Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday 13: Tips for Guys

[This is actually a post I wrote a while back, but never actually published. And no, Cute Neighbor still hasn't officially made a date with me. Bummer, I know. But let's not dwell, ok?]

Lots of dating/relationship posts popping up these days. I thought I'd put together a handy-dandy list of my own. And yes, of course, all of this is open for debate. Obviously, I cannot claim to be an expert on dating or male/female relationships at all. Exhibit A: my currently abysmal dating life.

Ok, here we go. Uh-oh, I feel a new series of posts coming on....

13 Dating Tips for Guys: Getting the Digits

1. Alright, so you like a girl. Now, before you run around town, wasting her time and yours, let's stop and think about whether or not it would be a good idea to ask her out in the first place. If you are dating someone else, you obviously need to deal with that first. Assuming you're all clear in that department, please, keep reading. Have you heard anything about Crush Girl? What do you already know? Do her friends seem normal? Have you seen any potential red flags (for example, an annoying laugh, a bad habit, obsessive tendencies, a bad temper, an affinity for talking about her ex)? Does she have an actual brain in her head, or do you really just want to bang her? Have all your conversations with her been in the presence of who-knows-how-much alcohol? Hmmm. Perhaps it's good to stop and consider these sorts of things. You might want to change your strategy from "dinner date" to "booty call". Which is totally fine, if that's what she wants, too. But that's a different post. Let's assume you want to take this girl out to dinner. If you don't know jack squat about her, other than she seems great, you need to do some work. Talk to her! What are you waiting for? Her new boyfriend to show up? Go!!

2. Continuing on with the "Is this even a good idea?" thing: proceed with caution under more specific circumstances. Examples of things to consider include: Do you work together? Has she ever dated one of your friends? Is she a friend of your sister's? Is she a friend of your ex-girlfriend's? Is she a neighbor? Is she your boss? Is she of legal age?Is she currently going through a personal crisis, such as divorce, a death in the family, a chemical addiction or major surgery? Is she famous/a local celebrity? I'm not saying it's a bad idea to ask her out if one of these applies (well, unless she's underage, in which case, you're a big perv). I'm just saying, tread carefully, and don't take it personally if you get shot down. If these women were traffic signals, they would be orange cones or flashing yellows.

You're still interested in asking her out? Ok, great. Let's get down to business.

3. Let's start with times/places where it is appropriate to ask a woman for her number. Good places include: parties, bars, Starbuck's, bookstores, Blockbuster, Target, parks, waiting rooms, waiting in line, and maybe even the gym (unless you are really stinky and sweaty!). Bad places include: funerals, work, a corner you've literally backed her into, beauty salons, closing time at the bar, baby showers (why would you even be at a baby shower in the first place??), anywhere where large numbers of people could possibly hear her rejecting you or in front of your Mom. In short, catch her when she's relaxed, sociable and happy. Don't interrupt Girl Time, her presentation to the Boss's Boss or put yourself at risk of job loss/major humiliation. She shouldn't feel there is any pressure. Are we all clear on the boundaries involved in when/where to ask her out? If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. I'm sure there are situations I haven't covered.

4. Is there any way to know ahead of time if she will say yes, thereby avoiding rejection? In a word, no. Unless you can read her mind. I'm sorry to tell you that. But you see, the very FIRST thing you must learn to understand about women is that EVERY WOMAN IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT. If there is one thing I wish men knew, it's that. So memorize it, write it on the back of your hand, tattoo it on your forehead if you want. I hate to break it to you, guys. But sometimes, you just gotta cross your fingers.

I could tell you signs that I give when I'm hoping a guy is going to ask for my digits (I will make perverted jokes, pull my hair off my neck, ask lots of questions, laugh at his jokes, avoid talking about ANY other guys and probably stare entirely too much), but that is ME. And unless you are wanting to ask me out, you just wasted 20 seconds reading that last sentence. So while I cannot tell you IF she will say yes, I can tell you that your chances will be better if you do the following:

5. You wait until the right opportunity: Women do like a guy who makes himself useful. Did she drop something? Does she need a light? Is she having a hard time hailing a cab? Is there some creepy drunk guy annoying her? -- these sorts of things are perfect conversation starters. Plus, as an added bonus, you can see if she's grateful/polite to strangers. Anyway, let's assume you've passed the hurdle of the initial small talk. It's going well if you have been chatting for a while and you are alone (remember, you don't want to be rejected in front of her friends!). If she is interested, she will be trying to get you alone anyway. It is key that you wait for a while, listening and talking to her, before you ask her out so that you don't come off as the guy who is only trying to get in her pants. Don't be the guy who asks out anything that breathes. We pick up on those guys pretty quickly, and it's really insulting, and makes you seem desperate. Wait until she realizes you like her personality and brains, too. If she's still talking to you after 30 minutes, you're probably golden. 5 minutes? need to chat her up some more.

6. You avoid cheesiness in your approach: No pickup lines, please. Ever. Seriously, those things should be illegal. If you're in a bar, and you are checking a girl out, try and introduce yourself. What a concept, I know. Try, "Hi. I'm John. You look like you need a drink/laugh/pretend boyfriend. May I be of service?" And go from there. It helps if you have something witty to say. Everyone likes a good laugh. It breaks the ice. Don't panic if something terrible happens. As awful as it sounds, one guy successfully got my digits after he spilled a drink ALL OVER ME. But he said something funny, and bought me a diet coke. So don't worry if you do something klutzy. It can be endearing, and not all is lost. But funny is better. If you're not amazingly witty, try giving her a compliment. Girls never EVER get tired of being told they are beautiful or smart or interesting. You can try and be funny later. DO NOT comment/compliment on ANY sexually related physical attributes or you will make her feel like a piece of meat. I don't care if she's half naked. Don't make any comments about her boobs, ass, belly chain or legs. Good things to compliment include: her perfume, her eyes, her laugh, her smile, her amazing knowledge of the War of 1812. Don't compliment her shoes or bag unless you want her to wonder if you're gay. And also, do not touch her, unless invited to, or if she touches you first. Just because we are dressed like hookers, doesn't mean we want to be treated as such. I realize this makes no sense. Deal.

7. You come off as a nice guy: That means, you aren't dressed in raggedy clothes, you don't smell like motor oil, you are relatively sober, you are polite and you are in a good mood. If you are grungy or drunk or pissed off at all, do not ask her out. Just go home, please. Please do not be the Bragger, who brags about himself, hoping to impress the girl. Ugh. We all hate those guys who make a point of telling the girl about his BMW. Well, maybe some girls like it. Gold diggers, probably. Please do not be Pressure Man, who thinks he can talk his way into a date. You're not pitching a sale. No means no, motherfucker. Trying to change her mind will only annoy her. Just leave. Please do not be Anti-Women Man. If you're still reeling from your most recent breakup, please do not advertise this by littering your conversation with anti-women, anti-feminism comments. Newsflash: We don't like that. (You'd be amazed to know how many guys think we will be excited to go out with them after hearing about what a "cheating, lying bitch" their ex was.)

8. You come off as a normal guy: You are not dressed like Darth Vader (unless it's Halloween, in which case, by all means, use that 'Dark Side' line because it works every time), you do not start every conversation with, "My mom always said...", you do not tell stories about kicking dogs. (Oh yes, I am speaking from experience!) Is it too much to ask that you keep your dryer lint collection to yourself for a while? Remember: women are analytical by nature. We loooove to pick men apart. Trust me, you don't want to fuel this fire. Stash your issues, obsessions and medications at home. It's always better to be boring and normal than weird. Trust me.

9. You come off as yourself: being a little nervous is cute (I know guys hate that word, but really, it's a good thing). Being fake is not. Most girls will see right through that stuff. Don't beat yourself up about your faults/receding hairline/inability to spell. But do realize that girls like confident guys. If you don't like yourself, we will be on to you. So don't ask us out unless you like yourself. Take a deep breath, realize women are not perfect either and know that she's either going to say yes or she's not. Don't think you can talk her out of it. (See "Pressure Man", above.)

In general, your goal should be this: Polite, Confident and Funny. THAT is the ideal approach, in a nutshell. Few women are going to say they would not like that guy.

10. Signs you need to abort mission: she is ignoring you, whispering to her girlfriends in front of you, suddenly has to go to the bathroom, refers to her "boyfriend", flirts with your wingman and isn't doing lots of smiling/laughing/touching around you. You can't seem to get her into a one-on-one conversation. Also, she hasn't made eye contact with you at all. These are classic signs that if you ask, she will say no. Maybe even hell no. Best to pack up, and move on to someone more worthy. Try your best not to be The Guy Who Needs A Clue.

11. Ok, let's say everything is going swimmingly. She's laughing at your jokes, touching your arm and winking. You are thinking of getting her digits. Thinking some more. Weighing the pros/cons.....oh, shit. She just left. You totally missed your chance. Next time: Just. Go. For. It. Most single girls I know (*crickets chirp*) -- ok, there aren't many single girls left here in Columbia. But really, most single girls I've talked to are still old-fashioned enough to want the guy to make the first move. And we would LOVE to be asked out. Some more than others. Because some of us haven't been on a date in 8 months. *ahem* And since women give well over 100 signs when flirting with men, contrasted with men's 4, she's probably already interested and you just don't know it. She probably already knows you're interested, too. It's not like we are clueless, trust me. Guys are pretty easy to figure out. But she's not going to wait around all night, flirting like mad and getting no response. Hot Girls have things to do and people to see. We don't make total idiots out of ourselves until much later.

12. If you have missed your chance at getting the digits, and she's gone, what do you do? Use your resources. You know she likes the bar/store/street where you just talked to her. Maybe she will be back there next weekend. Did she tell you where she works? Lives? Her last name? Now, I'm not advocating stalking, because TRUST ME, that will never work. But they do make these things called "phone books", and some girls still have their numbers in there. And if you just happen to be at that little deli near where she works around lunchtime, I betcha you might run into her. If she mentioned a hobby or a pet, go to places where those sorts of people go. But above all, learn your lesson: Strike While the Iron is Hot. Good things come to those who go for it. The ballsy guy gets the girl. (Oh, that was awful. I'll stop now.)

Wait, wait wait. What do you mean, "that's too much work"? Ahhhh....then you must not have really wanted to get those digits in the first place. Am I right??? So go find her! Just say something along the lines of, "Hi. I'm John from the other night. I really meant to ask for your number, but I wussed out because I'm an idiot. So can I have it now? I'd really like to take you out to dinner." -- This will probably work. We like it when you acknowledge your stupidity. Plus, she will be flattered that you tracked her down. Unless you are knocking on her kitchen window when you do this. In which case, you've crossed the Stalker Threshold, and have totally missed the point of this post.

13. Ok, so you've got the digits! Score! Do you call right away? Do you wait 3 days? 5 days? A week? Like I said, EVERY WOMAN IS DIFFERENT. A good rule of thumb is this: the less she knows you, the sooner you should call. Have you been working with her for months? Wait a few days. Did you talk to her for 10 minutes at a bar? Call a little sooner. Don't be the guy who waits so long that she's forgotten who the hell you are. At the same time, you want to show you aren't desperate and that you have a life. (Refer to the infamous scene in Swingers if you don't know what I mean.) I know, it's hard. But I will tell you that waiting as long as possible will drive her crazy. That's a good thing, in this case. Also, if you get her digits on a Saturday, she's probably giving you until about the following Wednesday to call. Does that give you a good rule of thumb? Wait too much longer, and she will convince herself that you are a jerk and/or you aren't really that into her.

This also might be a good time to stop and think about what kind of a girl she is. If she's more laid-back, not Southern and a sort of "go with the flow" kind of girl, you can call whenever the hell you want.

But if she's like me, you should wait at least 48 hours.

Then again, every woman is different.....

Next installment: How to Plan & Execute Date #1


♥M said...

This is a post that every man MUST read! Thank you, darling, for pointing these things out!

♥ M

Matilda Jane said...

I got stuck on #4, then I'll come back... but I must say that you may WISH you give off all those great signs of interest to guys you like.... but you're really much more of a jibbering shy gal. How do I know? when I actually like someone, I'm the same way.

Matilda Jane said...

Ha! I love how it ends: Even though you might not have a chance in hell with most girls out there, here are the ways you can ask ME out.

You leave no guarantees that these tactics will impress anyone... even you. good call!

No matter how many times I hear otherwise: all guys are different, too. If they're interested, they'll let you know, and won't let you go.

coffeesnob said...

thoughtful. helpful (your intention in compiling this list). but too prescriptive/bossy.

although #6 (no lines, please) can't be said often enough.

The Dummy said...

Hey VB - this is something that should probably be posted on sites like - you'll be doing a lot of guys a favor if they only knew this stuff!

Phantom Hater said...

Let's sum up this post in one sentence:

"...then again, every woman is different....."

There's no reason to look for signs like tossing the hair, batting her eyes, etc. If a girl really likes you, she's a little nervous and probably over-smiley and touchy-feely. Unless you're scary-looking, in which case she is nervous for a different reason.

Good post, though. At least now all your readers know how to ask you out. CN, are you reading?

Fluffycat said...

VB - you are awesome! Keep up the good work with this, and maybe some of the men will catch on. I really like the thing about them figuring out what they want first...

RWA said...

"Does she have an actual brain in her head, or do you really just want to bang her?"

"...well, unless she's underage, in which case, you're a big perv..."

"No means no, motherfucker."

That's an outstanding list. Well done. Have you ever considered writing a self-help/how-to book?

Virginia Belle said...

m -- how do you make that little heart thingie before the "m"? i don't have a heart button on my keyboard...oh. and thanks for the compliment!

MJ -- yeah, inside my head, i'm WAY more confident and flirty than i am in reality. i'm actually still at the shyness level i was when i was 3 and clinging to my mom's dress. :p tee hee. dang, you sure are calling me out on this post. and i'm going to have to disagree w/you. i think the vast majority of men are all the same. their priorities include: sex, sports, boobs, beer, doing well at work, being able to quote movies, proving how tough they are and their penises.

coffeesnob -- newsflash: i AM bossy. you're just now figuring that out?? LOL

dummy -- thanks! yeah, i was worried it was too long....but apparently, people are reading it.

PH -- thank you. your reading comprehension skills impress me. but i don't think i'm the only girl this post applies to.

fluffycat -- you're welcome. yes, i wish more men realized we are all unique. :)

rwa -- thank you. no, i haven't. as if the above comments are not evidence enough for why i need to avoid writing such a book, my methods have yet to be proven. so far, everything i do blows up in my face. maybe if i ever have a successful, healthy and long term relationship.....ask me then!

Matilda Jane said...

I'm going have to insert a rebuttal.

If all guys were the same, they would all go for the same kind of girl. You will get a guy that loves quirky, silly girls... and a guy that finds them annoying. You are who you are, and certainly should not act like a hair-flipping mannequin to get a guy's attention if he's not going to be interested no matter what you do.

I read an article lately that says it takes guys 30 second to figure out if he's attracted to a girl. It takes a girl 90 seconds. Why? because guys are, and will always be, creatures of sight.... and you just might not be what they're looking for.

Matilda Jane said...

I don't mean YOU and ALL GUYS... my last sentence sounds horrible! Let me rephrase: a certain girl just might not be what a certain guy is looking for.... er, something.

FRIGGA said...

I should print this out and just hand it to every guy who approaches me... ug, then I'll probably scare away the nice ones too - good post though! :P

Phantom Hater said...

Yeah, MJ, way to put the foot in the mouth with that one. As if VB doesn't already have a complex. :)

I think women are just as visual-oriented when it comes to initial attraction as men. I agree that you can pretty much decide instantly if you are attracted to someone or not, but that doesn't necessarily mean you will always act on it, and it doesn't mean that you won't have an attraction build over time. Stop reading Cosmo for advice. :)

Virginia Belle said...

LOL! you guys crack me up.

MJ, guys are attracted to certain types just as girls are. I'm referring to how we think vs. how men think. men are pretty simple to figure out. women? not so much.

am i generalizing? of course.

but is it generally true? i think so.

perhaps we have miscommunicated?

Matilda Jane said...

perhaps... but perhaps I just enjoy picking fights :-)

Stuck said...

I didn't get past the first sentence of this post, because you used the word "actually" twice.


Phantom Hater said...

I use the word "actually" a lot myself, actually. I've actually had to edit it out of a couple posts.

Virginia Belle said...

actually, stuckey, you can bite me.

*sticks out tongue*

Kraig said...

"i think the vast majority of men are all the same. their priorities include: sex, sports, boobs, beer, doing well at work, being able to quote movies, proving how tough they are and their penises."

-That part made me laugh. the movie part is awesome.

This is quite an amusing post. Its a lot of good advice. It doesn't always work, but its better than the approach most guys use.

I am maliciously tempted to prove the exact opposite approach can work too, minus the under age part. No perviness for me

If you get a change, It would be cool to get your opinion on this:

And yes. Guys are visually oriented. I'll admit if you catch my eye because you look good. I'm much more likely to want to get to know you. Its horribly shallow, but its naturally instinctive.

Virginia Belle said...

kraig -- i really appreciate your honesty! i'm always interested in rebuttals and alternate views on this stuff. i am by no means an expert on dating or the opposite sex. actually, just thinking that is laughable to me. i suck at dating. perhaps these posts are more just wishful thinking?? i will look at the link.

KingBob said...

Disagreeing with one part of #6, I am not gay and yet I always compliment women on their outfit, shoes and/or hair style. I've never been rebuffed by that kind of compliment. Women spend a lot of time on those 3 things and a guy actually noticing and saying something should earn points.

Kraig said...

These posts are incredibly interesting. Obviously they don't apply to all girls. Some are more "womans lib", some are more "tom boyish", and some are more high maintenance. so its different for each girl. But in general, its good advice that you really can't go wrong with.

It would be interesting to write this from a guys perspective. Its a lot shorter, but there are the things that girls could do better.

Its also fun to get to see into your mind. If you ever date one of your readers he'll already be trained :)