As usual, what it took to bring me out of my Blog Hibernation was a simple question from a reader. Honestly, if you want to guarantee that I’ll write something in a week, no matter how busy I am, just email me with some woman-related quandary from your life. I’m like one of Pavlov’s dogs. I can’t help myself.
Here’s a question from a reader I’ll call Patrick. It’s not his real name, but it’s in honor of the late, great dancing fiend Patrick Swayze:
I know a girl from Modern Jive dancing that I do. I have come to love dancing and have been doing it for about 1.5 years. Despite what rumours may say, I have never been on a date with any girl I’ve met at dancing!
Anyway there’s a girl that also goes dancing and she is one of very very few that make me feel butterflies when I’m around. Problem is, I’ve known her for aaages, maybe almost since I started dancing. But I don’t actually know her. I’ve never had a proper conversation with her. I dance with her every week and have seen how she acts with others, often close by me, but I still haven’t talked to her properly.
I just realised why I probably never got to know her properly: her name! When I first asked her name many months ago it was while dancing and I couldn’t hear her properly. Incidentally, she’s never ever called me by my name either which is strange! Maybe she forgot it?!
Bottom line GK, I want to go on a date with her. Talking to her during our weekly dance classes/events is difficult. The only ‘best’ opportunity is after dancing when we all go to a loud bar. But that’s not very conducive to get to know someone you don’t know very well. It’s fine to fool around people you’re comfortable with. I’m not really at that stage as I don’t have any inside jokes with her and she doesn’t know ME well enough to understand that she can be herself around me.
Please help GK! What are my steps?! What a strange situation that I touch her every week for 3 minutes and then it’s as if we’re strangers again! Please give me the truth medicine even if I don’t want to hear it!
Patrick, you can call me Dr. G and pay the receptionist on your way out, because I’m about to dispense some important-but-bitter medicine on you. I’ve talked about the important of shutting up and leading, but never this literally.
I actually looked up modern jive dancing because I’d never seen it before. And that’s when it fully hit me: you are being the Fred Astaire of wussy boys.
Seriously: You’re telling me that you do THIS with her all the time but you can’t think of anything to talk about?
Let’s put aside the fact that you’re able to do something very attractive that maybe 1% of the men out there can do well. Not to mention the incredible physical rapport you must have worked up with her by now. I’ve been doing salsa class long enough to know that with women who are truly trying to learn dance, you don’t want to be as aggressive as you would in typical club game. (Read my club guide for more on that.)
But 1.5 years is long enough to waste a logistical gold mine like this. You have a wealth of topics you could discuss with girls in your class because of what you have in common, but in waiting so long you’ve put this girl on a pedestal and fed your butterflies a Texas-sized diet. Rather than see things as opportunities, you’ve seen them as barriers. Yes, she may think it’s odd that you haven’t talked to her yet, but there’s only one way to find out.
So what if you forgot her name? It sounds like she probably forgot yours too. This is one of many ridiculously easy ways to start a conversation with her. Own up to it and she’ll probably smile at the tension of that being released. Or you can make inside jokes about one of the many things you guys both see in that class: the weird instructor or the girl who will only dance in leopard-print pants.
Or you can just talk shop with her: maybe there’s a move you’ve been trying to get right that’s giving you trouble. And if ever there were an opportunity to transition to a place where you’re alone with her, the gods could not think of a better one than practicing together. Every day in college dorms around the world, socks are put on doorknobs by couples who got together so they could “study.”
If the after-class bar is too loud, why not invite her to a quieter one? Just tell her that you’d like to get to know her better. She may reject you, but at this point that’s a million times better than continuing to do nothing. Come on, this girl is letting you feel her up every week and you’re worried about her name! You’re like a big bear, man!
Do you see that the common denominator with all these tactics is leading? I hope you do.
There also seems to be the bigger question of why you don’t take an interest in other girls from your class or use your dancing to meet girls in other venues. I’m sure part of it is simply gaining confidence with your dancing — after six months I’m finally there with salsa — but you have a skill that most women want in a man, and you should be using it. This will also keep you from getting too worked up over any one girl.
Go get ’em, Patrick Swayze.