Everyone loves BART, and they love to be in love. From my observations and experiences, here are some tips for being in love and staying in love on the #1 Transit System in the World.
Holding hands with your girlfriend is extremely important. Hold hands as much as you can. Share the same step. If she stands behind you, on a different step, that means she probably doesn't love you as much as you thought. Say you let go of her hand, or both stood on the right side together. Would that be an appropriate testament to your love? No. You need to hold hands from the bottom all the way to the top.
Don't let go until the last possible second. It's best to break hand contact as close to the fare gates as possible, so that your love is preserved. With practice, you can go through the turnstiles side by side and never break finger contact, though one of you will have to be adept with your left hand.
And what about the other people on the escalator? Diana Ross said it best: "You can't hurry love." Those commuters behind you will just have to wait.
The Crowded Train
Sometimes BART is crowded. Obviously, you'd like to sit next to each other, so you can hold hands and talk, loudly. Sometimes, it's just too crowded. There's only one seat available. Now, ideally, you could get someone to move from a one-seat position to a different vacant seat, freeing up a double-seat. But sometimes there's not enough space, or the commuter is pissed off/annoyed/asleep/black. Then, you will be too scared to ask.
Sometimes you can find a seat behind your girl. This is acceptable only if you lean forward in your seat, keeping at least one hand on her shoulders or arms at all times. Two hands is obviously preferable. Keep up steady conversation, with your face close to her ear, so she doesn't start conversing with the person next to her and then break up with you.
If there is no chance to sit side-by-side, I think the best solution is to let your lady love take the free seat, while you kneel in the aisle next to her seat. You can hold hands over the armrest. And a little knee pain is nothing in the cause of true love.
When you spot your imaginary girlfriend on a BART train, it is important to not act creepy. Don't sit next to her, or even directly across to her. But make sure you choose a seat where you can observe her.
Watch her as much as you can. Try to read the title of her book or magazine, perhaps by pretending to tie your shoelace. If she makes eye contact, or even looks in your direction, immediately look away. Pretend to be reading your book, or the ad for the AIDS Marathon. She will think you are studious, or an athlete. A charitable athlete.
If she transfers at one of the Oakland stations, go ahead and follow her off the train. You can always transfer back to your previous train two stops later. Or, just ride along with her until she gets off, and then double back to your real destination. The BART fare will be the same, no matter how long it takes you to get to your eventual destination, because they understand about imaginary girlfriends.
When you're exiting the train or walking across the platform, that is the time to walk close behind her and try to smell her hair.