Ask A Woman: Shooting the Moon…
If you’ve got a question that needs the female treatment, chances are you’re not the only one who wants to ask it. Beth is our source for the answers. From opinions on men’s style to decoding the sometimes mysterious ways of women, she’ll take on a different question every Thursday. She also might provide an answer without waiting to be asked. That happens from time to time too. Click here to get to know Beth, then get in touch with her by sending your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Good afternoon Beth,
I’m an undergraduate engineering major at a state university. I’m tallish and of average build, and I think it’s safe to say that I’m squarely average-looking, although I make up for that by being generally pretty stylish. As an engineering student, I have never really been around womenfolk terribly much in college (I knew all three girls in my graduating class within a week of my freshman year’s starting…and one of them was married). All this to say that I’m not exactly practiced in inter-sexual interaction and that my looks don’t exactly make up for it.
Anyway, a friend of mine is going to be introducing me to one of her girlfriends. The girl to whom I’m being introduced is stunningly beautiful and, if she’s as good a friend as this friend of mine, she can’t be all bad. I want this to go well, but I’ve never been introduced like this before, and I have no idea how I should handle it. Help!
Well, I’m not going to lie, there’s not much I can say to calm your nerves. Romance is a nail biter. Also, you’re not exactly making it easy for yourself by going from not having much interaction with the “womenfolk” (we need to start using this word more often) to being set up with a stunningly beautiful woman. That’s sort of like deciding to swim across a Great Lake when the most water you’ve ever seen has been in the bathtub. We really aim to build up your self-esteem here at Beth’s House o’ Confidence, don’t we?
How about this? I can guarantee you that you’ll be nervous and say something you think is dumb. That is definitely going to happen. That has happened on every single first date I’ve been on, and during the start of every single relationship I’ve ever been in. It will happen. When it does, don’t dwell on it. Don’t say, “Wow, that was dumb, I’m such a loser.” Leave it alone and talk about something else.
Actually, I can’t tell from your email if you’re simply being introduced to her, like at a party, “Hey this is my friend Anxious; Anxious this is my friend Jenna,” or if you’re being set up on an actual date. If it’s the former, I think you need to lower your expectations for how big a deal this is. Jenna could very well give you a half-wave, then see someone she knows across the room and that will be the extent of your interaction. But if you do get to spend some time with her, whether casually after an introduction, or on an actual date, the best thing you can do is to ask her questions about herself. This takes the pressure off you having to talk as much, and shows that you’re a considerate man. Ask easy questions like “What’s your major?” “Where are you from?” Ask follow-up questions or make follow-up comments to whatever she says so that it’s clear you’re listening to her answers. “Oh you’re majoring in English? I had to take The American Novel with Professor Wallace last semester—what do you think of her? I thought she was pretty good during lecture but her exams were so hard!”
Nerdy guys can get the girl, too, I promise. Even without the help of Reese Witherspoon.
A successful interaction should be apparent by the following signs: she maintains eye contact with you, she smiles or laughs occasionally, she reciprocates by asking you questions about yourself. If these things happen on a date and you like her personality beyond her stunning good looks, ask her for a second date, whether in that moment, or a day or two later with a phone call (Text? Email? Tweet? Back in my day we used to call each other and use our vocal chords but maybe the kiddies are doing something different now).
If the same positive signs happen after an introduction, and you talk to her for a significant amount of time, you could very well ask for her number (Email? Twitter handle? Instagram? Grandma is confused by all the options on social media, kids). If it doesn’t feel quite right, or you lose your nerve (no shame, this is intimidating stuff), never fear. Next time you see her, whether through your friend, or just bumping into her on campus, you’ve already established a rapport. You can reference something she said in your first conversation–“So how did that history paper turn out that you were writing?” You can build on the connection you made and maybe even say something like, “Hey we should get lunch sometime.” If she’s horrified by the very thought, you’ll probably be able to tell and you can back off. If she’s interested, you can try to make solid plans.
Something else to remember before I release you into the wild blue yonder of women. Just because she is beautiful doesn’t mean she is unattainable or better than you. She’s not. She is simply genetically blessed and that’s where it ends. You don’t need to be male model material in order to be with a beautiful woman. Keep in mind the good qualities that you bring to the table and let that be more than enough to make you worthy of her.
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