Every now and then something magical happens to me. As I’m walking about, minding my own business, I absorb the courage of others. At least… that’s what I suspect happens. Because one day I’ll be minding my own business and the next I’ll suddenly have balls. Not real hairy hanging-down-yo-pants kinds of balls, but the metaphorical balls. Which is really a post all in itself, because what intelligent designer decided to put the future of mankind hanging from a sweaty sack outside of the body? I digress, sometimes I’m courageous.
I’m middle school my fondest memory of prepubescent flirtation was hitting on a little redheaded mormon boy. I’m not sure why these are his identifiers in my mind, but they are. He has four or five brothers all split apart in various classes and he was the youngest of the brothers, putting him in my class. He was very funny and nice which put him in a different league from the other hair-pulling spit-wad-throwing boys I knew. So one day, in this moment de courage I walked up to him, sat down, and said do you think I’m cute?
We then entered into some sort of pseudo-philosophical conversation which my brain has since created filler for in the back part of my memories. That doesn’t matter so much. What does matter is how I felt, and what it accomplished. (Confident, confidence.)
A lot of people ask me how you approach someone you’re interested in. I’m a big fan of faking it until you make it. That means that a lot of courage comes from diving in head first and then figuring it out as you go along. I had no idea what he was going to say to me, but I was confident in my entering the conversation. I knew that if he said “No” that I would be able to pull some funny retort out of my ass like “Good, I’m glad we’re on the same page monkey brains” or something similarly juvenile. If he’d said yes, my training-bra self would have blushed, smiled, said “Good” and walked away mysteriously. Gotta keep em on their toes.
As an adult the game changes a little bit. Does approaching someone mean you’re being a nice person? Does it mean you’re just interested in making small talk? Does it mean you want to go on a date with them? Does it mean you just think they’re cute? Does it mean you want to bone them super hard all night long gangnam style? You have to be a little more clear. And, of course, you have to consider what is or isn’t appropriate.
Not appropriate: Whistling, cat-calling, any sort of name-calling, or any adult version of hair pulling. (Doing something stupid and mean to get attention when really you could just be nice and honest.)
Let’s go with my favorite scenario. You’re sitting at a cafe and someone across the cafe is reading a book that you really like. You notice both the book, the fluttery feeling in your heart, your face is red, and by gosh golly do they sure look physically attractive to your little lizard brain. What now?
1. Walk over to them
2. Make some sort of introductory comment: I love that book! What do you think about it?
3. Note their reaction. Do they seem like they want to talk to you? Or are they looking at you like you might have just stepped in dog poop and rubbed it all over them? Be cautious.
4. Ask: Do you mind if I sit down? I’m so-and-so!
5. Keep up the conversation. Talk about the book, related books, ask them where they’re from, what they do, and then when it’s time to say goodbye, write your email or phone number on a piece of paper and let them know you should keep in touch about whatever such things you had in common. Maybe you can catch a movie, visit a book reading, take a walk with your similarly aged poodles. Whatever it is.
If you had nothing in common and they are still looking at you like stool, abort the mission.
While I do not always have great moments of courage when I see someone I’m heinously attracted to, sometimes I do. And you know what’s never a bad idea? Showing interest in someone in a polite manner. Worst case scenario? They aren’t interested. At least you tried. Maybe you’ll make a friend. Maybe they are your one and only soul mate destined from the great almighty god of love, sent to the cafe with that book in hand to test your courage. Never know, really.
TL;DR: If you see someone you think you might want to talk to, say hello.
Bonus Points: If someone approaches you in a nice way, be polite back. You don’t have to have a conversation (god knows sometimes I want to drink my coffee in peace) but it’s nice to appreciate that it might have taken someone a lot to say anything at all.