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23 September 2010 @ 02:28 pm
what's your biggest hurdle  
Imagine you have a great big crush on someone. Do you notice patterns in what you perceive as your biggest hurdle to getting a date?

I'm thinking about things like shyness on your part, or fear of lack of interest on theirs, or you imagine that they're out of your league, or ...

For me, the most likely (and difficult to overcome) barrier to my making a move is having the sense that I'm not that person's "type", or that they wouldn't be interested. Given reason to think that an overture would be, if not successful, at least not misplaced, it's sometimes scary but basically always achievable to ask them out for drinks or whatnot.

I observe that a lot of people seem to think that the main hurdle is their own shyness, and that getting over that is likely to result in nookie (or whatever) if only they could clear that bar, which is always startling to me when I notice it, since it's basically the opposite of mine.
I'm feeling: curiouscurious
(Anonymous) on September 23rd, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
My biggest hurdle is not wanting to have the "I have herpes" conversation. I can handle being rejected for many other reasons, but that one really hurts.
kinesthetic chutzpahdilletante on September 23rd, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
oh, huh! i'm not sure i find those issues as... separable, as you describe. i mean, generally i'm shy because i assume the other person wouldn't be interested. :)
Chipceo on September 23rd, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
Likewise, and this applies to people I'd simply like to become closer friends with as well. Maybe more so, actually.
heinleinfanheinleinfan on September 23rd, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
My impression, reading the post...and I could be way off base but it's how I read the difference, was that A was saying she is not so shy about going "Let's get together for drinks or whatnot sometime" and that she has observed others feeling too shy to clear that bar that is scary, but achievable for her.
kinesthetic chutzpahdilletante on September 23rd, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
sure. but when i have trouble clearing that bar, it's because i assume the other person wouldn't be interested in hanging out with me. conversely, if someone i have a crush on is heavily engaging me in conversation and basically showing ample signs of interest, i have much less trouble asking them out.

i have, in the past, had someone i had a huge crush on outright tell me they wanted to hang out and i never followed up because i couldn't think of anything interesting to ask them to do with me, which was pretty stupid and maybe qualifies as just shyness. but it was still in some sense thinking "oh, they wouldn't be interested in that..."

similarly, "thinking someone is out of my league" seems like a variation of "assuming they wouldn't be interested" to me... largely. i do have this mental category of "people who seem so overwhelmingly attractive i can't figure out if i'm actually interested in them or just bowled away by their general hotness." i'm not sure where that falls in this analysis.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on September 23rd, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I have that "but what will we do??" problem sometimes! Especially when it's someone I know just a bit and so I'm not sure what we'll talk about or what shared adventures they might be interested in. That can be a surprisingly big hurdle!

I've thought about basically making mental cue cards of quirky questions to ask should conversation lag, but I've never actually implemented that as such. I mean, I often wind up asking quirky questions, but not that I thought up ahead of time.
kinesthetic chutzpahdilletante on September 24th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
that is basically how i learned to handle small talk, only the questions were cliched-but-appropriate rather than quirky (e.g. in college, "what's your major?" once i got over thinking that was a dumb question, because in fact people usually are interested in talking in detail about what interests them and why, actually).

i'm not sure thought-up-on-the-spot is at all a down side for quirky questions, though.
That Chick with the Evil Laughsparkymonster on September 27th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
but when i have trouble clearing that bar, it's because i assume the other person wouldn't be interested in hanging out with me.

Me too! Sometimes I manage to concoct elaborate theories in my head about the expressions of interest are extreme politeness and not sincere.

*head desk*

i do have this mental category of "people who seem so overwhelmingly attractive i can't figure out if i'm actually interested in them or just bowled away by their general hotness." i'm not sure where that falls in this analysis.

Yeah. That category is easier to deal with when it includes "they're overhwelming attractive but totally not into my gender so never mind then"
ruthless compassion: thinkyaroraborealis on September 23rd, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
I think I would call that "fear of lack of interest" rather than internal shyness, then, personally.
That Chick with the Evil Laughsparkymonster on September 27th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
Seeing that be a separate issue is an interesting (in a good way) to think about it.

I definitely have a fear of lack of interest, or maybe to be more precise a fear that while they may be interested in people just like me, they aren't interested in me personally. If that makes sense.

"I want to date someone just like you! just not...you"
Madame Blue aka Pygment: Yin Yangsweetmmeblue on September 23rd, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
My block is that
I'm usually the one who makes the first move. Then it is the case that I often wind up being the one to do much of the work maintaining the relationship. I'd like someone else to make the first move for a change and to put their share into maintaining the relationship.

This goes for friendships as well as dating.
(Deleted comment)
Madame Blue aka Pygmentsweetmmeblue on September 23rd, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
Re: My block is that
Yes, I do that too. I dislike the puppy dogs. You have to try but not too hard :)

Anyone who is over-complimentary is a sleaze and not flirty is lame/boring. But there is a balance in there that is seductive, fun, and not too pushy. *sigh* stupid wiring.
heinleinfanheinleinfan on September 23rd, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
I am only now thinking of hurdles in dating again. What with being mentally in a bad place for poly for so long, and now working towards getting my brain fixed somewhat...

Right now my hurdles are two:

One is definitely the "totally out of my league, not their type, no one is interested in me, yada yada" low self esteem things. I can't imagine anyone liking me that way and it's a hurdle I rarely am able to overcome.

Two is...learning how to poly.
sunstealer: Bert & Erniesunstealer on September 23rd, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
Two is...learning how to poly

fwiw- you're light years ahead of where you used to be and should be proud of the progress- not just as related to poly but generally in your ability to communicate more effectively :)
Kcatkcatalyst on September 23rd, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
My current big hurdle is that all the people I meet locally are met outside the poly community. So they might be monogamous and they might not, but it's not a topic that comes up socially. And I'm not willing to burn the necessary social capital in finding out,e specially since the odds are very high that random people are monogamous.
Randy Smithrandysmith on September 23rd, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
That's one of my hurdles, though I'm getting to the point of being willing to burn the capital. But I'm in a reasonably poly-friendly social space.

I think my two other major hurdles is a) really having a terror of being sleazy/making someone uncomfortable by coming on to them, and b) taking some time to get to know someone before figuring out whether I'm *really* interested or not, and not wanting to lead them on. I've got the usual shy/they couldn't possibly be interested in me patterns, but I can overcome those by force of will. The first two (which are both about causing grief to the object of my affections :-J) are hard.
sunstealer: Jestersunstealer on September 23rd, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
This is certainly my biggest external hurdle. I'm married and trying to explain the poly thing to shiny new (and yes, overwhelmingly monogamous) people is tiring and frustrating mostly.
Bad Rabbitzzbottom on September 23rd, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
For me, it's really just a general self-esteem issue. I can easily come up with any number of reasons why someone wouldn't be interested and I truly believe them. People see me as someone with a lot of self-confidence, I think, but nothing could be further from the truth. I can be absolutely confident so long as someone else makes the first move, but I am rarely able to make the first move, myself.
Jonathan Woodwardwoodwardiocom on September 23rd, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
What he said.

Also, these days, I just don't have the energy.
stephanie m. clarksonthespian on September 23rd, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)
I meet someone, and I like them, so I make an effort to become their friend, and when that works out I chicken out about telling them I like them, because I don't actually have a lot of friends, and so I wind up not telling them out of a fear that since they probably won't like me that way anyway (and before anyone says otherwise, they never have when I have gotten past this, not once in a decade), I don't want to lose the friendship.

I have, more than once, after the crush has faded, told the person in question, and the response has, every time, been an apologetic, 'I never thought of you that way, I'm sorry.'
Misanthropic extrovertdbang on September 23rd, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
Usually when I am interested in asking someone out, I just do. Can't remember a crush I've had (and actually had a desire to act on and a life situation that allowed me to act) that I didn't let them know

My fear is of being a jerk! If I let you know I have a crush or I ask you out...and your response is ambiguous...do I try again? Or does that mean the answer is no and I should take a hint already? And how long is reasonable before I try again...a month, a year, a decade, a lifetime? I don't want to be That Person. the creep.
DancingWolfGrrl: top beltdancingwolfgrrl on September 23rd, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
For a long time, my biggest hurdle was even noticing that I had a crush. I reliably waited to develop interest in someone until I was pretty damn sure they were interested in me.

Then I realized that wanting something I didn't have wasn't actually fatal most of the time, and now I think my hurdle is noticing the crush early enough that it's easy to make the first move without worrying about rejection. I sometimes joke that my favorite pickup line is "can I kiss you?" and it's kind of true, and I like being someone who is willing to ask, but it's useful to me to ask when I'm still not really super-invested in the answer :)

(Relatedly, still a hurdle, but less of one: being okay with changing my mind, and not feeling like that always is the same as leading someone on. Paradoxically, feeling like I can change my mind to no has made me wildly less likely to do so :->)
Beahbeah on September 23rd, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
I'll sit with dbang on this one. My biggest hurdle is that I am all out there, right up front, about my interest, and I worry that I come on too strong and kill my chances. Coy I am not.
Misanthropic extrovertdbang on September 23rd, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
Huh. That's not how I would describe my fear. I always figure if we're a match assertiveness will be a plus. I'm not worried about hurting my chances...I'm worried about being a stalker. The world is full of people who don't properly respect others' boundaries. We know those people and we don't like them. I fear being them. I can deal with her saying no. I can't deal with making her skin crawl because I'm scary.
Beahbeah on September 24th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, I was unclear. The similarity I saw was that we both ask out people we have crushes on - that's not the hurdle. The actual hurdle is different in my case than in yours.
Co-conspirator of Squeemuffyjo on September 23rd, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
First is actually noticing if they like me back. I tend to be very clueless that way. I've finally gotten to the part in my life where I say to myself "Look, you're a strong cheese. Either they'll like strong cheese or they won't. But standing here putting yourself down won't get you an answer and it won't move you to finding out, either."

And then I go back to cowering in the corner wondering if I'm his type and asking all his friends if I'm his type. :) Eventually I hope to move past that into the "ok, go over there and make nice with the guy".
Jasonjd_trouble on September 24th, 2010 07:45 am (UTC)
This feeling I know well. I'm an acquired taste. I know that. What I don't know is whether people want to take the time to acquire it. I also know that if I don't take the risk of people not liking me, then they will never get the chance to. I believe that MANY people can enjoy what I offer, if they give me a chance, and I push myself over the fear of possible rejection.
What do you think we are, Monkeys on Sticks???goat on September 23rd, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
Given recent events I can answer this one quite clearly. I am not too shy to ask someone out but I do fear that they don't like me. Even (ridiculously) when I hear through the grapevine that they do like me and that I am exactly their type, and I *know* they like what I do to them. I fear that if I let my full aggressiveness out I will be seen as a monster.

That said, I'm learning to embrace my own awesomeness so I reallyhope that changes in the future if we do end up fully embracing poly again.
Katefenicedautun on September 23rd, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
I have a weird brain, so I generally have the same interest in a person if I want to be their friend or date, and generally stuff starts out the same way. However, most of the people I want to be friends with tend to be very busy, so it doesn't work very well, as I will only make the first overture a limited number of times before expecting reciprocity.
Coscos on September 23rd, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
The biggest hurdle is if they're just not interested.

But if they *are* interested, the biggest hurdle is low life overlap, which reduces the opportunities to find places and times to connect. If mutual interest is known to both of us, that's different - frustrating perhaps, but not an obstacle in the way you seem to mean in this post. But if mutual interest is not known, low life overlap means less opportunity to signal to each other, notice the potential, and ask her.
Theory Slutdesiringsubject on September 23rd, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure. It sometimes takes me a while to get around to asking someone out, and as cos says, low life overlap is a problem. But mostly I find I spend more time being turned down than I do waiting to figure out how to approach someone. So I guess the hurdle is when people *actually* don't want to go out with me. Every once in a while it seems to happen that someone wants to go out with me and I don't want to go out with them, but that seems far rarer.

Also, the poly thing. It's hard to figure out whether people are monogamous because it's SO the unmarked term. Especially with single people, I find. Monogamous and coupled people will more often drop wistful lines about "wouldn't that be nice" or "if only I could" and then you know that they (at last think that they) can't. With single people, who knows!?
whynotkaywhynotkay on September 23rd, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
I tend to be too shy to ask anyone anything, especially if I have a crush on them, usually _because_ I expect it won't be reciprocated. If it's someone outside of my communities (poly/kinky), it's even more challenging, as others have noted, because of the extra compatibility and communication requirements.

Apparently I also generally don't give off signs of being interested in people, at least not while sober, and I also generally don't notice when other people are interested in me unless they communicate thereby in a very explicit manner (either verbally or physically).
Misanthropic extrovertdbang on September 23rd, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
Actually I'm unlikely to develop a crush on someone I think might not like me. If I think that, that is likely to evoke dislike on my part, not a crush

On the other hand it's been so long since I had a crush on a friend or acquaintance I am not sure I even know what I'm talking about.
born from jets!!!: brainscatness on September 24th, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not sure I can have crushes anymore. But then, I'm definitely in a psychological place where I feel like I have nothing to offer anyone, and I think that is tweaking my ability to get all into someone in a crush-like or romantic way.
(Anonymous) on September 24th, 2010 01:49 am (UTC)
My biggest hurdle is that my partner wants to be poly and says she's poly, but is also really scared about my dating anyone (else) or having sex with anyone (else). So if it was really important to me we could work and talk our way through it, but I never get to the point of getting close enough to a particular person to decide it would be worth all the work it would take to make it okay, even if in the abstract it theoretically already is.
(Anonymous) on September 24th, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
My biggest hurdle is that I'm a jackass. And it's pretty obvious. These days, the only people who don't seem to mind, are those who don't have anything to lose by finding out just how much of one I am.


Not that things went so well when I wasn't a jackass.
Doug Orleansdougo on September 24th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
My biggest hurdle is not just the fear of lack of interest on their part, but the fear that they will be uncomfortable, annoyed, or even just disappointed (as in "I wanted to be friends, but you had to go there?"). I feel like it's more risky for a man to ask out a woman than vice versa, simply because it's such a cliche, and because women tend to get asked out much more than men do, which means (1) they might be jaded and tired of it, but also (2) they might get hit on a lot by creepy guys who won't take no for an answer, so their guard goes up real quick.

I used to basically never ask women out. Lately I've been trying to be more proactive by sending messages on OKCupid and Match.com, where at least I know that it won't be regarded as inappropriate, but with a less-than-5% reply rate I'm starting to feel like a spammer. And it really bothers me to think that they might be thinking of me like a spammer!