I’m going to the park with a new lady friend and our separate kids on Saturday. I met her last weekend at a single parents campout. We talked for hours after others had gone to bed. We’ve emailed a couple times since. But so far, the only thing I’ve seen to indicate interest from her is her willingness (and apparent desire) to spend time with me at the campout, and the emails since. Even though I’ve tossed out a few electronic bids for flirting, they haven’t been answered. And even though I’ve asked her a couple insightful questions to learn more about what makes her tick, she hasn’t asked any of me. I need to figure out what I want to do about that. Do I want to be a nice guy, focus on her, and take the multi-month route toward a relationship that might eventually end up somewhere? Or do I want to be a cocky funny guy and move for a physical connection even knowing this might not end up anywhere? I actually want to do the latter, but only for the physical aspect. I don’t know her anywhere near well enough to love her, so shooting for a physical connection this soon with a church girl would put me into a category I’ve never imagined myself in. Plus I don’t think they want to be “hit on” that way.

And that’s when it hit me. I don’t think of church girls the same as I would think of a girl I met at a club. (Theoretically, as my club experience is somewhat non-existent. Except for the somewhat part.)

That may seem like a no-brainer. Actually, looking at the words, it seems that way to me too. It’s the idea of changing that thought that I find fascinating. What if…

If I met a girl at a club, I would flirt, touch, play, tempt, tease. I would use ideas from The Game and the dozens of websites and newsgroups. At least I flatter myself that I would. But with church girls I’m nice, reliable, friendly. Safe. Do I somehow think that girls are different just because I met them at church?

It’s as though girls with a spiritual side are somehow above being hit on and don’t desire it, but “worldly” girls are not only fair game, but looking for it. But what if that’s not true? What if church girls really want to be physical just as much as anyone else, and they’re just waiting for a man that’s bold enough — not timid — to want her as much as she wants to be wanted? What if they don’t actually mind short, physical relationships that maybe don’t go anywhere? That’s the thought that got me writing this.

Girls are girls. I mean, there are wide variations, but what if those variations are across the entire set of girls, not grouped in subsets. In other words, what if a church has approximately the same proportion of girls who want physical relationships as a club does? Wouldn’t church girls want to get laid as much as other girls? Don’t they have the same amount of unwed pregnancies? Someone’s hitting on them. (And doing it better than me.) And also on the inverse: what if a club has as many girls looking only for love as a church does? For the first time, I’m beginning to realize that’s probably more true than false.

Wow. This could open up a whole new world.

There are risks. In any tight circle of friends (like church), if you piss one member off, you’re out of the club. A nightclub on the other hand has a certain level of anonymity. If you piss off someone at a nightclub, well, they’ll be gone the next day and you can find someone else to piss off. But if you piss off a couple people at a church (or at work), you may end up needing to leave.

To avoid that (and beat the analogy to death), I suppose I shouldn’t piss in my own pool. Visit other churches maybe. Visit clubs. Use online dating. Just don’t get the water all muddy near my dam.

“But I want to hit on that girl at church,” I say. Then do it, but be aware she’s got a circle of friends and I could be voted off the island. Seduction is risky in tight social groups.

This still doesn’t tell me exactly what to do with my friend. But it opens up the door to some interesting possibilities.