Monday, June 8, 2009

022. Dear Boys and Girls...

I am one of you. I am your friend. I come in peace to give you loyal counsel on a particular matter which so many of us have need of advisement. It is the matter of your questionable flirtation methods. Please do not be offended. I understand this is a sensitive issue. But if you don't know why the men or women you admire appear uninterested, irresponsive, or anti-responsive to your attentions, please review the following list of no-no's and see if your tactics need revision.

Scheme 1: Password Please?

If you're one who likes to intentionally prevent a girl from walking past you by blocking her way with your body, and perhaps in a teasing sort of way ask her for a password, please re-think this. At best, you're showing yourself to be childish; at worst you're an ass. It is not funny, or cute, or productive in getting to know a person. Particularly, if the girl indicates by her pace and focus whether she is in a hurry or has a task to complete, better leave her be. Choose a moment when she is leisurely to seek her out. If you try to compete with her time, you will lose. And leave your password-asking for the second graders on the playground.

Scheme 2: Smile!

Permanently remove these phrases from your flirty repertoire: "Smile, beautiful! It's not so bad!" "Hey, long!" These and any other variations which include the direction to smile should be obliterated from existence. I know you mean well. But most of the time, it just comes off as bossy and/or dismissive. So leave it.

Scheme 3: The Guessing Game

Don't make us guess at anything - your age, your profession, number of brothers and sisters, what your favorite color is, ETC. Just tell us.

Scheme 4: The I'm-Just-Kidding Verbal Backslap

I don't know how this became a trend, but guilting someone for not calling you, in a so-called "flirty" way, ie. "Hey, thanks for not returning my call the other night, loser! hahahaha!" Not okay. This does not make anyone want to call you ever again. This goes for "Fine, don't say hi to me," and so on. If you insist that you're just playing around, then I hope you like playing by yourself.

Scheme 5: Take A Bite

Please don't hand/spoon/fork feed us food. The only person who enjoys this is you. Maybe after you're in a relationship and you know each other more intimately, you can add this back in. But for now, play it safe and leave it out. It's creepy.

Scheme 6: I Am Funny. Really.

Don't tell us you've got a stand-up routine. Only persons who make an actual living doing stand-up are allowed to say they have a stand-up routine.

Scheme 7: Surprise Shoulder Rub

If you've been on less than three dates, avoid massaging his or her shoulders unless he or she specifically requests it. I know you want to touch him. Touch his forearm. Shoulders are off-limits.

Scheme 8: Premature Terms of Endearment

If you don't know her first name, don't call her honey. If you know her first name but not her last, don't call her honey. If you know her full name but she doesn't know yours, don't call her honey. Honey is for couples. You are not a couple, you take the same train. No honey for you.

Scheme 9: I Had the Craziest Dream About You

Maybe in your mind you think this sentence will intrigue that boy in your office you've been trying to talk to. This has crazy written all over it. Three months into your exclusive relationship you can start talking dreams.

Scheme 10: Brute Force

Please refrain from throwing us into swimming pools, pushing us into walls playfully, holding our arms down, making us arm wrestle with you. This is just lame, people. We aren't in the market for a doofus big brother; most folks aren't turned on by feeling weak or humiliated.

These are just a few. If you know of a big one I left out, please add it in a comment. I've given you 10 Dont's. Here are three Do's:

  • Do everything you can to make him or her feel confident and comfortable; that is Priority One
  • Stop to look and listen for any cues he or she is giving you, and let that inform your next move
  • Be patient and confident; make sure to smile and keep it in the friend zone until you've gotten to know each other better


Mary said...

I'm sorry if this sounded bossy. I wrote this mostly out of exasperation. I am, by no means, perfect in how I flirt either.

stacer said...

But it's so true. I can't STAND people who insist that I smile. I am just not a smiley person on some days, and that's okay--and anyone who tells me differently might get slugged if they insist upon it. Probably not the intended response.

Most of the other ones are ones I thought we left behind in junior high. They're just creepy. Though if said right (and not to someone you like, but to a friend), the dream thing might be okay. But not the way you have it phrased here.

Mary said...

Sadly, Stace, these are all things which have happened to me or someone I know while in adulthood. Some folks take junior high around with them always I guess.

ju said...

How about not posing a la 1980's music video when you see your blind date walking up to meet you?

LOVE this list, and sadly I could picture each of the different guys who has committed these offenses against me in the not so distant past. Sigh. I'm not perfect either, but I'd like to think I've learned a thing or two since age 15.

Danika said...

How about not calling you to repentance for "gossiping" when you were trying to make conversation about a mutual friend? Or sucking on your fingers (is that supposed to be sexy? Or was I the victim of a fetish?). Perhaps it's best to tone down the remarks about one's physical appearance in the beginning, even if it IS a meat market! Just my two cents.

Harold said...

read your blog and holy crap, realized I've committed a few infractions here. I feel i'm now on the road to repentance, taken a few notes and should back to standard flirting styles in no time.