I was sitting in Starbucks writing my most recent newsletter when a guy who was somewhat, kind of, a little bit familiar, sat near me. I noticed him and quickly looked down because I had that, "Oh shit, do I know that guy, should I say hi?" moment.
I looked at him a few times over the next little while and thought "Do I know that guy or is he another Jersey Shore-looking guy that is so common in this area?" I actually thought for a second, "Was he in The Soprano's???"
As I continued to type on my computer, I occasionally glanced up trying to put my finger on him (figuratively, of course). But, I could tell by his body language he knew me and wanted to say something. And, put his finger on me (not figuratively).
I could tell he was trying to build up the courage to talk to me because he kept glancing at me, bouncing his leg, and the fact that he was sitting at a table just enjoying a coffee - no laptop, no book - LIKE A REAL HUMAN (psycho).
I glanced up one more time and it HIT me. Ohhhh! He was the guy who helped me at the tire shop down the street a few weeks ago!
Cut to the tire shop down the street a few weeks ago:
I had flat tire and was in a particularly good and chatty mood (odd for someone who just found out there was a giant nail in an expensive piece of rubber they already replaced not too long ago).
He gave me a discount, so as a thank you, I brought him a coffee on my walk back down to the shop when my car was ready. I was very cordial and nice (not flirtatious, something guys often confuse with flirtation) and he told me about his music. He showed it to me on Facebook and asked if he could add me on there - often a weird moment for a woman when she's not interested in dating but he didn't explicitly ask for a date. If I said something like, "I'm not interested" he could defensively say, "I wasn't asking you out anyway" but then if I say "sure", it might mislead him into thinking I'm "giving him the go-ahead." And, frankly, it would be strange, after being so cordial, to flatly say "No, you can't add me on Facebook." So, after that .006 second but what-felt-like-an-eternity analysis in my mind, the best I could do was "sure."
A few hours later I got home and received a message from him.
I didn't respond :(
I also never opened the message. I have no idea what it said.
I rarely open Facebook anymore so once it was gone from my notifications, I forgot about it. Not in a "Wow, I'm so busy and have so many people contacting me" kind-of-way but in a "social media has just become noise to many of us" kind-of-way.
Because I never opened the message, in his mind, he could be thinking, "Well, she never read the message so maybe she just never saw it" and if he was even interested in me in the first place, the opportunity for a date could have still been on the table. It and wouldn't have been silly to assume that. There's a chance I really just didn't know he sent me a message.
If the moment he ran into me at Starbucks and just jumped right in and said "Heyyy, how's the tire holding up?" I would have gone "Oh, hi!..." and jumped into a conversation. The chances of it becoming a flirtatious one were low but it wasn't totally off the table either. Maybe I would have found his assertiveness attractive? Maybe his confidence would have been endearing? It's amazing what a little momentum can do.
BUT because he sat there soooo long contemplating saying hello, it started to make me anxious. The momentum he would have had by naturally jumping into it was gone and his nerves about the whole thing passed onto me.
After a few more painful moments of me pretending to have no idea who he was and him pretending to have no idea who I was, he got up, threw his coffee in the garbage and walked out, defeated.
The moment the door closed behind him, I felt so badly. I could FEEL him trying to build up the courage and I didn't do anything to help him. Not a single thing. It was like I just watched a little squirrel get hit and didn't warn the oncoming car (which is very much not my style fyi. I'm a big fan of little creatures).
I really was rooting for him. But, the truth is, when a man wants to approach a woman, she will never help him (unless she's already interested and feeling bold). It wasn't my job to create the conversation for him, it was his. And, he missed his opportunity.
The lesson I want you guys to learn from Mr. Jersey Shore is DO NOT HESITATE. If you see an opportunity, take it. The hesitation is what will often make a girl describe a guy as "creepy." And, I know that you're not creepy, you're hesitating.