I saw something strange this week. I was at a restaurant, the type where you walk up to order the food, then you get a number and the servers bring the meal to your table. Anyway, standing in front of me was a man who seemed impatient. It didn’t seem like he was only hungry or thirsty, but really starved to get to the front. He was tapping his foot and seemed ready to order. When it was finally his turn, he suddenly flushed (I could see the back of his neck turn crimson) and started to stammer. He stalled and paused, seemingly unsure of what he wanted to eat. This was odd to me, because just moments before, he looked like he had his order memorized. I wasn’t in a rush and listened.
He somehow collected himself and I saw his shoulders rise and fall in what looked to be a deep breath. He stood straighter and ordered a sparkling water. Then, I noticed his body language shift. He leaned in and spoke in what he thought was a private tone, but his voice carried. He said he’s been coming in for months to eat at the restaurant, but also to see the woman working at the counter. Then, he said, “I know you have a couple of jobs, but I’d love to take you out one day.” He paused and I could see her wiggling from foot to foot. “Maybe you can give me a call someday,” he continued. Her face looked cloudy and confused. She gave him the sparkling water and mumbled something like, “um yeah” without asking for his number. He walked away, water in hand.
I don’t think he realized that he got denied.
So why wasn’t the interaction smoother?
He was sweet to say he’s into her, but then pulled back the compliment when suggesting that she call him. That shows laziness on his end. Most women are not going to enjoy that type of interaction. They’re going to be confused initially and then they’re not going to actually make contact with this type of man.
Truth be told, it’s challenging to hit on someone at a restaurant when they’re at work. They get this all the time and often find it embarrassing. Even if they’re interested, it’s hard to turn on the flirt switch when other customers are waiting in line and co-workers and a manager are standing by. Naturally, they’re at work to work, which can be a predicament for the people who are interested in them.
What could he have done? In a perfect situation, he would have been less tense. This would have relaxed her, too, and their interaction would have been more collegiate. Despite him saying he had gone there often, they didn’t seem to have rapport. The best advice: lighten up and try to be funnier. Maybe this sounds like a tall order, especially if you’re already nervous, but the funny/friendly angle will likely produce better results than the mission-driven determination of a goal.
Here’s another scenario.
I’ve read many of my clients’ app dating profiles and their messaging history on Tinder, OKCupid, Zoosk, etc. Here’s the common sequence of events: woman and man will each swipe right and match. Man will initiate conversation and say “hey”. Woman writes back “Hi!” It ends there. She was potentially interested in him, but the conversation didn’t go anywhere. Why not?
His initial conversation leaves much to be desired. There’s not much to talk about when someone starts with “hey.” Should she start a line of questioning? She could, but it changes the dynamic. She becomes the masculine [energy] and he flips into the role of feminine [energy]. It means he doesn’t want to lead, but wants to sit back and see what happens. And it puts her in a tricky situation. Had she wanted to open the dialogue, she probably would have (and hopefully she’d have said more than “hi”).
And now a third example.
She says to her new boyfriend in person: “I’m enjoying our time together. I feel comfortable and have fun with you. Wondering how you feel about this.” “It’s all good,” he replies. This is seemingly positive, but doesn’t give her much to work with. She can’t tell how he really feels, what’s working and what’s not. This type of communication sets a bar where she does the majority of expressing and then waits for his response or clarification. His expression feels lazy to her. Her perspective reminds us that his communication doesn’t need to be perfect, just more complete. It’s not her job to draw it out of him, but if she has more questions, she can ask. Yet, he needs to be open and available to describe how the relationship is going for him.
Another alternative is he is brushing her off because her question/comment is awkward and he doesn’t know how to reply without being sarcastic or rude. Maybe he doesn’t need as much communication as she likes to offer. She could insist he answers, but that could create a wedge between them. Or, she could let it ride a little longer and let his actions answer the question. She could tell herself a story that he’s not really as into the relationship as she is, but that may not be true either. Basically, the best option in the moment is to keep hanging out, keep having fun and they can each feel their way through their interactions. Time will help solve this inquiry.
In all three examples, I’ve seen women bang their heads against the wall in frustration that they’re doing something wrong. Really, they’re trying so diligently, but their dates probably don’t communicate in the same ways. Remember, masculine and feminine energy makes each person behave uniquely.
With the first case, he wanted her to do all the work. He was brave to put himself out there and state his interest in her, but didn’t create a plan to take her out or get her number. He flipped from showing masculine energy to feminine energy.
In the second example, very little energy is being expressed. The heart emojis and general “hey” and “hi” messages don’t give anyone enough material on which to connect. Advice to daters: use your words! When you’re on an app, that’s all you have until you meet. Decide if you want to date, and if you do, stop being lazy! You’ll get (better) dates when you commit even 10% more to the interactions prior to meeting.
Ladies, the third example is for you. I’ve had to swallow this jagged pill myself. Let him show you through actions. When the actions fail, you’re invited to stay (in the relationship) or leave. Remember, you don’t have to be lazy! If you’re thinking he’ll change or you’ll get accustomed to this, you’re settling for something that may not suit you. Let the actions be your guide. And men: please show her some care. Don’t half-ass it.