Whether it’s the somewhat creepy story of Reese McKee and Katie Capp or the recent media date of Michelle Arendas and Josh Avsec on The Today Show (they jetted off to Maui afterwards), people love romance that blossoms from grand romantic gestures.
The story of McKee involved him meeting a girl for a few hours on New Year’s Eve 2012, with drinking involved, and her suggesting he “find her” when they had to part. Armed only with a photo of her and a few scant details, he, and thousands of random people on the Internet, went looking for her via a Facebook page called “a new year’s promise.” The page was filled with romantic notions of the two re-uniting and reliving that special night.
Once Katie was found, her response was hardly shocking: she thought it was cool, but she wasn’t interested.
I’m not sure of the outcome of the date between Arendas and Avsec, because they are in Maui as I write this. Their story is that they messaged back and forth occasionally on Tinder over three years, he posted the conversation on Twitter as a joke, Tinder saw it, and offered to set them up for a date.
Despite the grandness of all of this, if her body language in the video (see below) is any indication, she’s very underwhelmed by Avsec. You can tell he is excited and is seeing a future with her. Yet, her body language at the 5:00 mark says she feels differently with the moving away from him, awkward smiles, and throwing her hands in the air. It could be nerves, or more likely, she’s not even close to feeling what he feels.
8/7/2017 UPDATE: I was right. Her interview after the trip shows that while he is sure they will see each other again because she is so great, she is much less sure, and can only admit that they may cross paths again.
Unfortunately, despite what the media tells us, in real life, grand gestures don’t often work. While many girls like they idea of these gestures in theory, and will say how cute they are, guys need to keep something in mind: women like grand romantic gestures when guys they are attracted to and comfortable with do them.
Guys, a grand romantic gesture isn’t going to make a girl fall for you. That’s not how attraction works. It will, however, make her feel very awkward and weird during the process. Guys should imagine how they would feel if a girl they had no attraction to did these gestures. Would it make you fall for them? Not likely.
What Reese McKee failed to realize is that if Katie had wanted to date him badly enough, she would have made it clear that night. Hanging out while drunk doesn’t constitute being in love. And, even if she did really like him, his window of opportunity to make a move was that night. Anything else just reeks of insecurity and is unattractive.
In fairness to Avsec, he didn’t plan this gesture. The media and Tinder’s publicity department set this up as a stunt, and he is along for the ride. Nonetheless, his level of excitement and attachment shows that he thinks this is just what they need to finally connect. Even the comments on the video see that he has clearly fallen for her, while she seems highly hesitant.
Call me a cynic, but a 3 year off-and-on conversation tells me that Arendas isn’t too interested. Considering studies show that there are far more people on Tinder for ego boosting and time wasting than relationships (44% versus 4%), my best guess is Arendas wasn’t looking for a serious relationship. It’s possible Avsec wasn’t either, but if you look at his actions on the Today Show, he seems far more invested and excited than she is.
Maybe they will live happily ever after, but the realist in me says they both should just enjoy their free trip and 15 minutes of fame.
It would be amazing if the grand romantic gesture trope played out in real life. Sadly, attraction is a lot less exciting (and messier) than that. But, nonetheless, Josh and Michelle, I wish you the best!