorah, a natural excuse for me to stop the hand holding.”
Now, I’m not against physical contact. I like a good cuddle and what not, but I need to feel comfortable with the person. And let’s be honest, no one is comfortable on the first date. Frankly, I’m not all that comfortable until the third. In my mind, the first is to get an idea of who the person is, the second is to decide whether or not you really like the person because you were too nervous/drunk/tired/pms-y/excited about the date to get a good feel the first time. So by the time the third date comes, you know you really like the guy and can let your charming personality shine through, quirks and all. Also, you’ve gotten through all the boring nondescript questions and conversations so you start to really know the guy.
By the time the fourth date rolls around, you’re comfortable and bring on the physical contact. So, bye-bye chaperone