Sometimes I write blog entries, and never publish them because I feel they’re a little too “personal” – getting into subject matter that maybe I shouldn’t be telling people openly. This took hours to write, despite only being around 1,300 words – there was a lot of “pondering” that went into writing it. Sometimes, that’s what writing in my blog is good for: making me think things through a bit. Not that this draws any conclusions, but it makes me think more on the nature of flirting, how I deal with someone who flirts with me, and a bit of how I got to this particular point in life. It also means I end up with long diatribes about absolutely nothing important, like the one that appears below… 😉
Maybe I’m Doing It Wrong
So, the other day I saw a guy post the following on Facebook: “I’m single. If anyone is interested, hit me up.” That’s not the only time I’ve seen someone on my Facebook friends list post something like that. It made me wonder: am I doing it wrong? I mean, my usual approach to finding someone interesting is to chat with them (probably for way too long), and decide on a couple of things:
- Are they too much drama. Seriously, some people are too damned much drama hold a conversation with, needless to say date.
- Am I attracted to them. Attraction for me is more than just skin deep. Are they engaging? The right sort of intelligent? Are they a talker? (That last one being a really good thing with me.)
- Do I think they are compatible?
There’s actually more to the checklist, but that gives you a really quick idea what goes through my head if I’m thinking about asking someone out. It’s a fairly long process really. I also don’t go through it very often – last time I bothered to ask someone out was April. Getting through the whole checklist is actually kind of difficult.
I spent some time on Tinder a while back – and I may again in the future. It kind of showed me how uninterested I am in most women I meet. I talk with them for about a day or two, and then just quit talking. Now, it’s not that I don’t think they’re physically attractive, it’s just that 99% of the time, they don’t meet that total package thing. (I have an unpublished post about Tinder on here that I need to finish someday.)
But, back to my original point: never once have I posted “I’m single. If anyone is interested, hit me up.” It sounds fairly desperate to me. But, it does point out something interesting: I don’t really mention being single particularly often. Usually, if I do, it’s associated with a joke (either self deprecating humor, or making a crack about needing a girlfriend. The latter isn’t very common.) Beyond putting myself on Tinder, I’m not really putting myself out there.
Even if I do, it’s a rather long list of things that need to happen before I say something like “Hey, wanna go have lunch?” to test the situation out further. But “If anyone is interested, hit me up” implies a much broader level of interest – basically, anyone can apply there. Sure, you won’t see me posting that exact statement – let’s face it, it’s me, and I can spend 500 words easily when ten would do. But, maybe if I was a little more open. And, a little more willing to explore outside of my checklist of stuff for dating.
Of course, that leads me into the next problem…
I Suggest Pictures with Circles and Arrows, and a Paragraph on The Back of Each One
There’s a Neil Gaiman meme floating around that fits me too well. In fact, it’s happened to me. I had once that I was unaware someone had any interest in me whatsoever, until she leaned in, told me something, and bit my neck. And that’s happened more than once. (I’m not going to list all the incidents like that. I find them all to be funny, but not necessarily something that I’m going to write about at the moment 😉 ) And I’ve mentioned to more than one female that it requires a brick to make me notice. Though, I’ve yet to have one actually hit me with a brick – I suppose I should pick a different phrase, I’m tempting fate with that one.
I used to flirt A LOT. Now, the thing about flirting was that I learned it made women smile, even if it was something I would never actually move on if they were really interested. Probably one of the best things you can do for a person is make them smile – a genuine smile, not a “you look prettier when you smile” or “I’ll smile just to make this person happy” smile, but a real smile. I still do it, but just not nearly as often as I used to, though I’ve got a lot of ways of making people smile these days. Honestly, flirting is a habit I should get back into.
Thing is, it almost always goes over my head if a woman does it to me. On rare occasion, I catch on, but more often than not, I totally miss it. Wait, if I miss it, how do I know they were flirting with me?
They tell me. Sometimes it’s “you are so dense” (put much more nicely), or it’s like happened yesterday. Point blank, someone told me they were flirting with me – I had missed it. Not only were they flirting with me, they had been doing it for a while. Most of the time it just went “whoooooooosh” as it passed a few feet above my head. Now, there were a couple of times I thought maybe they were flirting with me, but I discarded that idea. (And, before you get to excited, thinking “Hey, why aren’t you dating that gal that’s flirting with you?!”, flirting isn’t always about dating. This is one of those cases it’s just about flirting.)
Part of it is a self worth thing, of course. Why would someone flirt at me, an old, overweight, broke loser? (No, you don’t need to try and correct me or anything like that – this is my honest self image most days, and I’m explaining it to explain why noticing a flirt is so hard.) So, I always assume I’m reading what they are saying poorly. Sometimes, I’ll think about it later, and do the “Wait, was she flirting with me?” thing, but generally, that also gets discarded as wrong.
I also translate that the wrong way sometimes, too. For instance, the last person I asked out on a date: while she fit my check list of stuff, I sort of miss-read the idea that there was some interest there. And, well, when I asked her out, I caught her completely off guard (which resulted in an interesting moment of her being completely shocked, and me a little dazed trying to figure out what I just read. Probably a month and a half later she told me the why’s behind that.) Which, of course, also ends up factoring into to me missing when someone is flirting with me: if I feel my read on situations is bad, I’m always going to err on the side of politely assuming I’m miss-reading things again if a woman is interested.
The joke about pictures with circles and arrows comes from the discussion on flirting with my friend – she asked if she should include arrows to point out if she’s flirting with me. Honestly, not a bad idea – and she did exactly that. (if the full phrase, “pictures with circles and arrows, and a paragraph on the back of each one” sounds familiar, congratulations on good taste in music, or at least exposure to weird music.)
Which brings up a question for me: how does one become better at reading signals? I mean, honestly, how the hell did I end up married – twice – with instincts that suck this badly, along with the list of women I’ve been with over the years (mostly when I was much younger)? And, of course, it also means I really need to work on that self-image thing, too.
Flirt Vodka image from Todor Petkov on Flickr