Monday, 22 March 2010

From a distance…

I was in the tube on Friday night. I had gone to the gym after work and the time was around 9 in the evening. The carriage was mostly empty (don’t know why) and I had a man and a woman sitting right opposite of me. He seemed to be in his early thirties and she was in her late twenties. Obviously they were on a date, a blind date, arranged through the internet. They mentioned a well known dating site. (No, I wasn’t eavesdropping; I was just sitting too close. What was I supposed to do? Put my fingers in my ears not to listen to them?).

Their body language was so apparent, at least to me sitting from a small distance. She had turned her body facing him and was smiling or laughing to almost everything he was saying. He seemed a bit too self conscious, trying to appear interesting. She was also touching him from time to time. You know that seemingly random touch on the hand or thigh when you laugh in someone’s joke. Her touch however was making him even more uncomfortable. He was trying not to look directly at her for too long but instead was trying to face down, avoiding her gaze. I thought that he liked her very much but couldn’t believe his luck about actually going out with her.

At some point he did a big gesture following a story he was saying. His right arm came close to her face and she grabbed it and stroked her chin with the back of his hand. He felt surprised and made a comment like: “Yes, that is my hand”. I had to try to hide my laugh. It was so sweet. She kept for a while holding his hand but he kept on telling an irrelevant story with apparently no ending. He didn’t seem to register the fact that she was onto him. I was actually thinking of telling him to kiss her. It was very obvious that she wanted to and that he was hesitating.

As long as I stayed in that train (I had to get off after a couple of stops) he didn’t do any gesture or movement towards her. I knew that in order for something more to happen, she would have to make it happen. She would have to try to make him open up, relax and take the initiative. I didn’t know however if she would stay interested long enough to give him the time needed.

The whole scene made me wonder about various things. I know a couple of male friends that I could imagine in a similar situation doubting the signs and not seeing what’s going on. (And I am not excluding myself.) How difficult is it to read them? I think that in most cases, women tend to be more “focused”, knowing what they want and how to get it, when men tend to be more innocent / slow in seeing what’s going on.

It reminds me of an episode of ‘Friends’ where Charlie, a hot paleontologist was making a move on Ross in ‘The one in Barbados’.
Charlie: Hum, so, I started to say you something earlier, hum... (pause) There was another reason I realized it was time to end it with Joey. I kind of realized I... was starting to have feelings... for someone else.
Ross: (apparently unruffled) Oh. Can I... can I ask who?
Charlie: I think you know.
Ross: I think I know too but I've been really wrong about this stuff in the past, so...
She then has to kiss him, stop for a bit before he kisses her back...

I also can’t stop thinking that if the couple flirting was a gay couple, things would have evolved differently. In most cases (unfortunately), “innocent” flirting when it comes to gay flirting is nonexistent. I think that things tend to progress faster and sex becomes a factor faster.

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