It’s pretty much the end of March 2012 and up till today, I’ve been single for more than 4 years since my last relationship ended (I can keep count of the last one because it ended on a very prominent date, impossible for anyone to ever forget, even me who forgets my own birthday at times). And in this time that I’ve been single, I’ve entered into a verbal agreement which would have rendered my status at that point of time as being “Engaged” although I was never attached to that person in the context of a “Boyfriend-Girlfriend Relationship” aka BGR.
It happens and it is and should be the way for a Muslim relationship leading to marriage (no BGR allowed in Islam), but of course, we all know it rarely happens and most of us are guilty as charged for that. BUT this entry isn’t about my last relationship nor is it about how Islamic I want my next one to be, this is simply about how things have evolved with getting to know the opposite gender or similar gender.
Pre-Internet Era for me would be during the period before 1998. Getting to know and asking someone out would only be limited to the following:
- People I meet at birthday parties
- A friend’s friend from another school
- Someone’s friend’s friend’s friend who is passing a message of interest
In 1996, before I learnt and understood about what courtship was about. It was only a direct request to a girl in the same school through a fellow schoolmate to send a message of interest. It wasn’t exactly a message of interest either, rather, it was an immediate request to be that special someone.
In 1997, I tried to play a bit smarter by not making such a direct request. This time, it was sending a message of interest to a senior in my school.
Result: REJECTION + HUMILIATION (Getting called short and little brother from the girl through your friend ain’t no fun)
In 1998, had to play a little bit smarter this time. Met a girl at a friend’s birthday party. Too shy to ask for her number so decided to get the number from the birthday girl in school. This one’s a bit hilarious. Called her home, grandma picked up and she wasn’t home and I chickened out. Bumped into her somewhere outside and she told me to call her AGAIN. Still feeling chicken, I never called.
And so we move on to the next most coolest thing to do whilst in school, song dedication on the radio.
In 2000, I decided to send a song dedication to a girl whom I’ve had the biggest crush on since 1996. A year older than me, I met her when I went to her school for a sport day meet and since she was a schoolmate to a friend of mine, I only knew her name. Dedication worked well actually.
Result: Started talking to her over the phone which helped me hone my skills on changing hands to hold the phone. Also went out with her to a teacher’s wedding! We also met up again few years down the road for coffee 🙂 But nothing magical ever happened. Crushes are best left at that I guess.
In 2001, a new era and form of technology opened up. Polytechnic life and the frequent use of email and internet. Getting to know girls and making friends was very random during this period as I send out email messages through an internal email system which allowed access to the ENTIRE POLYTECHNIC POPULACE. AWESOME! I just started sending random emails to names of girls whom I found interesting and well…
There are also times whereby I’d randomly chat up with a girl standing in front of me queuing up for food also and we’d make friends.
Result: Lunch, Movie, Dinner dates. YOU NAME IT! This lasted for only for my first year though because it didn’t get very exciting thereafter. VERY SUCCESSFUL!
In 2003, getting to know girls was through a very interesting experience only usually seen in the movies. CAFEs! Working in the then, 2nd busiest Starbucks outlet in Singapore, Liat Towers, opened up doors of people of all walks of life. Best part, you don’t even have to ask at times! Putting yourself out to be seen can be good!
Result: Lunch, Movie, Dinner dates. Even under the void-deck hangout sessions with patrons who happened to live behind my block! VERY SUCCESSFUL!
Post 2004 till today, INTERNET really does rule. You don’t need dating websites to help you. You just need to know how to strike up a conversation with someone. I’ve met and gotten to know many wonderful people through the Internet, both male and female. Some have been in a relationship with me in a BGR whilst some have helped to open up doors of opportunity for personal and business development.
Result: BGRs. Business collaborations. Friends. EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL!
Times are changing and whilst the internet is here to stay, I’m confident that girls still want to be approached in the library or at the cafe and be given compliments or just to have someone to have a real conversation with rather than just to have a virtual reality first.
(Whoever is reading this, you would have definitely fallen under one of the few mentioned above!)
To those who call me a player, casanova and the likes of it.
IT IS OK TO BE REJECTED.
LEARN AND GROW.