Back when I used to go out to nightclubs and dress up in shoes other than tennis shoes and pants other than jeans, my three girl friends and I were once approached by a guy with a cigarette behind his ear. Cigarette Guy and his wing man were dressed in slick, frat-boy outfits.
“How’s it going, ladies?” Cigarette Guy asked us, directing his attention to J, one of the girls in our group.
“Good,” J said.
“Great,” he said. A moment of awkward silence.
“How’s it going, ladies?” Cigarette Guy asked again. J looked at him.
“You just asked us that,” she noted. Cigarette Guy stopped.
“Yeah,” said my other friend, L. “It makes it sound like you’re trying too hard.”
Both Cigarette Guy and Wing Man blinked at us.
“Try losing the cigarette behind your ear, too,” J added. Wordlessly, Cigarette Guy took it away. “Much better,” she said.
Let’s just say the conversation took off from there. By the end of it, Cigarette Guy had gained at least 10 new tips on how to launch a better pickup line, and no new phone numbers.
Are you on the verge of asking someone out? Do you think you have a chance with this girl, guy, or person, but you can’t bring yourself to make the move?
Let’s learn from Cigarette Guy and his kin.
I’m not a wise-old sage, but I can quote an old friend, who once said to me, “Elisa, you don’t know how many people ruin their chances of dating me by opening their mouths.”
In other words, it’s not always about taking prescribed steps, but in learning to not-be a complete jerkface.
Here is an informal compilation of the worst ways I’ve seen people screw up a potential romance before it happens. Let’s learn from their mistakes and grow wiser together.
1. Screw Up #1: Show-off skills you do not have. Lack complete self-awareness.
Here’s an example to illustrate the opposite of this screw-up. My friend met her now-husband at a volleyball game. He was the worst player she’d ever seen; he freely admits it was his first and last attempt to ever play volleyball.
He was totally aware he sucked, and done it just to get to know her.
She saw his positivity and sense of humor, and that made the best-possible impression on her.
Now, here is an example to illustrate what I am talking about.
Once, at a house party, a guy started to talk to me on the dance floor. It was tough to converse with him, because he danced like an octopus having a seizure. I was afraid to get too close to him.
At random intervals, the guy jerked a leg into the air, karate-style. His arms spun outwards and mowed down people around him. I’d step away and he’d step closer to talk.
At the end of the party, the guy asked for my phone number. Since he’d spent most of the night “talking” to me and discussed some business opportunities, I gave it to him.
Afterwards, my friend asked me, “Did you give that guy who was hitting on you your phone number?”
And I was like…. “Huh? He was hitting on me?”
Despite the obvious signs (dancing, party, phone number), that the guy had interest in me had never crossed my mind. Dude was such an amazingly bad dancer that I’d just seen him as some hapless fool, out to make friends.
If your crush says, “I am so sad from this breakup,” leave them alone. If your crush says, “I need alone time,” leave them alone.
Do not believe your crush will make an exception just for you. Sure, you are special. You are just not that special.
This reminds me of a former friend I had who instantly severed our blossoming friendship with this dialogue. I am not making this up:
ME: I am so over dating right now. I so do not want to date anyone.
Former Friend: So…. would this be the wrong time to say that I like you?
ME: Um…. what?
This leads me to Screw Up #3…
Screw Up #3: Persist in asking your date out until they hate you. No matter what.
I emailed Former Friend an explanation as to why I didn’t appreciate his advances. His email response to my thoughtful email attempt was something like:
“I just have a silly schoolboy crush. It’s hard for me to get over. Maybe we can still go out sometime.”
I’m not an idiot.
I’m not starved for attention.
When people say, “Back off,” listen to them. Otherwise, consider the fate of my Former Friend, whom I cut from all my contacts just after his idiotic reply.
Sexist stereotypes might work just in the movies. You know, sexist movies where women never mean “no” when they say it to a man. Where men never mean “no” because they only care about sex. This is real life, not a sexist movie.
Respect where your crush is, and they will respect you.
Screw Up #4: Follow your crush around and/or obey all their wishes. All the time. Even if they do nothing for you in return.
Have you done any of the following?
~ Repeatedly called or emailed your crush even if they said they were busy? Even if they’d cancelled plans with you lots of times?
~ Put yourself in physical or psychological danger — ie. done drugs, gotten drunk, sent X-rated images of yourself — just because you wanted to impress your crush?
~ Given your crush anything they asked for, whether it was money, sex, borrowing your car? Even if they offered nothing back?
You deserve to be with someone who actually cares about you. Your crush is not interested in you.
Honor yourself by acting honorably. Stop what you are doing. You deserve better.
Perhaps you can now move on and find someone who will respect you. Perhaps that person can be you, first of all. We all can respect ourselves a little more, anyway.
Screw-up #5: Don’t ask them out — or, do it in a confusing way.
This happens all the time. Here are some examples:
~ “Um…. hey, are you hungry?”
~ Another one: “Do you know a girl named ________? …She’s really pretty. You look like her. I’d like to go out with her sometime.”
Bottom line: If you want to ask someone out, make sure the question is clear. Separate yourself from the pack a little, so your crush gets that you might actuallybe asking them out.
In other words: If you want to ask someone out, ask them out. Do it right.
To very loosely quote my friend Sarah, a date is really a tool for your own self-improvement. Screw-ups are just opportunities to learn more about yourself.
Now you’ve got 5 less screw ups you need to suffer through.
The worst thing that’s going to happen? You will be rejected. You will get back up. You will try again. And one day, someone will say, “Yes~ I’d love to go out for dinner sometime. How nice of you to ask!”
Good luck out there.
PS: Photo Credit: Seattle PI Blog.
PPS: Edited myself out on 12/15 to cut down the tone of (unintentional) narcissism. 🙂