Showing Interest in a Guy

Showing Interest in a Guy

ben January 8, 2018 0

Dear E. Jean: I’m 29 years old, and I still have no idea how to show a man that I’m interested in him. (No surprise: I’ve only had one actual boyfriend.) I maintain high standards regarding men showing me interest, but my subtlety in returning the interest (such as a Facebook like) is so subtle that it’s barely noticeable.

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How do I get better at this? There’s a new guy I’d like to start dating. I’d like to be his girlfriend. I’m not stupid. I know what to do. I just can’t bring myself to do it. Friends have given me the exact words to say, but when it’s time for me to say them, I cower. I just freeze!

I’ve already slept with this guy a few times, so what signal does he need from me to let him know I’m into him—yes for the sex, but beyond that, too? I’ve lost some great potential boyfriends to women who are much more aggressive. So my real question is, How do I show interest without coming off like a fool? —Stumped

Stumped, My Charming Little Churro: Bah. If you want to win at love, you must be willing to look like a fool. Send him this text: “Snacks. Thursday. 8:30 Balthazar. It’s a date.”

With seven words, you’ll have made three things absolutely clear:

1. You like him.

2. You hope he likes you.

3. You’re suggesting an official date.

[Readers who’ve been roaring indignantly since reading the final paragraph of your letter may now return to their accustomed suavity and decorum.]

Postscript: Of course, Miss Stumped, you would never have to make a move if our asinine hookup culture hadn’t created “backward dating”—first you mate, then you date—a delicious idea when you wish to bang in the begonias like a bridesmaid on a spree, but bad if you’re looking for a sweet (or dark, eh?) romance.

Nor, I suspect, would you have to send this text if we didn’t live in Tinderland. Now, I like Tinder. I recommend Tinder. Hell, I’m on Tinder. Tinder is terrible, great, brilliant, dumb. But because Tinder makes these very fast hookups possible, after we hook up, to protect ourselves from rejection, we turn off the enticing, inborn, man-slaying courtship signals that Mother Nature spent 3 billion years developing—we turn them off, I say, just in case the chap doesn’t like us as much as we like him, because we don’t want, as you say, to come off “like a fool.”

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And so where does that leave us? [Cover your ears, readers. Auntie Eeee is about to start cursing.] It leaves us with you having to fucking text the fucking idiot and blatantly tell him, Dude! Let’s date! Damn!

As Miss Jane Austen says: This is fucking nuts! Or, uh, I believe the exact quote is: “We can all begin freely—a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement.”

This letter is from the E. Jean archive.

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