DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’ve been talking to a girl from one of my classes for a couple of weeks now, We’ve been getting along great and have a lot in common. After a couple of weeks ago, she wanted to head to this outdoor event being held at my apartment complex.
After the event, she asked if we could head back to my room to charge her phone. We head back to my place and start swapping funny stories when suddenly asks about the sex etiquette my roommates and I had. After this she went on to tell me a couple of stories about almost getting caught having sex. I laughed, added commentary but didn’t add my own funny sex stories (as I have none, only had sex twice) In the end, we just ended up hanging out for a couple of hours, then I saw her off. This happened 2 weeks ago, nothing’s appeared to change in the way we treat each other (nothing awkward), but it feel as though we hangout a little less.
Was I oblivious to a hint?
Does she think I’m not interested? Is this salvageable? How do I get back to that situation?
– Sexless In Seattle
DEAR SEXLESS IN SEATTLE: Let me tell you a story from the long-long ago.
There was a point during college where I was working (very, very briefly) as a cartoonist for the school paper. It didn’t last very long because, frankly, I wasn’t that good. But that’s beside the point. The newspaper office was in the basement of my dorm. One night, this one girl I’d talk to occasionally and thought was pretty cute came down while I was working and hung out while I was putting the finishing touches on that week’s drawing. She saw that the illustration I was working on was manga-styled and wanted to know if I liked anime. I did and as we were talking she mentioned that she enjoyed Japanese movies and she had this animated horror movie she was afraid to watch alone. Maybe I’d like to come watch it with her. In her room. Alone. Just the two of us.
At the time I hadn’t realized that women are socialized to be indirect, especially when it comes to sex. I also didn’t realize that it was possible for women to find me attractive at all. As a result: said “sounds cool, but my deadline’s tomorrow, so I need to finish this.”
(For the record: the “horror” movie she was talking about was a fairly infamous porno…)
It took me half a damn year to realize that she was basically saying “Would you like to come back to my place for a hot cup of F--K MY BRAINS OUT?”
I bring this up because… well, it sounds like you were in the same situation.
Your friend wanted to come back to your room with you. Alone. She wanted to talk about sex. She wanted to talk about her having sex. She was making sure that the image of her having sex was going to be implanted in your brain. She wanted to know what your etiquette was for keeping your roommate out should it turn out to be business time.
It’s entirely possible that she was just enjoying talking about sex. Lots of folks do that. But I’m willing to bet a not insignificant amount of money that she was hoping you were going to take the damn hint and make a move already.
You didn’t, which tells her either a) you missed the hint or b) you deliberately ignored the hint. Either way, you told her you weren’t interested and in all likelihood she’s moved on from the idea.
Could it be salvaged? Theoretically. The next time you two are hanging out, you can make a point to be a little flirtier, to give a bit more of a sexual edge to your banter with her, to make more appreciative comments if/when she tells other stories about how she likes to get wild. Yeah, you may have missed THAT opportunity, but nothing says you can’t ping her to see if there’s still interest.
But to be perfectly honest, the odds are against you. From her end, it’s gonna feel like either you missed things entirely and she feels embarrassed — which happens — or she thinks you just don’t like her like that. Either way, it’s much more likely that the moment has passed and she thinks of you more as a friend than a potential play partner.
Which, hey, sucks. But at least this time you know what to look for the next time around.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: A bit of an odd question, but a lot of people tell me that finding a job is a lot like dating. Right now, i’m putting my dating life on hold while I scramble to find a job that makes use of my MS in Physics. It has been, in a word, depressing. I’ve made multiple resumes, I network though LinkedIn and at job fairs and parties, I try out any career advice I come across online just to see if a change in attack has any impact, but I haven’t had a proper interview with a company in 6 months. I do work part rime right now as a tutor, but it’s not enough to pay the bills and i’m starting to get pretty anxious over the situation. Do you by chance in your infinite bag of dating wisdom have some advice for job seekers?
Job First, Date Later
DEAR JOB FIRST, DATE LATER: Straight talk my dude: my career path is anything but typical or traditional, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. But there’s one universal truth about dealing with other people, whether you’re hoping to date them or get hired by them: they need to like you. Being likable is going to serve you far better than being skilled; we do more for people we like, we want to spend more time with them and likable people do better at work. They’re better at working with others, they build more connections that lead to more opportunities and leads.
The other benefit to being more likable is that it means you’re going to make more social connections. The cliche of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is 100% true. The more people you connect with increases the number of people who will think of you when there’s an opening at their job or who’ll mention you to other people in their social circles who might be looking for someone with your qualifications. So while LinkedIn is good, you’ll do even better to focus on networking in person. The more you can connect with people on a personal level, the better your odds of getting that job.
Being good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to fit in at the job. Click with the person conducting your interview, on the other hand, and they’ll be much more likely to see your potential even if you’re not a perfect match.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org