Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Asking a Girl Out Really Entails: Part 1

I don't think girls fully understand what kind of emotional turmoil a man puts himself through in order to secure a date.  It's fine if you have a girlfriend or whatever, but for the first 2 or 3 dates, asking is, as they say, a total bitch.  I'm gonna go ahead and tell you what it's like in an attempt to spread dude-awareness through the female gender (because I'm pretty sure that everyone except for one person that reads this is female).

These are all rules and steps that I have violated at some point.  Some of them are fairly recently.

Pre Step 1:  Determining if She is Interested

It doesn't matter.  You'll find out soon enough.  Look for things like smiling and eye contact.  If she says yes to a date, she's interested.  Maybe not as interested as you are, but still interested.  Watch Hitch, you'll learn all about it.  Don't stress about it because you'll never know.  Girls are tricky creatures.

Step 1:  Get the Phone Number

In the world of Facebook, it's tempting to skip this step and get right to the calling.  I warn against this.  This communicates a lack of confidence and is a little creepy in a lot of situations (which I think is silly because people are willfully posting information about themselves.  It's like saying reading an autobiography is creepy).

I recently got made fun of for asking a girl (whose phone number I already had) if I could call her up sometime and ask her on a date over Facebook.  She straight-up made fun of me and laughed at me.  Then said yes (well, she said "fine" which means the same thing as "yes" but a little more annoyed).  So if you want to save yourself a little humiliation, I suggest not doing that.  I sure hope she reads this, now.

Don't get her number from one of her friends.  Involving her friends in this is dangerous.  One of them is bound to go and tell her that you're asking around, and that's creepy.  Also, one of them will most likely develop a crush on you at the exact moment that you're about to launch your carefully-schemed campaign, which will absolutely destroy any chance you have of getting with your primary target.  Trust me.  Truuuuuuusssst me.  Don't involve her friends.  Involving her friends is like putting saran wrap over the toilet seat - you don't hit your goal and you just end up making a mess of things. 

There's a certain balance you want to keep during this entire process.  You want to maximize personal attractiveness and minimize creepiness (similar to the tool that men use for women.)  If attractiveness is too low, they walk away.  If creepiness is too high, they run away.  Both leave you dateless and embarrassed.  Then you're stuck hanging out with JJ on weekend nights, complaining about how girls have ruined your life, and listening to pulseless music.

Step 1.1:  Maximize Attractiveness

We'll start with personal attractiveness.  Girls often complain that guys don't have to be good looking to attract the opposite gender (which is true to a point, I guess, but working out definitely helps) and call it a double-standard.  

They fail to see the flipside.  Guys have to have interesting personalities to get dates.  In my opinion, a personality is a lot harder to form than your hair, but that's just me.  You have to know what your personality is.

Confidence is your #1 tool.  Even if you don't have it, you'd better pretend you have it because it is what separates attractiveness and creepiness.  You're allowed to be nervous.  There's nothing wrong with that, and you can even let them know that you're a little nervous, but you can't let the nervousness take over.

Think about it, girls.  A guy confidently gives you a rose, makes eye contact with you and smiles, showing his teeth, stands up straight with his shoulders squared towards you while he smoothly strikes up a conversation about anything.  

Now let's take away the confidence.  

A guy awkwardly gives you a rose, stares at your feet, compliments you on something lame like your shoelaces, then stands while slouching, turned to the side with his arms folded behind his back, and waits for you to say something to which he has no response.

Guys - don't be that dude.  Very few men in the history of dudes have been able to do that and be successful.

Once you have even a little bit of confidence, you're ready to move on.

Girls are willing to overlook any physical shortcomings you have.  If you're short and scrawny, it's not as big of a deal as you think it is.  Most girls will say they prefer their man to be bigger than them, but it's not a deal breaker.  If you're bald, embrace it.  Don't try and cover that up.  People know you're bald, but they recognize that you don't want to accept it.  It leads back to the confidence thing.  You know when you look at some other guy and say to yourself, "Wow... terrible combover."  You too, pal.  You too.

Remember, while the information below is useful in all dating situations, you're after the phone number right now.  You often won't have time to prepare for the encounter.

The physical parts that girls DO care about are the things that you have daily control over (hair, stubble, clothes, smell, etc).  I can't help you here.  You have to work whatever is your style.

(At the very least, make sure you don't smell like poo.  Few things turn girls off faster than the smell of poo.  Truuuuuuust me.)

If you try to mimic another man's style, that's creepy.  Imagine that time you heard someone tell a funny a joke, so you went off and told other people the same joke but they didn't laugh - they just stared at you like you were a weirdo.  Same idea.  It didn't work because it wasn't your joke.  Don't try and copy another dude that's totally different from you unless you want your creepy score to skyrocket.  We're trying to avoid devastating humiliation, so don't stomp on your own foot by trying to make it look like another dude's (...or something like that).

Here's my personal style - The girl already knows herself (presumably).  She wants to hear about me, but she wants to think that I want to hear about her (silly girls).  I ask lots of questions and when she gives the answer, I either say, "me too" or, "that's kind of like..." (any way you slice it, we have everything in common and she thinks that I totally understand her).  That way, I'm communicating that I'm interested in her, but she's getting to know me.  Tricky, I know.  It comes with practice.  Every girl says that we have a lot in common.  We often don't.  That's beside the point, plus I'm feeling like I'm shooting myself in some other guy's foot for posting this (...or something like that).

Get yourself some cologne.  It doesn't really matter what it smells like.  College girls don't know the difference between expensive and cheap cologne.  As long as it doesn't smell like Sex Panther or poo, you'll be fine.  I personally use Romance Silver by Ralph Lauren mainly because I like the name.  If you can't afford cologne, just make sure you don't smell bad (read: poo).

Step 1.2:  Minimize Creepiness

It's really all about the confidence.  Give compliments like you mean them, even if you don't (but I suggest sticking to compliments you mean, otherwise she's going to keep doing her hair in that weird way and you'll be stuck with it forever).  Smile.  Hold eye contact.  Turn towards them when you're talking to them.  Keep your posture.  Constantly remind yourself to not glance at their boobs while they're looking at you.  Your goal is to communicate that you are interested in them without directly saying it.  Take it easy, though.  You're after the phone number.  Don't go all-out right away.  Your goal is relatively minor compared to what you're up against in the near future.  

Step 1.3:  Asking for the Phone Number

Again, this goes back to personal style.  It's an awkward situation for both of you.  Remember that.  She feels weird and so do you.  

I don't try to cover up the fact that it's awkward.  My normal phrase goes something like this, "So hey, do you think I could get your phone number?  Maybe call you up sometime and we can go do something?"  It fits the awkward mood, but it gets the job done.

If she asks any further questions, like what we would go do, that's when I let them know I'm a little nervous.  I say something to the effect of, "You know, I haven't really thought this through beyond this point."  They normally laugh a little, then give me the phone number.

As long as she doesn't straight-up make fun of you, consider it a success if she gives it to you.

Know how your phone works and know how to enter numbers into it.  Standing and waiting for 5 minutes while a guy figures out how to work his phone has to suck.  It especially sucks if you have a smart phone that's out to get you.

Sometimes they say no.  Unless you strongly think she's playing some sort of game or somehow gives you the idea that pushing it is a good idea (I warn against dating this type of girl - they're usually the ones that are into some freaky stuff.  Not the good kind of freaky.  The painful kind), I highly suggest that you take "no" for an answer.  Don't try and convince a girl to like you.  Bad idea.  Bad, bad idea.  This leads to further humiliation until eventually you have no dignity left and you are downright begging her to go out with you.  A crowd will gather and stare as tears start to form in your eyes and they'll start pointing and laughing and taking videos on their phones to put up on YouTube later.  Trust me.  You don't want that.  Truuuuust me.

Absorb the hit and walk away.  At this point, we're in "damage control mode."  Let it bruise your ego a little.  There's, unfortunately, no better way to handle the situation (from what I've found).  The longer you stand and try to insist that she go out with you, the higher your creepy score goes up and the more likely she is to spread around that you're psycho.

Don't say anything beyond a quick, "Oh, ok." or "no worries" and then get the hell out of there.  There's no reason to stick around and chat.  Your mission has failed.  Go home, play a videogame for a while, call up JJ and complain about how dumb girls are for a bit, watch 500 Days of Summer.  Do whatever makes you feel better.  Don't let it devastate you.  Remind yourself that you still like girls.

Step 1.x:  Things for Girls to Remember

If you're a girl and you're reading this, keep a few things in mind.  

The guy asking for your number has been stressing about that moment for days, weeks, or maybe months.  He's practiced in the mirror, asked his friends about it, read awesome blogs about it, and most of what he is saying is pre-rehearsed.  That doesn't mean he doesn't mean what he's saying.  If anything, it means that he REALLY means what he's saying because it's all been carefully crafted.  It isn't creepy.  It's flattering.

You have the choice to say yes or no.  You don't have to say yes to every guy that asks you (although I understand that it's really hard to say no).  If you are genuinely not interested in him, then don't say yes.  Anytime a girl tells me, "I'd go on at least one date with any guy" I cross them off my list.  You're wasting a guy's time and getting his hopes up.  This isn't high school anymore.  This is the big league.  The guy is asking you out because he is interested in you.  Don't say yes just to be nice.  Say yes because you're interested in getting to know them.

If you say yes and are excited, let him know that.  Tell him that you're excited or looking forward to it or something.  Let him know that you're not just being nice.

If you say no, don't say something like, "let's just be friends" or anything like that.  There's a reason guys yell at movie screens and throw popcorn at it and call the woman a whore when she says that.  It's condescending and the guy feels foolish every time he's around you from then on.  Tell the truth.  "I'm sorry.  I'm not interested in you like that."  It's not mean.  You haven't insulted him.  He'll be fine.  Don't try and soften the blow because that weakens your no and gives him motivation to keep trying.  You want him to get the message.

If you don't let him know directly, he'll keep coming back for more.  Don't tell him that you're too busy to date or that you're not dating right now or that you just got out of a nasty relationship or whatever.  He'll see you a week later with a different guy and then he'll spread nasty rumors about you and basically everyone will be on his side.  Just be honest, say no, and do it in a way that any decent human being would do it.

If you'd like to get to know him but not on a romantic level, tell him that you're not looking for a relationship with him.  Be honest.  That's the biggest thing.

It's late, I'm tired, and my sleep drugs are slowing down my thoughts and my ability to type correctly.  I'll finish this later.

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