One month into my current relationship (now entering its sixth), I was faced with the dilemma of asking my girlfriend to meet my family a thousand miles away. I wouldn’t be going for another three months, but because flights were getting costlier by the day due to rising fuel costs, I needed to know sooner rather than later if she wanted to join me. So on one hand, this was not a simple afternoon visit; rather it was a huge event because this budding courtship was barely a month underway. Did I dare risk being too intentional too fast?
I did. And when I asked her to go, she said OK so quickly that I didn’t know what to do with the remaining four minutes I had budgeted for the conversation. So instead, I stole the Staples tagline: “That was easy.”
Other moments weren’t, as you’ll read under point No. 3. But first, some practical application, guys, when it comes to setting the pace:
1. Be intentional with language.
You may not think your choice of words matters much as long as you can ask her out on a date. But her presence on that date is a priority, and must be stated. For instance, saying “I want to take you to this great Italian place on Saturday” means far more to her than, “Would you be interested in going out with me this weekend somewhere?”
In the first example, not only do you have a plan, but she’s integral to it, and your statement conveys confidence. Regardless if she can come, an impression is made. Same goes for family and friend encounters when the time comes. Be direct.
2. Balance the serious with the silly.
She wants to know where you stand, but not all the time. Done tactfully, throwing her a curveball after a serious moment tells her your intentions without piling them on. If you’re discussing your relationship and where it’s headed, lighten the mood by saying something like, “From the moment I first saw you… I knew you were shorter than me. ” Humor is a great transition out of heavy conversation.
3. Embrace the unromantic.
Romantic plans don’t always pan out and are often better when they occur spontaneously. So don’t expect everything to score high on the romance scale. If you’re crushed by a planned moment gone awry and can’t adapt to it, she’ll feel like you are hinging the relationship on perfection.
In April, I surprised my girlfriend at work with flowers on Good Friday. But rather than this perfect moment going as planned, I nearly ran into her coming around a corner as she was rushing to get somewhere. There we both stood, in silence, processing the scene in shock. I stayed a total of three minutes because she was so busy. Awkward. Or at least it would have been had we not laughed about it later.
Pursuing a woman effectively must be a series of small, consistent actions that paint a larger picture of where we, as men, are taking a relationship. We set the pace here; just as there should be no single action early on that exposes your deepest feelings, nor should you be aloof just because you read online that women love mystery.
Guys and gals, any further thoughts to offer up here?
Copyright 2011 Nathan Pyle. All rights reserved.