True Life: I’m awkward. Not awkward in the sense that when someone goes to give me a handshake I fist-bump their open palm, with a twitch in my eye and immediate sweat pouring out of me because I realized I just done fucked up, but awkward in that I say shit that isn’t socially appropriate. Like yesterday this girl in my class half-apologized in the event that she started to smell because she’d forgotten to put on deodorant that morning, to which I replied, “It’s okay I’ve smelled worse.” I thought it’d be comforting to know that, y’know, you don’t smell as bad as a landfill. Apparently that was offensive. Who knew?
Me being socially stupid doesn’t apply to everything in my life, though. For one thing, I’m more or less a pro at knowing how to deal with that weird middle-zone, where you’ve met someone but you don’t know them well enough to just get together and chill on a couch. What do you do? Because really, I’ve been asked to just come over and “chill.” I don’t know you, for all I know there’s a meat grinder in your kitchen that you plan on pushing me into so you can make human hot dogs, so that shit ain’t gonna fly.
It’s simple, and there’s only four things to go by. Here’s what works and what doesn’t work.
1. Make It Casual
You can’t just send a stand-alone text along the lines of “Hey wanna hang out?” because my gut reaction is gonna be along the lines of “Ew, Hannibal Lecter let’s not get carried away here.” It has to be natural. For example, if you’re on the topic of having a bunch of people over to pregame one night, feel free to invite her to that. Or you could be talking about how much you both love zebras (I’m not judging you, promise), and then if a bunch of you and your friends are going to the zoo sometime soon you can invite her to go with you. The main point is that you can’t just send a random one-liner along the lines of “Hey wanna grab lunch?” because in my mind that’s you being a little too thirsty to see me. Speaking of being thirsty…
2. If She Says “No” More Than Twice, Stop Bothering
There are only a few reasons a girl will turn you down, which are as follows:
- She doesn’t want to hang out with you, gtfo.
- She’s flaky as fuck
- She’s legitimately busy
In the case of number one, just quit while you’re ahead. Really, who wants to be constantly rejected? Unless you have a fetish for people passive aggressively saying “No” and actively avoiding you in public, you should probably just not. As for me, I fall under category #2, which is that I’m a Level 100 Master Flake. For those of you not in the flake club, it means that we’re as flaky as a blizzard. It’s at the point where I’ll cancel on people less than 24 hours before whatever we have planned because I’ll suddenly be really into an episode of SVU. Because, you know, it’s not like I can record it on the DVR or anything. What you do for the flakes is the same thing that you do for the girls that are busy all day every day, which is nothing. Seriously. Just go sit somewhere like a lump and do jack shit. Except for breathe, of course. You should always be breathing. If you’ve made a fair effort to try and get together with her and she’s turned you down for being busy, then leave it to her to make plans with you. If she wants to see you, she’ll make an effort. It’s all about letting her know that you want to see her, but not being up her ass about it.
3. Don’t Hang Out Solo
We’re under the assumption that you’re not looking for a date here, and that you’re just looking to get to know someone better. Ideally it’d lead to the two of you bangin’, but considering you took to the internet to figure out how to make this happen let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Anyways, in this case, don’t make it sound like a date. At all. Unless your intentions from the start are to actually date this girl, make sure that in the beginning of you two getting to know each other you’re always with her in a group of people. It takes away the potential of having an awkward conversation because there’s always someone else around to deflect on.
Even if the two of you are the most outgoing people on the face of the planet, sitting down to an almost blind date runs a high risk of being awful. There’s the possibility that the two of you have nothing in common, or that you find her painfully boring to the point you’re praying for a phone call you can use as an excuse to leave, or that she’s a devoted Scientologist. All this shit that you definitely didn’t think about (don’t lie to me) is running through her head and she’s figuring out the worst-case scenario from the get-go.
4. If You See Her Out In Public, Don’t Be Weird About It
We’ve all had those moments where we see someone we’ve met before but aren’t quite on a saying “Hello” basis, but wait, maybe we are on that level? Do I say something? She’s getting closer; do I say something or pretend I didn’t notice her and just start clicking on my phone? Oh shit wait, are my sunglasses polarized? Maybe she can’t see my face OH she just passed me without saying anything. Nice, totally crushed that. Except, you didn’t, because you should’ve just used the pair of balls your Mother gave you and said something. Not something along the lines of “HIHIHIHIHIII how are you I haven’t seen you in forever LET’S GET TOGETHER I’m not stalking you I promise”, but just “Hey.” That’s it. Just acknowledge her presence, don’t do that thing where the two of you make eye contact and then pretend you didn’t, just say hello and don’t break stride. Why? Because if you don’t then you’ve automatically put yourself into that grey area of “I know who that is but we don’t say anything to each other and tend to pretend we’ve never met” rather than where you want to be, which is “Oh that’s so & so, I met him last weekend.” It’s better to be on casual terms so that if you run into her one night you can chat, rather than actively avoid each other at all costs because you act like you have Aspberger’s whenever you see her.
Rebecca Martinson is a columnist for BroBible.