So I was out a few nights ago and I bumped into a guy who hits on me sideways. Ladies you know the guy, he talks about how good you look, mentions some tell-tale fact about you that lets you know he really listens when you speak and pays attention to what’s going on in your life… then just when you think he is about to ask you out, he drops the ball and talks about something else.
It is like he is throwing darts with his eyes closed and if one happens to hit the bulls-eye, he will leap in celebration, but he does not want to appear to be aiming at the bulls-eye.
Anyway I was sitting with my friend Shan Bartley and this guy would pop into our conversation, disappear for a few minutes, pop back in again; and then it hit me: he is going to keep doing this until I ‘give him permission’ to ask me out.
A while ago I was listening to Arielle Ford’s online Attract your Soulmate Now, seminar and a few of the male speakers, including Dr. John Gray [Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus] said that we think that men make the first move, but really it is us women who indicate that we are receptive to a guy and that allows him to ask us out.
It makes sense that especially as men get older, they figure out ways to protect their feelings and mitigate rejection. So if he sees you and something about you piques his interest, a guy will not just drop everything and go for broke.
Instead, he will wait for signs from you that his attentions are welcome. A smile, eye contact, laughing at his jokes, a touch of the arm if he is close enough… all these tell a man "yes, you can ask me out".
After reading last week’s analysis on ‘generation gerrit’ you may think that this does not apply in Nairobi, but it does. In fact, it applies even more so because promiscuity is almost invariably a sign of insecurity and a lack of self-worth.
In a society riddled with sexual corruption, a society that acts like polygamous marriages and their offspring do not exist, a society that acts like affection is weird; it is no wonder that young adults are pursuing affection, intimacy and anything that looks like it with hedonistic abandon.
Give this generation cheap internet access, social media accounts and the permission to publish all aspects of their lives from food to leisure and career, and there you have it: Generation gerrit, with sex lives on public display. Are these young people scared of rejection? Of course, especially because it may get published on Facebook.
So back to the guy who is hitting on you sideways... give him permission. For the guys, be a little less subtle. I realised in conversation with a girlfriend that this guy I like had actually asked me out on a date when he asked me to go running with him.
I wasn’t rejecting him, running just didn’t sound like a date to me. Dude, be more obvious, sometimes we aren’t rejecting you, sometimes we really just didn’t gerrit!