So there’s this college “couple” next to me at the coffee shop. A guy and a girl. It’s obvious they’re good friends. She’s helping him find a date on Tinder, giving him advice, etc. She’s like “So what do you want?” “And he’s like, “Oh, I don’t know. I’m 18 and I’ve never had a girlfriend.” And she’s like “Is there any girl you like that you’d want to ask out?”
And he’s like “Well, there are some girls who are good friends of mine that I’d want to ask out. But I get too nervous.”
And she’s like, “Well, are there some girls you’d like to call.”
And he’s like: “I guess. It’s just so hard.”
More totally adorable conversation and advice.
And she’s like “This isn’t the movies John.”
And he responds, “I knoooow. I wish it was.”
And she says, “You’re such a sweet guy. I’m sure there’s some girl who would love for you to just come up to her and ask her out.”
Him: “I wish they would just come up to ME and ask.”
Her: “Pretend there’s a guy holding a gun up to your head and he forces you to name a girl you’d want to ask out. Who would it be?”
Then he goes through his Facebook list or something and points out some girl.
All while she’s helping to plan his birthday and go camping with him. Just the two of them!
And I’m listening to all of this and I’m like … I SWEAR. This is like a scene from a John Hughes movie.
And I just want to stand up and shout. “DUDE. F-ing tell her you like HER! Geeze!”
And I want to yell to this girl, “Girl! Wake up! This dude likes YOU! Hello?”
Should I intervene and force them to face this truth. It’s taking all the strength I have not to laugh and pretend I’m NOT totally eavesdropping (which, I know, is terrible. 😊)
So, what would YOU do in this situation? Just sit and continue to listen? Or butt in and offer your decades of sage advice?
I decided to butt in. And wow. What an experience.
So, I asked them, “Excuse me, but are you two friends?”
She: “Yes, We’re best friends.”
ME: Sorry, but I couldn’t help but overhear part of your conversation, but if you don’t mind my asking, why don’t YOU two go out?”
Her head and body tilted back as she brought her hand to mouth and laughed out loud. He laughed and turned embarrassingly away.
HER: “He DID ask me out, but I have a boyfriend. He asked me too late.”
ME: “Why, what do you mean?”
HER: “By the time he asked me, I had already met my boyfriend.”
ME: “So were you two already best friends?”
ME: So, what would have happened if he asked you BEFORE you met your boyfriend.
HER: I totally would have gone out with him. And I told him this.
ME: So dude, why didn’t you ask her?
HIM: I don’t know. I didn’t think she’d say yes. I don’t know.
HER: See John [NOT HIS REAL NAME], you can’t let this happen again. That’s why I’m telling him to ask this other girl out.
ME: So, don’t be offended or anything when I say this, but you KNOW he still likes you right?
She laughs. He laughs and his face turns red.
ME: I heard you two talking about possibly going camping together. By yourselves?
ME: And what does your boyfriend think of this?
HER: Well, he knows John and I are just good friends. He knows John wouldn’t try to swoop in.
ME: Well, let me just say, your boyfriend is stupid!
ME: If you two go camping by yourselves, in the back of John’s mind, he’s going to be hoping and wishing. You’re going to continue to burn his emotional fires for you.
She grabs her cheeks and turns red a bit and looks at John.
HER: Oh no John. Is that true. Oh my gosh I’m gonna cry. Am I doing that to you?
HIM: No. I know that’s not going to happen.
We all talk for another 30+ minutes. I tell John how I see so much of myself in him. How I was always in the “friend zone” at his age. Hoping and wishing my “best friend” (who was a girl) would “come around”. I tell him to take Jane’s advice [NOT HER REAL NAME] and not let the next one get away. I tell him about the importance of being confident in your speech and body language (he sat slouched over and timid). I tell him about the importance of making a woman feel desired. How, even now, after 17 years of marriage, that’s something MY wife wanted and I was not always good at showing it, and if you can learn NOW how to do it, at age 19, DUDE, you’ll be an all-star.
Me: Why don’t you ask these other girls out?
HIM: I don’t know.
ME: Yes you do. Why?
HIM: I think I’m the kinda guy they wouldn’t think is interesting enough.
ME: But you know that’s not true. Jane is sitting right here. She’s living proof, you ARE interesting enough.
HIM: I guess. You’re right.
HER: See John. I told you.
They’re both Christians, and teach at small groups in their church. So I tell him about the importance of being a godly man, and keeping your eye on your purpose on this earth, and whether or not you “get the girl,” it won’t matter.
All the time, Jane is shaking her head in agreement.
I ask if they’ve heard of Tony Robbins. They haven’t (WHAT? I have a
“feeling old” moment). I tell them about his relationship videos and to look up his Netflix documentary and his relationship videos on YouTube. How he encourages men to “Man Up” and be the men in their lives their women/wives need them to be.
I tell him to google Vanessa Van Edwards and her body language videos. I tell him the importance of emoting confidence and strength, because women don’t want wimpy men. I turn to Jane and ask her if I’m right, and she emphatically agrees.
I tell him I understand him. That I’ve been there. I know what it’s like daydreaming about being that suave and debonair guy, and how it would look if I could just go up to a girl I like and ask her out. He laughs and confirms he does the same thing.
ME: I know dude. I was JUST like you when I was your age. But, trust me John, if you can do all this stuff, you will be able to get the girl. You’re a good looking guy. You seem like you have a sweet personality. Am I right Jane?
HER: Yeah. Totally!
ME: And as you’re doing this stuff, there’s a 50/50 chance Jane’s boyfriend is going to screw up, and YOU’LL be the first in line to get a second chance at her.
Jane blushes and laughs again.
They will probably ask a third person on their camping trip. I joke with John and say “Sorry dude. I’m sure you’re thinking in the back of your head ‘Damn. Why this guy have to say that?’ But, having been there, trust me, you don’t want to lead yourself on if Jane is taken. But, do all this other stuff, and maybe you’ll get another chance.” I smile.
They both laugh. They thank me so much for talking to them. They say how great it was.
Then they get up and go.
Who knows what will happen between Jane and John. I hope they DO get together. Jane’s boyfriend is stupid. They met online, but John is her best friend, co-teacher at church, and a totally sweet guy. If I were a betting man, I would say Mr. Stupid Boyfriend, this guy that would let his cute girlfriend go camping with her sweet, adorable best friend that she WOULD have dated had he just not waited so long, is about to be swooped.
My work here is done.
Advice is easy to give. Much harder to live.
Update: After 17 years of marriage, I had an amicable divorce from my wife. I actually met this couple during a time when she and I were spending time apart. Who knows what might have happened if I took more of my advice early on.
Good luck John.