Can I ask out my self-defense partner without her worrying I’ll beat her up?

How do I help her disassociate those bad vibes?

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Dr. Date

Dear Dr. Date,

Crime around campus has me scared AF. Stabbing with a screwdriver? Gunshots in Dinky? Uh, nope. I don’t think pepper spray can save me from everything, so I figured I’d enroll in a self-defense course and learn how to flip people over my shoulder or whatever. It’s once a week and easy, so why not? 

Well, we’re officially at the assigned partners part of the class and I got matched up with a super cute girl. I’ve definitely texted her outside of class and we both seem to be into each other, but then I realized — the whole part of having a partner is to practice your moves on each other. I have to pretend to beat her up! 

Dr. Date, this girl seems super cool and I’d love to hang out with her more. But I’m worried that when we spend time together, she’ll be bracing herself to get hit in the head. How can I disassociate those vibes and ask her out? 

Sincerely, 

(Not) Kicking Ass

Dear (Not) Kicking Ass,

Well, this is unique. If the class is once a week and you talk to her outside of that, you’re creating more memories that don’t include you trying out heel palm strikes. The environment also helps — a gym with fluorescent lighting is much different than a bar or your apartment. I think you’ll be all right, but it wouldn’t hurt to make a few comments about how the choke holds won’t apply outside of class (unless she’s into that kind of thing?)

Sincerely,

Dr. Date