I am intimidating. You probably are too. If you’re a single woman in your 30’s – especially a career-minded professional– then just reading the title of this blog post will most likely have you putting on your choir robe and getting out your church fan to join this hallelujah chorus. You’ve undoubtedly heard this before. In fact, it’s the number one stop on the this-is-what-is-wrong-with-you-and-why-you-are-still-single party train (can I get an Amen?) You know that sketchy stop where people keep trying to abandon you while you desperately cling to the door frame yelling: but wait, it isn’t me!
Oh, it’s you alright. You and your successful and intimidating self. These two words are proof that you’re just not approachable or you are just so unpredictable –so wily – no one knows what you might do! I mean what if someone asks you on a date! What might you say??
I experience this phrase as a matter of course. In general, I know when someone is attracted to me – not because I am particularly vain, but because I am particularly observant. What follows from these “attractions” is mostly fizzle, no crackle or pop. There’s lots of deep eye contact, smiling, and random, probing questions, but little else. No dates, no phone calls, no follow-through. It’s like shooting a three pointer and missing every time!
It is only much later – after he is married, or considerable time has passed, or he has moved far enough away where liking me no longer presents a conundrum to be solved – that I learn that it is because I am intimidating that this attraction never goes anywhere.
Recently, a guy who was once attracted to me (and is now married) initiated a conversation with me on FB so that he could ask if I had ever “found someone.” My reply in the negative led him to profess that he’d “tried hard” but I’d “kept him in the friend zone.” Except he didn’t try very hard at all!
He’d sometimes show up to where I was orbiting, stare at me a bit, not say much and wander off. His “attraction” to me was this rather vague and nebulous something in my general direction. And that is what I routinely experience from the opposite sex — this vacillating desire, passing fancy, I-cant-tell-if-I-really-like-you-or-if-this-is-heartburn type emotion.
My response to this type of attraction is always, always, always tepid. I don’t rise to half-hearted, lukewarm, dipping toes in the water attempts at getting to know me. If I see only questions in your eyes — Could I? Will she? Won’t I? What if? Dare I? –if you hint around that maybe, you know one day, at some point in time then maybe we could, you know, hang out or something like that then you are unlikely to get much in the way of an answer or encouragement from me.
Is this mean? I don’t think so. Is it intimidating? I can see how it might be interpreted as such. I get it. I do. Rejection is hard — no doubt. But, you can’t win if you don’t play! I want someone who walks up and says: can i get to know you? No ambiguity. No beating around the bush– no waiting years to tell me what you think or feel.
In the end, if you are giving me well…maybe…sorta I-kinda-like-you energy then I will give zero of my time and effort in return. Instead we can wait X number of months or years and you can tell me how intimidating you found me way back then.