I swear this NEVER happens.
July 25, 2010 11:05 PM   Subscribe

I'm a silly gal who, because she grew up with and has all male friends, is really skilled in socializing with men and terrible with women. I met another silly gal I think I could hit it off with, but it didn't go well. Should I see if she wants to try again (and if so, how) or cut my losses?

We went out Saturday night and talked for hours, but it was mostly getting to know you talk which isn't what either of us wanted. We wanted to goof around but couldn't figure out how to bounce off one another. (Not the first time this happened as my style of goofiness doesn't work with women... yay.)

She maybe didn't mind at first, because she still invited me to hang out with her friends the next day. Same problem happened; I couldn't figure out how to bounce off of them so I sat there quietly.

I'm a firm believer in practice makes perfect so I know it won't always be this way, but I'm afraid it's too late with this particular girl.

It's only been a few hours, but she hasn't followed up and since we're both chatty I expected a "had fun!" txt. My friends say I should text her first; should I? And if so how long should I wait?

Does it mean anything if she looked at my OKC profile again after the outing?

If I'm right and I turned her off, how do I deal with the disappointment re:that? I went into it knowing I still had a lot to learn, but I'm upset that my first learning experience ended up being someone I really liked.... and someone who actually -wants- to be silly when we hang out, which is a rare find.
posted by Autumn to Human Relations (29 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
To clarify, are you interested in this girl romantically or just as friends? (sorry if I'm missing something, but your question doesn't read totally clear to me)
posted by kylej at 11:23 PM on July 25, 2010


just wait a couple days and ask her to hang out again! You're overanalyzing this. You haven't texted her either; maybe she's waiting for you to text her. Or maybe not. You don't know yet.
posted by wayland at 11:24 PM on July 25, 2010


Are you trying to be friends with this woman or was this a date? I couldn't tell from the question.
posted by blueberry at 11:26 PM on July 25, 2010


Response by poster: I'm interested romantically, but would like to continue hanging out as friends-with-benefits (nothing special since all her friends fall into that category) and see if it turns into something. I want to go out again because I enjoy spending time with her, not for the benefits.

Hopefully that clarifies and doesn't make it more confusing... left that part out so you wouldn't have to read a novella.
posted by Autumn at 11:37 PM on July 25, 2010


Best answer: Sometimes two very skilled chefs cannot make a decent meal together either. But, as you note, practice can make perfect. Spend more time with her, just her if you can as friends you don't know can mute your desired silliness, go somewhere goofy (fun house comes to mind) where laughing at yourself and your friends is a given.

Text her now or in the morning, whichever you feel most inclined to do.
posted by fenriq at 11:57 PM on July 25, 2010


There's a reason why most people drink alcohol on dates! That might help to loosen you up.

(Also, adults who "goof around" are typically those who "fool around" or have sex. Is that what you meant? I'm also sort of confused by the words "silly" and "gal". "Gal" is what your great-uncle calls you, not what you call a girl you want to sleep with! Is it possible that you're a little nervous/unconfident about dating girls? I'm willing to bet that this is evident in your body language, and I would point you to my first point: Alcohol.)

You might have an impression that women are more prim and less reserved than men, and I can assure you that's not the case. I think women are just as adventurous, funny, and bawdy as men, but perhaps they're a bit more discerning about who they open up to.

Final suggestion: perhaps a restaurant or bar isn't the ideal location to be, ah, goofy?
posted by acidic at 12:11 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Oops! By being silly/goofy I mean conversationally. We were hanging out at her place. The term gal doesn't have any significance.

I fail at AskMeFi.
posted by Autumn at 12:17 AM on July 26, 2010


I thought everything you said made sense, and am not used to 'goof around' as synonym for 'fool around' at all (not to digress; just to reassure). But, I do agree that it might be good to try to go somewhere that encourages the goofiness (along the 'not a restaurant or bar' note, and perhaps also 'not her place' - pick somewhere that's comfortable fun territory for you both or at least for you, so that you can open up a bit more).

Definitely you should text her first - for all you know, she's wondering why you were so quiet and whether she did something to upset you.
posted by Lady Li at 12:22 AM on July 26, 2010


Maybe rather than chatting you should be doing something goofy? Like, I don't know, go rowing together, or to an amusement park or whatever else you think might be fun.

Some friends are better at having fun in action than at talking together.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:04 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Is it possible you're psyching yourself out? It sounds to me like you're putting an awful lot of pressure on yourself (and her) to be funny and fun. Senses of humour don't always allign immediately, which is perfectly fine. It could be that you run in different circles/have different inside jokes and thus, it'll take a while for you to totally get each other's goofiness.

And, for what it's worth:
1. Talking for hours (especially about 'getting to know you') = positive sign
2. Inviting you to hang out = positive sign
3. Checking your online profile = positive sign

So, relax! It sounds like you really like her and it certainly seems like she's interested in you, so get to know her and don't worry as much about impressing her. And send that text!
posted by brambory at 2:01 AM on July 26, 2010


Another clarification request: are you attracted to both men and women, or just women? I'm wondering if your ability to socialize with men has involved flirting and you're having trouble being non-flirty with women - or if, on the other hand, you don't flirt with men at all and that's why you get along with them, and now you're trying to figure out how to flirt with women.

But yeah, for your next outing do something that encourages silliness, like minigolf or one of those paint your own pottery places.

And it's only been a few hours - sometimes you wait days before you hear from someone, but that's not necessarily a bad sign. She might not want to come across as over-eager, or she just might have other stuff to do at the moment.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:12 AM on July 26, 2010


(Not the first time this happened as my style of goofiness doesn't work with women... yay.)

As a woman meeting other women, I really dislike those women who backhand insult other women by saying "Oh, I normally don't get along with woman because I'm so goofy/perverted/sporty other adjective here. So I normally hang out with guys." Right, no other woman in the world is goofy.

I find that attitude a definite turn-off, and I don't like someone who's made an automatic judgment and lumps me into some kind of uncool category with the rest of everyone who shares my gender.

Your special snowflake attitude may be shining through and women may find it obnoxious. Just saying.
posted by unannihilated at 5:31 AM on July 26, 2010 [32 favorites]


One thing that other people like to hear is compliments, but subtle compliments that re-enforce their idea of themselves. It's always kind of a thrill to hear from someone, "Hey, I had a great time last night, you were really funny and smart." Everyone wants to be funny and smart.

Call her up. Be complimentary but not profuse (tell her she is funny and smart but act like that is obvious to everyone and not a come-on to her.) Invite her to do something else, perhaps something in the day time like going shopping. It doesn't have to be clothes shopping-- it could be for a kazoo or a puppet or a care package for your friend in Peru.

What you want is a tiny hook, one that will reel her in for a closer look so you can dazzle her with your charm. The trick is to make the hook not scary, not obvious, but still irresistible.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:46 AM on July 26, 2010


"I'm a silly gal who, because she grew up with and has all male friends, is really skilled in socializing with men and terrible with women. [...] (Not the first time this happened as my style of goofiness doesn't work with women... yay.)"

Start by realizing that people are PEOPLE and what works with men works with women. If you're lumping 50% of the human race into "people I don't bother to consider as individuals because their plumbing alerts me that we will not get along," then, yes, you're not going to get along with women. Not because you're too goofy, but because you've already decided you don't like women.

Like unannihilated, I find that kind of attitude obnoxious.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:48 AM on July 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I know and hate that attitude of, "I don't get along with ALL WOMEN, only men!" but I don't read that in the OP's intentions. I think she just feels silly and shy, not superior or rude. Having said that, it would help not to lump all women together for any reason :)

My friends say I should text her first; should I? And if so how long should I wait?

I agree that you should call or e-mail today (text is too easy to ignore) with specific, fun plans that represent your style of goofiness. Mini-putting? Frisbee? Dancing? Some kind of creative local event? An odd museum or gallery where you could make jokes?

You could mention that you were a little nervous, but her sense of humour really put you at ease, and you would like to get to know her more. Simple and sweet!
posted by cranberrymonger at 7:15 AM on July 26, 2010


Best answer: As a woman meeting other women, I really dislike those women who backhand insult other women by saying "Oh, I normally don't get along with woman because I'm so goofy/perverted/sporty other adjective here. So I normally hang out with guys." Right, no other woman in the world is goofy.

I find that attitude a definite turn-off, and I don't like someone who's made an automatic judgment and lumps me into some kind of uncool category with the rest of everyone who shares my gender.


How is that a backhand insult? Some girls don't get along well with most other girls, some guys don't get along well with most other guys. It seems a bit judgmental for you to say that's some kind of prejudice. Just because she doesn't have a lot of experience interacting with other women doesn't mean she's decided she doesn't like women, as people are implying.

The OP specifically says I'm a silly gal who, because she grew up with and has all male friends, is really skilled in socializing with men and terrible with women. How do you turn that into some kind of "uncool category" she's decided she doesn't like? I'm not sure the OP deserves this negativity.
posted by Phyltre at 7:43 AM on July 26, 2010


text her something light and honest like "dude, sorry if my vibe was off. takes me a minute to hit my stride around a pretty/funny/smart girl. "

her "oh you think i'm pretty/funny/smart"
you "sure do...wanna grab some coffee on Thurs?"

or if you don't want to push it into romance yet just say "dude, sorry if my vibe was off. takes me a minute to hit my stride with new peeps" & see what she says.
posted by UltraD at 8:14 AM on July 26, 2010


Best answer: I think it's telling that a lot of MeFites don't know what you're saying, which gender you tend to be attracted to or what you wanted from this encounter -- it seems like you're sending out, at best, mixed signals (and at worst, off-putting vibes). If I were you I would stop convoluting things (I'm a Silly Gal, let's be goofy together!) and be more straightforward (would you like to have coffee with me?). Dating can be hard; don't make things more complicated than they already are.
posted by kate blank at 8:48 AM on July 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


Yeah, in some groups you'll be part of the funniness, but often you have to figure it out for a little while first.

Like, if you wanted to join a band, first you would have to listen to their music and figure out where you would fit in. In the meantime, laugh and be appreciative and confident, and no one will be upset with you or dislike you. If anything, it can be fun to have a straight man (heh) around to bounce silliness off of.

In terms of romantic stuff--of course you are going to have a hard time being relaxed and funny on your first date. Until you get a lot of practice dating, you're going to be self-conscious. It's okay. Serious-ish talking-about-stuff is not a bad sign, it's just a different facet of a relationship. It doesn't mean there can be no goofiness later.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:54 AM on July 26, 2010


I think it's telling that a lot of MeFites don't know what you're saying, which gender you tend to be attracted to or what you wanted from this encounter -- it seems like you're sending out, at best, mixed signals (and at worst, off-putting vibes). If I were you I would stop convoluting things (I'm a Silly Gal, let's be goofy together!) and be more straightforward (would you like to have coffee with me?). Dating can be hard; don't make things more complicated than they already are.

This is exactly what I came here to say.
posted by desuetude at 9:23 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


We wanted to goof around but couldn't figure out how to bounce off one another. (Not the first time this happened as my style of goofiness doesn't work with women... yay.)

I have reread this a dozen times and I still have no clue what these sentences actually mean.

Maybe crossed communication wires are to blame for the lack of post-date followup.
posted by crankylex at 9:45 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


On preview, what kate blank said.
posted by crankylex at 9:46 AM on July 26, 2010


Response by poster: Quick note: Sorry I'm coming across as sexist here! I just assumed it was a gender thing because whenever I make a goofy comment to another woman, I get this odd look followed by an "ohh you were joking!" smile, whereas men pick up on it right away. Since that's happened multiple times I figured there was a social nuance I haven't yet picked up on. I don't see my brand of humor as superior, but rather my delivery as ineffective. Re: the girl in question, when I was able to alter the way I said something silly it went well; when I said it as I normally would she assumed I was being serious.

I did put a lot of pressure on myself to be silly, so that might've been why I failed. What usually happened was she'd say something silly, or tell me a silly story, but instead of being silly back all I could think of was a follow-up normal-conversation question, I'd say it, she'd answer but then pause and give me this disappointed look, and I'd kick myself. But when I said something totally silly back she'd give me this huge smile and usually start/continue laughing her ass off.

I appreciate all the advice so far and huuuuge apologies for coming off as negative towards women!

I'm gay but have dated men in the past.

Sorry about the long update; hopefully it helps clear things up.
posted by Autumn at 9:46 AM on July 26, 2010


Best answer: I think you're putting too much pressure on yourself to act one way or the other. You can't be silly all the time, that would get really annoying. Forcing it just makes it come out awkward. If you feel like being silly, be silly. If you feel like having a deep conversation, do that. If she's into silliness 24/7, that's kind of weird and would make having any sort of relationship difficult.
posted by crankylex at 10:11 AM on July 26, 2010


Response by poster: Well as I wrong about things... it turns out she hadn't spoken to me because when she dropped me off my step dad went outside and told her to never talk to me or visit me again or else he would get her in trouble. He told her he could see everything I do online, and she's now too creeped out. I looked into it and apparently he's been turning on my computer and going through my things when I'm not here. So I guess I have bigger issues.

I know you're wondering now; we're in our early twenties.
posted by Autumn at 11:15 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm so sorry. You don't deserve to have your privacy invaded like that.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:18 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Um...that's terrible!
Do you know what you are going to do now?
posted by Omnomnom at 12:42 PM on July 26, 2010


"Well as I wrong about things... it turns out she hadn't spoken to me because when she dropped me off my step dad went outside and told her to never talk to me or visit me again or else he would get her in trouble. He told her he could see everything I do online, and she's now too creeped out. I looked into it and apparently he's been turning on my computer and going through my things when I'm not here. So I guess I have bigger issues.

I know you're wondering now; we're in our early twenties.
"

Wow - if you are both in your twenties, then that is way, way, way out of line. At this point your priorities should be a) telling your step-dad how out of line he is, b) putting a password on your computer account and c) moving out.
posted by tdismukes at 12:53 PM on July 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Best answer: You are aware that women are not another species, right? I think this is the crux of your problem. If you're skilled at socializing with men, those skills translate directly into socializing with women.

I'm with unannihilated 1000% percent.

Also, checking your profile is not necessarily a good sign. I've checked profiles after spectacularly bad dates, too either show the profiles to friends, or to figure out what warning signs I missed. The short answer is that you can't know what she's thinking at this stage.

Relax. Either your two will get on, or you won't. Wait a few days, then suggest an outing of some sort, preferably just the two of you (fewer dynamics to wrestle with than when the other person is with a friend and you're trying to fit into their style of interacting).
posted by tejolote at 12:26 AM on July 27, 2010


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