Sanding our assholes with 150 grit. Slowly. Lovingly.

Met a girl, screwed up, want your opinions

OK, so I botched a recent rare encounter. I've talked with my close friends about it, but they're too much like me to really offer an alternative perspective. Then I thought, "Hey, the friendly lunatics on COT might have something interesting to say." So here it is. FYI, I've been lurking on COT since it was ?off but only pipe up occasionally under a different alias.

I'm the organizer of a local meetup group. ( http://www.meetup.com/ ) The group meets a couple times a month just to socialize. Two meetups ago, there was a new girl with whom I hit it off. I spent most of the time talking to her. Then, like an idiot, I let her leave without getting her number.

You see, there are several different attendance patterns at these meetups. Some people come every time (as I do). Some come just occasionally, when they think of it and have the time. Other come once, seem to have a good time, and then are never seen again. I'm afraid this particular girl will fall into the last category. She didn't show up to the next meetup and isn't even registered for free on the web site like most attendees, so my experience tells me she most likely won't be back--or maybe won't be back for months.

For those on COT who see a lot more action than I do, this might not seem to be a big deal. My love life, however, is a barren wasteland, and I have very few opportunities. Meeting an attractive girl and hitting it off with her is a once-every-ten-year event for me for various reasons. (I'm 34, BTW.) Part of me wants to try to salvage the situation, but at the same time I fear I may just torpedo it and make a fool of myself in the process.

My only solid lead for finding this girl comes from her mention of taking French courses twice a week in the evenings at a local school. I've looked at the school's web site and can see when the classes are. I'm tossing around the idea of hanging around hallways at the school around the time the classes get out so I can bump into her again and get her number. This plan, of course, has a stalker feel to it, and I doubt I can plausibly make it appear that I'm not just there to find her.

The only other thing I can do is just wait and pray that she shows up at another meetup before she's completely taken. (She's very pretty and sweet. I'm sure she has plenty of opportunities. I made another mistake, however, by not inquiring directly about her status. My impression from our conversation, however, was that she's single.)

So what do you think? Should I do a little minor stalking in a last-ditch effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, or should I just play it cool, bide my time, and not make the same mistakes again?
Permalink Dunderhead 
April 18th, 2007 12:11am
Don't do anything weird.  If she wants to see you again, she'll come to the next meetup. 

She knows you're the organizer right?
Permalink possibly maybe 
April 18th, 2007 12:30am
Take the class but don't write any one act plays that involve her, her pedophile step-mom or portable guillotines. S'il vous plait.
Permalink Rabbi Yoda 
April 18th, 2007 12:32am
go for the stalking.  I had to hang around a busstop for 1 1/2 weeks every morning before I 'accidentally' meet Ms ZestyZucchini for the second time and got a chance to ask her out.


sometimes you just gotta follow em home.
Permalink zestyZucchini 
April 18th, 2007 12:35am
"I had to hang around a busstop for 1 1/2 weeks every morning before I 'accidentally' meet Ms ZestyZucchini for the second time and got a chance to ask her out."

On the other hand, look how that worked out for Mrs Zz...
Permalink Send private email Philo 
April 18th, 2007 12:37am
hey, she is (was) a grown woman, shes made her bed and now she has to lie in it.* 





* with me. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
Permalink zestyZucchini 
April 18th, 2007 12:39am
Do NOT go to her French class. She'll definitely feel you're stalking her.

You can't have so much riding on this one girl you talked to for an hour once. You need to get out and meet other people and then you won't be thinking in this obsession oriented way that freaks girls out.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 1:21am
Oh and bone up on your skills of asking for numbers cause that would have avoided all this.

"Hey, I enjoyed talking to you."

"Ya, me too."

"Let me get your number and maybe we can hang out some time?"

"Sure, that'd be fine." or "Oh well, I've got a boyfriend."
Either response, you know a bit more.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 1:23am
I wouldn't take the french class. (I don't think it appears stalkerish to do so, but I do think it appears stalkerish because you talked about the class with her and not mentioned that you were taking it too). I *would* just happen to be in the hallway - on the way to another class, perhaps - when she arrives for her french class. And next time, just screw up your courage and ask for her number. Do it as she's about to leave, so if she says no no-one has to hang around feeling awkward.

Save yourself several *really* early mornings hanging around a bus stop in the cold.
Permalink Ms. zestyZucchini 
April 18th, 2007 2:37am
"Don't do anything weird.  If she wants to see you again, she'll come to the next meetup.

She knows you're the organizer right?"

Yeah, she knows I'm the organizer. I felt we connected and I'm pretty sure she liked me, but that same spidey sense tells me she's unlikely to come back for reasons unrelated to me. I'm not sure her interest in me (after an hour of talking) would be enough to overcome the hurdles (busy schedule, long drive, possible conflict with French classes, etc.).

If I were sure she wouldn't come back, I'd risk being a stalker just because I would have nothing to lose. For all I know, however, she may show up again next week.

I just hate to sit around waiting. I want to take action instead of being passive. This girl's not gonna stay single for long, if she's even single now. I'm kicking myself for letting her get away.

"Take the class but don't write any one act plays that involve her, her pedophile step-mom or portable guillotines."

I'm not weird like that, honest. :) And I can't take the class with her for several reasons, including the fact that I already speak French a lot better than she does. That's one of the ways in which we hit it off and I scored points.

"You can't have so much riding on this one girl you talked to for an hour once. You need to get out and meet other people and then you won't be thinking in this obsession oriented way that freaks girls out.

Oh and bone up on your skills of asking for numbers cause that would have avoided all this."

I completely agree with this, but unfortunately reality intrudes.

I know that I would be much better off if I met girls on a regular basis, honed my skills, and always had prospects in the pipeline. One doesn't pan out? No biggie. Next!

The harsh reality is that I can't fill the pipeline. Meeting prospects is, in fact, very rare for me. I literally go years between meeting prospects, so I'm perpetually rusty and every single one is inevitably special. I'm not really obsessing about this girl and don't think she's my soulmate, but I don't get enough chances to cast them off lightly. I hesistated about getting her number partly because my gut told me there was no long-term potential, and I hesitate now to make a fool of myself for the same reason. Yet I have no one else to think about and have no real way of drumming up new possibilities.

I realize that some people will take issue with that last statement. Unfortunately I don't have time or space to explain my life adequately (and this is already getting too wordy). I'll briefly say, however, that the following do not work for me:

1. Bars. I don't smoke and can't stand smoky places. I also don't drink, which puts a crimp on the already-strained dynamic of bars. Furthermore I ain't got game and don't have the heart for casual flings.

2. Clubs. See #1.

3. Dating web sites. Been there, tried that, found it to be a complete waste of time.

4. Church. See #3.

5. Classes. I'm not a fan of classrooms (I prefer to learn on my own) but am not necessarily opposed to taking a class if I could find something reasonably interesting that would draw enough prospects to be worth my time. I haven't really found anything yet.

6. Team sports. I think it's better to hook up with girls who are interested in things I like.

7. Gyms. I find there's a strong conflict between the goals of meeting people and working out properly. Some people chat, but it's never been much of a social occasion for me.

8. Work. I do business on the Internet and work from home. No employees, no co-workers, no face-to-face contact with customers. Except for the lack of social contact, I consider these all advantages and wouldn't want to change them.

The meetup group is one of the few things I can actually do, though I'm not doing it just to meet girls and it hasn't been very good for that purpose.
Permalink Dunderhead 
April 18th, 2007 3:15am
I totally understand about that it's hard to meet people... BUT this "the following do not work for me" followed by a list of every known way to meet people... you gotta lose that list if you want to meet someone.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 3:33am
The list is brief, incomplete overview of my situation, not just a bunch of excuses.

I hear you saying, "Hey, everyone has trouble meeting people.  Deal with it." Believe me, I most certainly am. Not everyone has *equal* difficulty, however, and mine is a particularly hard case for a lot of reasons (included major ones not listed above). I've put a lot of time and effort into trying to improve my social life, but it's a Very Hard Problem. And I realize that people watching from the sidelines aren't going to understand without being able to walk in my shoes. And I realize that all this will tend to read like self-pity and rationalizations.

If you think I'm misguided or off-base, I doubt there's anything I can say to dissuade you. I do appreciate your frank responses, however.
Permalink Dunderhead 
April 18th, 2007 4:39am
> Not everyone has *equal* difficulty, however,
> and mine is a particularly hard case for a lot
> of reasons (included major ones not listed above).

The advice that you're getting is based on the information that you've given.  If you want better counsel, don't you think that you need to furnish us with more info?

If there are MAJOR REASONS other than the stuff you've already listed that cause you to have a hard time meeting people, how's about giving us some idea of what they are?
Permalink possibly maybe 
April 18th, 2007 4:45am
"Deal with it."

That's not what I said though.

"I doubt there's anything I can say to dissuade you."

We don't have much to go on, but I do read much into this statement of yours in terms of its tone etc.

I think you tend to project things on to other people. This fits in with the compulsion to stalk. Both these things will get smoothed out if you do lots of socializing. But you don't want to. That's OK, no one is forcing you. But it will help you to drop the shields and sensitivity and get out and meet people, don't even be looking for a girl, just be looking to learn some social skills and not be projecting motivations on to others and assuming the worst at every turn.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 4:54am
"Do NOT go to her French class. She'll definitely feel you're stalking her."

P.E. is on point, listen to him.

Just get out there and meet people don't pin your hopes on this one chick, I don't know if you wrote anything worthy in your second thread but it was to long for me to read. But chill out man, let things happen don't go chasing it makes you seem desperate.

Good luck
Permalink what are you reading for? 
April 18th, 2007 6:57am
There are women EVERYWHERE, as an exercise make it a policy to always talk to everyone you meet within the first 3 minutes. You're coming at the problem from a scarcity point of view and it means you're having to invest too much in this one chance encounter. In this particular case I think you're better just waiting to see what happens - she knows where you are but yes you probably have missed the opportunity, learn from this and don't miss the next one that comes along. I don't think you should dismiss internet web sites - it's a technique just like any other and if you take the trouble to master it, it has to be one of the most efficient methods.
Permalink Billx 
April 18th, 2007 7:09am
Balls to internet sites, get in the real world
Permalink what are you reading for? 
April 18th, 2007 7:52am
The real world is great but in terms of initial contact, the internet is far more efficient - it's 24/7 and I don't need to dress up. I can leave it running while I cook and eat my dinner. Once you get it right, they come over to your house, bring wine, do the biz and then they're the ones going home in the cold and dark afterwards. It works for me.
Permalink Billx 
April 18th, 2007 8:34am
+1 to learning to talk to everyone, available or not.  Chat with people in grocery store aisles/lines, bus stops, etc.
Permalink the great purple 
April 18th, 2007 9:17am
"I doubt there's anything I can say to dissuade you."

"We don't have much to go on, but I do read much into this statement of yours in terms of its tone etc."

The tone came out wrong. I apologize. I'm just throwing my hands up in frustration at trying to explain a very complex situation in a few lines of text to total strangers--a situation I can't adequately explain even to people I've known all my life.

"I think you tend to project things on to other people. This fits in with the compulsion to stalk."

Whoah, now...are you trying to psychoanalyze me based on a few paragraphs? You're making me sound like Jack the Ripper with the "compulsion to stalk".

"Both these things will get smoothed out if you do lots of socializing. But you don't want to."

Whoah, again. I didn't say that. Didn't I mention that I organize a meetup group? Actually, I organize two, not to mention attending another. I meet and greet people all the time. I introduce folks and work the room. I bet the group members would be shocked to discover the truth of my barren love life. Based on what some of them have said, I seem pretty sociable and almost studly to them.

"The advice that you're getting is based on the information that you've given.  If you want better counsel, don't you think that you need to furnish us with more info?"

Actually, my original question was just about whether you thought it would be going too far for me to engineer a "chance" meeting with a girl after her French class. The whole discussion of my social life is digression and I have asked for no advice on that matter.

"If there are MAJOR REASONS other than the stuff you've already listed that cause you to have a hard time meeting people, how's about giving us some idea of what they are?"

I didn't list everything because 1) they're more complicated than simple bullet points, 2) I don't really want to mention all of them--even anonymously, and 3) I don't want to fill up the forum with crap about myself (I could write a book).

Actually, I began trying to describe one of the major reasons and got about 75% through it, but it was getting way too long to post. If you really wanna know, perhaps I'll finish it up and post it somewhere. It might actually be too long to fit in a post here (I don't know the limit), so I might have to set up a blog and link to it.
Permalink Dunderhead 
April 18th, 2007 9:29am
What on earth makes you think the lunatics on CoT are at all "friendly"?
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 18th, 2007 9:42am
On the other hand, this makes a lovely cautionary tale.  NEXT time you meet somebody and talk to her for 'a long time', ask her for her phone number. 

If she balks, tell her this romantic tale about this wonderful person you met, that now you regret NOT asking for her number, because you'll never know what could have been. 

Even if this new person still shoots you down, she'll at least feel you're a romantic person and not a stalker.  And it MAY encourage her to give you her number.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 18th, 2007 9:45am
It was just a little humor. :) I put on my asbestos longjohns before posting.

Actually it can be pretty friendly around here sometimes, and this thread has been an example so far. I really do appreciate everyone's input.

Good thought about the cautionary tale angle, Hubble.

NEWSFLASH: A little while after my initial post, a girl with the same first name as the one in question registered on the meetup site and indicated "maybe" for attending the next meetup. I don't know if it's the same girl (it's a fairly common name, and she's been MIA for 3 weeks), but I'm feeling better about my chances now. I'll sit tight and see what happens.
Permalink Dunderhead 
April 18th, 2007 9:59am
Are you an attractive dunderhead?

Because I think that's the difference in stalking and not stalking. If you've really got no shot in hell, but you've deluded yourself into thinking you do, then the more outlandish schemes on the fringe will be considered stalking, but it's ok otherwise.

By attractive, I don't mean tiger beat cover or anything. Just passably average and reasonably on her level of beauty.

Yeah yeah all that sounds shallow, but it is damned well true.
Permalink JoC 
April 18th, 2007 10:28am
Ha! I think you're right to a large degree.

I can't really match her beauty (she could be a model), but I can definitely achieve "passably average". I'm a clean-cut, well-dressed white guy of average height (taller than her in heels) and trim build. My hairline has receded a touch, but basically I still have a full head of hair. I have a friendly smile that noticeably puts people at ease. I strive for a sharp, classic, professional look.

If I were to hang out near her classroom people would be more likely to ask me permission for something than suspect me of anything. I would be in greater danger of coming across to her as desperate than as creepy. Given her reaction to me at the meetup, though, I think there's a chance she would even be pleased that I sought her out.
Permalink Dunderhead 
April 18th, 2007 11:24am
Psychoanalyzing? Guilty as charged!

But you shouldn't take it seriously unless it sounds right since we don't know you. Good advise would ideally be tailored to you and your situation. There may be things about yourself that you aren't aware of, so we dig for them and are left with trying to read between the lines, which will always be far less effective than seeing you in person.

Sure, I understand you host these meetings, but it sounds like you're pinning a lot of hopes on this one outlet, and you suddenly brought out, unprovoked, a long list of reasons why other forms of socializing are not acceptable to you, which is really an unusual move on your part and I think it's reasonable to suspect that it means a lot that you did so. But maybe it doesn't and that's OK too.

I was thinking that if she does come to a meeting, you can leverage the whole French thing into a non-date. Talk French to her like you did before and then say "Hey, I'm no expert, but if you are looking for someone to practice conversational french with, why don't we meet up for coffee sometime? I'll give you a call. What's your number?" See, now that's nice and smoooth.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 12:43pm
I'll also point out that I've been where you are and I'm giving advise from my own experience, which may differ from others. The two things about this are:

1. Meet a girl, like her, don't have much contact with other girls. Think about her all the time. Infatuated! Obsessed! Must see her again! This is destiny!

That's a thought pattern that happens. It can lead to problems when you go too far too fast. It's much healthier to have that much of an obsession after a few dates and she has shown interest. Call this Premature Infatuation Syndrome. Girls in general don't like it when a guy turns on to them too much before he gets to know a lot about them and they have time to decide they like him to.

Note: this advise is for the US and not Latin countries. In Latin countries, girls are flattered by stalking and obsession, which in their culture is considered to be proof of 'love'.

2. Tracking down her location based on conversation clues and appearing there inconspicuously. If she has any inkling at all you did this deliberately, it will be a big turn-off for most girls. Based on my experience, yo! It has to instead be totally subtle, like wSV talked about regarding the bus stop. It sounded to me like there was no way to make this appear as if there was no chance at all that you had engineered it, so I was discouraging you from that plan. Now, if she had 'left something behind' at the meeting (maybe because you stole it... which can really backfire) then and any then can you justify a personal visit, and only to drop the thing off.

But all of this is not so necessary because if she really did hit it off with you like you think she did, she WILL return to another meeting to check you out some more, and of course, this will give you more chances to really screw things up! :-) And you probably will, we all do, but you'll be getting experience at talking to girls and understanding how they think and respond to things.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 12:56pm
Stalking is good if done correctly. No really.My suggestion is stalk.

Find out what time the class starts. Be there a quarter of an hour early.

When she comes in, be honest.
"Hey xxx, was hoping to meetup with you again at the meetup, but you've been a noshow. Anyway, there is this french movie showing. Thought it would be one you would enjoy, so had to track you down. How do I get hold of you? Standing in hallways gives me the creeps."

At the start of the class is great. She is rushing to go in. Time is a premium, and she has like 5 seconds to make a decision. Give the impression that you too are in a rush, so she doesn't ask you to wait till after class.

Don't ask if she remebers you. Mentioning the meetup will fill that one nicely. You are that great guy she had a great conversation with remember.

Charm her with that smile of yours. Go way over the top. Ask her in French if you must. Have humour.

By the time you're done, she should be chuckling, and telling you how crazy you are while she writes down her number. She will be flattered that you remembered details of your conversation, and that you actually went out of your way to find it.

The only caveat is, Do it with great kutzpah. No snivelling half hearted attempt. You want to be the alpha male here.

Oh yeah, if you do decide to do it, don't back down. Even if she is with other people, just get in there. You don't want to be known as the guy lurking in the corridors. Remember, you are not lurking, you are waiting.

Every girl leaves home every day hoping to be swept off her feet. Every day.

While you are at it, watch Hitch. Possibly throw in 50 First Dates too. Chick flicks, but worth the watching for someone in your predicament.
Permalink Send private email Tapiwa 
April 18th, 2007 1:37pm
Tapiwa is talking crap, do not on any account watch Hitch thinking that's how it's done, that's the hollywood version
Permalink Billx 
April 18th, 2007 1:44pm
YMMV.

Half the time with girls, it is not so much what you do, as how you do it.

American girls must be different.

I have done things like that with great success. Something as simple as guessing a girls email address because you know where she works, so sending tickets for something I know she wanted to her office. Two tickets, she decides who the +1 is, and you know what, I am the default choice.
Permalink Send private email Tapiwa 
April 18th, 2007 1:49pm
Dunderdead, this probably sounds horrible, but somebody needs to say this:  Are you a man or mouse?

Forget this girl.  If she does happen to turn up at your meet-up, great then go from there and don't miss another chance. But don't build your hopes up, it may never happened.

Forget the stalking plan, because it's very unlikely to actually work. It shows you for the desperate wimp that you are (but don't have to be), and most women, at least all the decent ones hate that.

Here's what you need to do: Build some confidence, start talking to women as a normal part of life, and stop being desperate to get a girl.  Women can smell desperation, and it's a major turn off (just like desperate women are a turn off for guys - although it's rare).  Once you start to act confident and charming in normal life, you'll have zero need to engineer situations or go stalking - you'll be practically fighting the girls off.  The secret is making them do some of the work, making them think about what they have to do to get you, leaving some intrigue and mystery, rather than you immediately throwing yourself at their feet and looking like some sad desperate socially-maladjusted wimp.
Permalink  
April 18th, 2007 1:59pm
Hm, Tapiwa's plan has a certain appeal to it. The chutzpah angle is good. It's worth a shot for the experience if nothing else. Maybe the chances are slim, maybe not, but you won't know if you don't try. Agree that lurking in the hallways looks bad.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 2:42pm
Dive in, just start asking girls out.  Ask your friends if they know single girls, get them to set you up.  Heck, that's how I met my wife.

Accept the fact that you're gonna be nervous and feel awkward.  You'll get better.  If you don't come off as desperate, the ladies may even find it charming. 

Don't even think of protecting your ego.  Accept that it's gonna take a beating and learn to deal with it.  You're not as great as you'd like to think anyway, no matter what your dog says about you.
Permalink Send private email Clay Dowling 
April 18th, 2007 4:02pm
> Tapiwa's plan has a certain appeal to it.

If you were confident with girls and had no trouble meeting them and asking them out, then it would be a 1 in 1000 shot worth taking, because even though it's unlikely to work out, its failure wouldn't really do any harm.

But in this case, it's just perpetuating the real problem.  The real problem isn't that Dunderhead missed this opportunity or doesn't meet enough girls, the real problem is that he's learnt behave in a way (desperate looking) that is pretty much guaranteed to turn off girls.  He simply needs to unlearn that, and learn to look at himself in a different way - and the problem will then solve itself.  Perpetuating the old, wrong, behavior and thought patterns is not the way to do that.
Permalink  
April 18th, 2007 7:27pm

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