Wednesday, November 01, 2006

When a Guy Smiles at You

OK, I'll admit it: the online personals pool is starting to run dry, and craigslist seems too overrun with creeps to be worth my time. But how else is a girl supposed to meet a guy? I work with all women, and I just don't seem to be introduced to cute, interesting, single, straight guys all that often. (As in, ever.)

It's true that, on occasion, a cute guy will smile at me in a public setting. But does anyone meet for real through chance encounters? Because I think I'm doing them wrong.

Earlier this summer, I was at a stoplight when in the car to the left of me I spotted a cute guy. Now, I certainly didn't imagine I would meet him, I was just enjoying looking at him and reminding myself that such a creature existed. But then he caught me looking at him, so I smiled. And then he smiled back. And then I looked away, but peeked back and saw that he was still staring at me. And so I looked away some more. And then he switched out of his left turn lane and into mine and proceeded to FOLLOW ME IN HIS CAR. For miles. No matter what I did, until I actually went and got on the highway (which was not where I was going, btw, just hoped he wouldn't follow me there).

This made me considerably less apt to smile at random cute guys.

Then, a week later, it happened again. I was at the local grocery store/strip mall, just running errands, and a security guard smiled at me. I only half-smiled back, because lord knows I'm not stupid. But he started following me, too! I ducked into the bookstore and browsed the magazines for five minutes and peeked outside, and he was still standing there, right outside, leaning up against a pole waiting for me. It took another ten minutes before he moved on and I dashed to my car, errands be damned.

Now, I don't want to play the hapless victim here -- I'm well trained in boundary setting and self-defense and I can handle myself if it comes down to that. But seriously -- I'd rather not, y'know? Is there some sign I'm missing here? Because generally, if a woman smiles at you like she likes you, and you've never met before, she doesn't then stalk you. On foot or in a car. Maybe that's because it's highly likely that you know people in common even if you've never met. Maybe it's socialization. Whatever it is, it sure does make it easier to meet cute girls.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To answer your question, yes you are doing casual encounters wrong. Casual encounters begin with locking eyes and smiling. But for a causal encounter to work you HAVE to be confident enough to not run from every opportunity you create. You had 2 perfectly good opportunities to meet men, and you blew it. Here is the deal: By making eye contact and smiling, your body language is telling these men that you are interested. You may not even know that you are sending off these signals.. Body language speaks louder then words. You told these men that you would like to get to know them (but are too shy to strike up a conversation). They saw an opportunity and reacted accordingly. Why are you so afraid of talking to these guys? You lock eyes with the security guard and smile back, but then run into the magazine store when you see that he is interested... He just wanted to strike up a conversation - he waited outside the store to give you space.. maybe he wanted to 'causally' catch you when you leave the store.. (it may seem creepy but this guy genuinely thought you were interested - and guys can be just as awkward as girls when it comes to meeting someone new) And the guy in the car.. believe it or not you made the first move. Its not everyday that a guy has an attractive women stare and smile several times. He was intrigued and wanted to get to know you. How else is he going to get to know a women in the next lane if she is driving away? Maybe hint for her to pull over by following behind. You said yourself that you found him attractive. He told you with his tagging along that he is interested.. so why not stop the cat and mouse.. pull into a near by parking lot and TALK to him! What are you afraid of? You will never meet anyone if you run from every guy that shows interest - instead you will believe that men are creepy stalkers and will continue to make reasons to stay inside your house and 'meet' someone on your computer screen. Where is the adventure in that?

P.S . If you do not want to be bothered with men trying to talk to you - such as a casual encounter than do not encourage men to pursue you. Do not smile back, do not make eye contact, avoid staring at attractive men.. because god forbid they try to talk to you.

Good luck!