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Rachel Bertsche Headshot

To Hug or Not to Hug?

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Can we please talk about the most awkward moment of a girl date? Because it's killing me.

You have a nice dinner, easy chatting, and then, when you part, there's this moment: nervous hesitation, shifting from side to side, uncomfortable energy in the air... And then you go for it. The hug.

Or you don't. But if you're me, you do. And it is just so painfully awkward.

I am not kidding. The to-hug-or-not-to-hug parting moment is the worst. I'm one of those people who will do anything to interrupt an awkward silence. Including calling out the silence itself with, "Well this is awkward...," thus increasing the kill-me-now factor by approximately 1,000 percent.

It's a combo of Monica Geller's "I'm breezy!" and Chandler Bing's "I make jokes when I'm uncomfortable!"

Take a girl-date I went on a few months back. We had a perfectly nice meal, but when we were leaving, there was this strange moment when neither of us knew what to say or do. So just as she started to wave goodbye I actually said aloud, "Ok, I'm just going to go for the hug."

Who says that? The poor girl was like, "Um, ok. So we're doing that." Those were her actual words.

A similar problem can occur when you run into a "sorta" friend out of the blue. Do we hug hello? Or just wave?

This happened to me twice -- twice! -- yesterday. First I ran into an old coworker, and for reasons I cannot explain, I hugged him. I should not have been hugging him. We were not close. It was weird. I was just so taken aback by seeing him out of context that I went for it. And then I was totally embarrassed for the duration of the conversation and for a good seven minutes afterward.

Then, because apparently that wasn't uncomfortable enough, I ran into a girl who works at my company at a bar last night. And I hugged her hello. I mean seriously. What is wrong with me? Again, embarrassed. Less so because I bet she's a hugger, but still. I hardly know her. We work in the same company, not the same department. It was not the time.

All this to say, if you run into me on the street, and you see me start to lift my arms, you have two options: Embrace it, or run.

Does anyone out there even know what I'm talking about? Have you experienced this awkward girl-date moment? Or am I just a total weirdo? Don't feel bad, you won't be telling me anything I don't already know...

You can follow Rachel's awkward and hilarious escapades in her search for a new best friend on her blog, MWF Seeking BFF.

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