Typically my posts are all about giving advice and insights, so I thought it would be interesting to turn things around and ask you, dear readers, for advice. You may recall my mentioning of a certain someone who occupies my thoughts way more than I would like. The short story is that I finally got the guts to ask her out and she responded by saying that even though she did like me (thought I was “amazing”), that she wasn’t ready to deal with dating. Not having been rejected in a while, I didn’t know what to do. Trying to be friends with someone that you want so much more from is not something that interests me, so I did what any self-respecting man does: I hid.
Asking out someone at work is a lot like asking someone out at school. If they say yes, it’s fun to run into them on campus; if they say no, running into them is torture. She was actually on my floor for a while and I’d run into her all the time, smile, and put on my big, “hey, you rejected me but I’m fine” performance. That’s where my acting skills come into play. But I hated doing that, so I tried to be on the lookout for her and hide. I’d see her in the cafeteria frequently and would do what I consider childish things: duck behind a pole, turn my back just as she walked by so she wouldn’t see me. This little game worked for the most part as we rarely made eye contact. I’m convinced that she had no idea how often we would have seen each other had I not been practicing the ninja arts.
Once she moved into another building, I figured I’d be safe. Not so, I still ran into her around campus. Drats. The exposure was more limited, but still there. I was finally getting to a point where seeing her wasn’t that big of a deal. Just another girl, I told myself, that’s all.
This past week, I was late getting out of work and was walking to my car in the parking garage when I see a girl. Now, I’m a gawker…I pretty much check out every girl until I can determine if she’s cute or not, so naturally I’m looking. But then I see her slow down and look in my direction. I can’t quite see who she is but I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. As I get closer…yep, it’s her. Great, no place to hide, full eye contact made. She stops walking and waits for me to walk to her.
“Hey,” she says with a smile that makes me melt, “I haven’t seen you in how long…months?”
“I know,” I pull a smile onto my face, “how’s it going?”
We talk for about ten minutes. Nothing heavy, just a little banter about work and other things that have been going on. She mentioned that she thought she’d see me on campus more but since she moved into a new building, that hasn’t been the case. I’m in the same spot, I told her.
“We should catch up sometime,” she says.
“Sure,” I grimmace, “if you want to get coffee or something…”
“Yeah, we should grab lunch sometime,” she replied.
“Of course,” I say, “you know how to reach me.”
Just then her phone rings and she has to take it. We say goodbye. My mind starts racing. Now what?
Usually, I’m pretty cool with girls. This one, for some reason, has completely gotten under my skin. My stomach turns just thinking of her; the thought of being with her excites me, the thought of being without her makes my heart sink. I was already rejected by her…twice…so the thought of starting over is a tough one. No one likes rejection. But was her suggestion that we catch up an indication that she wants me in her life? Maybe that she’s willing to test the waters? What’s my next move? Do I wait to see if she contacts me for that lunch? Do I take the initiative and ask her to lunch?
Your turn, give me some advice.