Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How to Make the Next Move

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Every so often I post seeking advice because I think you all are a valuable resource and I value your opinions, for the most part. This is one of those posts.

You may not know this, but Mr. Jones isn't very confident when it comes to approaching the fellas. I know you're thinking: "How can this be? He seems so brash and forward and snarky and borderline arrogant. I was almost CERTAIN he'd be full of himself."

That's sooooooo not me. Well, maybe just a lil bit. ;-)

The odd thing about this is that I not only manage in most every other social situation, I thrive! It doesn't matter if I'm speaking in front of hundreds in an auditorium, presenting research or pitching an idea to a classroom/boardroom full of people or simply socializing at a cocktail party, I'm good. When it comes to guys, however, I clam up and turn into a scared little reclusive p*ssy.

After discussing my woes ad nauseum with two of my closest, most trusted advisers, I concluded two things: 1, though I do my thing, I've never really been one to seek or approach a random person and 2, the only way to conquer this mess, which is clearly a result of lack of experience, is to practice. But I can't practice cus I honestly don't know what to do or say. Therein lies my rut.

Get into this anecdote below and offer whatever help you can, please.



I'm diddy bopping down the block this morning toward the metro station to catch the train to work. Standing on the side of one of the buildings on the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus was this dude that caught my eye. He was a fairly young and decently dressed light-skinned Puerto Rican cat with these lovely thick jet black braids; he had the 5 o'clock shadow beard thing going on, too. He wasn't drop-dead, but like I said...he caught my eye.

As I walked past him, I kinda glanced his way to, you know, take him in. We made eye contact that lasted a little longer than it probably should have. Like most (all?) homos I know while that's certainly not telltale, it's a sign that we may play for the same team.

I continue walking down the street about 4-5 yards past him. Without breaking stride, I turn back to get a second look at my new longaniza. Much to my surprise, he (and possibly it) was still looking at me. I take a second to enjoy my "Lorretta Devine walking away from Gregory Hines in 'Waiting to Exhale'" moment, walk another 10 feet or so, and again without breaking stride turn back and Papo is STILL looking my way.

In the end, I kept it moving, crossed the street and went underground to get on the subway.

Given those details, what should I have done? Should I have walked back to approach? Started conversation? What? Like, I'm really mad clueless.

I know this issue isn't exclusive to me, so I decided to solicit feedback here in an effort to promote discussion and learn tricks of the trade.

Tehehe @ the pun.

23 comments:

iKensington said...

Hey dude, I had the same thing happen to me last night! I just kept walking cuz it was too cold and I was not shaven.
Many times, we are disappointed or ill-prepared for what may happen if we stop, turn around and approach. Therefore, go with what your heart tells you. Sometimes you may get the inspiration to approach, other times--and most often keep walkin', its just a mutual appreciation of the beauty that you each possess and it let you know that you still got it!

Losojosnuevos said...

Mr. Jones:
Snarky? You? Never! This has always been a problem for me. For a number of reasons, namely that I completely lack gaydar, I have always been hesitant to kick it to dudes in public settings. Personally, I don't think it's advisable. I completely understand your apprehension. Also, I do not place too much emphasis on "the look" or "stare." If that observation were valid, I would have had at least 100 boyfriends by now. It's hard, man. I mean, how do you tell a dude you're interested in him without actually saying the words? Ultimately, you have to develop a method that works for you. Good luck, man.

ka-os said...

That's a pretty difficult situation for anyone, unless you're QAF's Brian/Noah's Arc's Ricky. You're in a public, and by extension, straight arena, so it's awkward.

Secondly, you're in transit and he's static. You need to level the playing field: you, sir, also need to be static, in order to properly weigh up the odds.

Take out your phone and have a "conversation" or check messages. Linger at a discreet distance so you can both *connect*. Hell, for all he knows, you're waiting for someone. From his point of view, if you don't stop, you ain't interested. Once you're both in position, you can start the dance!

Name's YandB Mr. DL if you NASTY said...

For some reason I thought that well out guys, it was so much easier, for ya'll. I know you are not walking around, with a rainbow flag shirt and a "Sasha Firece" written across your butt, but I just thought guys who were open, the whole dating thing came easier or something. I mean there have been many times I was jealous that I wasn't out and proud, becasue there would be some hot nigga, that I would want to hit on, but didn't. So I find this all interesting.

Now if I was in your shoes I shonuff would have stopped. If he was giving you the eye like that. Then that was definetely a sign of something. It's like if ya'll was in the club, that's the sign for...as Jodeci would say, "Come and talk to me!" In my opinion, it's not like he looked once, evertime you turned around he was still looking. What else would be the reason? Unless you had a nasty stain on the back of your pants, or looked a hot mess and he couldn't believe what he had seen.

Now we weren't there and it really has to be one of those things, you have to been there to really judge. HoweverI think he was interested, from what I'm reading. HoweverI could be wrong. he could have been sizing you up, to Mug you! It's truly one of those things you have to go with your gut.

Now if I was you in this scenario, I would have lingered around.
See if I could strike up a conversation, and see what pops off from that. What was he standing around for? Was he at the bus stop, or what? If he was say standing waiting for the city bus. Then act like you are too, even if you are not. Act like you are just waiting for someone, in that area or something. Stay in his proximity.

A good one is to ask for the time. If you are wearing a watch stop it or take it off...say your cell phone just died. A good thing is to walk past him, like you did, and then the first time you turned around and saw him looking at you, turn back around and then ask him for the time. Old line, but a classic!

Even though I'm DL, I'm a little more bold with mine... well when i'm in DL mode, which most of the time is at night, but not limited too. Sometimes, it's because the other guy is nervous and I know he is, and sometimes it's out of sure impatience....like I don't have all night to play this cat and mouse game to see if you are interested.

For me I get more upset in the what if thinking. What if he was someone special, that I missed out on. That kills me more than the knowing he wasn't into me.

Like one guy told me once, that I was beating around the bush, to see if he was intersted in me. He was literally coaching me, becasue he wasn't going to make the first move. He kept telling me, what's the worse I can say, but no? Sometimes you have to keep that in mine. You might get bruised a little, but say alright then and keep moving to the train station.

Just pray that he isn't one to try and beat your ass for asking, that's when you have a mace even though you are a guy!

Mr. Jones said...

Just checking in.

Thanks for the feedback, guys. I'm away from my computer but will absolutely read and respond when I get settled.

I'm here to learn.

E.Z Street said...

Oooh. So even tho I'm a str8 female I can kind of relate bcuz I'm not used to having to approach men but every so often its one guy that I can't just let pass me by. You gotta be clever with how u do these things. Like this one hottie I saw was on his phone. I peeped him from a distance and wrote my number down. I walked by and said, "its a shame I'm not on the recieving end of those messages." and slide my number in his pocket. Guess who was on the recieving end of those messages the next day? Urs truly. Just be smooth and confident. Everyone wears that shit well.

dickspot said...

Ah......youth.

MJ............

You'll be 43 before you know it. Shit like that doesn't happen to me anymore. And I keep myself in great shape.

TURN AROUND AND SMILE, JERKOFF !!!!

Fair is Youth and void of Sorrow,
But hourly it flies away.
Men and Maids, Enjoy Today !
You do not know about Tomorrow.

- Lorenzo de Medici
"The Triumph of Bacchus"

A little Renaissance Sonnet "shit" from Dickspot. Pretentious, but apt.

Curious said...

If that were me and he was still looking the 3rd time I turned around, I would have asked a question, any question. Like "you look familiar do I know you?" Or directions or the time since I don't wear a watch or anything that just comes to mind and see what the response is and if there is worth a follow through. And maybe then do what dickspot does, smile, turn around and jerkoff, when I get home that is.

deonte' k said...

I'm not going to even lie... I would have kept enjoying the moment, and kept it moving like u did... u just have to be careful especially on the rough streets of Baltimore City lol ;)

He could have been looking at your shoes, and nice clothes sizing you up to jack u up somewhere lol.... sike naw... I guess I'm not that bold... if someone is interested in me I let them make the 1st move lol.

Jon said...

Mr. Jones:

I have never had to ability to decipher if a dude was looking at me out of interest or just general eye contact. The whole "Do I know you?-Can you help me find this?-What time is it?" thing is clever, considering the fact that the guy was staring so hard. However, you have to take it really slow because he could have been admiring your shirt. Who knows? At that moment, you probably weren't thinking to approach him because you didn't want to put yourself out there. Its ok. That happens to everyone, and it shows that you think before you act on something. You could walk over to a guy who might get offended and go off, and folks are CRAZY nowadays. Honestly, just go with your gut. If it seemed questionable, leave it at that. Putting yourself out there when the orientation is in question is just a hard thing to do.

Btw...I don't get a brash/arrogant vibe from you. Why do you feel others may view you in that manner?

Dr.Friday said...

Interesting situation. Honestly, I really can't offer much advice on the situation. I'm sorta in the same boat as you when it comes to approaching people like that. I'm the type to avoid any sort of eye contact with a stranger. Plus the last dude who even tried to "holla at me" faced the wrath of Dr.Friday (although I did try & make it up to him). Being a closeted individual, I think it's even tougher to approach peeps in the street.

Now I can offer one observation. It did sound like the dude in your story was checking you out. No doubt about that.

PRIMO said...

I got the same problem. The Eye contact worked once for me and that was it. Any other time I walk away with a question mark over my head thinking "Should I have?"

I Thought guys open about their sexuality had it easier but I guess not..... The one time I locked eyes I gave a head nod like "whats up" and it went from there.......

I Say go with your gut.

Pharaoh said...

Mr. Jones,
da folks have left some very good comments. I like EZ Streets, but it's still easier for a female to go after a man in public than it is for a gay man.
I have almost absolutely no gaydar either so I really wouldn't know what to do either. And sadly the couple times it has happened I was in such a rush when I was passing by that I couldn't stop even if he shouted "I'm gay and I think you are fine," not to mention taking the time to "figure out" if he's interested.

The common theme in everyone's comment is to follow your own gut....lol PLEASE let me know what you learn, a brutha can use all the help he can get!

jerzey_reality said...

I def feel u on this one...although I can hold a convo wit anyone and may be seen as bold and daring...im actually shy when it comes to approaching dudes...even though nobody ever belives me when i tell them that though lol

Blah Blah Blah said...

Thoughts from a straight chick:

Look at your watch, shake your wrist a little...then look at it again...then just ask...do you have the time? Then atart a conversation....
"For some reason my watch was working when I left the house (just down the block) and now it's not...ever happen to you? Oh hey, nice watch, I'm sorry...what time did you say it was? Great...I am actually earlier than I thought. Hey, do you work around here? Blah Blah Blah..."

I'd think if he was down for the get down, of wanting to get to know you...you'd feel that out in the basic but flirty convo...

Or does silly shit like that only happen to women?

Blah Blah Blah said...

DAMMIT!!! I just saw that DL if your Nasty already came up with my scenario...

Back to the drawing board...blah!

dickspot said...

Good Bait, MJ.....................

Darius T. Williams said...

Next time...um, just say hello and see what happens.

Mr. Jones said...

@ ikensington - Good advice. And I think you're right. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you dont. I couldve gone for a nut that morning. LOL.

@ Loso - Tehehe @ my snarkiness. My gaydar is quite faulty, too. Can I return it for a new one?

@ Ka-os - VERY good tips. Many thanks from across the pond.

@ YBDL - I'm glad you were very clear in your comment re: the out thing. I was bout to get you right together. LOL. I mean...while I'm comfortable with me, I wouldn;t say I'm "out". If someone asks and I think they need to know, I'll admit to what I do. Ultimately, my personality, believe it or not, doesn't ooze sex or sexuality. It's hard out here for a...whatever label I am. LOL.

@ EZ Street - Straight female or not, you can still offer great advice. I commend your boldness, lady. You've got more balls than me. LOL.

@ Dick - You? Pretentious? Never. LOL. On the real, thanks for the words of wisdom.

@ Curious - Damn, I should've done that. Esp since I havent seen him in the two mornings since. I should seized the day. But you and Dickspot are right, jerking off works, too.

@ Deonte - Don't lump me into The Wire. LOL. My streets are not mean. Oh, and LOL @ you keeping it moving. You're scared of EVERYTHING.

@ Jon - You are soooooo right about folks being crazy. You won't find Mr. Jones being dragged behind a pick up truck in the rural parts of southern or western Maryland. That certainly plays a HUGE role in my apprehension.

As for the brash/arrogant vibe thing...people in real life tell me I give off an arrogant/elitist vibe all the time. At times, I can't really disagree with them.

@ Friday - You were flat-out MEAN to that kid. I remember that story. No soliciting advice from you! LOL.

@ PRIMO - Nah...it's tough as nails either way. I mean, unless a guy is super fem it's really tough to know.

@ Pharaoh - I can't teach. I need to learn!!!! LOL.

@ Jerzey - Initially I was gonna say when we met you seem far too outgoing to be shy around boys, but then I'd be guilty of assuming the same thing about you that people think about me. LOL.

@ blah blah blah - First, I love your preamble: "Thoughts from a straight chick." That cracked me up for some reason. Second, good points. I'ma have to try that one day.

@ Dick - Color me confused.

@ Darius - I guess...I mean...I dunno. I'm so lost. :-(

Mr. Jones said...

^^OMG @ how long that took. LOL.

Kyon Saucier said...

Just do waht I do smile at hte guy and when he notices you and cmes over with interest just scream: STICK IT IN!!! No I'm only kidding. Just be yourself and speak to them only thing they can say is not interested.

tdh1980 said...

The thing about this such circumstance is that there is no hard and fast rule. I, for instance, have a habit of staring at people for no good reason, which, in turn, has put me in an awkward position once or twice (no pun intended). However, there is a sense one gets when a glance or a look hints at something more, in which case you either take a chance or appreciate it for what it is.

That Dude Right There said...

People are too damn crazy to be approaching these days!! I would have pressed on just like you did!!

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