I have been playing paintball for as long as I have known my g/f. She never showed much interest before but lately she's been hinting she might like to play too. What do I do?
Okay, he didn't really sign his question 'confused' but he plainly is and besides, it's kinda a standard advice column gimmick so I'm going with it. Now you might think the answer is obvious--a no-brainer even--but it's not. Everyone says get more people into paintball. It's practically a duty these days and, well--girls are people too. And can paintball really afford to ignore 51% of the population? Ipso facto encourage the girlfriend to play paintball and you will have an activity you can enjoy and share together. But that wasn't the question. So while you lot congratulate each other for being sensitive, enlightened New Age males I'm going to answer "confused's" question. And tell him the truth.
There is still hope. The fact that you are uncertain is the proof. A few added details would have been helpful but we'll make do. The practical answer is to give her the Sting Test if she has never been shot before. Everyone who gives paintball a try either passes or fails the Sting Test so that's the place to start. Either the thrill of the game outweighs the occasional pain--or it doesn't. If she fails the Sting Test your worries are over. Here's what I suggest: Explain to her that while almost everyone enjoys playing for some people the pain overrides their pleasure and it's important to discover which type she is as soon as possible. This means you intend to shoot her once. Assure her it will be over quickly. Preferably in the thigh. Do not recommend she wear baggy clothing. Did I mention you want her to fail? Trust me, you're doing her a favor--and yourself one, too.
If she has already passed the Sting Test you are at a crossroads. Before you make a decision it is important you realize that there are a limited number of outcomes and most of them are bad. For you. Are you already on the defensive? Does she already have something of yours--hint: usually comes in a pair--safely tucked away in her purse? If yes this is also an opportunity. The secret to understanding the situation is that she has changed her mind. Nothing unusual in that. But by now you need to understand that means it's test time. For you. Remember, paintball didn't change. You didn't change. She did.
I know what you're thinking. What's the big deal? I hear you, dude. To you and me it isn't a big deal. You go along to get along 'cus most of the time you don't care enough one way or another. Sure, babe, whatever. But that, confused, is the wrong answer. I can't tell you what to say. (Okay, I could but this is something you need to do for yourself.) One last thing: remember, the key isn't trying to figure out what she wants, it's deciding what you want.
(VFTD looks forward to your comments and emails. VFTD cares.)