there's a topic that i've been discussing with friends and acquaintances for the past few days, and i want to know what my blog buddies think about it: going out with the person with whom you're going out. in other, more sensical words, is it weird to go out drinking with your boyfriend/girlfriend/person who you're dating?
obviously it's normal to go out to dinner and drinks with the object of your affection; that's just a date. but some people think that it's very strange, almost inappropriate, to go out drinking and/or dancing with that person. what do you think?
i started thinking about this last week when D asked me, "Do you think [the doctor] will ever come out drinking with us?"
"I'm not sure. Probably," i guessed, considering that the dance floor is where we first met. then again, a dance floor isn't the place for the get-to-know-you romance involved in courtship. for most of us, the bar is where we socialize, catch up with friends, and drink away the week's problems. for some people, the dance floor is a place for sluttiness and for others, friendliness. but it's certainly not the place for quality time with someone you care about.
unless, as D and i decided, you're with a group of friends. a group, by the way, has to be more than three people. i've only had one serious relationship that involved going out together often, and it was almost always with a group of people who i invited over to my house to have cocktails before going to the bars in my hood. in other past relationships, i tended to either become a homebody with the boyfriend, or to separate my social and romantic lives and go out only with friends. based on my experience, i think that the you + me + our friends model seems to work best.
last night i tried just that with the doctor for the first time. usually, due to his 14-hour days and my general laziness, our quality time together is one-on-one in restaurants, always followed by television or sleeping. i decided that it's about time that we start hanging out with other people -- finally go public, if you will. i met up with D and two of our friends at a divey pub in our neighborhood, and i invited the doctor, who said he would bring along his co-worker (who D and i had met previously). the pub was lively, and our group was getting along swimmingly. i was having a nice time talking and laughing with everyone, while also discreetly holding hands with my guy under the bar. it was nice seeing friend circles mix and seeing my two, separate free-time worlds come together. then somebody suggested dancing.
a pub is one thing, but going dancing -- not to mention at the same club where we initially met -- was another; i foresaw awkwardness. i suggested that we stay in the cozy pub. "Oh look, it's pouring outside," i warned. no one seemed to care. the crowd was a mix of eager-to-dance and indifferent-and-easily-convinced. D quietly assured me that she always has a great time going out dancing with her lover, which, i pointed out, is quite different considering they're heading toward their 2-year anniversary. unfortunately, it was the doctor's friend who suggested dancing. this early on, i lack standing to overrule his friends; i could argue no more. so we danced. i had a few drinks, which always helps in an awkward situation because it either relaxes everyone so that there's no awkwardness, or it just helps me to ignore and forget the awkwardness.
friends, it was a little strange. i was self-conscious about my dance moves. i didn't know whether to touch or not touch, whether to dance with my friends or with him. it wasn't very fun, so despite having braved the rain and paid a cover to dance, i suggested calling it a night fairly early. this time, no one objected.
after parting ways with everyone but my roommate, then eating pizza and french fries (i really wish that restaurant weren't on the walk home...), i texted the doctor to say good-night and to tell him i'm looking forward to spending time with just him this weekend. he responded that he felt the same way and was thinking just that on his way home.
maybe it is just too soon, or maybe we're just not the type of couple that likes going out together. in that way, i mean.