My niece, Charlotte, is turning 3 in November, but she already has the upper hand on the boys her age. My cousin adopted a Hungarian boy named Paul. He's 5, and he adores Charlotte, but she is not impressed. There's a famous picture of the two of them with Paul throwing his arms around her as she recoils in disgust.
Paul's first words at our last family gathering were: "Where's Charlotte?" So, when Charlotte finally made her entrance (and it was a grand entrance), Paul bee-lined to her and hugged her. Charlotte, pushed him off, stared him down, and contemplated hitting or running.
We held our breath during these tense moments, praying that Charlotte would refrain from swinging at Paul. My cousin broke the silence:
"Paul...you have to play it cool buddy."
The saddest thing about that story is that I could benefit from my cousin's advice to Paul. Did I mention Paul's five? "Playing" it cool seems so opposite of what I should do. I'm not cool. And I"m not an actor. When I am into a girl, my whole being is vibrating with excitement. So why doesn't it ever pay for me to be the fool in love?
I've attempted to play it cool in the following ways:
I'm so cool, I don't care if you come home with me.
My friend and I once thought we had it all figured out: If a girl doesn't come home with me, I don't have to deal with anything in the morning, I can "take care of myself in five minutes," and avoid the 24 hour production that would have occured if that girl had come with me. I actually do my best when I truly don't care about the outcome. But when I do care, even the slightest bit, women can sniff that out and I'm taken for granted.
I'm so cool, I'm going to say "hi" to everyone else in the room even though I see you.
This is the old, "make her approach me first" game. I arrive and make rounds, talking to everyone else but her so she can get more and more anxious. It seems mean on the surface, but it sure makes that "hello" more special when she has to wait for it. And, I always do make my way over to her. Sometimes this game devolves into a popularity contest though, as we both talk to everyone else but each other. So immature.
I'm so cool, you're just a small piece of the many things going on in my life.
Even though my biggest priorities are the growth of my basil plant, and the welfare of the Baltimore Ravens, I try to appear as though I have too much going on. If my time looks valuable, then any girl will think she's important if I give her some of that valuable time.
I'm So Cool, I'm not going to let you know I like you.
Remember in Grease when Sandy realizes she's attending school with her summer fling Danny but, because he is in front of his buddies, he plays it cool and acts like an idiot? I believe the quote is, after she asks what's the matter with him: "What's that matter with me, what's the matter with you." The more I pretend I'm not that into a girl, the more in to me she is. If I like a girl, it's never good to play my cards too early. Unfortunately, it does backfire most of the time, and I'm left on a swing singing "Stranded At The Drive In".
The fact that I have to hide my feelings in the beginning to have any possibility of something working out defies rational thought. Don't get discouraged when a guy acts like this. We all have a little bit of "Paul" in us, we just have to restrain that enthusiasm because a lot of us have been burned when we make it too obvious, too soon.
Are there any women out there that appreciate an up front, direct approach, or is it imperative for a guy to "play it cool" in the beginning? What do you think of my tactics, and what tactics have you seen? Does it turn you off when a guy is trying too hard to play it cool? At some point, do you walk away if he doesn't seem to care, or does it intrigue you? Do you ever hold back your feelings to play it cool?
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