Rule #1: You come to me

1/18/2012 The Anti-Austen 16 Comments

For your update on last week's post, I've been playing it cool with Awkward Pants. I saw him a couple times this week and just said a quick hello. I also included him on a mass text for a last minute game night (thanks for the suggestion!) ...but... he didn't come. I'm choosing to believe that he already had something going on. I think I need to be forward with him at a snail's pace if this is going to work.

In the meantime, what I really need to do is increase the amount of guys that I meeting. I'm a big believer that dating is largely a numbers game (this is another sales analogy, apparently I use them all the time); you meet as many people as you can, and eventually you'll find one that you like and who likes you back. My struggle right now is how to increase said numbers. I currently work full time and my part time classes are all independent study, so I'm totally unplugged from the typical BYU environment. That being said, I've decided that my best bet at meeting dudes is at institute, because my stake has a pretty good turnout .

Now for my dilemma- how to approach these guys. Our institute is really crowded and feels a little like we're a bunch of cattle that have been herded into a tiny enclosure. You have to sneak by, bump and knock people to get anywhere. I would love to use this as an opportunity for a serendipitous moment, but instead I end up nervously shuffling past all these good looking men to go talk to people I feel safe and comfortable with. Bah! This always makes me wish I had some cool, slick way to "hit on them". I've toyed with the (probably really awful) idea of making little business cards that say "I find you attractive, if the feeling is mutual, please call The Closer at 555-555-1234". Yes, yes, I know that is terribly un-coy. Oh bother, what to do. I simply get immobilized by Analysis Paralysis.

You know what this has made me realize?

Girls are not meant to do the approaching.

I'm sorry fellas, but I think there must be some gender rooted logic in the cultural expectation of men putting themselves on the altar first. Whenever a guy comes up to talk to me, I am a killer flirt, and almost always seal the deal with him getting my number (i.e.Texty McTexterson). On the other hand, if I am the one initiating the conversation, I am immediately plagued with self doubt and insecurity. This is what my mind does to me, I imagine him thinking:

"Oh boy, can somebody say marriage hungry?"
"Maybe if I stand reallllly still, she won't see me"
"Danger, danger, exit strategy needed!"
"It's like I can hear her biological clock ticking"
"Nod and smile... hmm... I still need to do laundry... nah, my clothes don't smell that bad yet... oh oops, she's still talking"

There's this video that I love about the difference between men and women's brains, and it talks about how men's brains are composed of a bunch of little boxes where only one is open at a time, and women's brains are composed of a big ball of wire that never stops and everything is connected to everything. That analogy nails it. Please just put us out of our misery and come talk to us first. If we reject you it might hurt at first but then you can take that hurt and stick it in a box and avoid thinking about it (mostly). For women, it just swirls around and around in our minds constantly inhibiting our confidence and flirtatious nature. If we're willing to put all of this effort into looking lovely, letting us know that we did a good job (by approaching us) is a pretty fair trade off.

Maybe guys are already good at this and I just smell really funky and no one has had the heart to tell me. Or maybe I'm so incredibly good looking that all of them are too intimidated (yeah, you're right, it's definitely the latter). Am I alone in this frustration, or can I get an "amen!"?

Yours Truly,

The Closer

You Might Also Like


Heidi said...

Amen! :)

Buzz said...


Juichi said...

Oh, don't worry. Most of us guys are exactly as nervous as you when we ask, and no, I never think anything like that on the very rare instances when a girl approaches me. Instead, I (and almost any guy I know agrees), I am totally flattered. That said, I agree, the man has the prerogative according to the Prophet.

Anonymous said...


I'm with Juicyfruit. Most guys aren't overflowing with confidence like foam on root beer. It's hard to get the initiative to approach a girl. The other day, a friend and I were at a restaurant, and he wanted to ask the waitress for her number, but he was too chicken.

The biggest thing? Overthinking. He overthought it. He pondered too much about what he'd say and how she'd respond so that he psyched himself out.

So don't overthink things. I know, that's almost impossible for a girl to do.

Actually, that wasn't my point at all [I have a problem with conciseness]. I agree that in general, it is the man's duty to approach, but as Juicebox said, we men are totally flattered when approached by a confident woman. I'd say it's the woman's duty in return to simply be approachable.

Maybe this will be my blog post for the month. I like it.

you know, I've totally considered the business card route...especially while at a stake fireside this weekend where I saw a plethora of guys that I'd love to flirt with more etc, but didn't really have the opportunity. the "mingle" part during refreshments included people just grouping up with people from their ward. sigh. dating is so hard sometimes. :P

Anonymous said...

Dear Closer,
The guy has no more of an idea of what to use as an approach than you do. Your job is to give him an opening statement. Wear a T-shirt that advertises your favorite TV show, activity, comic strip, etc. Bring a "prop" to institute: teddy bear, plate of cookies, tennis racket, favorite board game, an organic chemistry book, anything to get him to come over and ask why you have it with you.
Basically you are subtly advertising something about yourself that he may have in common AND can have a real conversation with you about.
Best of luck!

Eleanor Dashwood said...

"Hi, there, Closer. I noticed that you have a teddy bear and a rather delicious-looking plate of cookies. Might I ask why you brought them to Institute?"

"Actually, Heathcliff, I brought these as boy-lures. Are they working?"

I can't imagine that going over too well...

Elisabeth said...

Oh, man. I know how you feel. I've done ALL the approaching in my (limited) dating life, and it sure has taken it's toll on my self esteem. These days, I'm afraid to do anything for fear of being shut down. It'd be nice if the guys would just be a bit more brave...

flutefairy said...

Oh man Eleanor, I actually laughed out loud: "Actually Heathcliff, I brought these as boy-lures. Are they working?". Funniest thing I've hear all day.

Also- I agree with Cornel Paisley about guys not being overflowing with confidence- I try to ask a guy on a date a month to remind myself how hard it is (and so I can tell them to quit their whining when they complain).

And ... may I add my "Amen" the closer's comments- you are definitely not alone in your frustration. I think someone must have also forgot to tell me I smell funny. :)

Anonymous said...

My thought is that you now understand Awkward Pants a little better. It is daunting for us guys to put ourselves out there. I always over think it and get a little awkward in these situations. The only remedy that I have found is practice and experience. I am gaining more and more confidence as I try more. Before my mission I went on very few dates (I think i can count them on my hands). Since being home I have more than doubled that in less than 5 months (this is a major improvement), I think. The secret is just stop thinking and start doing. If you feel good in the beginning about doing something, start then, don't wait and think. It is too easy to do that.
Here is an idea to meet more guys; do a contest like Featherstone and Colonel Paisley. The guys will still come to you, and you can get to know a bunch at once; maybe not that well, but who knows who you will meet. I would enter. All that can happen is that who ever controls the ability to do a contest says no, because guys definitely would sign up.

Alden Waite said...

Something that helps me buck up the courage to approach is I'll ask myself "Self, What would you do if you weren't afraid?" I then try force out all the ideas and excuses and go do it. Just got to ask quick before you talk yourself out of it.

Of course, it's always easier when she isn't surrounded by people she knows, engrossed in conversation... still haven't figured that one out yet.

BTW, if you're perchance in the 3rd stake - PLEASE bring a teddy bear/racket and use that line - I would so play off of that!

Nina M said...

AMEN! I'm INCREDIBLY shy. The only time I've ever actually spoken to a guy first? A boy who was in my next class was sleeping next to me in the library and I woke him up when I left for class so he wouldn't be late. And I walked with him and helped him review for the quiz. Bravest thing I have EVER done.

Marigold said...

Amen. =)

Gotta agree with the other guys. It's the two sides of the coin that is the male ego. On one side your ego gives you the confidence to approach, but at the same time it fears being damaged.

Anonymous said...

Mr Manager here,

I must say that when a girl pushes me to ask her out I don't feel like a man anymore. I don't feel in charge or in control of the situation. For me, the man needs to be the man; and if the girl is pushing me and making me feel pushed then I am uncomfortable. A quick way to smother my interest. I have been angry with girls in the past for how easy it is for them to reject me when they have no idea how hard it is for me to approach. I have felt like they should have to do the asking once in a while to see what it feels like, but I don't think that way anymore. We are the way we are (as men and women) for a reason. Girls need to invite the approach, guys need to approach (best results are achieved when action is executed in that order, so yes girls you can and should act on your interest).

But I make great effort to make a girl who is asking me out feel comfortable, at least the first time. Because she deserves it. Because I think I deserve it when I make myself vulnerable enough to approach a girl, so much more should she be given what she is asking for at least once.