Why am I not asking people out?

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Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:01 pm

After a little over three years trying to penetrate the strange and undecipherable mystery of why there's so little movement in my sex- and/or lovelife, I think I may have stumbled upon one of the hidden, hard to to spot (and very undecipherable) main causes: I rarely if ever make an actual move.

Self-directed sarcasm aside... it's not like I've been completely unaware of the relation between passivity and lack of activity. I've asked myself questions like "why is it so hard for me to ask people out" before, come up with some answers, then moved on to other questions because there's been so much I've had to figure out.

But when I look back on those three years, it strikes me that three is also the number if times I've made anything resembling a move.

I've become better with other kind of moves. Like first messages on OLD... I'm sending out a certain number of those now (though not enough of them). Asking established friends if they'd like to get together, I've been doing that regularly for about a year (and improved how I do it with the help of you people here). Asking people I've met at parties if they'd like to meet again? I've done that a number of times too, although in friendly, not dately settings. All those types of social moves were really hard for me before, but they've become a lot easier with practice.

But escalation from friendly to something else still feels like so far out of reach, it's like standing in front of a solid wall. I can hardly even imagine myself doing it. When I'm in a real life situation where flirting might be a thing, I find myself with a complete lack of motivation, bordering on actual aversion. When there's someone I know a little that I might like to ask out, I keep second-guessing myself until the matter becomes moot. If I even consider to just break through and do it, I'm hit with a jolt of fear, and then forget about it quickly.

And I am trying to find somewhere around this wall (or some way to make it lower) but I have no idea where to start. It looks like a ground-to-sky, horizon-to-horizon kind of wall for now.

Especially since – there are a couple of people in my surroundings now that I might want to ask out. But I keep coming up with so many reasons not to. I think they mostly have to do with subtext, social awareness, calibration...

I'm for one thing not really sure about the subtext, implications, expectations involved in asking someone out on a clearly defined date. I hear people say there are no expectations to a first date beyond turning up and acting decent, but my second guessing brain keeps asking: "Doesn't going on a date with someone imply you're at least open to the possibility of a committed, monogamous relationship at some point" – which I'm not quite sure I am. Especially the monogamy thing. I feel like it's so much the cultural default, that I'm giving someone false expectations if I don't let them know from the start that I might not be interested in that.

I'm also never really sure if I'm asking the question the right way, or at the right time, or in the right context. That's been a thing with me for a very long time. When I've liked someone and imagined letting them know, it's always felt so terribly out of place. Like, here they are expecting a normal day, and suddenly I'm dropping this on them.

And on some occasions, this might actually be the case: Escalating into sexual/romantic territory would be unethical, or improper, or at least uncomfortably weird. I don't really trust myself to know.

In the two specific cases I'm thinking of: One is someone I've interacted with a bit on social media, and have felt some attraction to for a while. We've met one time in meatspace, for a friendly cup of coffee, and she was pretty enthusiastic when I suggested it. But when I think about asking her for another cup of coffee, my second guessing brain tells me "if you frame it as a friendly cup of coffee, it's on false premises because you'd secretly like something more, if you frame it as a date it's on false premises because you know it's unlikely to result in monogamy, if you use your words and say hey I'm kind of attracted but not sure how far I want to take it, that's a lot to dump on someone you barely know, so it's better to just let the matter lay.

The other is someone who've been turning up to the same NaNo-meetups as me, who I feel a connection with, enjoy talking with, and get the sense she enjoys talking with me... but I'm not sure of her age (she's probably in her twenties but not sure if it's early or late), not sure NaNo-meetups is somewhere you'd expect being asked out, and my second guessing brains still says that however way I frame getting together outside of writing, there'd be some underlying premise that makes me dishonest. (Friendly coffee = but I'm secretly attracted, dately coffee = but I'm sceptical abou monogamy etc etc.)

***

So. This was supposed to be a short and specific description of a problem, and a request for simple, practical suggestions, but I suspect it's become as long and unwieldy as always when I try to get a handle on my brain. So... I think what I need is some way to override all the second guessing for long enough to get some practice with making more-than-friendly moves, but not override the second-guessing that keeps me from making significant, unethical mistakes. Um... anyone?
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Caffeinated on Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:58 pm

Hirundo Bos wrote:I'm for one thing not really sure about the subtext, implications, expectations involved in asking someone out on a clearly defined date. I hear people say there are no expectations to a first date beyond turning up and acting decent, but my second guessing brain keeps asking: "Doesn't going on a date with someone imply you're at least open to the possibility of a committed, monogamous relationship at some point" – which I'm not quite sure I am. Especially the monogamy thing. I feel like it's so much the cultural default, that I'm giving someone false expectations if I don't let them know from the start that I might not be interested in that.

I think for the monogamy thing, it might be useful to analyze the specific cultural setting you're in. I think that in some cultural settings, there is a very strong expectation of monogamy-only. For example, some very religious subgroups will have strong expectations or monogamy, or even expectations that go beyond merely monogamy and all the way to "wait for marriage before sex or even hugging or kissing". If you were interacting with someone in the context of one of those religious subgroups, then I would agree that going on a date would have implications about monogamy.

However, I think that in much of mainstream, secular Western culture, the expectations are a little looser. In my personal experience, there's an expectation that a person can date this person or that person or whoever comes along until they fall in love with a particular person, and then the expectations might change. But going on dates or even sleeping with a person are not a guarantee of falling in love with that person.

In short, I think that going on a first date with someone is making a promise that you are interested in exploring the possibility of something romantic and/or sexual developing between you, but not a promise of anything more than exploring the possibility.

Hirundo Bos wrote:I'm also never really sure if I'm asking the question the right way, or at the right time, or in the right context. That's been a thing with me for a very long time. When I've liked someone and imagined letting them know, it's always felt so terribly out of place. Like, here they are expecting a normal day, and suddenly I'm dropping this on them.

Another way of looking at this is that the person was expecting a normal day, and suddenly they get something extra, something flattering and nice.

I'll give a little example from my own experiences. I was taking a class, and one day we did an exercise in reading emotions on people's faces. The way the exercise worked was that the people in the front row turned their chairs around to face the people in the next row (and the third and fourth rows faced each other also). The instructor put a slide on the screen at the front of the room, with an image representing a particular emotion (happy, sad, angry, afraid, etc). The person in the second row (facing the screen) was supposed to make that expression. Their partner sitting in the first row (who couldn't see the screen) was supposed to guess the emotion on their partner's face. We did a few of those, and then switched places, so everyone had a chance to make faces, and a chance to guess faces. When I was guessing, the emotion on the screen came up: Flirtatious. The woman I was partnered with did a very expressive flirtatious face, and I guessed it almost immediately. The funny thing was that afterward, I felt a pleasant sensation, as though I'd actually been flirted with, even though this was merely a class exercise, and even though I'm not looking for anyone and she wouldn't fit into what I'd be looking for if I were looking. It was still surprisingly nice.

In short, flirting surprises or asking out on a date surprises can be very nice surprises.

Hirundo Bos wrote:And on some occasions, this might actually be the case: Escalating into sexual/romantic territory would be unethical, or improper, or at least uncomfortably weird. I don't really trust myself to know.

Certainly, there are situations where that kind of thing would be wrong. But I think you can make some very clear rules for yourself about when that would be. Things like, if you have some kind of officially recognized power over the other person, it would be unethical to take advantage of that to turn the situation sexual/romantic. Examples of officially recognized power over someone are things like: you're their boss, you're their teacher, you're a cop and they're under arrest, etc.

Hirundo Bos wrote:In the two specific cases I'm thinking of: One is someone I've interacted with a bit on social media, and have felt some attraction to for a while. We've met one time in meatspace, for a friendly cup of coffee, and she was pretty enthusiastic when I suggested it. But when I think about asking her for another cup of coffee, my second guessing brain tells me "if you frame it as a friendly cup of coffee, it's on false premises because you'd secretly like something more, if you frame it as a date it's on false premises because you know it's unlikely to result in monogamy, if you use your words and say hey I'm kind of attracted but not sure how far I want to take it, that's a lot to dump on someone you barely know, so it's better to just let the matter lay.

The other is someone who've been turning up to the same NaNo-meetups as me, who I feel a connection with, enjoy talking with, and get the sense she enjoys talking with me... but I'm not sure of her age (she's probably in her twenties but not sure if it's early or late), not sure NaNo-meetups is somewhere you'd expect being asked out, and my second guessing brains still says that however way I frame getting together outside of writing, there'd be some underlying premise that makes me dishonest. (Friendly coffee = but I'm secretly attracted, dately coffee = but I'm sceptical abou monogamy etc etc.)

Barring the examples I gave above of certain religious subcultures, I don't think it's false premises to ask someone out if it's unlikely to result in monogamy. I think that asking someone out generally implies exactly what you said, "hey I'm kind of attracted but not sure how far I want to take it". It might be false premises to have sex with someone without having a conversation about monogamy, particularly if you know the other person is looking for/expecting monogamy. But that's something that doesn't have to come up before even going on a date!
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Dan_Brodribb on Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:55 am

What you're describing is normal, Hirundo. Asking people out can be scary for a lot of people, myself included. I noticed it became easier if I was doing it regularly and consistently, but most people aren't interested in jumping on the cold-approach treadmill.

One thing I noticed over that time was that the fear came first, not the rationalizations I came up with for why I was afraid. I'd TELL myself that I don't want to make an ass of myself, or inconvenience somebody or be a bad feminist ally or this isn't a good time and I'm not looking for something serious right now anyway, but what I was looking for was a reason to justify my not approaching.

Only you can know if something like that is happening for you. Is that a possibility?

What helped me was rather than letting the fear distract me with the whats and whys of what I was afraid of, it became more helpful to be afraid and make the move anyway.

It was never easy, and I chickened out many times, but it did get easier with practice and experience. The jolt of fear never went away though.

You mentioned "what I need is some way to override all the second guessing for long enough to get some practice with making more-than-friendly moves, but not override the second-guessing that keeps me from making significant, unethical mistakes."

What I might gently suggest that you might want to work on the first part first because you will not need to avoid those mistakes until you are in a position to start making them in the first place.

In other words, it sounds like you have plenty of practice at NOT making moves. That's a good skill to have. It can also be a difficult habit to change. You are swimming against the current of all those past decisions you have made that have kept you socially safe from those negative consequences you've listed (not having to worry about bad social context, calibration, etc.)

You never HAVE to ask anyone out if you don't want to, but it might be nice to give it a try, just to see what happens. And it's always nice to know it's an option you have it in you to try, even if it doesn't work out every time.

You've described progress you've made in other areas. I'm sure you'll find something that works for you with this too.

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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by KMR on Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:50 pm

Caffeinated wrote:
Hirundo Bos wrote:I'm for one thing not really sure about the subtext, implications, expectations involved in asking someone out on a clearly defined date. I hear people say there are no expectations to a first date beyond turning up and acting decent, but my second guessing brain keeps asking: "Doesn't going on a date with someone imply you're at least open to the possibility of a committed, monogamous relationship at some point" – which I'm not quite sure I am. Especially the monogamy thing. I feel like it's so much the cultural default, that I'm giving someone false expectations if I don't let them know from the start that I might not be interested in that.

...

In short, I think that going on a first date with someone is making a promise that you are interested in exploring the possibility of something romantic and/or sexual developing between you, but not a promise of anything more than exploring the possibility.

...

Barring the examples I gave above of certain religious subcultures, I don't think it's false premises to ask someone out if it's unlikely to result in monogamy. I think that asking someone out generally implies exactly what you said, "hey I'm kind of attracted but not sure how far I want to take it". It might be false premises to have sex with someone without having a conversation about monogamy, particularly if you know the other person is looking for/expecting monogamy. But that's something that doesn't have to come up before even going on a date!

To add to this point: I think there's a false cultural narrative that the interest level of an approacher is static whereas the interest level of the person being approached is more fluid. In other words, we tend to think that if someone is asking someone else out, they're already interested in that person and they're going to keep pursuing them (with some end-goal already in mind, e.g. a sexual and/or romantic relationship) unless/until they're rejected. Meanwhile, we recognize that the person being approached may be interested or may not be, or they may be on the fence and will make a more definitive decision after one or more dates.

But in truth, the approacher has just as much of a chance to lose interest or not want to pursue anything further as the person being asked out. After all, some people will ask someone out knowing almost nothing about them; they have no idea whether they're compatible enough with this person to enter into a relationship, or even if they will still like the person after interacting with them more. The point of going on a date is to get to know one another better, to see if both parties are still interested in pursuing something and what that something might be. Being the one to make the first move doesn't mean you're automatically more interested than the other person or that you're going to stay interested or that the thing you're interested in is automatically going to be a monogamous, long-term relationship. So there's no need to put too much pressure on yourself to be certain about your feelings or to commit to anything before asking someone out. There's a lot of room for exploration and change in dating.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:39 pm

Talked to my therapist about signalling interest, and got a grasp on some cognitive and communicative aspects of it: Namely, that I’m not that good at/confident about subtle communication and subtext. It's a general problem I have with communication, the fear that a thing I say will carry implications I’m not aware of... like something offensive, or creepy, or scary, or something that makes it seem as I’m expecting or demanding a lot. Or something that makes look foolish and false. Or, as I’ve already mentioned, that I’ll promise something by implication that I’m not able to or willing to live up to.

A further complication is that being explicit about it carries a lot of subtext in itself, it can read as rude, pushy and demanding if you don't do it right. And saying explicitly I don't want to be those things, even that can work against its purpose, as unprompted denying carries implications that there’s something there to deny.

It’s a risk for everyone with all communication, but probably made a bit harder by autism. And the fear of saying something isn't made lighter by autism either. And finally, the cognitive thing where if I have two thoughts in my head simultaneously, my language channel chokes and I'm not able to pronounce either... that's probably influenced by autism too.

When I start to worry about subtext, I get a number of potential meanings competing with each other, and competing with the actual text as well, and it takes a lot effort to even get a few words out.

So, Dan, what you're saying about anxiety makes sense. I’ve dealt with other anxieties in just that way – seen my cognitive appraisals as just another part of the emotion, not as particularly useful information about the world. But I’m not sure I can just face it head on in this case... I’m not sure I can get out the minimum of words needed to even start asking someone out. (Or maybe I underestimate myself?)

About cultural specifics... I don't know if we have a lot of dating culture in Norway? People keep saying that we don't. I’m not really sure what we do instead when we want to escalate from friendship/mutual liking to the possibility of something more. The few times it's happened with me, it's mostly been me saying ”I like you in that way”, then some kissing right away or after a few weeks of complications, and with that kiss, we’ve been a couple. Too fast back then, would have been waay to fast today.

I don't know if my experiences are representative of Norwegian courtship, or if there are other, more datelike ways to do it... But what you people say about fluidity in interest levels – on both sides – it's something I've known about in a theoretical way, but it hasn't felt real to me.

Maybe I should get more familiar with that emotion...

I could also profit by thinking up some standard ways of getting across... whatever I want to bring across, (is that what you call scripts?). That will give me some control over the subtext, as well as something I can practice beforehand and get out of my mouth even when the other words are clogging up. I’ll be greatful for any suggestions...

And what is it that I want to bring across?

”Hey, I think I may be attracted to you but couldn't swear on it, because I’m not so good at reading my own emotions, but I would like to explore that attraction, possibly in sexual ways, but only if you’re interested, no pressure, and if not I’d like to remain/become friends, but only if you're interested, no pressure. And I’m not that good at maintaining/establishing friendships, but I’ll do my best, but if I fail it doesn't mean I wasn't sincere when I said I wasn't interested in friendship. And by the way, if we do move beyond friendship, I’m hesitant about too much commitment, not that I think you’re immediately expecting commitment, or are really interested in that yourself, but if we do end up with deeper commitment, some sort of non-monogamous arrangement is probably the kind of relationship I’m after, though I can't be absolutely certain because I don't know my own emotions that well, but if you only want to date when monogamy is at least a possibility, something I’d totally understand, then we’re probably not compatible. And finally, I don't know how good I am in bed, because I haven't checked for quite a while, not that I take it for granted that we’ll end up in bed, but if we do, I don't know how it will turn out, though probably good enough, so let's not make a self-fulfilling prophecy out of this.”

Or you know, something like that only less confusing and overwhelming.

And a lot, lot shorter.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by JP McBride on Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:23 pm

Hirundo Bos wrote:”Hey, I think I may be attracted to you but couldn't swear on it, because I’m not so good at reading my own emotions, but I would like to explore that attraction, possibly in sexual ways, but only if you’re interested, no pressure, and if not I’d like to remain/become friends, but only if you're interested, no pressure. And I’m not that good at maintaining/establishing friendships, but I’ll do my best, but if I fail it doesn't mean I wasn't sincere when I said I wasn't interested in friendship. And by the way, if we do move beyond friendship, I’m hesitant about too much commitment, not that I think you’re immediately expecting commitment, or are really interested in that yourself, but if we do end up with deeper commitment, some sort of non-monogamous arrangement is probably the kind of relationship I’m after, though I can't be absolutely certain because I don't know my own emotions that well, but if you only want to date when monogamy is at least a possibility, something I’d totally understand, then we’re probably not compatible. And finally, I don't know how good I am in bed, because I haven't checked for quite a while, not that I take it for granted that we’ll end up in bed, but if we do, I don't know how it will turn out, though probably good enough, so let's not make a self-fulfilling prophecy out of this.”

Or you know, something like that only less confusing and overwhelming.

And a lot, lot shorter.

"I think you're hot. Would you like to make out?"

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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:00 pm

JP McBride wrote:
Hirundo Bos wrote:”Hey, I think I may be attracted to you but couldn't swear on it, because I’m not so good at reading my own emotions, but I would like to explore that attraction, possibly in sexual ways, but only if you’re interested, no pressure, and if not I’d like to remain/become friends, but only if you're interested, no pressure. And I’m not that good at maintaining/establishing friendships, but I’ll do my best, but if I fail it doesn't mean I wasn't sincere when I said I wasn't interested in friendship. And by the way, if we do move beyond friendship, I’m hesitant about too much commitment, not that I think you’re immediately expecting commitment, or are really interested in that yourself, but if we do end up with deeper commitment, some sort of non-monogamous arrangement is probably the kind of relationship I’m after, though I can't be absolutely certain because I don't know my own emotions that well, but if you only want to date when monogamy is at least a possibility, something I’d totally understand, then we’re probably not compatible. And finally, I don't know how good I am in bed, because I haven't checked for quite a while, not that I take it for granted that we’ll end up in bed, but if we do, I don't know how it will turn out, though probably good enough, so let's not make a self-fulfilling prophecy out of this.”

Or you know, something like that only less confusing and overwhelming.

And a lot, lot shorter.

"I think you're hot. Would you like to make out?"

That does sum it up quite nicely.

If only I could get the words out of my mouth.

I wish I knew why I can't. Maybe because I sense, as I said, that being that direct carries subtext in itself, but I'm not sure what that subtext is, so I feel like I don't know what I'm saying.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Can anyone suggest what the subtext of directness would look like in text?

It brings my mind back to a thing my therapist said, when we talked about this. "You seem to believe that you have to get it right on the first attempt." I think there is a lot to that. Something to work on.

*

In other news, this evening I pushed myself closer to making a move than I've been for as long as I can remember. Maybe not the ideal context? But I was out with a bunch of people, sat next to someone I've talked to before, had a good connection with, and she's said some things that might have been flirty or might not. At one point tonight she tickles me, and because it's unexpected I panic and take her hand and say "don't do that, seriously," and she replies with "oh, you and I could never have sex" which again might or might not have been flirty.

A bit later, I notice that she's in a conversation with the people on her other side, where they try to encourage her to find someone to hook up with, and she seems almost as terrified about it as I would have been, and I get this strong sense that I want to ask her if I could have been a candidate.

The problem is that I get this exact framing stuck in my head. Not to ask her "do you want to do something with me," but rather "seeing as you're looking, maybe I could have been a candidate, in which case I wouldn't mind". And I know with myself this is not a good approach, and can't get myself to say it, but it's so loud in my mind, I can't think of anything else to say. So I sit there, saying nothing.

I do however, at one point, catch her attention, make it clear that I will try to say something, can't get any words out, at which point she explains to me why we wouldn't have made a good couple. And that actually makes me feel GREAT, because it means that I probably did get my point across, which in turn means that I actually tried. I actually pushed myself into making the attempt.

And with rejection in place, there was nothing there to regret, so when she went up to somebody else, I was so happy for her. They were still talking when I left, and I hope they hit it off.

*

I feel... like I'm on the brink of something. Like this communication issue might be the final obstacle before I get to where I want to be with sex, romance, dating... which is, where I'm at least making the attempt. And I'm learning to think that I am, in fact, attractive to a large enough number of people that making the attempt will sometimes lead to something good.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:34 pm

So the person in the writing group, asked her if she wanted to meet up after the NaNo thing is over, for coffee. Didn't frame it as a date, won't think of it as one. Aim for know is getting to know her, with the idea that I might turn out to feel attraction in the future, but current coffee won't be about that.

My second-guessing brain asks: This is... an okay way to do it? I'm unsure of what would make it into a friendship under false flag-thing, but I don't have the feeling this is that? For one thing, I see friendship if it happens as a rather good outcome...

PS: Asking wasn't difficult at all. Person seemed surprised about it, but pleased.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Wondering on Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:45 pm

And I assume she said yes? Smile

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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:47 pm

Yes Smile
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Enail on Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:51 pm

If you see friendship as a good outcome, I think that's what makes the difference. It will probably make it clearer that it's not a false-flag thing if you mentally frame the friend-meeting as a separate thing from the "asking for a date" thing you might initiate at the end if you're feeling it, which it sounds like you're already doing, I think.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:57 pm

I think so too, but I'm not quite sure what it means... it's one of those areas where nuances and slightly-different-but-related-thoughts/goals/motives/feelings get confusing to me (which in turn is probably a big part of the confusion that leaves me paralyzed when I do want to ask people out).
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by JP McBride on Sat Nov 28, 2015 2:31 pm

Hirundo Bos wrote:That does sum it up quite nicely.

If only I could get the words out of my mouth.

I wish I knew why I can't. Maybe because I sense, as I said, that being that direct carries subtext in itself, but I'm not sure what that subtext is, so I feel like I don't know what I'm saying.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Can anyone suggest what the subtext of directness would look like in text?

Aside from the implied offer to make out, there really is no subtext.

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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:18 am

I started yesterday panicking over the two Tinder conversations I'd suddenly found myself in, thinking all I said was awkward and I would never get anything but short replies that would peeter out... then, over the course of the day, replies got longer and more personal, I think I did my part of the conversation well, good pacing, good questions, and I ended yesterday with a pleasant feeling and a good night and a feeling it won't be too far into the future before I can say things like "do you want to make out?"

And now I'm mildly panicking about asking my Tinder matches to meet (for coffee, or maybe beer I think), because... I'm not even sure why. It feels like a timing issue, like I have to wait for the right moment in the conversation – not for example, in the middle of another topic, but then, if I wait for a break in the conversation, it feels like it's going to come out of nowhere, and with both in the middle of and at a break in the conversation is out, there really isn't many options left.

Yet, people do ask one another out, so I assume there's some sort of solution to this...

I have a feeling I should do it some time today though, while momentum in the conversation is still there.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by reboot on Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:58 am

Maybe during a lull, write "I am really enjoying this conversation, do you want to do it face to face? Like maybe $day over $beverage or activity of choice?"

Remember, 95% of people on Tinder want to meet the matches they connect with IRL, so it is a natural progression.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:13 pm

Of the two I've been chatting with, one kind of called me out... Said I was asking a lot of questions and not saying anything about myself – which is true, because I've been so focused on not turning everything to be about myself, and not thought about how the other extreme might appear. She also asked me directly what I was looking for on Tinder, and after a bit of panicking I answered "getting to know people, hoping it might lead to something physical". Currently we're talking about my taste in music...

With the other one, there was a lull in conversation, so I said more less what Reboot proposed.

Then I swiped some more photos and got two more matches before soon, so I'm beginning to see what an abundance mentality is like.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:07 pm

Just sendt a message to someone and asked if they "maybe wanted to do something noncomittally dateish some day" which is as direct as I could make myself be. Am a little nervous now. Equally scary whether she says yes or no...

EDIT: She was very excited and would have said yes, but she kind of have something going already. If that doesn't work, she'll get back to me Smile I really have to listen to my guts more, because both those items was about what I had sensed.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:45 am

I could maybe use some input on how to frame my current relations with this person I asked on a date – who, as mentioned, answered that she'd have liked that a lot, but she was involved with someone else at the moment, so let's get back to it if that doesn't work and just hang as friends now.

And I'm very into hanging as friends, as I am with most people I find myself attracted to, but there's the (autistically exarcerbated) problem of having several thoughts at once.

So, when I distance myself, it's pretty simple: Ball's in her court (I even stated so specifically), and until further notice, there's nothing more than friendliness in the air.

Except the feelings that made me ask for the date are there, and she knows they're there, and I'm not sure where to put them, and check myself when I speak with her because I worry about saying something flirty, and I check my motivation before acting towards her because I sometimes find myself wanting to influence her decision but I really don't want to act on that because I don't want to be a false friend, but when I'm in the immediate moment, it's not easy to keep track of your motivations.

And I simulatenously find myself wishing her luck with this other person (as a friend would) and hoping she'll get around to dating me instead (as someone with feelings would) – this is all internal, unlikely to affect interactions, but it's confusing to think two thoughts directly in opposition to each other. (I'm assuming monogamous inclinations on her part because that's the social default, and am aware I'm looking for something not so monogamous myself, but am only further confused by this.)

And then there's the matter of my recent explosion in flirting abilities (ie being able to do it at all), and the fact that this social media place is where I'm spending most of my social times, so there are other people there I'm attracted to, and yet others that are probably attracted to me, and I worry about what it would mean to be flirting with them as well, where she could potentially see... Could it be seen as trying to make her jealous (it's not)? Or as just moving from one to the next, meaning I'm not really that interested in either? Or could it give her a bit of a sting to watch, seeing as she's apparently a little into me as well? Seeing as there's nothing more than friendliness in the air for now, maybe I shouldn't worry myself with this, but still... I dont´t know.

And finally it's how I'm so slow about taking social initiative – although I've improved a lot. Still, I worry that if I don't hold up my part of building this into a friendship, it can be read as if I wasn't about wanting that, even though I very much am, but as we know, there are people out there who are not

I dunno. I'm... pretty inexperienced with both courtship and friendship, I think... With a bit more experience under my collar, I'll probably learn better how to navigate some of the spaces inbetween.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Wondering on Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:37 pm

As to the issue of you dating other people and how it makes her feel, I wouldn't worry about that. She's not available for you to date (now), so you date or flirt with other people just as you would like, as if she weren't in the equation.

The only thing I would say is to pay attention to how you may talk to her about dating other people (not sure if that would even be part of your conversations) so it doesn't look like you're trying to make her jealous. Don't make it bragging, for instance.

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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:47 pm

I'm not sure it would be part of our conversations either. But conversations go unexpected places sometimes, so the advice is certainly useful. As for acting as if she's not in the equation when she's not, thanks for confirming what my own gut feeling said. (Have to start listening to that gut.)
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:52 pm

Asked someone from Tinder if she wanted to go for a beer, got a yes.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Dan_Brodribb on Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:19 pm

Well done. Between this thread and the happiness one, I'm really proud of you.

There's no guarantees how any specific situation will work out, but I hope you keep up what you're doing. It feels like you're moving in a good direction for yourself.

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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:30 am

Thanks Smile It feels like that to me too. Although not with the speed of last week, but that's a good thing I think.

(Just have to not pay attention to the small fear that it's all been a brief surge of something, and that I'll be back to where I started before soon.)

---

So, brief question: The one who said no thanks to dating for now but maybe later and would love to hang in any case, and I said the ball was in her court when it came to dating... that doesn't mean I shouldn't take initiative to non-dating things, right? My gut tells me I not only can, but should, to make it clear I honestly do want to hang; my second guessing brain tells me there might be some subtext or etiquette that I'm missing...
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by reboot on Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:32 am

If you are on board for nondating things, definitely take the initiative. Put her in the friend category and proceed as you would with any other new friend.
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Re: Why am I not asking people out?

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:49 pm

Hirundo Bos wrote:

So, brief question: The one who said no thanks to dating for now but maybe later and would love to hang in any case, and I said the ball was in her court when it came to dating... that doesn't mean I shouldn't take initiative to non-dating things, right? My gut tells me I not only can, but should, to make it clear I honestly do want to hang; my second guessing brain tells me there might be some subtext or etiquette that I'm missing...

Aww that's super cool! Grin

And absolutely, if you wanna take the initiative to do non-dating things, by all means go for it! Doesn't mean you still can't be buddies.

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