April 20, 2007

Something Like Life, April 20, 2006

HE’S the hottest guy you’ve seen in this bar in the longest time. Your girlfriends think he’s perfect for you and are egging you to ask him out. But you’re a bit embarrassed. After all, you were brought up by strict Belgian nuns who forced you to adhere to, uhmm, Victorian codes of morality, which firstly requires you to be prim, proper and chaste in all manner or behavior.

But c’mon, we’re six years into the new millennium and being too modest for your own good may just make you lose one great opportunity to meet an interesting guy. Besides, what’s the big deal in asking a guy out? For sure, he will feel flattered. The worst thing that can happen is for him to say no to you, right? Sure, you’ll smart a bit from the rejection, but at least you know you’re not wasting your time on some idiot. But for all you know, he will say, yes. So dang those Belgian nuns! They don’t know what they’re missing!

If you’ve finally made up your mind about asking Mr. Hottie out, how do you exactly ask him to go on a date with you?

Of course, the easiest way is to find a common friend to introduce you two to each other. This town is so small, the six degrees of relativity principle will work more than the usual in your favor. So take the next few days to find out who knows him. (Necessarily, you must find out his name first! Get your friendly waitstaff at the bar to get his name for you.) After you’ve done your bit of investigation, you can ask your network to set you up on a date. These friends will be able to determine if he, first of all, is interested in dating—or is but is also gay. (Then again if you think about it, your best dates were all with gay men, no?)

The most relaxing and least tense way to meet is to set up a group date. Have your common friends work out a meet-and-greet for you and your best girlfriend with him and his friend. This sets the tone for casual friendly conversation while having lunch (if you want to be appear cool and detached about the date), or dinner (if you want to send the message that you are that interested in him). There is safety in numbers and in the event that Mr. Hottie bores the hell out of you, at least you have your best friend by your side to amuse you. Or when things actually get sticky (like he could be a disgusting slob and burps his way through an entire meal, ick!), you have someone to console you after you make your French leave. (Okay, be polite. No French leaves. Just pay the bill and get the hell outta there!)

You can also opt to ask for Mr. Hottie’s phone number and call him yourself for a solo date. Scary? Well, I’ve always believed in being direct in one’s approach to getting a date, whether you’re a man or woman. Only women actually appreciate the subtleties of foreplay, verbal or otherwise. Men would rather get direct to the point, if you know what I mean. So I think he will appreciate you getting in touch with him yourself to set up a meeting.

If you’re not ready for an actual phone call, then text first. Introduce yourself and give a brief background about the circumstances you’re in and why you’re getting in touch with him. Sample: “Hi, Hottie [use his real name of course]. My name is Suzy and I’m the friend of [give the name of your common friends.] I saw you in the bar the other night and would like to meet you. Maybe we can have coffee sometime?” If he responds favorably, hurrah for you.

If he doesn’t text back within a reasonable time within the day, then scratch him off your list and move on. By reasonable, I mean maybe before 10 pm? For all you know, he was loaded with work and meetings the entire day that he couldn’t respond immediately. So don’t obsess and text him three or four times, making sure if he got your message, just because he doesn’t respond in an hour. And for all you know, he’s thinking of the right response to your invite. Give him time. Men are not the smartest creatures, you know?

If he says yes to coffee, then give him a real call to set the date and time of the meet, pronto. Besides, it is a bit tedious to be texting back and forth when and where you can meet or have coffee. You’re no longer teenagers so it’s not really cute to be setting up an “eyeball” this way. Mahiya naman kayo sa balat nyo! Allow him some measure of control by letting him decide what branch of Seattle’s Best or Starbucks he wants to meet. If he wants you to decide where, then be sure you have a place already thought of, bearing in mind that it should be accessible to him. If he’s working in Makati, girl, don’t ask him to meet you all the way in Tomas Morato, even if you are working in the area. Wait until the fifth date until you make an unreasonable demand such as that.

(Why the fifth date? After the first four intial dates where both of you assess whether you still want to see more of each other, you should’ve already been able to reel him in and struck him dumb with your wonderful personality. He, in turn, should’ve been able to gauge by then whether you’re a worthwhile investment, enough for him to travel to Quezon City to have dinner with you.)

Anyway, thank God for Seattle’s Best and Starbucks! These cafés have provided us with cool safe havens to meet. Talking over coffee gives you and Mr. Hottie the chance for a casual and relaxed look-see. After all, you don’t want to be overeager to get it on with this guy, right? (Now if all you want is his body, then dang the coffee and go straight to dessert!) Seriously, he will want to give you the once-over as well. One thing you should remember, if he likes and hears what he sees, he will call you for a real date. Stop making stupid excuses why he hasn’t called. If he’s not interested, it’s his loss, not yours. So move on.

Now, what to wear to the date? Keep it casual, even if you are having dinner with him. For someone you’re going out with for the first time, you don’t have to buy the entire spring collection at Zara. Exagg! But you know what I mean. A nice pair of jeans and a chic top will do for now. Or if you’re coming from work, your business suit will be apropos as well, with maybe a flirty top underneath? Just make sure you have a fresh clean face and the lip gloss on.

So he’s walking into the café coming straight at your table. Now what? Let’s save that for the next column.

(My column Something Like Life is published every Friday in the Life section of the Business Mirror. Photo from BusinessMirror)

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