What should I say?
March 9, 2013 11:49 AM   Subscribe

I met and had a great conversation with a beautiful woman on public transit but I blanked when the time came to get her contact info. I'm about to facebook message her... How should I put this? Full explanation inside.

Yesterday morning I was riding the San Francisco MUNI into work quite late and a couple stops after I got on a beautiful woman gets on with a friend. Really makes my brain go goofy. I never do it but a big part of me wanted to say hello to her, but she was in conversation with her friend the whole time and I was not going to interrupt. I get to my stop and get off and they get off as well but go in the opposite direction. Oh well, so goes life.

I end up leaving work early and head back down to MUNI and as I enter the station and head towards the gate I look to my left and there she is again! Heading towards the same gate. We both get to the gate and both of us are greeted by red X's showing our cards are empty. So we both have to head over to the pay station and reload our cards. Then we both head back over to the gate and enter and at this time I just can't take it anymore and I blurt out "Hey I think we were on the same train this morning" as casually as I can. She responds with a "oh, cool" and then silence so I just nod and smile and walk on. Then she calls after me "it must be the crazy pants." I was flabbergasted and amazed, but she engaged in the conversation! We kept talking and walking together and had a nice pleasant conversation wherein we introduced ourselves and talked about where we worked.

Eventually her train came, the doors opened and she turned and said "I hope to see you around." I was dumbstruck and just nodded and said "yeah". She got on her train and off it went. I of course immediately started kicking myself for not asking for her number or email. Shortly after I asked four different female friends from all walks of life if, considering the interaction, I found her online would it be ok to message her with the equivalent of "Hey great meeting you and it was silly that I didn't think to get your email, but would you like to meet for coffee sometime?" All my friends responded with a resounding, "yes! do it!" And one of them including the sage advice of, you only get to message her once, no more.

So I'm all ready to do it but I'm hung up on one thing... do I explain how I found her? It's really not that crazy. I found her work's website, they had about five people listed on their corporate team and so I facebook searched them and there she was, standing next to one of these people in their profile picture. But I'm hung up on it that is important or not. If she'd be weirded out getting the message with no explanation or weirded out by an explanation.

Hive mind?
posted by matt_od to Human Relations (36 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If she told you where she worked, I don't think it's weird to message her saying you found her name through her work website.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:57 AM on March 9, 2013 [5 favorites]

"yes! do it!"
posted by Betelgeuse at 11:59 AM on March 9, 2013

What the hell. Do it. Life's too long to live with the regret of missed opportunities.

I might nix the part about asking her to coffee right away, and instead just ask if she would be interested in continuing the conversation. That way, you give her the option to continue via the safety of messaging before committing to coffee...you allow her to gradually opt in (or gracefully opt out).

Go crazy pants!
posted by nacho fries at 12:00 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Just ask!

Don't explain!

Short and sweet!

"Hey! Found you on here, hope that's not too weird. Want to get coffee sometime?"
posted by 4bulafia at 12:01 PM on March 9, 2013 [24 favorites]

I'll second 4bulafia's suggestion. What's the worst that can happen? She can ignore your friend request, and ignore you if she sees you on MUNI. That sucks for you, but you can then go on with life, without having to second guess not sending her an invite, hoping to see her again, and stressing out even more if you do.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:05 PM on March 9, 2013

FYI, you might be prompted to pay $1.00 to have the message delivered to her main inbox and not the dreaded "Other" folder aka black hole. In this case, I might pay it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:08 PM on March 9, 2013 [12 favorites]

Clearly this is meant to be...something. You should message her.
posted by limeonaire at 12:19 PM on March 9, 2013

In terms of how (or whether) to explain how you found her:

I'd go with unapologetic honesty. "Hey Crazy Pants: I was kicking myself for not giving you my contact info when we parted ways at the train. You'd mentioned your company; I took a look at the website, and there you were. And here I am. If you want to continue, drop me a line. If not, I promise to stay out of your hair." Or somesuch.

This lets her know you won't be pestering her if you don't hear back. Safe as houses.
posted by nacho fries at 12:19 PM on March 9, 2013 [37 favorites]

Totally do it. I like this story. And spring for the direct message, definitely. I never check my "other" box.
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:34 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Note: just message her, don't friend her.
posted by amaire at 12:42 PM on March 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

nacho fries advice is excellent,

"If not, I promise to stay out of your hair."

This part is important, if nothing else there is very little that is less attractive than wondering if this dude has that very special and very common kind of cluelessness that will lead to months of harassment.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:44 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

Do it. She gave you her work info. This is the 21st century. Ask her to coffee over the interwebs. Worst she can say is "no," and you're not in the same circles so you literally have NOTHING to lose.
posted by uncannyslacks at 12:46 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Before going with the online approach...Can you take the train one more time and just see if you get lucky and you see her again?
[don't ask me why that seems less "stalky" than doing the same thing online...I must be old]
posted by calgirl at 12:54 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Finding people on Facebook is like taking a shit. Everyone does it, but no one needs to hear the details.

Would you explain the process of looking up someone's name in the phonebook?

A promise to stay out of someone's hair is less sincere than a short message.
posted by 4bulafia at 1:06 PM on March 9, 2013

If not, I promise to stay out of your hair." Or somesuch.

This lets her know you won't be pestering her if you don't hear back. Safe as houses.
Don't say this. Unsolicited promises that you will not do something unpleasant set alarm bells ringing for a lot of people.
posted by caek at 2:15 PM on March 9, 2013 [11 favorites]

FYI, if you message someone on FB who you are not "friends" with, they may not see it because it could get filtered into their "other" inbox.
posted by radioamy at 2:58 PM on March 9, 2013

Yes, don't say, "I won't stalk you, I promise." I would immediately think, "STALKER."
posted by amodelcitizen at 4:00 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

Saying you'll promise to stay out of her or anything apologetic will come off as insecure and defeatist. Keep your message short. Be confident and breezy.
posted by timsneezed at 4:08 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Do not promise to stay out of her hair. That line has been used by all the creepers I've encountered and it sets off alarm bells every time.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 4:39 PM on March 9, 2013

You've got nothing to lose, and it does sound like she liked you.
posted by Dansaman at 6:35 PM on March 9, 2013

I wouldn't message her. Too creepy and desperate.

You need to engineer meeting her again by chance. Take the same train you met her on every day for a couple of weeks so that you bump into her by "luck" not design.
posted by dydecker at 6:58 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't message her. Too creepy and desperate.

You need to engineer meeting her again by chance. Take the same train you met her on every day for a couple of weeks so that you bump into her by "luck" not design.

Totally disagree. Attempting to engineer another meeting seems creepy and desperate to me -- even if she never finds out. What a waste of time and emotional energy. Send the facebook message, pay the $1 to have it go to her real inbox, explain that she mentioned the name of the company she works for and that's how you found her, invite her to coffee. No need to promise not to stalk her, but if she doesn't respond, definitely drop it after one message.

For context, I'm youngish woman living in San Francisco.
posted by pocketfullofrye at 7:23 PM on March 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

Agree so deeply with pocketfullofrye. "Trying to engineer another meeting" = stalky. Messaging her to ask her out = straightforward, honest and romantic.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:27 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

You're original advice is sound as some anti-riot devices.

You get ONE unsolicited email/facebook message. After that, never ever contact them again if they don't reply or reply non-committally. That you don't follow up on a non-return makes "I won't stalk you, I promise" the promise made good.
posted by porpoise at 8:18 PM on March 9, 2013

Just wait to see her again.

You're likely not the first guy she's caused to go goofy. Emailing at work and stuff is a bit much. There are boundaries, even if you are gaga over her and she engaged in a friendly conversation with you.

Be patient. Don't do anything outlandish just because you're getting infatuated with her. She's a person.
posted by discopolo at 8:31 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

The whole interaction sounded friendly and inviting. That is a good sign. I think you should message her. You do not need to explain to her how you found her. If she asks, then you can tell her how internet savvy you are. This seems like a great old fashioned meet up story! I am a girl by the way and if I met someone I liked and they messaged me like this, then I would be ecstatic. I have only found guys creepy when they continued to message me after I told them that I was not interested.

Already you seemed good at not crossing the creepy boundary by allowing her to be the one to choose to continue the conversation. Do the same thing here. Send your message and allow her to choose to continue conversing with you or not.

I say definitely do it!!
posted by Jaelma24 at 8:46 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't see how hoping to see her again on the same commute is "going out of his way" to bump into her again. It's not like going on a second route that he normally would never take, only because he found out that she could be on it.

Assuming this was a typical weekday morning, it doesn't seem like it could hurt, although maybe the odds are against it if Friday was the first time he saw her. I guess the drawback is the afternoon ride, since he got out early that day.

But I could never ask someone out I met on public transit because of the potentially huge awkwardness of seeing them again later, esp if there was a non-response instead of a polite decline.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:17 AM on March 10, 2013

I say go for it, but perhaps try to find out her work email address? People are used to getting unsolicited email; Facebook messages seem to be a bit more personal. And as others have pointed out, she might not see it anyway.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:15 AM on March 10, 2013

Yeah, message her, short and sweet. If it were me I'd probably just think "aww!" when I got the message and assume that you found me due to some combo of what we talked about-- work or school, most likely. I mean, she'll probably deduce that and if not just ask you, if she cares.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:37 AM on March 10, 2013

I think the fact that she called after you and engaged in conversation definitely shows that she's interested. She probably also regrets not exchanging contact info- I think a short, honest message would be ok. If you'd somehow managed to find her on facebook without knowing anything about her that'd be creepy. But you know her name and where she works. So it's not going to be that weird or surprising to her that you thought to look her up this way. Hell, maybe she even gave you that info on purpose, knowing you'd be able to get in touch if you really wanted to. I'd go for it.
posted by Argyle_Sock_Puppet at 1:33 PM on March 10, 2013

Go for it! And I would recommend messaging her now while you are still fresh in her memory rather than trying to engineer a chance meeting. This method requires minimal effort so you won't feel as disappointed if it doesn't work.
posted by timsneezed at 1:50 PM on March 10, 2013

Thanks all for your input! Message sent. Facebook shows she's seen it... Now to see if she writes back!
posted by matt_od at 2:26 PM on March 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

You better update us!
posted by Defenestrator at 11:01 PM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

We're getting married!

No... actually still haven't heard back from her so probably won't be.

Oh well.
posted by matt_od at 10:05 AM on March 12, 2013

She could be waiting for people to answer her Ask MeFi about the message she's just received ... don't give up hope just yet!
posted by LyzzyBee at 12:39 PM on March 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

So I guess we're coming up on Thursday...


There's plenty of other sardines on the MUNI, right?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:43 AM on March 14, 2013

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