So I saw the Greek again and it was lovely. We went to a pub in Hampstead (a pretty, old part of London) and then got dinner. He paid. I don’t know if this makes me a crappy person but this kind of thing now means a lot to me – not because I want a man to pay my way but because it feels like a sign of old-fashioned respect.
Just as we did the first time we met, we chatted for hours. He is clever and well read and a very good listener too. It was easy and he made me laugh.
I won’t go into the ins and outs of all our conversation because I’m not sure he’d like that but he said some very nice things, which made me feel embarrassed at the time but which I ran over and over in my head when I got home.
He said that the day before I came up to him in the coffee shop he’d been talking to a friend about his ideal woman. Then ‘this beautiful woman’ walked up to his table and seemed to be everything he had on his list. ‘And that was just your appearance. Then we started talking and it got even better. I could not believe my luck,’ he said.
I had to really fight the urge to say ‘I’m not beautiful’ and ‘it must have been a short list’ but I did ruin the moment by asking how many times he’d used that line before. ‘Never. When you meet my friend you can ask her,’ he said.
We talked about relationship history, and I, as ever, cringed as I confessed that I was single most of my life and that my longest relationship is six months. ‘Really?’ he said. ‘Why’s that?’ I never know how to answer that question and it makes me feel really embarrassed, so I did what I always do: poured another drink and changed the subject.
We talked about how hard the whole chatting up/rejection game is and it was really good to hear his take on it. He said that as a rule of thumb if a woman smiles at him three times, he takes that as a clear signal that she’s interested and will say hello, even though he finds it terrifying. I realised that I don’t think I’ve ever smiled at a stranger in a bar three times, I’m too proud and scared and embarrassed. I’ve spent my life thinking the girls who get the guys do so because they’re prettier and skinnier – but maybe they’re just smiling more!
He asked to meet up the next night but I was busy so we kissed good night. By the time I got home there was a text thanking me for a great night. And it was a great night. He has headed back to Greece this week, so I don’t know what will happen but what I do know is that the fact that I went up to him that day had a good affect on both of our lives.
I learned on our second date that he’d had a tough couple of years between family issues and work. He told me that I was the first good thing to happen to him in a long time – an ‘unexpected gift’.
And, of course, he changed my life by NOT rejecting me. I’m ALWAYS expecting men to reject me, or to think that I’m a loser or fat and ugly etc. – it never occurred to me that it might make their day.
Yesterday I came across a woman called Arden Leigh, who is a female pick up artist, and has written a book called The New Rules of Attraction, which looks very good. She describes the act of flirting and approaching someone as an ‘act of generosity’, or as my Greek says ‘an unexpected gift’.
We shouldn’t get so caught up on the outcome or the fear of rejection, instead focus on the fact that you’re paying a huge compliment to another human being and you might be making their day. Easier said than done, obviously, but a nice idea to keep in mind.
Since putting up my post last week I have had several messages from guys I know and some I don’t. Amongst these messages was one from a man I met when I was in LA for work last year. He was friends with the girl I was staying with. I remember so clearly the evening he walked into her apartment; I was literally dumb struck by how handsome he was. Six foot something, blonde hair, blue eyes – he looked like something out of a Gillette ad.
We all went out for dinner and I remember feeling too ugly to be in their company (the friend I was staying with is beautiful too).
Anyway, Mr Gillette and I are friends on Facebook and it turns out he is reading the blog. Yesterday he sent me this message, which, once again, left me dumb struck:
HIM: Just read your recent blog about Greek date….im jealous of this man! You really hit the mark on how things feel. Im crap at approaching the opposite sex but like you really have no reason to be afraid. I’ll force myself to do it once tomorrow in your honour! Hope date two goes well.
HE’S JEALOUS OF THIS MAN?!???!!!!! AND FEELS JUST AS USELESS WITH WOMEN???!!! HOW CAN THIS BE? I replied in a way I never normally would:
ME: Thank you! I can’t believe that you’re bad at approaching the opposite sex you are a) very good looking b) very charming. I would never ever usually tell you this but I remember when you walked into S’s flat thinking that you were one of the best looking guys that I’d seen in real life and feeling totally tongue tied around you. I’m not telling you this to creep you out but to tell you that you should have no worries about approaching the opposite sex. You’d make their day… so go do it, today! x
HIM: That’s all well and good and very flattering so thank you but what’s happening on the inside for me is exactly the same as for you. You described it perfectly. Just for the record I think you’re stunning and have massive sex appeal…I was bowled over by it. If greekboy dips out come visit please.
HE THINKS I’M STUNNING AND HAVE MASSIVE SEX APPEAL?!! THE WORLD HAS OFFICIALLY STOPPED TURNING. I OBVIOUSLY KNOW NOTHING WHEN IT COMES TO THE OPPOSITE SEX.
So there you go – I’m internationally sought after, by Greeks and Australians! Who’d have thunk it?!!!
Which is all a long way of going about saying that MOST OF THE TIME REJECTION IS IN OUR HEAD.
That said, real life rejections – asking for free coffees, free drinks, free beans etc – to come tomorrow (I have a long list gathered up from the last week).