My life is a succession of missed opportunities, how can I avoid this?
May 20, 2021 12:50 PM   Subscribe

I recently had a tinder date. I arrived to the bar where I had agreed to meet the guy. I was looking around trying to find the guy but I couldn’t find him. I saw a group of handsome guys sitting on a table. They were looking at me. A few minutes later one of them stood up and approached me. He told me that if I was looking for a place to sit I could join them. This never, literally, never happens to me. I didn’t know what to say. I finally told the guy that I was waiting for a friend but that I wasn’t sure if he was coming or not. He said, ok, come join us if you want. I thanked him and he went back to his table with his friends. I felt very flattered and happy but also kind of sad that this nice situation had to happen precisely at an inconvenient moment. I’ve been so unlucky in my love/dating life… Anyway, I text the tinder guy to ask him where he is. He replies that he is sitting on the bar next doors because he couldn’t find a table at the other one. I analyse the situation for some minutes.

On the one hand, there is a group of handsome guys who just invited me to join them. They look friendly, they look nice, they look eager to talk to me. On the other hand, there is a guy I had agreed to meet and he is waiting for me. I don’t know whether I will like him or not (often, tinder guys don’t look like the person on the picture, or they look like the person, but their personality is not at all compatible with mine). For a while I contemplate texting the tinder guy to tell him that something had come up… I thought that, well, this literally never ever happens to me and that is precisely why I use tinder in the first place, because guys never approach me “in real life”. In the end I decided that I couldn’t just stand up the tinder guy. He was waiting for me. But I came up with a solution. I figured I could tell the guy who had approached me that I couldn’t join them because my friend had arrived but I could give him my number instead and we could share a beer another day. I was a bit hesitant to do this because I was afraid of looking too eager to chat with these guys. In the end I followed the plan and I approached the guy on the table. His friends were looking at me. I felt so nervous. I told him that I couldn’t join them now because my friend had arrived but I could give him my phone number. He was like “ah, no, no… don’t worry, I was just asking if you wanted to sit here in case that you couldn’t find a place to sit”. I was so hurt about his reply. I basically offered him my number and he rejected it. I don’t know if he did it out of politeness or what but I felt hurt. I didn’t even turn to see the faces of his friends to see their reaction. I just felt so ashamed and left immediately. I went to the bar next doors. I saw the tinder guy. I felt kind of resentful to him because he “stole” my opportunity to meet these handsome guys but of course I knew that it wasn’t his fault at all so I was nice to him. We had an ok date. About an hour later he receives a call. He tells me that he has to leave because his brother had a problem with his car and he had to go help him. I was like “ok”… I went back to the other bar. The guys had left. 30 minutes later I was back in the deep silence of my lonely flat.

The thing is that, it may sound like I am exaggerating but I almost never meet guys “in real life”. And the few times that I have had similar situations, I have somehow messed these opportunities up. For instance, one time I met a man who was super handsome (in my opinion) and nice. He approached me in a bar. He bought me a drink. The nicest thing about this man was that he was not just super handsome. He was also very intelligent and we had many things in common. I almost never meet guys who have interests similar to mine (I have very specific interests). We talked for hours and then we kissed. It was such a good kiss. At the end of the night he asked me “what are you going to do now?”. I was like…. “mmmm, is he suggesting that I go back to his place with him?”… I thought that I didn’t want to go back to his place because I just didn’t want to have a one night stand with him. I really liked this guy. I also remembered that I hadn’t shaved my legs haha…. So I told him the stupidest answer one can tell in a situation like that. I told him “I’m going home now”. He replied ok. And I left. Fifteen minutes later “I thought “Am I stupid or what?”. I could have answered, “well, what would you like to do?”. I could have answered, “Well, we can go eat something”. I could have answered, “I am really tired and I am going home but let’s exchange numbers and we can keep on chatting another time”. There were a thousand better answers to this question but somehow I chose “I am going home”. Granted, the guy could have also said something along the lines “ah ok, but do you want to meet another time?” or “give me your number or your social media contact”. He didn’t say any of this, which could have meant that he actually just wanted to have a one night stand or that he was also confused with my answer and didn’t know what to say. The next day I tried to find this guy on facebook and instagram. I searched and searched for hours. I never found him.

Another time, I met a guy at a party. He was a friend of a friend. Surprisingly, we also had many things in common. I also found him to be attractive. At the end of the party a group of people started to head towards a bar. He asked me if I wanted to join them. I was with a friend of mine. She told me “I don’t want to go to the bar, I want to go eat something, come on, join me”. She didn’t know that I had found the guy attractive… I was thinking… mmm “what should I do?”. In the end I went to a pizza place with my friend. I felt so stupid and I was thinking “why do I join her instead of accepting the invitation of the guy that I actually like?”. I guess I did it because I felt pressure from my friend to join her for food and also, because I felt, again, afraid of looking too eager about the guy.

And like these situations… I have had many…. many missed opportunities with men because I have not known how to handle these situations. Or because I have thought about other people’s feelings or needs before mine. I feel that as I get older (I’m in my mid thirties now). I have fewer and fewer opportunities to meet men. Specially, because my social life is very limited due to the fact that most of my friends are married, or have children and I also rarely meet new people. I use online dating to meet men. But I don’t like it because I feel that I waste a lot of time there... I prefer to meet men in real life, but the covid also didn’t help. I guess that I feel insecure inside, I am usually afraid of looking “too eager” and I think maybe I am sabotaging myself. I am also very sad that at my age, I haven’t met the love of my life. How can I avoid these situations? How can I feel more confident about dating and not afraid of “looking too eager”?
posted by Fromthesouth to Human Relations (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think the most useful thing you can do short term is: When you're feeling conflicted (like in the friend plus pizza place example), take the time to think about what you want. It can be hard for people like you or me who don't want to expose our needs to separate what other people want from us with what we actually want. So, if the choice were yours, what would you do? And then tell your friend. "Actually...I kinda really want to flirt with this guy...can we join him at the bar for a bit? Please?" Maybe she says no. You can still decide whether to go along with her or risk her wrath and stay. But at least you've asserted your desires, which is a much bigger step than you've taken so far. Your friends can't know what you want if you don't tell them, and you can't tell them if you haven't firmed it up in your mind what you actually want. So work on that - not just in flirt situations, in any situations where you feel conflicted.

The other thing is: In your leading first example you did nothing at all wrong. You were correct not to ditch your date for a random flirt opportunity. You were wonderfully brave and super right to offer your number. You asserted your wants! It didn't work out. Your date was uninteresting and the handsome guy passed up on the opportunity to date you. It smarted. That does not mean it was the wrong thing to do. Just because you do the right thing doesn't mean life will reward you with a date! Dating is a numbers game. Neither of these guys were right for you. There will be other guys.

Which brings me to the last point that there's a lot of pain in your post, mostly from the urgency with which you feel life and love passing you by. This, hinging your happiness on all the potential relationships that are not happening for you, is a miserable background score for your life! I think that it's worth talking to a therapist what's behind all that. You don't have to feel as unhappy as you do now.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:18 PM on May 20, 2021 [36 favorites]

I'm sorry that you're lonely and having a hard time, it's not your fault! The men who offered to let you sit with them were just trying to be chivalrous and polite. They saw a woman standing alone, maybe looking a little uncertain, and they wanted to offer her a seat. No more, no less. You didn't mess up anything, you just misread the situation - which is super normal and nothing to be embarrassed about. It's cool that you decided to take a chance and give him your number. The next time a handsome guy talks you up at or offers to buy you a drink and you feel an attraction, do that again!

I know it's easy to get really burned out on online dating, but a nice thing about it is that you and the person you are meeting (probably) have similar objectives about meeting someone for potential longterm dating. It isn't always the case, but a lot of times a man who offers to buy you a drink or chat you up at a bar is more interested in just getting laid, and it doesn't sound like you're looking for that.
posted by cakelite at 1:18 PM on May 20, 2021 [6 favorites]

Perhaps you can practice trying to re-frame your thinking about these situations. At the moment everything is through the lens of "missing an opportunity". But you don't even know what might have happened. You do know what actually happened. In the first story, you were a good and kind responsible person who didn't renege on a plan and stand up your date. In the third story you were a good kind friend who stayed with the person you have an existing friendship with rather than pursuing a new person. I'm sure both the people in these stories valued your actions and value you for them. You aren't able to see the value in your actions or the value you have for others, because your lens is only focused on fulfilling your dream of romantic love and attraction and you feel that nothing else is nearly as important. It does suck to be lonely, but I wonder if part of your loneliness is because you aren't able to value your other connections in your life because of your hyper-fixation on romance. If you can begin to re-frame your current thinking about your life as heading towards some telos of romantic perfection, but begin to engage in the people around you- which is, yes, less exciting and more mundane- you might find your life feels fuller, you become less obsessed with romance and finding the right man, and therefore may feel more relaxed and comfortable and less prone to doubt and regret when you do meet a potential romantic match.
posted by Balthamos at 1:23 PM on May 20, 2021 [18 favorites]

Paradoxically, I think the key to you feeling like you have more agency in situations like this is actually realizing how much control you don't have. You are describing all of these moments like they are puzzles, in which there is a right answer to get your desired outcome.

If you go back and look at the stories you've told but imagine that your desired outcome was completely out of your control and in fact might just be unlikely to happen, how would you have handled it differently?

There is a reason that guy asked you to sit with them, but you won't know. If you had blown off your other date (sitting at the wrong bar and not saying anything about it is pretty weird, btw, no wonder you weren't really into it) and gone and sit with them, it doesn't mean you would have magically gotten the answer. In fact, going over and being direct and offering your number got you the best answer you could have gotten: it wasn't for the reason you thought. Fair enough! No reason to be embarrassed.

In other words, try to think about these moments not so much as "missed opportunities you failed to manifest" and instead moments where you may have failed to make your intentions/desires to the other person as clear as they could be. There is a risk/reward balance here that you will only get comfortable with in trying. So give yourself a break: if the outcome you wanted didn't come to pass, you didn't necessarily fail. It just wasn't meant to be. Also, keep in mind that the outcome you're looking for, a satisfying connection with a person who is uniquely suited to you, is HARD to find. Folks like to make it look like it's easy but... it ain't.
posted by pazazygeek at 2:00 PM on May 20, 2021 [7 favorites]

Best answer: In the situation with the group of guys, if a situation like that comes up again (who knows, even if it's infrequent, it could, especially if you start going out more), now you know that it could potentially be nice to take the opportunity to sit with them for a bit. If you had, maybe you would have had a short conversation and then it would have made sense to exchange numbers. I've had it happen before when I was waiting for someone (getting stood up for hours, ultimately) and got to know other people at the bar, for instance.

I can also imagine that, unfortunately, maybe the guy who invited you to sit with them wasn't courageous enough to exchange numbers with all his friends watching, or got the sense you were already going on a date so didn't want to get in the way of it, etc. You can't really know, but it's entirely possible that one of those things happened here. But hey—maybe through all of that, you found out something about him and his friends that would make him not a good potential date after all (e.g., he's not that courageous or has very specific ideas about chivalry). There's not really any way to know the story he was telling himself in his head.

In a situation like that in the future, a middle ground could be to hang out with them until you hear from your date. By the way, your date really should have messaged you first, when they changed the plan and decided to go next door, and not made you have to ask where they were, unless the story is missing some nuance where they did.

With that second person, I'm also terrible at that whole thing, closing on a good convo and moving it to exchanging info. It's good that you stuck with your boundaries and didn't just do something you weren't comfortable with in the moment and go back to his place. It's how to do something in between 0 mph and 100 mph that's hard. "I've gotta get up early tomorrow, but can I get your number?" would've been just fine as a response, so now you know the kind of thing you want to say in these situations in the future. I'm also learning how to do this with new friends I meet.

As I've been out more recently, I've seen guys with a few tricks for situations like that. You could take a picture together and then ask their number to text it to them, or ask if they have Instagram and have them add themselves, if you feel comfortable with that. So there are some strategies that can work to subtly do that without just being like, hey, can I get your number?

It's not bad to be cautious, and it's not bad to have boundaries, and it's not bad to hang out with your friend and connect with her. But as Omnomnom said very well, in situations like that, try to focus on you and what you want and how you can achieve your goals. Your goal is to meet someone to have a relationship with, and it's good not to let that overrule everything else, but it's not bad to maintain that focus and do things that help you meet and sustain conversations with new people. If you tend to run away from situations when you get nervous (I just become quiet and inscrutable, so I completely get it), that's something you can keep building on (you already did great by actually approaching the guy at that table, which was awesome and brave, even if it didn't work out).
posted by limeonaire at 2:01 PM on May 20, 2021 [8 favorites]

So much empathy! 40-year-old lady here, not conventionally attractive, hyper-enthusiastic, found a forever relationship at 38, also have almost never been approached by men/women, either in person or online.

I was single and not-dating for the majority of my thirties, and spent a LOT of time thinking about how I would ever find love. Every time I tried online dating, I received very few likes/messages sent to me, and very few responses to my own likes/messages of other people. I don't get approached in public. I love social dancing, but don't flirt on the dance floor, and folks don't flirt with me. I deeply dislike the generalization of Men Like The Hunt, but also worried that even feminist, forward-thinking men would be turned off by my enthusiasm because we've all been so pervasively conditioned by garbage gender and relationship norms.

After a lot of consideration, I realized that I do not want to be with someone who would be turned off by my enthusiasm. My friends and family aren't - it is usually one of the things they love best about me. The most important relationship of my life before this one was with a man whose libido and desire to give/receive affection were much lower than mine: it was physically painful to not be able to show him all the time how much I adored him. If a given man is squicked by your enthusiasm during the dating phase, he will be squicked by your enthusiasm when you are Together - if you want to be able to be enthusiastic about loving your partner, keeping up the eagerness is a great way to sort out men you do *not* want to be with.

By these standards, that handsome man at the bar was not for you. If he was turned off by your offering your number, or wasn't interested enough to want it in the first place, then hanging out with him and his friends would have been a waste of your time. In the case of the stranger who bought you a drink, you've now got a good script to use in a future situation that respects your boundaries - "I'm headed home, but would love to meet up again sometime. What's your number?" Similarly, from your experience at that party, you can practice standing up for your wants and needs with your friends - "I had a really good time with X, and he's invited me to go to a bar with his friends. I'd love for you to join us, but I don't want to pass up this opportunity." (Or, "Hey, my friend needs me to help her get home, but I had a great time getting to know you. Want to get together again sometime? What's your number?")

I'm with my current partner because he loves my enthusiasm and honesty about my feelings. I am often the initiator: I was the one to ask him to be in a relationship; I was the one to start conversations about how we each like to be complimented, how we show love, how we deal with rejection; I was the one to say, I'd love to marry you! He is not often the initiator on these issues, but he welcomes and affirms my enthusiasm, and returns love in spades. I feel free and seen and loved for my true being in a way I never did with that former partner. It has given me profound healing for the shame that I lived with for decades that told me I wasn't pretty, desirable, lovable, *worthy*, all because some stranger hadn't Chosen Me and intuited all my romantic and sexual needs.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 2:09 PM on May 20, 2021 [24 favorites]

If a group of guys asked me to join them, I'd be uncomfortable doing that, but I'd also feel that I looked good. /shallow but true. Don't feel bad about him rejecting your number; he was in a group of guys and they get weird in groups.

If I'm meeting a person and they are next door and make no effort to let me know, I'll think they are not very bright or have difficulty performing simple tasks. /judge-y

It was 1 tinder experience, please don't be too discouraged. It's a process of meeting a lot of people that are Nope and maybe a few who are Maybe, and ideally somebody who is Terrific. I am too phobic to do it, I congratulate you for stepping outside my comfort zone, in what seems like how dating works now.
posted by theora55 at 3:10 PM on May 20, 2021 [9 favorites]

I’ve got more to say than this, so I’ll probably respond again later when I’m not cooking dinner, but I want to draw attention to something a couple of people have touched on. In the first scenario, your date ditched you. Leaving the agreed upon meeting place and going somewhere else without notifying you is ditching. Huge red flag. You owed that guy nothing. Nice of you to still meet up, but yeah, screw that guy.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:04 PM on May 20, 2021 [12 favorites]

I think it's great you asserted yourself in this most recent situation, and like the scripts given in previous answers for when you want to continue getting to know a man but are at a loss for communicating that in the moment.

I also think your Tinder date and the group of guys were acquainted, and that all of them can be safely put out of your mind.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:05 PM on May 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

In the third story you were a good kind friend who stayed with the person you have an existing friendship with rather than pursuing a new person. I'm sure both the people in these stories valued your actions and value you for them.

I agree with this, and wanted to add that while I haven't had the experience of having to choose between a handsome guy and a friend in need, I have had the experience of following a handsome guy to the next bar with a group of friends and having him turn grouchy when I tried chatting him up later, so there's no guarantee that that would have led to a grand romance either.
posted by Recliner of Rage at 4:14 PM on May 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Is this recent incident even a missed opportunity? You were approached by an attractive person, and thought he was interested (understandable, given context). You felt it was rude to abandon your date (admirable), but dared to offer your number instead, in front of a group of strangers (!!! many people would NEVER do this). Then you found out you'd seemingly misinterpreted the man's interest, and left. As far as you can know, you didn't miss out on a thing.

As for the third incident, sure, you could've gone to the bar. I would have, and explained to my friend over text or later on. However, trailing apparent chemistry to a bar is no guarantee. This sort of encounter often doesn't wind up going anywhere, although you might still have a fun time chatting. In other words, "If ONLY I'd gone with him," is not a helpful or especially realistic line of thought. Overall, I wouldn't consider what happened a missed opportunity so much as a social choice you made. That day, your friend's mood was ultimately more important to you than a new face was. Is that something to be unhappy about? I don't think so.

And I don't think you'd be so fixated on the choice you made if you had to make these choices more often. Like, to some extent you can choose to invite these opportunities into your life. I would encourage you to do so, as opposed to just waiting for a rare thing to happen, and planning how you'll react if it does. Fact is, "lucky" people aren't usually blessed by the universe, or anything. They just tend to behave in specific ways: they go out in the world a lot, they assume that strangers are happy to talk to them, and they often switch up where they hang out and what they do. This behavior ensures a stream of new connections, and therefore, new possibilities for lovely surprises. But to invite those possibilities, "lucky" people do tolerate a lot of dull conversations and serious disappointments. In contrast, "unlucky" people tend to see lackluster interactions as a waste of time, or use them as evidence of their flaws, bad fortune, etc. If you tend to do that, therapy might help you find ways to be more resilient in social settings.

P.S. I wonder about that second incident with the handsome man. As someone who's done many illogical things out of anxiety, even I think it's odd that after all that buildup, you just left. Is it possible your subconscious sensed something you didn't, and decided, "We're not leaving with this man, and we're not engaging him further"? What feels like a missed opportunity could've been a bullet dodged; you never know. In general, keep in mind that you can't ever know the full reality of a situation. When things that SHOULD work don't work, there may be unseen reasons for their failure, as opposed to you just "messing it up."
posted by desert outpost at 4:51 PM on May 20, 2021 [13 favorites]

Nthing the comments about the third situation. I think you did right by staying with your friend. I wouldn't feel right about ditching a friend for a guy I barely knew. That said, if he's a friend of a friend, presumably you could ask your mutual pal about him? I actually think that would be a good move - find out first if he's single. You never know, he might already have a girlfriend and maybe he was just being friendly by asking if you wanted to join the group at the bar. If your mutual pal says he's single, then you can find out some more about him. What's he like? Would she recommend dating him? Could she set you guys up, maybe invite you both out to something so you could meet him again?

I also agree with kevinbelt regarding Tinder guy. That guy sucks. He just went off to another bar and didn't think to tell you? Either he's incredibly dumb, like, can't tie his own shoelaces dumb, or he stood you up, or I don't even know. None of it is good. I also don't see the benefit of looking for the group of guys back at the first bar. The handsome one declined when you offered your number, there isn't really anywhere to go from there. Leaving was the dignified thing to do.

So basically, I don't think party guy is necessarily a missed opportunity, that door isn't closed yet. You have a friend in common! Use that! Bar guy, maybe but maybe not. You signaled no to a ONS and put the ball in his court... and he didn't take it. Most likely he was looking for the ONS and nothing further. Handsome guy with friends seems like not a missed opportunity - you gave that one a good honest try and it didn't pan out (and I think you should feel proud of yourself for putting yourself out there, it's not easy!)

Dating just sucks in general, and I say that as someone who met my fiance on Tinder. I suffered through a bunch of bad Tinder dates/experiences and got my heart all kinds of broken with other dudes. Hang in there and don't put so much pressure on yourself to make every "opportunity" work. Dating sucks much less when you can adopt an attitude of, meh no big loss, moving on.
posted by keep it under cover at 5:09 PM on May 20, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: OK, back for more. First order of business is reframing. Let’s stop thinking of these things as romantic failures, and instead think of them as holy shit you’re getting a lot of interest from people in a variety of situations. Any one of these three situations would have been the highlight of my entire dating life. Are you exceedingly gorgeous or something? Whatever it is, something is clearly working for you. Be proud of that. Acknowledge your successes as well as your failures.

Let’s go one by one. In the first situation, you already know what I think of Tinder guy. With bar friends guy, I think there’s two potential explanations. One is that he was never actually interested and was messing with you, in which case he’s a dick and you dodged a bullet. You lost nothing, and maybe even benefited. The other is that he was truly interested, but was embarrassed when you shot him down the first time. I don’t think it’s giving him too much credit to say that he saw through your “waiting for a friend” excuse and realized you were actually meeting a date. When you went back over, he didn’t want to be your backup plan, understandably.

What’s the lesson from this situation? Well, being less accommodating to Tinder losers would have solved the problem. If he’s not at the meeting place at the right time and hasn’t contacted you, you’re a free agent. Move on from him to someone who actually is showing interest. The other lesson is to make that decision quickly. Don’t analyze; go in with the plan of moving on quickly if anything is wrong. Easier said than done, especially rich coming from me, but if you’d gone ahead and say with the group of guys and it didn’t work out, you could always catch back up with Tinder Loser.

You already learned the lesson from the second situation, and it’s the same lesson in salary negotiations, or for that matter, playing defense in sports. Let the other person make the first move. When he asks what you want to do, flip it back around and ask him. Get him to tell you his plans, and then decide if those fit with your plans. Making the first move exposes you to anxiety and second guessing. Information is power. Alternatively, if you’re dead set on your plan and won’t change (i.e., you’re going home no matter what), suggest something in the future. “What are you going to do now?” “I’m going home, but maybe we could meet for brunch tomorrow and talk some more?”

(Side note: stop worrying about whether you shaved your legs. If I were somehow in a position to have a one night stand, leg hair would be one of the last things on my mind. And if it is on some guy’s mind, that’s a good sign that he’s a loser.)

The third situation isn’t a missed opportunity at all. You still have a mutual friend, and that person could throw another party tomorrow where you could run into the guy again. Or even better, your friend could set up an “accidental” meeting for you. You just have to ask. But at that particular party, you did the right thing. Among college age males, there’s the unfortunate term “bros before hos”, and while you shouldn’t use that term and I apologize for doing so, the underlying sentiment is sound. Put your friends first, especially if you have other opportunities to interact with the guy.

Finally, don’t worry about looking too eager. That’s just not something guys think about. Guys who are into you are into you. If anything, they already think girls are more eager than they are.

The overarching lesson is that this seems to happen to you often enough that you should plan for how to deal with it in the future. That, more than any specific course of action, will help you handle things differently.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:52 PM on May 20, 2021 [8 favorites]

I used to feel similar. That I just might meet that special someone in a fortuitous situation. Perhaps while reaching for the same item at the local health foods store. Hollywood definitely perpetuates the possibility of this happening, and to be fair, I do know a small number of people that met their future spouse in these situations.

It can be a lot of pressure to put yourself under when you feel that the love of your life might just be sitting on the other side of the bar. From my personal experience, it seems like most people don’t meet their long term partners this way. The vast majority met through school, a hobby, friend of a friend, and definitely more common now: online dating.

I would see these day-to-day interactions and nights out with friends, not opportunities to find love, but as time to have fun with friends and maybe meet other interesting people you could have a nice conversation with.

This would put yourself under a lot less pressure. I would focus on finding a social activity or hobby that you enjoy, where you can meet new people and get to know them over time. This more likely to yield results in my opinion and would be lot more fun.

I would also suggest trying another dating App. I think I have met only 2 people in all my time on Tinder. I’ve have met so many more engaging people on Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, and (the old) OKCupid. Many people like Bumble as well but I haven’t actually met anyone on there myself.

Finding a hobby group can be a little difficult, especially with the pandemic. I recently moved to a new city and I’m trying to find one myself.
posted by mundo at 8:02 PM on May 20, 2021 [3 favorites]

Oh how awkward! You have my sympathies.

My first thought was that maybe he already had a girlfriend, he was just the one with the most confidence and was inviting you to join him with the intention of setting you up with his friend, and when you offered him your number he couldn't say yes, neither could he divert you to his friend, so... awkward! Because obviously the guy who was single didn't have the confidence, while he, on the other hand, has nothing to lose anyway and was just doing his friend a favour.

I've sort of done this several times before, once I've been on a group outing, seen a lone girl doing her thing alone, invited her to join my group, in my case I got her number, took her out to dinner, then of all things, invited her to live with me and she shocked me by immediately saying yes (to a complete stranger in a country she had just arrived in, so she was looking for a place to rent). We never dated, in case you were wondering, but it was a good economic transaction. I think basically, if you approach every person with the thought "oh maybe they are my future partner" maybe things might get awkward sometimes because you're putting so much pressure on yourself, but if you approach them with, well, lets say hi, add them to my socials, maybe something mutually beneficial can come out of it, a networking opportunity for a job, or fill an empty room I'm trying to rent out, or even to introduce to one of my other friends, or just add someone I'm happy to follow for pictures of their cat, who knows what you will run into. I've also talked to and added dozens of people over the years - people I've sat next to on a plane, met in an airport lounge, bus stop, fast food restaurants, and only 1 in 10 led to any kind of meaningful continuation of the conversation. You can never have too many people on FB / LinkedIn / Instagram, better to get their contact then not and if you change your mind you can message them later.
posted by xdvesper at 2:00 AM on May 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

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