It’s frustrating to watch someone you care about agonize over a guy who doesn’t even know she exists. Her unreciprocated love doesn’t just make her suffer; it makes everyone around her suffer, too.
Think of that classic scene from the film Love, Actually. Sarah, who works at an ad agency, moons over her gorgeous co-worker Karl. Her boss finally pulls her aside and tells her to do something about it, for the sake of everyone in the office. He offers a plan:
“Invite [Karl] out for a drink and then, after about 20 minutes, casually drop into the conversation the fact that you’d like to marry him and have lots of sex and babies.”
Should she take his advice?
Of course not!
Every woman alive knows just how terrible that plan is. It only works if you want to scare a guy off for good…or get used by a heartless guy.
But some advice given to you by well-meaning parties can sound good on the surface. You might be tempted to take it, particularly if you don’t have any other ideas.
Before you do…
Think it through first.
A lot of so-called “good advice” can actually backfire. At best, it moderately improves your chances of catching his eye. At worst, it wrecks any chance you ever had with him.
Here are 4 examples.
- Look really attractive, and he’ll notice you.
Have you ever put special effort into doing your hair and makeup, or choosing just the right outfit, because you knew you were going to be seeing someone you were interested in?
Most women do. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if it gives you confidence. The problem with this strategy is when it is all you do.
When you put all your effort into looking great only to stand there, hoping to be noticed.
Looks are a starting place, but they’re not a plan. Your LBD can’t do all the talking for you. It is still up to you to strike up a conversation and create a connection.
There’s another bit of advice that’s even worse…
- Just tell him how you feel.
Life’s too short. Be brave. Grab the bull by the horns and tell him how you feel. The worst he can say is no.
It sounds so right in theory. Honesty is always the best policy!
But there are some very sound reasons not to tell him how you feel—at least, not until you know him well.
A man I knew worked in a company that spread across several floors of an office building. One day, he received an anonymous gift. He arrived at work to find a bouquet on his desk.
Not a bunch of flowers, of course. Instead, it was a “man bouquet” of candies artfully arranged in a mug.
He appreciated the gift but felt a little embarrassed. A few days later, he found out who gave it to him. It was a woman who worked on the floor above him. She had been trying to find a way to approach him for months.
He went out on a date with her. He was a nice guy, and he appreciated the bravery it took to make the gesture. But the date was purely platonic, and awkward at that. They never spoke again.
Before you declare your feelings, remember this rule:
Get to know him first.
It is risky to tell someone you barely know how you feel. It’s much riskier than confessing your feelings to someone you’re already very close to.
- Flirt with him until he can’t miss your signals.
Flirting is a great way to strike up sexual chemistry, but it doesn’t always work.
That’s because it goes right past a lot of guys, undetected.
Not all men can read your signals. Toss your hair, run a finger over your lips, lean forward, touch him on the arm … a wise man will understand that you are signaling interest. But he may not be that wise to a woman’s ways.
So, by all means, flirt with him. But keep a Plan B up your sleeve, just in case.
- Ask him out.
If all else fails, you could ask him out. This is the 21st century, after all.
Maybe that will work for you. But the odds won’t be in your favor.
Here’s a more sure-fire approach. It takes more work…but it dramatically improves your odds of success. Here’s the advice:
Get to know one another first.
Does he have a hobby? Great. Then tell him you’re interested and ask him if you could come along sometimes. Get him sharing something he is passionate about with you. It beats a dinner date hands-down.
Many relationships begin over a shared interest. Find that interest, and you’ll find the path to romance a lot easier.