Why do you keep blowing off the guys who hit on you? This is the question my best friend asked me one night after we had been out at a bar together many years ago. We had both just turned 23. It was summer. We were single. I looked at her, startled, What guys?
This is when I was informed of my pronounced flirtation recognition deficit. Sadly, this disability coupled with a fairly pronounced shy streak meant that - unbeknownst to me - I was giving off cactus vibes to potential suitors. Now that I am single again and contemplating re-entry into the world of dating, I can't help but wonder whether my flirt-o-meter is still broken. Like, for example, the other day when one of my co-workers invited our work group over for drinks this evening.
Excerpt from conversation between my coworker's roommate (R) and me (M) as I am preparing to leave.
M: Oh geez, I have to go. I have dinner plans.
R: A date?
The rest of the group chuckles.
M: No, really guys. Not a date. I'm going to be a third wheel, actually. Meeting a friend and her boyfriend for dinner.
There's a murmur of supportive Oh's.
M: It's fine. I'm looking forward to it. Really.
R is on his way back into the condo to get drink refills. I thank my coworker for hosting us, say goodbye to the group, and head indoors with the roommate.
R: So, you live really close, eh?
M: Yeah, less than a five minute walk from here.
R: We'll be seeing a lot of you here, then?
There seemed to be an almost hopeful note to his voice. Big smile. However, I thought this seemed like an odd question. I mean, I work with the guy's roommate; and, I don't even know my coworker all that well. Spending oodles of time at his apartment had not crossed my mind.
More likely, I thought, was that each of us would take a turn hosting post-work drinks.
The roommate smiled, and then reached out and touched my back.
M: Ok, so to get out of here, I go down this hall?
R: Yes. Here, I'll open the door for you.
Note: my hands were empty. My purse was on my shoulder. I could have opened the door.
The next part of the conversation was something along the lines of him profusely wishing me great enjoyment in my next work assignment, and me saying that I was really looking forward to the project and wishing him a great summer.
Ok, so voting time:
A) Yes, this was flirting.
Evidence: invasion of my personal space and the roommate's thought that it would be normal - even pleasant - for me to spend copious amounts of time at his apartment this summer.
B) No, he's just a friendly guy.
Evidence: he spent the evening hanging out with his buddy's work colleagues when he could have been doing something else. He smiled a lot. He made a point to learn everyone in the group's name.