Coronavirus Hookup Question

How do I advance the ball, so to speak, without being a total creep?

OUR FAVORITE CUTIE:

Never thought I would do this but I'm practicing social distancing (will probably use that phrase 1000 more times) and don't have a lot going on, so here goes:

I'm a single heterosexual woman in my 30s in a very demanding high status job. I moved to my current city a year ago for a big step forward in my career, which has gone great, but my love life has been pretty nonexistent. I've gone on some first dates with guys from apps but haven't met anyone I've wanted to see again.

Around the time I moved last year I saw a tweet come across my feed through a mutual from someone who, it was clear from the tweet, lives in my (very large) apartment complex and works in my industry. I sent a DM to say hi because I was new in town, we exchanged some pleasantries, followed each other, and that was it. We exchanged a few more DMs over the past year very occasionally and never crossed paths.

For the past couple of weeks with primary season ramping up and then coronavirus insanity overtaking it, we started sending each other a lot of tweets and updates. We're both obviously working from home and have a lot of free time because we've now had a running conversation pretty much all day everyday for a week now. It's mostly newsy but we've started sharing personal details and joking around a lot. If this were happening on a dating app and not, you know, Twitter, I would be SUPER excited to meet this guy.

I know he's age appropriate, I *think* he's straight and single (he hasn't said anything to indicate otherwise) and, from a cursory Googling, he seems easy on the eyes. He has made a couple of throwaway comments that were kind of flirtatious (like "we can share my stockpile of wine") but neither of us has yet acknowledged that we're spending a LOT of time talking to a stranger who happens to live maybe 100 feet away. How do I advance the ball, so to speak, without being a total creep? Obviously our jobs are separate enough that we haven't come face to face in a whole year, but there is enough overlap that I would be mortified if this went sideways. Is a global pandemic even the right time to try to make a move?!

ASK A QUESTION!

Omg this is you. You’re Kathleen Kelly!!!!!!

SOPHIA:

OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN!!! I’M GOING TO PASS OUT WITH EXCITEMENT. I love scenarios like this. But this isn’t about me (jk everything is).

I would 100% make a move. Not because I’m living vicariously through your exciting quarantine crush but because why the fuck not?!?!? I know I know I know what if this goes “sideways” as you said? Well, first of all, have a little faith that you and he are adults who would handle that with care / respect / professionalism. (If you are not that type of person, you are not ready for a relationship). You can’t guarantee that he is that type of person, of course, but you can watch out for red flags like aggression, anger, jealousy, etc., that might signal that he’d suck to be around after a break up, and if said red flags pop up, you deescalate and distance yourself and don’t continue the relationship.

BUT THAT IS GETTING SO FAR AHEAD OF THINGS!!!! Sharing a bottle of wine with a neighbor after a whole lot of cyber-flirting (sorry, I’m obsessed with the word cyber right now in a kind of ironic but now not ironic way) IS NOT THAT SERIOUS!

It is very possible that you two have a nice time self-quarantining together for a couple weeks and then after work starts up again the feelings fade. It’s possible he comes over for one night only and you both realize that there isn’t anything there. It’s possible he’s not into women in general. It’s possible he’s not into you specifically. It’s possible that you aren’t into him. I don’t know and more importantly YOU DON’T KNOW because nothing has happened and you have so little information!!!!

You have to make a move to get more info! Your only goal is to get to know him better. Maybe you two do hook up or fall in love or become friends with benefits or have a great story to tell at your wedding. But also maybe you “just” make a really good friend for the quarantine. That is valuable! Do not discount that! Maybe you two are friends after this anomaly of time where you’re working from home in the same building. Maybe there’s nothing romantic. That is great. Friendship as an adult is rare and flirty fun friendship is perhaps even rarer. Take a chance!!! It is NOT creepy to try to hang out with someone.

What I would do if I were you, since you two have already joked about it is buy a nice-ish bottle of wine (don’t go crazy!) and send him a photo and say, “I’m about to open this do you want to come join?” or something like that. If you already have wine, great. Again, you don’t need to go nuts with devising a plan to hang out; you’re both bored and isolated the manufactured excuse is right there for the taking.

You can make a joke about staying 6 ft apart. You can invite him for something else (dinner/movie/a straight up fuckfest). It doesn’t matter! But make a move for the love of god. He’s spending all day sending you memes and CDC info—there is no way he doesn’t at least like you a little. Is that a romantic like? I don’t know. But please find out and let me know ASAP!!!!!!!


ASK A QUESTION!

Sophia Benoit writes this very newsletter; she also writes about sex & relationships for GQ, tweets about everything else at @1followernodad, is a researcher for Lights Out With David Spade, and has had bylines in The Guardian, Reductress, Refinery29, Allure, and The Cut. You can reach her or yell at her at 1followernodad@substack.com.