Dec 2, 2014

Putting the Moves On - 3 of My Dating Techniques

I didn't do as much dating as I would have liked to.  Not that I have any regrets - my first 2 horrible long-term relationships have made me into a much better person, and my current relationship is incredible and fulfilling and makes me very happy.  Buuut...

Dates were fun!  I know a lot of people hate going on first dates, but I loved it.  I loved getting to know a new person and figuring out how their brain worked.  Learning what their motives were, and what they thought about.  What made them who they were.  You really don't do that in any other situation.  When you make a new friend you don't say, "Tell me all about yourself!"  You make polite small talk, and occasionally stumble across a common interest and it takes a long time to get any further under the surface.  Dating is an excuse to really dive into someone's life and personality.

Anyway, the point is I enjoyed dating.  And when I settled into my current relationship, I had just started to figure out how to get people to do what I wanted them to.  How to put the moves on them, so to speak.  And that was fascinating, also, because it involves the psychology of body language and figuring out how to communicate without words.

Since I'm reminiscing, let's talk about those techniques.  I have 3 specific ones.  And for the most part they involved putting myself in a position that elicited the response I was going for.

1. Casual Proximity

I just realized how silly these will sound.  But I'm going to write about them anyway.  So, ignoring that... basically we all have a bubble of space.  Some people need more or less space, but in general, unless you're close with someone, you stay outside of that bubble.  So the casual proximity "move" is basically placing yourself inside their bubble, which manages to indicate receptiveness to their presence in YOUR bubble, without actually putting yourself out there.

I know, I know.  Women can make the first move.  But it's far more fun to manipulate things behind the scenes.

Example: I knew a guy was probably interested in me (that always helps in the bravery department, that and a few drinks).  At a party, he was leaning against the kitchen counter and I went over and leaned next to him.  Rather than space myself the comfortable foot or so away, I was only about half an inch away.  Our arms brushed a couple times.  Shortly after, his arm was around me, and my goal was accomplished.

2. The Chivalrous Arm

I've only done this on dates, where I typically know the person will be receptive to it, but I suppose it could work outside of that.  So basically, reaching for someone's hand is far too forward for a lady like myself.  But taking a man's arm, just like the old-fashioned gesture, doesn't seem so bad.  It's really not that much more than touching someone's arm, BUT it very easily and naturally transitions into holding hands, which the giddy schoolgirl in me really enjoys.

Example: The first time this ever happened was a bizarre, magical night in high school.  I was pretty awkward in high school, far from socially adept, and at this point in time had never dated anyone.  So when I was introduced to an attractive boy, and the conversation just flowed for over an hour, I was totally shocked.  At one point he offered me his arm, which was charming.

We walked like that probably a quarter of the way around the football stadium (football games were like, THE social event in high school), and then he started to drop his arm.  I figured we were just done being fancy, and also let my arm drop, but in the process our hands crossed, and then all of a sudden we were holding hands and I had no idea how this had come about.  Very smooth of him.

I have since used this on several dates, and it always gave me a little inner chuckle when it was successful.

3. The Come-Hither Death Stare

I feel bad for guys, especially the young ones.  Making the first move is scary, and this one is probably the most so.  After a couple dates with awkward, failed kiss attempts (more on that later), I decided I should probably help them out.  This one basically involves eye contact.  I tried to explain it to a friend and she said, "So you just stare at them?"  It sounded dumb then and it still does, but that's basically it.

When you're standing or sitting right next to someone, eye contact in such close proximity is kind of like that bubble of space - it's less comfortable than eye contact if you're standing a few feet apart.  So the point is to break that boundary.  It might feel a little strange to look at someone, or to hold their gaze for more than a few seconds, but the point is to make yourself available and give them enough time to make a move.  They can't really kiss you if you're shyly hiding your face or turning the other way.

Example: After already crossing the other thresholds, I was sitting and talking with a fellow.  His arm was around me, which meant we weren't really making eye contact.  So, I raised my head and looked him in the eye, while smiling.  He smiled back, and I maintained eye contact and waited.  Thus far, it's never taken more than a couple seconds for a guy to respond to that.

I know this one in particular wouldn't work for everyone, because so many people aren't comfortable with direct eye contact.  I've never felt uncomfortable looking someone in the eye and, actually, have trouble talking to someone if I can't look at them.  So I guess that's the opposite extreme.

Useful or not, those are my "techniques."  They served me well (and you better believe I used all 3 on Ryan - he never stood a chance).  But I believe I mentioned dating blunders, and I'd like to share those as well, because they're pretty funny.  Well, actually just one.

The Blunder

My favorite dating mistake:

I'd gone on a date with a very nice boy I met in college.  We saw some movie (can't remember which one), and he was driving me back home.  I remember I was already thinking about whether or not we would kiss once we got back to the house.  Because boys!  First kisses!  So exciting!

He stopped in my parent's driveway, and we sat uncomfortably silent for a second, then I decided to be bold and just go for it instead of waiting for the man to do all the work.  Gender equality!  So I leaned over to kiss him, and right as my lips landed, he turned his head.  After the awkward and unexpected cheek kiss, I grabbed my things and rushed my way out of the car and into the house.  I don't even remember if we actually said "Goodnight" or "Goodbye" or anything.

There was no second date.

Do you/did you have dating "moves"?  Do you enjoy first dates?

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