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Between Sips

Between sips I couldn’t help but notice the gaze. I prompted myself for what at this point would be the third awkward encounter of the past few hours. Some friends and I were enjoying a low-key night at the local dive. I was immediately letdown to see none of the go-go dancers were working this evening which meant the bartender was in for quite a tip instead.

An anonymous young man who I had noticed staring a few moments before shuffled towards me so quickly that I could barely make out his face from the drink he was spilling all over the floor. His opening lines were even more hopeless than I could have ever expected “Do you have a boyfriend? Let me take you out sometime.” I responded with a friendly smile and said “Hello, nice to meet you”. His long awkward silence and look of confusion was abruptly ended by my girlfriend pulling me away to go dance.

My immediate afterthoughts of this encounter and others like it included the realization that this was an outwardly handsome guy who for all intents and purposes was probably a great person. Sadly (for him), he could not fathom the idea of just introducing himself by name and saying “hello” before starting a conversation with me.

How could I even potentially consider going out with said person? How could you take one look at me and say, “Yo, let’s date.” without even getting to know me first at all? As far as you know I could be a serial killer, or a cannibal. Maybe both.

You seriously do not have the slightest idea who I am. I could take you home, cook you up and no one would even know my name.

This sentiment rings true for both men and women. I can only imagine how equally unappealing a woman presenting herself as unequivocally sexually available must be to a guy who would rather just get to know her and laugh a bit before making any advances. (I know you men exist) Some people are into that, sure, but not everyone.

Every encounter with another person is a chance to make a friend, gain some respect, or set yourself apart from any presumed classification you would otherwise fall into based on looks alone. Every personal interaction and relationship (meeting a new friend, making business contacts, being given chance opportunities, or finding your soul mate) begins with a single, random encounter. There are endless possibilities laid out before those who choose to treat everyone with respect and remember that the way others react to us is totally dependent on the type of behavior we exude.

Just as easy as it is to walk up to a girl and make that overtly sexual remark about how nice her ass looks, so too can she easily write you off as just another useless tool bag who’s completely undeserving of her time. Don’t sell yourself short. Go out of your way to show someone that you have exited your comfort zone and opened yourself up to the possibility of rejection just for the chance to have them.

Establish that you are making an emotional investment based on the much sought after possibility of their mutual interest. You can do this by approaching someone, acting like yourself, and not being afraid to fuck up. We are all so perfectly imperfect.

Why should we always execute human interactions with the strategic, analytical or logical approaches that bring us success elsewhere? Drop the ego! It has no place in human connection. No one worth having offers themselves to you before even saying “hello”.

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