It’s that uncertain moment.
You’ve made friends on holiday. You get along really well. You’ve shared some holiday jokes.
Then it’s time to part company and you hover awkwardly wondering who will say first what you all know is coming next.
‘Shall we swap email addresses?’
In the moment, it’s meant sincerely. It’s sunny. You’re relaxed and tanned. And you’ve had a couple of Sangrias. ‘Yeah, why not?’ Someone suggests meeting up when you get home, which is an even better idea. You really believe you’ll do it. Even though they live 150 miles away.
Then you get home. It’s raining. You have a mountain of washing to do. Your calendar fills up with playdates, and other social obligations and real life takes over. You don’t see your existing friends often enough. And you’re just too old for a pen-pal.
Still, every week you intend to drop them an email, say hi and send them that lovely family picture you took of them on their last day. But something crops up, you forget and before you know it a year has passed by which time it’s obviously too late.
If you dropped them a line now, they’d probably be like, ‘erm, who the hell are you again?’
The whole situation is made worse by the fact they didn’t take your email address because they didn’t have a pen so the onus is on you to get in touch. You’re the guy that said he’d call and never did.
Then you’re off on holiday again, meeting new friends and getting more email addresses you will never use. And the whole vicious circle starts again.
So why do we do it? Why can’t we have a nice time in people’s company without feeling obliged to take it further? Why can’t we just have ‘holiday one-week stands?’
Probably because just like at the end of a date, the silence needs to be filled. With something. Anything. Preferably something that says, ‘I like you,’ rather than, ‘Bye bye, so long, never the twain shall meet,’ whilst giddy-upping as quick as you can outta there.
Yes, asking to stay in contact is the ultimate compliment. If you actually see it through. Which you probably won’t. If you’re anything like me. Or the other 71% of people who apparently didn’t keep in touch after last year’s holiday.
So next time someone suggests swapping email addresses or you feel the words forming on your tongue, try this instead.
‘I like you.’
Or, if you don’t want to look like a complete weirdo, suggest a less low maintenance form of contact.
‘Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn…?’
And if those stalking tendencies don’t put them off, just giddy up the hell outta there.
ARE YOU THE GUY WHO NEVER CALLS OR A DILIGENT PEN-PAL?