How many missed opportunities before a guy gets the girl?
Do you have any regrets? I don’t mean the type of regrets regarding things you have done; I mean the ones about things you didn’t do. Missed opportunities.
I have begun to believe a man can miss out on the love of his life by not asking. The question is, will the right women come back into my life for a second chance if it was meant to be?
It’s hard to know because I don’t believe in fate; rather I believe I am in control of my own life. So I don’t think that ‘meant to be’ idea is a valid way for me to look at it; it seems too much like mysticism. Is ‘the one’ potentially the ‘the one that got away’ because I never asked?
Here’s my incomplete list of a dozen women I should have asked out. These are the ones that got away because I never or barely tried:
1. – The waitress who took extra good care of me
You know, the one who flirts just a little more than necessary for a good tip. If she doesn’t leave her number, what’s the best way to ask? After years of doing nothing, I recently called a restaurant after a brunch. (I got her name from the receipt.) She was nice to my parents, paid extra attention to me versus. the others at the table, so everyone at our table agreed I should ask her out. I wasn’t even paying the check. I called, and she was nice about it I suppose, and told me to Facebook her It’s been four weeks now; I’ve heard nothing but crickets. I will still try again the next time this happens because it was only my first attempt.
2. – The gorgeous girl who returned my wallet, my keys or my phone
I never asked this girl out and will probably never see her again. Mystics would argue her purpose was to just return my possession, nothing more. I still wonder.
3. – The right eye contact with a female friend I hang out with often
I have a lot of female friends and almost always consider them off limits; my friend zone for women is strong. Every once in a while, I get surprised, when I realize she wasn’t a friend after all. She was hanging around, hoping I would ask her out, instead I pushed her away.
4. – The one in a bad relationship
I have a friend who says, you have to catch the best girls right after they mourn a breakup. He believes the window to be three months or less. I know divorced women who are in the dating game, only moments after their divorce. Therapists argue you need two years minimum to mourn, lose the emotional baggage, and return to ‘normal’. This is not what I have observed.
I know a number of women that go from relationship to relationship with little break. This could mean they either hang on longer than they should or perhaps want to trade up for a better model. I know those aren’t the only two reasons. It does cause me to question how many bad relationships prolong because she is driven by needing someone, needing comfort, being stuck financially, trying to be nice, doesn’t know what to do about the dog, or any other reason related to being too dependent but no longer in love. I think a lot of relationships still continue long after they should.
So what’s the right timing to catch a woman post bad breakup? If you try too early, in the first couple of weeks, she’ll claim she’s just looking to have fun, plus you want to stay away as the ex is sure to be still involved, even just for late night hook ups. If you wait too long during this period, the next time you see her, she’s introducing you to her new boyfriend.
5. – The one-time-only breakup.
I seem to be the type of guy that has to break up more than once for it to be over. I know many successful marriages and relationships, where they broke up first before truly committing to each other. I believe in second chances.
6. – The girl from the party
How many times did I fail to ask for her number or find a way to connect enough during this one event, so I would be sure I will see her again? I mean seriously, how many times did I not just ask for her number? (Sigh) Moving on.
7. – The old female friend I always wanted.
Many women agree they want to be best friends with their partner. Have you tried to become her best friend first and have that fail? I call this friending your way into a relationship. Many movies and books have been written about getting out of the friend zone. It’s not easy.
8. – The ex-girlfriend of a close friend
I personally consider the exes of my close friends to be off limits, so I have never pursued them. I did, however, get approached in college by one of my closest friends, confessing his love for an ex-girlfriend of mine. I gave him the green light. Anything is possible if you just know how to ask.
9. – The nurse that paid extra attention
This is not what you may be thinking, get your mind out of the gutter. I have totally had a Florence Nightingale effect on a handful of occasions but did nothing. I am pretty sure my inability to ask had a lot to do with a lack of an ability to shower, my horrible bed head, and my onesie nightgown. It’s really hard to ask a woman out when you are her patient, no matter how bad you want to.
10. – The secretary or client or girl at the grocery store that gave me more than a glimpse
Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between flirting, potential interest, friendly eye contact, real eye contact, or mere politeness.
11. – The woman I met at a networking event
How do you know when it’s more than just business? I have heard several of my women friends complain about men meeting them for business under false pretenses and trying to turn the meeting into a date or ask them out. My sensitivity to this has resulted in me not really trying. I take what I do very seriously and since I help people get jobs for a living, it’s a role where I am put in an awkward position if I want to ask a woman out – especially if she wants a new job. My concern is, just because I meet a woman out networking, does that mean the potential for a relationship is doomed from the start?
12. – I reserve for a large group of women
These are the ones, yes there are several, that say “no” to a date the first time I ask. I give up and move on now. Online dating provides so much inventory in today’s world, I rarely pursue like I used to 15 years ago. I sometimes even give up on asking more than once.
In the movie Hitch, Will Smith advises sometimes ‘no’ means ‘try harder stupid’. I don’t do that much anymore, and maybe that’s the problem. I don’t do that much anymore, and maybe that’s the problem. From a dating perspective, how do you know when ‘no’ means try harder stupid? I even give up chase if I am intrigued by a new profile and the more I think about that, the crazier that sounds. A profile isn’t a person, it’s a potential person, and it’s certainly not a date yet. And the more I think about it, the more I find it valuable to account for these missed opportunities, this way I can continue to approach the world with my eyes wide open.
I think the landscape for dating is more complicated than ever. The onset of online dating has increased the number of options out there and the number of potential creeps have muddied the waters. I miss good old-fashioned eye contact, yet a lot of women have their faces buried in their phones, which presents a whole other issue.
Since I never know when that next potential someone is going to walk into my life, I am going to try to take note so as not to miss out on some of these potential opportunities.
And take some advice from the great Michael Jordan who said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots, you don’t’ take”.