I think I’m getting too forward when it comes to picking up friends.
Last night I met someone–a woman who just moved back to Chicago–who has loads of bestie potential. She mentioned, as I was leaving the gym, that we knew some people in common. This spiraled into a 30-minute conversation that could easily have been longer if I wasn’t totally sweaty and nasty and late for dinner. When I told her about the premise of my upcoming book, she gave me a high five and said “I know all about girl dating.”
So I said, “You could girl date me…” And while I started the sentence with friendly conviction, by the word “me” I’d gotten totally awkward and mumbly. And my first thought was, did I just make it weird?
I’ve offered advice on this blog as to what to say when making the first move with a would-be friend. That advice has never been to offer yourself up for girl-dating like some sort of friendly prostitute. Not that I’d make her pay, but….
It’s been almost two straight years of meeting new potential friends, asking them out and developing friendships. In that time I’ve gone from awkward and nervous to cool and comfortable when it comes to making advances with potential friends. And then I got too comfortable, which allowed me to be so forward that I started making it awkward again.
I’ve come full circle.
There are reasons why “you could girl date me” is not the proper approach, in case you were wondering. (Though, to be fair, if I were cooler I probably could have pulled it off. It was that drifting off at the end that made it extra…. oy.) First of all, it’s not an invitation, it’s an offer. It sounds a bit like “I’ll let you hang out with me.” Requests for friendship, or just friend-dates, should be just that: a request. A way to say “I’d like to get to know you, if you are interested.” If some dude said to a romantic interest, “You could date me,” she’d probably send him straight back to his bachelor pad. Alone.
Also, while I find the phrase girl-date sort of charming and silly, it might be too aggressive on first meeting.
I’m sure you’ll be relieved to know that I picked up the pieces of my bizarro offer at the end of our interaction. As I left, I said “We should grab dinner sometime with Mutual Friend. That would be great.” She agreed.
I could have left it at that. I probably should have. But it’s a modern world, so I closed with a quick , “I’m totally Facebooking you. Like, tonight.” I just can’t be cool.
Ever been too forward when asking someone out? Or had any awkward I-just-met-a-potential-new-friend interactions? Share below!