Don’t leave the ball in her court

Ever had an Uber ride was off-the-rails crazy?

I have. It had neon lights, a freaking disco ball, and some sort of weird glasses on the driver’s face that, in hindsight, I sure hope to God wasn’t covering up a lack of sobriety.

At the end of the ride, the driver turned to me and asked “Hey! Did you know I’m also a rapper?’

“No. Really!?” I reply with feigned surprise. Given all the wacky stuff in this guy’s car, the fact that this guy creates rap music was perhaps the least shocking thing that night.

“Yeah! You should check out my channel,” he says and gives me the name of his channel.

“Will do. Thanks!” I reply, stumbling out of this strange car.

(In the words of Stephen Colbert, “Guess which state this happened in? Never mind, it’s Florida.”)

Well, I have to confess that I never did check out that guy’s rap channel. I wanted to, I swear! But as soon as I got to my destination, I went about the rest of my night and the events of that Uber ride fell out of my brain about 30 seconds after I stepped out of the car. I wish I could tell you what it was called so you could check it out for yourself but I’ve totally forgotten what the name of that guy’s channel was.

When that Uber-driver-slash-rapper was telling me about his channel, he made one fatal mistake. Can you guess what it is?

His mistake was that he left the ball in my court.

Of course, I wanted to check out his channel! But once I stepped out of the car, about a thousand other things started vying for my attention and I just totally forgot about it. He could have prompted me to pull up his channel and subscribe to it while I was still in the car. Or, at the very least, he could have written the name of his channel down on a piece of paper and handed it to me.

But he didn’t. He committed what Ramit Sethi calls a “failure of the last mile” and left me to do it on my own. This cost him not just one potential follower (myself), but many potential followers since I could have recommended you the name of his channel if I thought it was any good.

It’s easy to point out how he screwed up by leaving the ball in my court.

How many of us are doing the same thing when it comes to women?

Don’t leave the ball in her court

Growing up, I was raised to be a kind and gentle person toward women. To treat women with respect and to make sure I’m not being pushy or putting her in situations that would make her uncomfortable. I’ll always be thankful for that.

On the other hand, if you “leave the ball in her court” then she’ll never come around to you. Ever. This is a common mistake that I used to make myself all the time.

Examples of “leaving the ball in her court” are:

  • Talking to her for days on an online dating site and not asking her number
  • Being friendly toward a woman you’re interested in but never asking her out
  • Giving her your phone number without getting her number in return

The problem is that all of these include some degree of passivity on your part. I’ve done all of them before with women that I’ve had crushes on hoping that she would eventually come around and start dating me. That never happens, though.

Instead, she’ll just continue on with her life. She’s not ignoring you on purpose, but if you don’t take an active role towards making things happen between you two, then chances are they’re never going to happen.

I get it. The reason why I pursued women in those passive ways listed above is because I didn’t want to be like those pickup artists, frat boys, or jerks who treated women like sexual objects. It’s an honorable thing to respect her boundaries.

But you know what?

You deserve to show yourself that same level of respect.

That means setting reasonable boundaries for yourself and honoring them. That means finding out as quickly as possible whether or not she’s interested in you, and not wasting your time or energy on her if she isn’t interested. That means asking her out and moving forward if she accepts, or moving on if she turns you down.

After all, you owe it to yourself to give your time and energy only to those women who care about you as well.

P.S. Did you click that link on “never asking her out” halfway through this email? If not…scroll back up and do it. It’s worth your time, I promise.

P.P.S. Okay, here’s that link again so you don’t have to scroll back up. Just click on it. In the immortal words of Chancellor Palpatine, ”Do it!”

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