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(Editor's Note, this letter was written before Doc's death in August, 2020 but still relevant as Doc's principles are timeless).
Well, here goes!
Recently I met Marisol through my company’s salsa club. We were dance partners for our company’s party performance recently and we get along fairly well. We had a few one-to-one outings together because we needed to practice our dancing moves. I wouldn’t consider them dates exactly, but these practice sessions gave me some alone time with Marisol. We joked a lot and I didn’t allow her to notice my Interest Level in her. In turn I was trying to figure out her Interest Level in me without being obvious about it.
Afterwards I found out through office gossip that Marisol had a boyfriend. I wanted to give up thinking about her at all after this, but recently it seems like she’s been paying a little more attention to me and she walks over to wherever I’m sitting to talk with me. I usually keep these in-office conversations short because I don’t like the setting at work for long, intimate talks.
So it seems to me that Marisol might have some interest in me, yet it’s still too hard to gauge. One of my buddies told me that I should ask her out for dinner just to see if she’s interested and possibly available. From your teachings, that’s a big no-no, especially for someone with a boyfriend. Am I right?
So which of the following should I do?
2.Try to “attract” Marisol more so that she can ask me out first. (And how should I do that?)
3. Dive in head-first by asking her to dinner.
Your help would be so great, as I’m contemplating all three options right now. Thanks a bunch! You’re a man’s best friend!
Boo - who doesn’t know which way to go with this one
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What you should have been looking for when you had your alone time with Marisol was this: Did she touch your arm? Did she tap your leg? Did she play with her hair? Did she ask you personal questions? Were her eyes lit up? (Or, like my cousin Doctor Love says, “Were her high beams on?”) These are what we call buying signals. The more, the better, dude. They are the easiest way to tell you where you stand with a lady.
It’s good that you didn’t let Marisol pick up on your Interest Level in her. You shouldn’t. Because we don’t care at all about your Interest Level. All we care about is HER Interest Level. It’s the only thing that matters. This is one of the basic tenets of “The System,” which none of the other love doctors ever talk about.
To you Psych majors, you have to be very, very careful about whatever gossip you hear. As Judge Judy would put it, “It’s all hearsay.” And hopefully this gossip wasn’t the result of you blabbing to your officemates about Marisol. If you merely overheard the gossip, it’s okay. When it comes to gossip about women, you have to be a spy, pal.
We don’t know exactly what it means that Marisol is paying more attention to you and stopping by your desk to talk to you. It could be that she just likes you as a friend. That’s bad. Or it might mean that her boyfriend’s on the way out – IF there is a boyfriend. Because don’t forget, Boo, you don’t really know for sure whether there’s a boyfriend lurking in the background – you just overheard some people talking. And if there is a boyfriend, you don’t know the nature of their relationship.
It’s also very smart of you to keep your office chit-chats with Marisol to the minimum. You never fool around where you make your living. Besides, she has a boyfriend, right?
Your buddy is partially right about asking Marisol out. But what you should do first – and this is something I repeat 60 times in the Dating Dictionary – is ASK FOR THE PHONE NUMBER. Again, we don’t know what her feelings for this alleged boyfriend really are. Maybe they’re only 40% to 49% and he’s on his way out. Which, if you play your cards right, leaves the field open for you.
So let’s look at your alternatives.
1.You’re not going to give up on this woman. The first thing you’re going to do is ask for her phone number.
2.You’re not going to try and coax Marisol into asking you out. You’re going to finish this thing with her. And the only way to do it properly is to follow my rules. In other words, ask for her phone number.
3.You are going to ask Marisol out for dinner. But you’re going to do it after you get her phone number and wait a week to call her. Then you’re going to ring her and ask her out.
So all three of your ideas about what to do are wrong, Boo.
Here’s your course of action. You’re going to ask for Marisol’s phone number the next time you see her alone. It’s imperative that you get her alone, even if it’s at the office. Wait until you bump into her in the corridor or everyone else has gone home and it’s only the two of you left in the office.
Thanks very much for the compliment, guy. My mission is to be the best friend of men. But I have to tell you again that your three ideas for what to do with Marisol are erroneous, which demonstrates that you have not fully read and internalized my materials.
Remember, guys: it all starts with getting the phone number.
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