The other night, my wife and I were eating at a popular Mediterranean fast food restaurant when I noticed a young lady sit down at the end of a nearby table that had six seats. She whipped out her phone and started scrolling, but then something interesting happened: a young man showed up.
Now there were a few other places he could have chosen to sit in the restaurant, but he went to her table. And not only did he go to her table, he sat in the middle chair across from her, rather than sitting at the other end. It was bold, I thought, but not too intrusive — I mean, it wasn’t like he sat right across from her. Even so, there was potential for things to get awkward.
You know, it actually didn’t get awkward at all. The young man spoke to the woman, who briefly said something back, smiled, and went back to looking at her phone. And shortly thereafter, she finished her meal, said something to him with a smile, and walked away. After she left, the guy moved over to the chair at the end of the table, making room for anyone else who might want to share the table (things were starting to get really busy in the restaurant by that point).
Quite frankly, I kind of felt sorry for that guy — but later on, I changed my mind. Because upon further reflection, I think there’s three things that guy got right, and a lot of single young men would do well to follow in his footsteps.
1. He went for it.
There are young men who see women they’re interested in every day, and they can’t work up the nerve to make a move. But this guy took a risk, went to the woman’s table, and spoke. That alone is an admirable act of bravery that stands out in a world where a lot of men are better at texting and engaging via Facebook than they are in person.
2. He gave her space — but not too much space.
It was clear from their interactions that the guy didn’t try to start a deep conversation or get the woman’s number. He sat just close enough to her to make it clear he wasn’t just trying to share the table, and he verbally engaged in a way that made her comfortable enough to respond and smile. That tells me that the man wasn’t just brave, he was also respectful of the fact that she might not be interested.
3. He made room for someone else when it didn’t work out.
When the woman left, the young man moved over and made space for other people to sit at the table. That is, not only was he polite, he left himself open to a new opportunity to get to know someone. Now, it might have been another woman, or it might have been a couple of guys with whom he could’ve struck up a conversation. The point is, he stayed in the ballgame and left himself open to social engagement, rather than insecurely reacting to what could have been perceived as rejection.
So, guys, the next time you’re inwardly chewing off your fingernails in fear because you don’t know how to approach a woman you find attractive, follow that guy’s lead and, well, just go for it. You don’t have to pop the question, just pop a question, like, “It’s getting pretty crowded in here, right?” followed up by, “Do you mind if I sit here?” And then don’t go into a meltdown if a woman’s body language says she’s not interested. Instead, stay friendly and make space in your head and heart for the right person to come along eventually. No doubt, going with a bolder approach increases the risk of rejection, but if you avoid the risk of rejection altogether, you’re probably never going to end up in a meaningful relationship anyway.
Come on, guys. You’ve got this. Next time the opportunity presents itself, just go for it.