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The Sum of Awe's search for love and confidence

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
I figured I'd just finally make a journal about it since I post about this a lot. It's the biggest thing going on in my life right now, aside from writing my novel, and it's a challenge. I welcome advice, criticism, words of encouragement, all that...

So lately I've been going out in public once or twice a week, visiting a wide variety of places - the mall, coffee shops, book stores, the library. I'm just starting this city-exploring thing, maybe my third week doing it. Just kinda have an idea of: if I see someone I want to approach (someone that's reading something appealing, wearing a shirt that's appealing to me, or a girl that I want to approach) then I will approach them try to start a conversation (hasn't really happened yet and I don't know how good I'll be at initiating a conversation when the time comes)

I went to a Starbucks today and saw a girl sitting by herself doing what I assume was schoolwork on her laptop (it's a college town) and I kinda just sat behind her and hoped she'd approach me (yeah, in my dreams lol). Then I got the idea to get up and try to approach her, but instead I just stretched and walked straight out the door lol (In my head I was worried that "oh she's typing something out on her laptop, I don't want to bother her). Went to my car, then I was like "Well it wouldn't have hurt to ask if I could get her another coffee, worse she would've said was 'no' and I'd never see her again" -- Then I was thinking "Well, in that case why don't I just go back in there right now and ask her that? It'd be extremely weird for me to have walked outside, sat in my car for a few minutes, and then go back in the Starbucks and ask her that - but the worst she'd say is 'no' right?" -- Well, ten minutes went by of contemplating and then I decided to drive off. Yeah it'd probably have been weird to go back in there. If it had only been less than five minutes I might've went back in and asked, but I figured 10 minutes was going to come off as very creepy/weird.

Ah well, who says I won't run into a similar scenario and I can look back at this experience and say "Just do it!"

I'll see what happens next time!

EDIT: I just wanted to say that I am also enjoying myself for the most part in these settings, it was nice to have a coffee there and play on my phone regardless, just getting out of the house.
 
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The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
Try volunteering somewhere ( a hospital, the library etc). It's a more natural way to meet people.
Hmm. Well, I was thinking about getting a part-time job as I have monday-thursday off regularly. But I don't know about starting up a new obligation for myself, I really enjoy my time off I'd rather not work anymore hours.
 

Spirit of Light

Be who ever you want
I figured I'd just finally make a journal about it since I post about this a lot. It's the biggest thing going on in my life right now, aside from writing my novel, and it's a challenge. I welcome advice, criticism, words of encouragement, all that...

So lately I've been going out in public once or twice a week, visiting a wide variety of places - the mall, coffee shops, book stores, the library. I'm just starting this city-exploring thing, maybe my third week doing it. Just kinda have an idea of: if I see someone I want to approach (someone that's reading something appealing, wearing a shirt that's appealing to me, or a girl that I want to approach) then I will approach them try to start a conversation (hasn't really happened yet and I don't know how good I'll be at initiating a conversation when the time comes)

I went to a Starbucks today and saw a girl sitting by herself doing what I assume was schoolwork on her laptop (it's a college town) and I kinda just sat behind her and hoped she'd approach me (yeah, in my dreams lol). Then I got the idea to get up and try to approach her, but instead I just stretched and walked straight out the door lol (In my head I was worried that "oh she's typing something out on her laptop, I don't want to bother her). Went to my car, then I was like "Well it wouldn't have hurt to ask if I could get her another coffee, worse she would've said was 'no' and I'd never see her again" -- Then I was thinking "Well, in that case why don't I just go back in there right now and ask her that? It'd be extremely weird for me to have walked outside, sat in my car for a few minutes, and then go back in the Starbucks and ask her that - but the worst she'd say is 'no' right?" -- Well, ten minutes went by of contemplating and then I decided to drive off. Yeah it'd probably have been weird to go back in there. If it had only been less than five minutes I might've went back in and asked, but I figured 10 minutes was going to come off as very creepy/weird.

Ah well, who says I won't run into a similar scenario and I can look back at this experience and say "Just do it!"

I'll see what happens next time!

EDIT: I just wanted to say that I am also enjoying myself for the most part in these settings, it was nice to have a coffee there and play on my phone regardless, just getting out of the house.
I met my girlfriend in a coffee shop:) she was/still is the barista (the one making the coffee) and I used 2 months checking her out talking with her, complimenting her coffee, her as a person and so on. and she confirmed to me later that I did it the right way.
I waited for her after she was finished for the day, followed her home and so on.

So don't give up :) you will find the right one for you :)
 

Vinayaka

devotee
Premium Member
I figured I'd just finally make a journal about it since I post about this a lot. It's the biggest thing going on in my life right now, aside from writing my novel, and it's a challenge. I welcome advice, criticism, words of encouragement, all that...

So lately I've been going out in public once or twice a week, visiting a wide variety of places - the mall, coffee shops, book stores, the library. I'm just starting this city-exploring thing, maybe my third week doing it. Just kinda have an idea of: if I see someone I want to approach (someone that's reading something appealing, wearing a shirt that's appealing to me, or a girl that I want to approach) then I will approach them try to start a conversation (hasn't really happened yet and I don't know how good I'll be at initiating a conversation when the time comes)

I went to a Starbucks today and saw a girl sitting by herself doing what I assume was schoolwork on her laptop (it's a college town) and I kinda just sat behind her and hoped she'd approach me (yeah, in my dreams lol). Then I got the idea to get up and try to approach her, but instead I just stretched and walked straight out the door lol (In my head I was worried that "oh she's typing something out on her laptop, I don't want to bother her). Went to my car, then I was like "Well it wouldn't have hurt to ask if I could get her another coffee, worse she would've said was 'no' and I'd never see her again" -- Then I was thinking "Well, in that case why don't I just go back in there right now and ask her that? It'd be extremely weird for me to have walked outside, sat in my car for a few minutes, and then go back in the Starbucks and ask her that - but the worst she'd say is 'no' right?" -- Well, ten minutes went by of contemplating and then I decided to drive off. Yeah it'd probably have been weird to go back in there. If it had only been less than five minutes I might've went back in and asked, but I figured 10 minutes was going to come off as very creepy/weird.

Ah well, who says I won't run into a similar scenario and I can look back at this experience and say "Just do it!"

I'll see what happens next time!

EDIT: I just wanted to say that I am also enjoying myself for the most part in these settings, it was nice to have a coffee there and play on my phone regardless, just getting out of the house.

This will be interesting. Thank you for starting it. Sure beats endless circles of fake debate. I used to be much more like you, but now I'm the kind of guy who can approach strangers easily. I
'm guessing it had to do with 30 years in the classroom reprogramming my shyness. Yesterday I went to my great niece's hockey game, and engaged with strangers. One was a former professional hockey player in my town. Some retired Edmonton Oilers were doing a charity event, so they were signing stuff. I just walked up to one and told him something about the arena we were in. "It's been 45 years since I was in this barn." He smiled, and said, "Yeah, that's about it for me too."

Then, once you get used to it, it's easy. I'd suggest starting with cashiers. Call them by name, or ask them when their shift started. In your university town, you can ask what they're studying. I do that a ton, almost every cashier, unless they're really busy.

Good luck on your adventures, and keep us posted.
 

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
I met my girlfriend in a coffee shop:) she was/still is the barista (the one making the coffee) and I used 2 months checking her out talking with her, complimenting her coffee, her as a person and so on. and she confirmed to me later that I did it the right way.
I waited for her after she was finished for the day, followed her home and so on.

So don't give up :) you will find the right one for you :)

That's an awesome story, Seeker! Do you mind if I ask what your first conversations were like, what you guys talked about?
Thank you for the encouragement!

This will be interesting. Thank you for starting it. Sure beats endless circles of fake debate. I used to be much more like you, but now I'm the kind of guy who can approach strangers easily. I
'm guessing it had to do with 30 years in the classroom reprogramming my shyness. Yesterday I went to my great niece's hockey game, and engaged with strangers. One was a former professional hockey player in my town. Some retired Edmonton Oilers were doing a charity event, so they were signing stuff. I just walked up to one and told him something about the arena we were in. "It's been 45 years since I was in this barn." He smiled, and said, "Yeah, that's about it for me too."

Then, once you get used to it, it's easy. I'd suggest starting with cashiers. Call them by name, or ask them when their shift started. In your university town, you can ask what they're studying. I do that a ton, almost every cashier, unless they're really busy.

Good luck on your adventures, and keep us posted.

Thank you for your advice and very kind words! It's so nice to have your support :)
 

Quagmire

Imaginary talking monkey
Staff member
Premium Member
I figured I'd just finally make a journal about it since I post about this a lot. It's the biggest thing going on in my life right now, aside from writing my novel, and it's a challenge. I welcome advice, criticism, words of encouragement, all that...

So lately I've been going out in public once or twice a week, visiting a wide variety of places - the mall, coffee shops, book stores, the library. I'm just starting this city-exploring thing, maybe my third week doing it. Just kinda have an idea of: if I see someone I want to approach (someone that's reading something appealing, wearing a shirt that's appealing to me, or a girl that I want to approach) then I will approach them try to start a conversation (hasn't really happened yet and I don't know how good I'll be at initiating a conversation when the time comes)

I went to a Starbucks today and saw a girl sitting by herself doing what I assume was schoolwork on her laptop (it's a college town) and I kinda just sat behind her and hoped she'd approach me (yeah, in my dreams lol). Then I got the idea to get up and try to approach her, but instead I just stretched and walked straight out the door lol (In my head I was worried that "oh she's typing something out on her laptop, I don't want to bother her). Went to my car, then I was like "Well it wouldn't have hurt to ask if I could get her another coffee, worse she would've said was 'no' and I'd never see her again" -- Then I was thinking "Well, in that case why don't I just go back in there right now and ask her that? It'd be extremely weird for me to have walked outside, sat in my car for a few minutes, and then go back in the Starbucks and ask her that - but the worst she'd say is 'no' right?" -- Well, ten minutes went by of contemplating and then I decided to drive off. Yeah it'd probably have been weird to go back in there. If it had only been less than five minutes I might've went back in and asked, but I figured 10 minutes was going to come off as very creepy/weird.

Ah well, who says I won't run into a similar scenario and I can look back at this experience and say "Just do it!"

I'll see what happens next time!

EDIT: I just wanted to say that I am also enjoying myself for the most part in these settings, it was nice to have a coffee there and play on my phone regardless, just getting out of the house.
Might be a good idea to wait until you've become a regular at the coffee shop (or whereever else) before you start approaching other customers (unless it just feels right).

That way you kind if have a home-court advantage, for one thing.

Also, if you develop a good repour with the people who work there and some other customers you'll have a built in support system.

"Oh him? Oh yeah, he comes here 2--3 times a week to drink coffee and work on his novel. Seems like a nice guy. Probably not an axe- murderer".
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
Hmm. Well, I was thinking about getting a part-time job as I have monday-thursday off regularly. But I don't know about starting up a new obligation for myself, I really enjoy my time off I'd rather not work anymore hours.

Instead of working those days, could you find something fun to do? Maybe a class or other social event?
 

Spirit of Light

Be who ever you want
That's an awesome story, Seeker! Do you mind if I ask what your first conversations were like, what you guys talked about?
Thank you for the encouragement!



Thank you for your advice and very kind words! It's so nice to have your support :)
Since I have worked as a barista my self, I complimented her coffee, and challenged her to make coffee that she was not used to make on a daily basis. Then we spoke about life in general :) so more or less small talk in the beginning:)
 

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
Might be a good idea to wait until you've become a regular at the coffee shop (or whereever else) before you start approaching other customers (unless it just feels right).

That way you kind if have a home-court advantage, for one thing.

Also, if you develop a good repour with the people who work there and some other customers you'll have a built in support system.

"Oh him? Oh yeah, he comes here 2--3 times a week to drink coffee and work on his novel. Seems like a nice guy. Probably not an axe- murderer".
That is true! I could see that giving me a good advantage. I think next time I will make a mix of your advice, Vinayaka's and Seeker's and start asking somewhat personal questions to the cashier if it isn't busy - "So, are you in studies?" "Are you from this area?" something like that. I don't recall seeing nametags on the workers, so it might be difficult to get their name until I get to know them more.

But if it just feels right (like you said. Although it NEVER feels right lol) I might just take the leap of faith, regardless of how tight I am with the people there, and ask a girl there if I can buy her a coffee when I see a good opportunity and it doesn't seem like I'm bothering too much.
 

Vinayaka

devotee
Premium Member
That is true! I could see that giving me a good advantage. I think next time I will make a mix of your advice, Vinayaka's and Seeker's and start asking somewhat personal questions to the cashier if it isn't busy - "So, are you in studies?" "Are you from this area?" something like that. I don't recall seeing nametags on the workers, so it might be difficult to get their name until I get to know them more.

But if it just feels right (like you said. Although it NEVER feels right lol) I might just take the leap of faith, regardless of how tight I am with the people there, and ask a girl there if I can buy her a coffee when I see a good opportunity and it doesn't seem like I'm bothering too much.

There was one other thing I forgot to mention. When it comes to engaging with strangers, I'm gender neutral, and view them as souls/people. So the 'asking out' part isn't even there. Back when I was 18 or younger (long time ago) it occurred to me that girls were FAR more likely to chat with me if I didn't give off vibes that I was chasing them. Friendship, and human first.
 

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
Instead of working those days, could you find something fun to do? Maybe a class or other social event?
I've been doing online events for the lack of in-person ones during the week that I can find. I frequent a Reddit Talk weekly, I come here to RF, I'm a member on a chatroom. I don't really know what kind of social events I'd be interested in partaking in in person, there's not much on meet-up (I see some events that interest me but again they are all online).

I am still interested in the Unitarian universalist organization, but they meet on Sundays so it'd be hard because I work sundays and I'm currently not looking to change my job/hours. I think if I get horribly lonely I would look into another job at a gas station and see if I can make friends there, but right now I'm fine with just this.

Could I ask what you suggested this for? Do you think it'll be difficult for me to meet people only going about it the way that I am, or do were you just suggesting in case I was in a hurry? (I mean I'd like it to happen soon but it doesn't have to be in the next month or two hahaha)
 

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
There was one other thing I forgot to mention. When it comes to engaging with strangers, I'm gender neutral, and view them as souls/people. So the 'asking out' part isn't even there. Back when I was 18 or younger (long time ago) it occurred to me that girls were FAR more likely to chat with me if I didn't give off vibes that I was chasing them. Friendship, and human first.
That is fair. However, it is a goal in the back of my mind to start a close personal relationship with someone and I believe there's no way to change my deeper intentions, and I also believe people can just naturally sense it, so wouldn't it be pointless and dishonest for me to try to hide it? And besides, my approach is always going to be friendly rather than flirty until I get clear signs that they like me that way (I'm not one to push boundaries) -- I believe asking a girl "if I could buy you another coffee" or "what are you reading?" or "hey you're wearing a Metallica shirt??? I love metallica!" could be seen as friendship and human first, right?
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
I've been doing online events for the lack of in-person ones during the week that I can find. I frequent a Reddit Talk weekly, I come here to RF, I'm a member on a chatroom. I don't really know what kind of social events I'd be interested in partaking in in person, there's not much on meet-up (I see some events that interest me but again they are all online).

I am still interested in the Unitarian universalist organization, but they meet on Sundays so it'd be hard because I work sundays and I'm currently not looking to change my job/hours. I think if I get horribly lonely I would look into another job at a gas station and see if I can make friends there, but right now I'm fine with just this.

Could I ask what you suggested this for? Do you think it'll be difficult for me to meet people only going about it the way that I am, or do were you just suggesting in case I was in a hurry? (I mean I'd like it to happen soon but it doesn't have to be in the next month or two hahaha)

I was just suggesting it as an alternative to an additional job. :) You can meet people at work, but once you've met them all, it would no longer be an efficient place to meet people(unless there's a high turnover).

Some UU churches have other events on Wednesday(or other) evenings. If you can check their calendar online, it might be worth it.
 

Vinayaka

devotee
Premium Member
That is fair. However, it is a goal in the back of my mind to start a close personal relationship with someone and I believe there's no way to change my deeper intentions, and I also believe people can just naturally sense it, so wouldn't it be pointless and dishonest for me to try to hide it? And besides, my approach is always going to be friendly rather than flirty until I get clear signs that they like me that way (I'm not one to push boundaries) -- I believe asking a girl "if I could buy you another coffee" or "what are you reading?" or "hey you're wearing a Metallica shirt??? I love metallica!" could be seen as friendship and human first, right?
I totally understand that. For sure that could be friendship. Another advantage to being a friend at first (I married my best friend) is that they can easily introduce you to their friends. So even if a girl is in a relationship, you can still be friends. These days it's much easier, as there is far less focus on the gender aspect period.
 

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
I totally understand that. For sure that could be friendship. Another advantage to being a friend at first (I married my best friend) is that they can easily introduce you to their friends. So even if a girl is in a relationship, you can still be friends. These days it's much easier, as there is far less focus on the gender aspect period.
I personally can't see it happening this way haha. My mind tells me that women are mind readers and will automatically know deep inside I am seeking a relationship (I guess my true intention in talking to stranger girls in public is just having a conversation and seeing if we can get to know each other and form a connection - maybe that's the same thing though.) And I don't think I should feel ashamed for seeking a relationship.

Maybe I should just wear a shirt that says: "I promise I'm not a creeper. I mean, I'd really like a relationship but I'm open to friendships too"
 

Vinayaka

devotee
Premium Member
I personally can't see it happening this way haha. My mind tells me that women are mind readers and will automatically know deep inside I am seeking a relationship (I guess my true intention in talking to girls in public is just having a conversation and seeing if we can get to know each other and form a connection - maybe that's the same thing though.) And I don't think I should feel ashamed for seeking a relationship. Maybe I should just wear a shirt that says: "I promise I'm not a creeper. I mean, I'd really like a relationship but I'm open to friendships too"
You're probably right, and it most likely depends on the girl too. The girls I hung out with simply did not like aggressive males. In conversations, everyone likes to hear questions about themselves rather than personal stories of 'I' people. Sincere questions go a long way, as does cheer.
 

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
You're probably right, and it most likely depends on the girl too. The girls I hung out with simply did not like aggressive males. In conversations, everyone likes to hear questions about themselves rather than personal stories of 'I' people. Sincere questions go a long way, as does cheer.
Personally in conversation it doesn't matter much to me if they talk about themselves or ask me questions, a mix of both is nice. I have the most fun with people who are engaged with the conversation and are listening/considerate so that you know you are heard.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
I figured I'd just finally make a journal about it since I post about this a lot. It's the biggest thing going on in my life right now, aside from writing my novel, and it's a challenge. I welcome advice, criticism, words of encouragement, all that...

So lately I've been going out in public once or twice a week, visiting a wide variety of places - the mall, coffee shops, book stores, the library. I'm just starting this city-exploring thing, maybe my third week doing it. Just kinda have an idea of: if I see someone I want to approach (someone that's reading something appealing, wearing a shirt that's appealing to me, or a girl that I want to approach) then I will approach them try to start a conversation (hasn't really happened yet and I don't know how good I'll be at initiating a conversation when the time comes)

I went to a Starbucks today and saw a girl sitting by herself doing what I assume was schoolwork on her laptop (it's a college town) and I kinda just sat behind her and hoped she'd approach me (yeah, in my dreams lol). Then I got the idea to get up and try to approach her, but instead I just stretched and walked straight out the door lol (In my head I was worried that "oh she's typing something out on her laptop, I don't want to bother her). Went to my car, then I was like "Well it wouldn't have hurt to ask if I could get her another coffee, worse she would've said was 'no' and I'd never see her again" -- Then I was thinking "Well, in that case why don't I just go back in there right now and ask her that? It'd be extremely weird for me to have walked outside, sat in my car for a few minutes, and then go back in the Starbucks and ask her that - but the worst she'd say is 'no' right?" -- Well, ten minutes went by of contemplating and then I decided to drive off. Yeah it'd probably have been weird to go back in there. If it had only been less than five minutes I might've went back in and asked, but I figured 10 minutes was going to come off as very creepy/weird.

Ah well, who says I won't run into a similar scenario and I can look back at this experience and say "Just do it!"

I'll see what happens next time!

EDIT: I just wanted to say that I am also enjoying myself for the most part in these settings, it was nice to have a coffee there and play on my phone regardless, just getting out of the house.
Sounds like you are making real progress in the social arena, and you are doing better than me.
I am home all the time except when I go for my evening walks and I don't see anyone on those. The only time I actually see people is when I go grocery shopping once a week, the big event.
 

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
Sounds like you are making real progress in the social arena, and you are doing better than me.
I am home all the time except when I go for my evening walks and I don't see anyone on those. The only time I actually see people is when I go grocery shopping once a week, the big event.
Yes, it is something I would like to bring into my life more. I also need to remind myself that it's okay to stick to my roots once in a while and embrace my introverted side.
 
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