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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Not Close Enough

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Not Close Enough for Comfort

My older sister, Kelly, used to do this annoying thing where she’d put her finger just close to my arm to be touching me, but not, and then say, “I’m not touching youuuu.”

“Dad!” I would yell.  “Kelly’s bothering me!”

“Kelly, leave your sister alone,” he’d say.  Good Dad.

“But I didn’t even touch her, my hand’s just near her.”


Then she’s smirk and put her finger back and go, “I’m not touching youuuu.”

And I’d move somewhere else, and so would she, and she’d continue the obnoxious charade.

It drove me mad.

Technically, she was right.  She wasn’t touching me.  But she was in my personal space.  So I used my personal space and wiggled around, accidentally nudging her.

“Dad!  Nicole hit me!”

“Nicole, don’t hit your sister!” I think is what my Dad said.

“I didn’t mean to!  She was in my space.  Trying to touch me!  And I just happened to move.”

Her finger went back.  “I’m not touching youuu….”

Oh, of all the annoying things!

Thank goodness she doesn’t do that anymore!  Note to self—do not let her read this column.  She may be 27, but sisters are sisters.

There are things similar to that scenario which will just drive a person mad.  I’m sure you all have your own stories.  For instance, the half-hug.  If you’re gonna go in and hug someone, just go in all the way.

But the thing between males and females that is annoying me today is eye contact—when people just can’t go the distance, and you want them too.

Like smelly older sisters who barely touch you, this is somewhat similar.  You’re talking to them, and they seem interested, yet can’t seem to look you in the face.  Extremely annoying.  But they’re not your sister, so you can’t tell on them.

Here’s what happened.

I was at a certain event and ended up talking to this guy.  Well, he started talking to me first.  I had certainly noticed him during the course of the night and was pretty excited when we happened to be standing next to each other and boom…conversation began.  And it was all quite lovely, until I noticed he wouldn’t make eye contact with me.  At first, it was really cute when he did this shy thing where he covered his face and asked what my name was again, like he was all embarrassed because he was supposed to remember it from when I was introduced by someone else way earlier in the evening, and then later kind of looked away when talking about himself.  We had a nice conversation, so I have to wonder, what’s the deal?  Does he have a case of the, “I’m not touching youuus?”

Although he wasn’t always making eye contact, he was smiling (nice smile) and engaged while speaking.  Judging by some of his body language in addition to the lack of focus, I would have to guess (and some of my sources have backed me up), that it is a nervous thing.  He’s a little shy.  Which I think makes him all the more cute.  I have talked to girls who would be offended by the lack of direct eye contact, but yikes, in a way, that’s creepy.   I don’t need anyone staring at me with stalker-eyes.  Yes, eye contact is good in a conversation because it shows the other person is paying attention and interested, but in this scenario, I knew he was paying attention by his responses and by his interest.  For some people, it takes a little time to warm up to others.  I know I can be the same way with certain people.

Which brings up a funny thing that happened in that moment.  Instead of me being the somewhat-shy one, I was a little bold—asking questions, trying (yes, “trying”) to be funny, and just keeping the conversation going.  Which I think is often put on the guy’s shoulder, and perhaps what makes them so nervous when approaching someone new.  Or maybe I was making too-direct eye contact.  Uh-oh.  Hey, at least I didn’t put my finger up to his shirt and go, “I’m not touching youuu.”  No, I’ll save that for next week.


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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