Hump Day Crush: Taking a Leap

Things are busy here in Between Christmas and today, I’ve already fallen into three or four new crushes.

And of those three or four, I’ve already taken the chance and pushed one or two of them ahead to the “trying to get to know her better” stage. That, of course, brings the whole process closer to the “attempting to date” arena, the point of “new friend” (where the crush transforms into that all-important lasting platonic relationship) or on to “no, really, she’s really not that awesome, we’ll just go our separate ways” land.

Those are really the three places every crush should head. While I personally prefer to acquire new friends over dating and meeting people who will just fall out of my life, I’m really game for any of those outcomes at the beginning.

The problem is, you can’t get to any of those places without taking a bit of a chance.

Taking that chance always involves a leap into the uncomfortable, it always involves the possibility of failure and it always involves what, on the surface, seems quite simple: just talking to her.

I’ve never been particularly good at that.

My nerves often get the best of me, my throat closes up, my tongue goes numb and my brain just freezes. More than once over the years, I’ve been able to do little more than squeak out a weak “hi” when face-to-face with the object of my irrational affection.

Looking back, the only times I used to do well with talking to women was when I did it accidentally or when I was in a totally self-destructive mood and didn’t care about the risk. More recently, I’ve tried to harness old lessons to ease the anxiety without being oblivious or seeking my own annihilation.

The trick, for me, is to be honest in my goals. All I really want is for that potential friendship to become something real. Any romance that may occur would be an extra added bonus. I’m not preoccupied by “gettin’ some” or any other typical male motives. Without those in the way, the blow to the ego from a rejection is a little bit less.

Why? Because first, I’m not putting myself on the line. A rejection of a non-sexual nature doesn’t assail any of the basic, animalistic desires that drive us all. Second, it allows me a psychological “out”–I can simply say “Well, she just misinterpreted what I was trying to do… she just thought I was another guy hitting on her.” That places any blame on the communication process and not either person, letting it be looked at much more objectively. And third, well, I fully realize that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t get another date or another friend. One and/or he other would be nice, but only if the other person is in to that idea, too.

With little to lose and everything to gain, I get an extra little boost that helps me overcome the innate random anxiety of taking that chance. The rest of that push comes from sheer force of will and knowing, from years of experience, that no matter what, the interaction to come has to be better than other interactions I’ve had.

The worst thing that usually happens is the attempt to strike up a conversation or to get to know her better gets read as a standard pick-up line or an attempt to bed her. It’s a bit difficult to not be read that way with every other guy she meets having those goals. A little persistence and a lot of honesty of intent can go a long way, though.

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