Category Archives: Talking to women

How to tell if she’s flirting or just being friendly

It’s been a while since my last newsletter, huh? At Quietly Romantic headquarters, there’s a tradition where if I go too long without writing anything new then I get to share an embarrassing story.

This one tops anything I’ve shared before.

Several years ago, I had a friend named Nicole that I always used to hang out with. We’d known each other for a couple of years and we’d always do things together such as…

  • Invite each other out to movies late at night
  • Cook dinner for each other at our apartments
  • Go out to restaurants at midnight to order dessert

…but we never went past just being friends.

Mostly because I’m a dense person.

One day, she invited me to her apartment and made dinner for me. She asked me if I wanted to stay late and play board games with her. We ended up playing Scrabble and, several turns into the game, she plays the word “W-A-N-T”.

On her next turn—I kid you not—she plays the word “S-E-X” right next to the word “W-A-N-T”. My reaction at the time?

“Okay, that’s +19 points for Nicole.”

And that’s why I stayed single that night.

Back then, I had no idea how to tell if someone was flirting with me or what the word “flirting” even meant. Sometimes my friends would even come out and tell me “Dude, why didn’t you talk to her? She was totally hitting on you” and I’d just stand there confused.

Was she really trying to flirt with me? Or just being overly friendly?

Continue reading How to tell if she’s flirting or just being friendly

What our favorite films can teach us about having deeper conversations

Wow, is it almost Autumn already? It seriously feels like Summer just flew by this year. Normally, we’d go outside around this time of year, meet up with friends, and just absorb some sunlight. But since we’re still stuck in lockdown, we haven’t really been able to do those things. Honestly, it just feels like we “skipped” summer this year.

On that note, I hope we’re all still staying safe from COVID-19.

Since we’re all staying inside and not going out without wearing a mask (right? Right?!), I have a fun experiment for you to try out.

Recently, I’ve been getting questions from some of my readers about having more intimate conversations with women. How do you move past small talk and start talking about the deeper, more emotional stuff to build a connection with her?

One of the ways that I’ve found really helpful is to re-watch some of my favorite movies.

Wait, seriously? By watching movies? Yep! Here’s what I mean…

Think of your favorite movie of all time. (Your favorite GOOD movie. I, too, love watching Nic Cage steal the Declaration of Independence. Doesn’t mean it’s a good movie.) I’m sure you vividly remember the action scenes. The daring rescues and punches being thrown. A lot of films end with a big action scene.

Can you remember what happens right before the big action scene?

Typically, the story slows down. There’s a few minutes where nothing crazy happens onscreen. Instead, the characters take a second to have some vulnerable conversations with each other. They’ll talk about what their thoughts are, what their backstories are, and/or what their feelings are on the events of the story.

This helps us get more emotionally invested in the characters. It makes us care about what happens next. Here are some of my favorite examples (of course, don’t click the links if you haven’t seen these already and don’t want to be spoiled):

In the same way, you can help move conversations into deeper and more emotional subject matter whenever you talk to people by discussing your opinions, backstories, and feelings while also inviting them to do the same.

Try out this neat little experiment next time you watch some of your favorite films. Who knows? You’ll have some fun, and you just might learn something at the same time.

The Flirting Styles That Work Best for Highly Sensitive People

Hey! Today’s newsletter contains a link to something I’ve written for ‘Highly Sensitive Refuge’. If you haven’t noticed already, I’m what’s called a “Highly Sensitive Person” or HSP (yes that’s a real thing!) The closest some of my male friends have ever come to crying is watching Spider-man get dusted in Infinity War. Me…on the other hand…I bawl my eyes out watching Monica and Chandler on Friends.

Sometimes it feels like the world is just so harsh and uncaring. And, for men in particular, we’re expected to just tough it out without showing any emotion at all. That’s why I love their website so much. It’s incredibly validating to see what’s been created by those who are unafraid to be sensitive. Check out their website below!

When I started looking for love, I noticed that one of my friends who always got dates had the opposite personality that I had. He was very assertive, even in situations I would find overwhelming. When he flirted, he was aggressive and made the conversation overtly sexual very quickly.

That’s not me at all. I’m a highly sensitive person (HSP), and my flirting is reserved and gentle. After watching my friend succeed time and time again while talking to women, I became afraid that I would have to change my personality to be more like his if I ever wanted to get a girlfriend.

So I tried to behave more like my more assertive friend. However, I didn’t achieve any success, even though I was basically doing the same thing he was. I also felt like I was acting — not being the real, true me — by going against my personality.

What was I doing wrong?

continue reading on Highly Sensitive Refuge…

How I stopped being socially awkward

It’s been a while since my last newsletter, huh? Life’s been absolutely hectic these last few months. I’ve just moved from Milwaukee, WI to Chicago, IL to be closer to my family. It took several weeks of packing, cleaning, loading, unpacking, and cleaning again, but it’s finally done…mostly. There’s still several boxes of stuff sitting by the front door and I’ll get to it eventually.

Well, that’s still not a good excuse for missing so many weeks of newsletters. As per Quietly Romantic tradition, if I go too long without releasing a new blog post or newsletter then my next one needs to include an embarrassing story.

Here we go.

MFW I get to share something embarrassing about myself on the internet.

A few years ago, I was at a conference and I had the opportunity to meet one of my heroes in person. He was a huge source of writing inspiration for me and was someone that I really looked up to. Think along the lines of…meeting Stan Lee, if you’re a fan of the Marvel superhero movies…or meeting George R.R. Martin, if you’re a fan of the Game of Thrones series. Yeah, that huge.

He’s an intelligent person, and there are so many things I want to learn from him.

  • How does he write so well?
  • How did he attract so many fans?
  • How does he come up with such amazing topics to write about?

He arrives at the conference, gives a presentation, and afterwards starts interacting with some of the guests. I wait in line, fidgeting all the while. Finally, it’s my turn to talk to him. I stagger up to him and shake his hand.

“Hey, I’m Steven. I’m a huge fan of your work! It’s good to meet you”, I exclaim.

“It’s good to meet you too,” he replied. “What do you like to do?”

“Umm…I like…video games?” I mumble. He replies with a deafening silence. “…And I also like reading?” I continue.

His feet start to shuffle away from me. “Well, it’s good to meet you Steven. Best of luck.”

“Yeah…good to meet you too,” I reply, hiding behind a smile of feigned pleasure.

Welp. Something went wrong, but I didn’t understand why at the time. I paid a lot of money to attend this conference just so I could meet him in person. And this is what I get? For weeks after this encounter, I just told myself that I never should have met my hero in person because he was a jerk.

But now I’m older and wiser, and I realize that I was the awkward one in that conversation.

Oh Steve, you were so young and dumb back then

If I could go back in time, there are three ways I’d change the past:

  1. Kill baby Hitler. This is a given for time travel, right?
  2. I’d stop myself from watching the Chicago episode from Stranger Things season 2. I mean…I love Stranger Things, but what even was the point of that episode??
  3. I’d tell myself what I’m going to share with you in this newsletter today:

Here’s what I know now that I wish I knew before.

Continue reading How I stopped being socially awkward

Socially weird or awkward? You better read this!

Today, I’d like to share with you four social blunders that I used to make with women all the time. I’ve had women not want to go on dates with me specifically because I was doing these.

The worst part about being socially awkward is that when you’re making a social blunder, people tend not to tell you. It’s considered rude or impolite to let someone know that their behavior is coming off as weird. Instead, people will do their best to act like nothing is out of the ordinary and secretly continue to let you come off as weird.

That’s why for a long time, I didn’t even know that I was being socially awkward or weird! Ah, well.

Continue reading Socially weird or awkward? You better read this!

Not a fan of cold approaches? Me neither. Try this instead!

I’ve never been a fan of cold approaches. Back when I was single, I always worried that I needed to “get good” at doing cold approaches in the same way that James Bond or Han Solo was if I ever wanted to find love. And I never liked that idea. I never wanted to be that guy who approaches every woman he sees in public places.

Cold approaches can work for those people who are more extroverted or who frequently hang out at bars and clubs. But for introverts, I don’t believe it’s the best way to get a date.

Usually when we think of flirting, we think of innuendos and playful touches with plausible deniability. You know, the kind of things people do when they’re trying to take home someone that they just met for the first time at the club or bar. And that’s fine, but it’s never been my cup of tea.

Instead, I propose my new HSP approach. This is good if you’re an introvert or a Highly Sensitive Person (see what I did there??) It’s inspired by Jeffrey Hall’s book, The Five Flirting Styles. In his book, Hall identifies Sincerity and Politeness as two perfectly valid forms of flirting—especially suited for introverts.

Continue reading Not a fan of cold approaches? Me neither. Try this instead!

The world’s most foolproof way to tell if she’s interested in you

Recently, I’ve received several emails asking me something along the lines of, “She did this when talking to me. Does that mean she’s interested?” My answer to these is always the same.

There’s one foolproof way to find out if she’s interested. That is to ask her out.

Seriously. I wasn’t there. I have no idea whether she’s interested in you. I know even less about her than you do!

Now, if you would like some help or advice around asking her out then that’s something I can help out with. But if you’re interested in someone and you’re wondering if she might possibly want to go on a date with you, my answer is always the same.

Just ask her out already!

Use these exact words to get your next date

I’m back, baby!

It certainly has been a while since my last article, hasn’t it? Throughout the summer, I’ve been taking a cross-country road trip from Wisconsin to Montana. Also, I’ve become fully convinced that North Dakota does not exist.

Seriously. I drove to the spot labeled “North Dakota” on the map and there was nothing there. What gives?

Today I want to share with you a script that you can use to get your next date. The next time you’re talking to a woman you’re interested in, feel free to use these exact words to ask her out. I’m going over this with you because there are a few good ways to properly ask her out, but almost infinite ways to suck at asking her out.

Continue reading Use these exact words to get your next date