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Sex + Relationships

Real Live College Guy Answers Your Love Life Questions: Picking Up Guys and Decoding His Communication Style

Got a burning love life q? Consult our Real Live College Guy (he also goes by Chase). Each month, our RLCG will take you inside the college guy’s brain to demystify your tricky, sticky, icky love (can you even call it that?) situations.

Ready?  Here goes.


1) Picking Up Guys:

In shows like Sex and the City, the women seem to pick up guys left and right- at coffee shops, out shopping, doing errands, etc.  In real life, I feel awkward trying to “pick up” a guy who I come across completely randomly out at one of these kinds of locations.  I always feel like I’m being too forward or seem desperate.  How can girls go about picking up guys without looking too forward or desperate?  Is it ok to strike up a convo with a guy in line at Starbucks or CVS or something like that?  Or does it seem weird?  And how do you indicate you’re interested?  Basically, can you guide me through how to pick up guys in these everyday settings (not at parties or bars, etc.)?  And by pick up, I mean exchange numbers or ask out on a first date.  Thanks!! -Princeton Pick-Up Princess

Please sit down and remind yourself that TV isn’t real life, and it isn’t nearly that easy. Public pickups are a delicate art and can be very dangerous (and straight up creepy). I’ll never forget the girl that came up behind me to whisper “F*** Me” in a local bookstore, or the young tourist who stopped me on the way to class, stroked my arm, and asked to come up to my dorm. Both situations ended badly for the aggressive man-snatchers, but I do have a foolproof approach. It starts with confidence. Confidence from you and confidence for him. Upon first glance of that cute guy, you have exactly 5 seconds (don’t spend forever planning) to make smiling eye contact. Smile big and flirtatiously until he recognizes your obvious stare. Turn away slowly after a few seconds of intense eye contact between you and your potential mate. Then, go back to reading your newspaper or choosing your favorite hairspray. If you’re in a mall or on a busy street, keep your eye on him and “coincidentally” find yourself wherever he goes. Try gaining that intense eye contact a few more times. Now the tough part: do something noticeable. Accidentally bump or scare him. Hey, even go crazy and spill or drop something by his feet. This will give him the needed confidence and should give him an opportunity to say hi and ask if you’re all right. Make it seem like he did all the work, never make it seem like you actually planned this odd encounter. Foolproof. Some precautions: Do not spill anything on him, guys don’t like that. Do not forget to smile or he might think you are a creepy pervert planning a kidnapping. Lastly, if he is in a group, make sure to focus your attention on him only and commit the noticeable act when he’s alone. Otherwise, you look like a tramp.

2) Decoding His Communication Style:
I know some guys who only text me.  Some guys who only text me late at night.  Some guys who actually call to talk.  Some guys who email, versus Facebook message, versus gchat.  What can you tell from the way a guy chooses to communicate with you?  What do these different technologies mean for how he sees the relationship?  How can how he contacts me help me read into what he’s thinking of me and our “relationship”? -Tennessee Techie
It’s a progression. It begins with the pursuit of sex and occasionally leads to the pursuit of something more. Let’s organize them into tiers:

Tier 1: The Facebook Friendship. Guys will take any opportunity to Facebook friend a cute girl. If ever you feel like you barely met someone and you see a Facebook invite a few days later, you know he’s interested. If there’s a messaged attached, hang up on the old guy because you’ve got a new crush.

Tier 2: The Facebook Message: If he doesn’t have any other way of communicating with you, he will use the Facebook message as his “safe” method of contact. It’s really not that safe, it should be obvious. He wants to get to know you (usually for sex, but not always). Truthfully, guys’ primary use of Facebook is picking up girls. Take that into account.

Tier 3: The Gchat or Facebook Chat. If a guy pops up in your Gchat or Fbook for the first time, it means he wants a conversation. He wants to prove how funny or interesting he can be. Here’s a big secret: Guys don’t talk to other guys via instant message. In fact, guys IM-ing guys is more like phone text messages than anything. It’s never longer than a few chats. Thus, if he seems eager to talk in long sentences with probing questions…. he wants you to like him, but doesn’t have the confidence to ask for a number yet.

Tier 4: The text message. If you are kind enough to give your number out to some guy, the text message is typically an invite for something. If he’s texting you “hi, what’s up” at 11pm, I think everyone should know he doesn’t actually care how you’re doing. If he tells you a quick funny anecdote about his day, he may be prepping to ask you on date or for coffee. Be prepared, guys don’t usually prefer the text message as a method of conversation unless they have to (e.g., out with friends, or no IM-ing exchange). One thing: guys hate the text conversation, but they’ll do it if you make them. Please stop expecting a text conversation and just invite them over already.

Tier 5:  The phone call. Naturally, it is the last thing a guy will do. However, if he calls you regularly just to “talk,” I would probably say you are stuck in the friend zone. If he calls you occasionally to ask where you are or if you’re busy, then he probably just wants to see you so bad he can’t wait for a text message. In general, unless you’re stuck in a long distance relationship, its pretty safe to say you shouldn’t spend very long on the phone with any guys actually interested. The 5-hour phone calls are really not very sexy… unless they involve phone sex.

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