My next-door neighbor is an amazing woman. I really like her. I know she doesn't know that I like her because she constantly comes over here to talk about other guys. I haven't done anything about this because I really don't want to screw up the fact that she comes over at all to talk to me about anything -- even other dudes.
But sometimes I wonder if I told her about my crush if maybe she'd like me too. I am doing OK work-wise. I have a few cool friends. I don't smoke. My mom thinks I'm a "catch." But seriously, I know that I am a little soft in the middle for a guy my age and I would definitely be a step down for her.
The fact that she's my neighbor makes me think this is just an all-around bad idea, anyway. I can get dates that are at my "level," so should I bother trying with her?
-- Dream Girl Next Door
First, STEP AWAY FROM THE NEIGHBOR. Do not, under any circumstances, proceed. For Pete's sake, she only lives a few pieces of drywall away from where you spend close to 50 percent of your life, man. Think of the repercussions!
When I was in my freshman college dorm, there was a general agreement among the student body that you didn't date anyone who lived on the hall. It wasn't written anywhere, but even at the innocent age of 18 we had figured out that you don't umm ... make a mess where you sleep.
Now, if the preceding paragraphs made you feel indignant and ready to argue with me, then my friend, forget every word (lots of other people do act on these urges). As does this week's expert, life coach Lauree Ostrofsky at Simply Leap. "If after reading that he shouldn't go for her, he has a strong reaction, then we're talking. But," she cautions, "if he wants it, he needs to act like it!"
So let's say that you really do want this girl and you've considered the fact that after you break up you will tolerate any future sounds of passion coming from her apartment; let's talk about technique.
"She isn't dating him because he's soft in the middle," says Ostrofsky. "It's because he isn't acting like a man."
Ostrofsky suggests that you mix a little manliness into your "girl talk," which, let's face it, is kind of what you're having with her when she comes over to talk about dudes.
"He needs to make eye contact and be decisive in his words," she adds. "If you wanted a job, is this how you would act?"
She has a point. If you were applying for a job in a bank, for example, you wouldn't show up wearing cut-off jean shorts. Similarly, don't don a pink-mesh tank-top and expect the girl to take you seriously. When she talks boys, see if you can move the conversation toward something you imagine yourselves talking about once there are no other boys to talk about.
This doesn't mean you should only talk John Wayne movies and baseball. But find something at which you excel and invite her to be a part of it. Let her come to see you as the desirable stud you know is hidden beneath that belly.
Also, here's a trick. Girls love boys that love other girls. So perhaps you could try inviting her over for a "test run" of a dinner you intend to make for someone else -- some imaginary superhot girl from your office that you've gone out with a few times. Even if you're a sucktastic chef, while she's taste-testing she just might start to think of you in a different a way, a way that a hot girl from the office, imaginary though she might be, is thinking of you.
Ostrovsky coaches, "If you want something, you need to exude the confidence that you can handle the situation, whether it's a relationship or a job, and know your stuff."
Couldn't have said it better myself.
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