ONCE, I tried asking a guy out. When I think about it now, perhaps the main motivation for doing so was total confidence that I was going to get a “yes”, and sheer curiosity of what it feels like to make the first move. So I subtly hinted that I had two free tickets to the movies.

“Err yeah, well I’ve seen that movie. Thanks anyway,” was the respond.

I smiled politely and acted unperturbed. But inside, I was so embarrassed I felt like running into a deep dark cave to bury my head in the sand and remain there for at least a month. And that was the one and only time I ever did such a thing.

I’ve always respected men who are courageous enough to make the first move. Of course, women do it too, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But most times, it is safe to say that most courtships begin with a very brave guy expressing his interest, which may or may not end up with “Thanks, but no thanks”, or something along that line.

Rejection is awful. But rejection that is public, from someone you fancy and worse, probably ending up as table talk for her and her friends? Yikes.

WATCHING ANOTHER ONE GO DOWN
I was reminded of my own personal embarrassing incident again recently. A few weeks ago I went for a diving trip with folk I had never met before that day. We got along rather well quickly. The diving centre had different tour groups, one of which had a gorgeous, svelte girl from China who really did look like the actress in Pearl Drama on TV3.

Eventually, I came to know that one of my new friends had developed a serious interest in her. He started telling us his plans of approaching the girl, devising opportunities on when and what to say to her.

Of course, like any badly planned operation with unrealistic expectations, this one was painful to watch. There were several attempts that I was unfortunate enough to have witnessed:

He tried making conversation at lunch, but was so nervous that he only managed to mutter “Excuse me”, and walk away.

He devised a plan where he would be her diving buddy, but she immediately found someone else.

He attempted to talk to her again on a boat on the way to a diving site, but she flat-out ignored him and turned to look at the ocean.

At this point it was clear that she had no interest, and he gave up. We laughed about it afterwards, but the truth is, as I watched him from a corner making all these advances, I cringed for him. Most of my friends are females, and over the years we have so often talked about our own perspectives when approached by a courageous guy. We would giggle and chortle later over the awkwardness the guy had to endure.

Watching this during the trip, however, took the humour out of it and made me appreciate the whole scenario more.


The range of personalities you can find on Tinder.

RESPECTFUL TRAIT
It’s a type of bravery, isn’t it? When you strip it down to its basic concept, making the first move is about having the courage to go after what you want, superseding your own fears and being unafraid to fail, even if there is a high chance that it will all go down in flames.

So in a way, isn’t it kind of admirable?

I told myself this after I had laughed hysterically at that new friend who was being practically ignored after he tried talking to her on the boat. It seemed harmless to make fun of him, but in truth it was a subtle reflection on how we often perceive people who dare to put themselves out there in life.

Many of us are never brave enough to go after what we truly want. Whether it be courting an ambition, a dream, or even a person, the idea of possible failure, rejection or putting ourselves in a vulnerable position often leaves us hesitant and even dismissive. These seeds of fear eventually deter us from leading life to the best of our potentials.


The conventional way to meet people is fun but the online method is not bad either.

It is evident that in any context in life, bravery is the best assurance for having minimal regrets. He may want to put a bag over his head whenever we bring up this particular story again, but somewhere along the road I am sure this friend will be glad that he was at least brave enough to try.

AMAL MUSES
A GEOSCIENTIST BY DAY AND ASPIRING WRITER BY NIGHT, AMAL GHAZALI
PONDERS ON EVERYTHING, FROM PERPLEXING, MODERN-DAY RELATIONSHIP DILEMMAS TO THE FASCINATING WORLD OF WOMEN’S HEALTH AND WELLBEING. ALL DONE OF COURSE , WHILE HAVING A GOOD LAUGH. READ MORE OF HER STORIES AT BOOTSOVERBOOKS.COM

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