So in Part One I gave a little advice to the ladies. Now, guys. Like I said, I’ve been on the receiving end of some seriously ridiculous and seriously great efforts in this area. The successful and encouraging efforts have had a few things in common. With that in mind:
1. Treat your female friends as sisters. Some dudes have a needlessly hard time figuring out what that means, but it’s actually really simple: you do not make out with your sister, but you do treat her with respect and kindness. Have a few common-sense boundaries, but don’t go overboard with a list of hyper-obsessive rules. For example: if you’re driving home and you see a friend walking home in the rain, DO pick her up and drive her wherever she’s going. That’s good manners. On the other hand, DON’T pour on the flirtation and charm with your female friends, or try to fulfill all your relational needs through them. That’s weird. You can be friends with women, but only if you actually treat them like friends and not like a mommy-girlfriend-nursemaid hybrid.
2. If you like a girl, ask her on a date, playa. Go on. You don’t need much more info to decide do this beyond, “Is she interesting?” If the answer to that question is, “Yes!” ask her out. Either talk in person the next time you know you’re going to see her, or call her up. Have a SHORT intro and execution ready, something like, “Hey. How’s it going? Great, thanks. So the reason I called is that I wanted to ask you a question. I’d like to know if you’d go on a date with me.” And then shut up (harder than you might think) and wait for her response. You don’t need to tell her all the reasons you’re asking her out. Irrelevant.
3. Have a plan for an affirmative answer. No, a plan besides going into the kitchen and high-fiving all your roommates. Like, be ready with a couple of suggestions for free afternoons or evenings. Dinner is traditional but coffee is more low-key, especially if you don’t know her well or haven’t known her long. A weeknight is better for a first date because there’s less pressure (and a time limit). Don’t do something upscale or expensive but go beyond fast food or counter service unless it’s a really unique or interesting place. Don’t go to the place all your friends go unless you are a HUGE fan of awkwardness. Map the date out in your mind but don’t get bogged down with some grand scheme. It’s just a date.
4. Have a plan for a negative answer, too. She said no thanks? Keep it cheerful, thank her for her time, and let her go. For the love of your manly dignity, don’t ask her to tell you why. Be an adult. Don’t sulk. The next time you see her, treat her like that conversation never happened. And remember, attraction is a complicated thing, bro, so I want you to read me loud and clear here: it is not personal, it is not a “rejection,” and you are not thirteen. Get over it and move on to the next girl.
5. Extend grace. If you read my last post, you’ll know that guys do not have the corner or the market when it comes to screwups in the dating world. If she gives you a big long speech or blames Jesus or lists 800 reasons why you’re such a good guy but she still can’t date you, please, just let it go. Don’t let it make you bitter. Remember that we’re human too.