I recently had a comedy show at a bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Similar to most of my shows, the crowd was intimate. It wasn’t long before I noticed a pretty young blonde woman up front who was miraculously (and generously) laughing at my half-baked, relatively new jokes.
After the show, she was hanging out at the bar and we hit it off pretty well. We spoke about comedy and her grad school program and everything seemed to be going well. I wanted to get her number, but as usual, I found asking to be too forward and maybe even a bit jarring.
Talking to girls has always come pretty easy to me. Hooking up? Well, that’s up and down. Regardless, I can make some great conversation. I grew up in a sociable family, had a lot of female friends and I’m definitely a people person.
Still, I’ve always found it difficult to find a way to keep in touch that doesn’t feel off-putting. In this case, I gave this girl my card, told her “ball is in your court” and left.
The following day, she texted me and we got together over the weekend. After some drinks, she said, “Hey, remember how you handed me your card and said, ‘Ball is in your court’?” I said, “Yeah.” She goes, “Little weird.” I’d have to agree with her there.
It’s about the lamest, most cliché sports metaphor there is — an absolute embarrassment for someone, like me, who takes pride in getting the words just right. However, the strategy was there and ultimately, who could argue with the end result?
So here’s my solution: Rather than asking a girl for her number, just give her yours. Remove that whole awkward aspect completely and let her decide whether or not to keep in touch. If you have a card, just hand it to her.
If she has her phone out while you’re talking to her (a realistic possibility in Generation-Y), put your number in it yourself. Feel free to be more creative than, “Ball is in your court.”
This will also give you a better idea of how she feels. If she does reach out to you in the following days, you’ll know right away that she’s interested because she initiated the contact.
On the other hand, when you have her number and you reach out, it may be a long time before you get a response — even if you do, who knows how she really feels.
Furthermore, by not asking a girl for her number, you avoid the number one reason why all guys don’t speak with every woman they see: fear of failure. This strategy helps to alleviate one of the main roads to rejection.
Additionally, if you know in the back of your mind that there won’t be that awkward moment in the end, you’ll loosen up more while hanging out with her, making the whole interaction more enjoyable.
I’d also like it to be known that I’m no ladies man, matchmaker or expert on the opposite sex. I can imagine my friends reading this right now, rolling their eyes, thinking, “What the hell does Will know about this?” And they’d be right.
In fact, this whole approach stems from my insecurities and it’s something that eases the tension for me. I have a feeling, though, that it could work for other people, as well.
If she thinks it’s “a little weird,” I say, “who cares.” Sure beats being predictable.
Photo Credit: We Heart It