Midd-blog readers, lost prospective students looking for information about Quidditch and individuals who regularly google my name, welcome to my new advice column/series “Dear Cody.” Every week (or whenever I’m bored slash don’t want to do my reading for intro to contemporary lit. theory) I’ll be taking posts from Midd Confessional and imposing my advice on the anonymous OP (confesh slang for original poster).
Based on a certain lack of interesting material to choose from (come on feshers, let’s think of something more interesting to talk about than a post called “Thoughts on Mormonism”), I decided I’d dig through one of my favorite topics “Dear ___” in search of inspiration for this week’s post. Luckily, I found your post, which I thought was particularly interesting and something I think is pertinent for the community as a whole.
One cultural aspect here at Middlebury that frustrates me the most is our collective inability to be gutsy individuals when it comes to the “dating” scene. We spend days, weeks, semesters passive aggressively pursuing people we find attractive with lingering glances by the Bigelow tea selection at Proctor or post discussion section chats that almost always dissolve into murmurings of grabbing a coffee or meal sometime to keep discussing shared frustrations about Eliot and Joyce that, invariably, never come to pass.
That being said, OP, your post suggests to me that you were not very aggressive with your target partner. Making eyes with people and, perhaps, casually holding hands or shoulders or the smalls of each other’s backs does not constitute a level of flirtation that implies serious interest. If you are at all like other Midd kids that I have known, I assume that you were waiting for action from your target partner in order to gauge your place in the blossoming relationship.
The flaw here is that non-action begets non-action begets you alone in your room writing a post on Midd Confesh. If you want to know where you stand in a romantic/sexual/platonic situation, ask. A curious thing to me is how this “aggressive” or “forward” action is only praised when the results are positive; I think there needs to be a shift in our group mentality in which we recognize that action met with a “negative” response is still a strong and positive and healthy way to pursue “dating” or “flirtation” on this campus.
My advice to you at this point? Let your target partner know that you are interested. If you’re sad now without even concretely knowing how the other person feels, I feel like you have absolutely nothing to lose. Building confidence in pursuing people takes a lot of time, but I think that this could be a good starting point for you only because the situation seems fairly low-impact.
Catch their eye, ask if they’re still interested and if they’re not, rent Pushing Daisies from the library, watch a few episodes while eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and complain about your target to your friends. But if they are interested, get ready for the exciting beginnings of new romance.
With Love and Admiration,