I’ve recently started watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. In marginally related news, I was browsing Craigslist as research for a blog post, and this all got me thinking about a conversation I had at dinner with a couple of friends last week. We were discussing an experiment we’d conducted where three of us posted dating profiles online. I got easily three times as many messages as the two guys combined. This isn’t surprising; girls are used to being on the receiving end of romantic overtures.
The more I thought about it though — in the context of How I Met Your Mother and creepy Craigslist personal ads — the more I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been straight up asked out in a real life situation. It might actually have been the prom… or by this tiny little gnome of a man I met in New York, who wore a ridiculous hat every day. But in TV Land Ted Mosby is constantly asking girls out in elevators, in bars, at the doctor’s office, etc. I just don’t believe this happens any more, which is funny because a quick perusal of any dating site will turn up hundreds of profiles with guys claiming they just don’t know where to meet women any more.
Meeting people is easy, apparently it’s the asking them out part that’s hard. I don’t think it’s just me, either. I can’t think of any of my female friends who’ve called me up and said, “I was in the produce aisle today and this guy asked me about melons and before I knew it we were having coffee.”
Now, I’ve had plenty of guys in bars buy me drinks or hit on me. Some of them weren’t even obnoxious or drunk. But did any of them muster up the cajones to just say, “Hey can I have your number?” Well, yes, there was one guy at a party but most of them just look confused when, after chatting for an hour, I walk out the door. What is that about?
(Funny story: When my friend and I were in Los Banos, CA making friends with the locals, a super seedy old guy ambushed me by the bathroom and gave me his number. He was easily a foot taller than me, and I probably weighed 20 lbs more than he did. Half his body weight was his abnormally long hair.)
So, as Valentine’s Day approaches, fellas, consider chatting up a lady in the cereal aisle instead of online. It might be such a refreshing change of pace that she may go out with you just for being brave enough to ask.