November 25, 2012

First step won't be a waste of time

Morning Sentinel Staff

Hi Harlan,

I've been following your advice and putting myself out there. I've asked a few new guys who I don't know very well to date functions in hopes of just meeting them and getting to know more people. However, because they are people I don't know super well, I keep getting rejected, even though it is always very casual when I ask. Is it something I am doing or is it guys not wanting to go to a date party with someone they don't know well? I just wanted advice, because I keep trying and nothing is helping!

Amanda

Dear Amanda,

It's working. I know you can't tell, but it's definitely working. The goal is letting these guys know that you are interested in being more than friends. The next step is to be friendly and get to know them better. You can even tell them you didn't mean to make them uncomfortable, but thought it would be a nice way to get to know them better. You can even find out the reason they were reluctant to go the date party -- as far as you know, these guys are gay, in a relationship or afraid of being awkward at an event where they don't know anyone in the room. Build a friendship based on rejection. Shocking. I know. When these guys have an event in the future, need a date or see you out at a party, you'll be someone familiar. Keep making it easy for men to find you and good things will happen. Give it a year or six months and write back.

Dear Harlan,

I know men fear rejection, but it's no fun for us confident women, either! Being told "You're too pretty, men are scared of you!" is just plain silly. A confident man would approach. Maybe there aren't that many confident men in my city! Help me out here.

Sally

Dear Sally,

Confident men don't like to come off as creepy. That's why they don't approach you. The more attractive and self-assured the woman, the harder it can be for confident men to do the approaching. They know you've been hit on by all the wrong men and don't want to fall into the same category. And that's why women need to make it easy for men to approach them. (Reminder: Making it easy isn't the same as being easy). It's making it clear that if a man wants to approach you, his interest is welcome. For example, putting up a profile on an online dating site makes you safe to approach. Showing a man attention by taking an interest in his life, giving him your number, contacting him on Facebook or suggesting dinner or drinks if he's interested makes it safe to approach you. This doesn't mean you should do the asking. You are just clearing the path for him. A confident man will approach you once the path is cleared. A married, gay, uninterested or insecure man will not approach you. All you can do is remove the creep factor. If you don't like this advice, then you don't like rejection. Making it safe for a man do the approaching can be too dangerous for beautiful women who are afraid of rejection.

Harlan is author of "Getting Naked: Five Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life (While Fully Clothed and Totally Sober)" (St. Martin's Press). Write Harlan at harlan@helpmeharlan.com or visit online: www.helpmeharlan.com. All letters submitted become property of the author. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan!, 3501 N. Southport Ave., Suite 226, Chicago, IL 60657.

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