What happens when I try to talk to somebody I like

I’m having a conversation with my girlfriend in Yellowknife. I call her most Sundays so we can catch up and chat. We are just like we were in high school. We talk about our lives and what we’re doing and we talk about boys. Except, we’re a little older now. A little more experienced. We’ve had our share of dramas. We know more how to dress, how to act, how to use our feminine wiles.


And, I’d like to know what feminine wiles are exactly. I’m not aware that I have any. I’m not aware of how they work. When I had a husband, he’d get annoyed (as he should have) when I’d smile and talk to other guys. And that was hard, because I worked in technology. There were a lot of guys. He’d say: Just because you smile and talk to them–they get an idea. That’s all you need to do. Smile and talk.

So I guess after certain situations, I did learn that smiling and talking wasn’t a good idea. I stopped smiling. I stopped talking. And now I fear I’ve lost that basic social skill. Men aren’t interested in me lately. Maybe I don’t meet enough men, but really. Men don’t seem to even notice I exist.

My friend says it’s because I’m not putting myself out there. Well. I’ve had it with that. I’ve put myself out there. I’ve just been disappointed over and over again. I don’t think my heart can take it. I don’t ever want to feel that sushi raw feeling again. EVER. It’s taken me all this time to get this thin skin back…I wonder how long it’s going to take to thicken?

Anyway. Last week, we talked about what happens to our tongues when we try to talk to somebody we like. It’s like our brains just go into some sort of overdrive, and circuit to the tongue shorts out.

I dug this explanation up from an old email. I thought it was a pretty good explanation of what happens when I’m trying to talk to somebody I think I might like.

…as soon as I see you, this is what happens:

My heart does this little flip-flop (at least I know it doesn’t stop.)
Blood rushes to ummm….
Then, because that happens, blood rushes to my face.
My face is now flushed and I’m all flustered because I know what is going on.

Then, I can’t concentrate on what I’m trying to say to the person I’m having a conversation with. My tongue feels like I’ve been to the dentist and it’s numb or frozen or whatever. It can’t finish what it is saying and I stutter and fumble and in general just appear silly.

And I try to carry on the conversation, but my mind is just all over you and where you are and what you are doing. And, in order to maintain any dignity or composure at all, I have to leave the room so I can focus on what I was trying to say to the other person and hope that they didn’t notice any odd behaviour….

Here’s something else I wrote on not being able to speak when I know I might like somebody:

And you go out to eat. And he talks. And you push food around on your plate and try to focus on what he’s saying. But all you notice the sound of his voice and the way that he talks.

And when you finally do try to take a bite to eat–you miss your mouth and the food falls back on the edge of the plate and almost on your lap–because you are already so nervous. So you just laugh and push the food around on you plate a bit more and try to think of something clever to say.

So you just smile. And nod. And try to ask intelligent questions. And inside, you’re completely mortified. Because you know you’re intelligent. And smart. And funny. And you have opinions. And normally–normally–you can’t shut up (which is why your nickname is Princess Donkey).

Here’s the question. How do you make any sort of smart, intelligent, witty, impression when your brain-tongue circuit is shorted out?

My friend would like to ask a fellow to go on a walk with her–so she could get to know him better. First of all, she’s just nervous and she doesn’t know how to approach him. Secondly, when an opportunity arises for her to ask, her brain-tongue circuit shorts out. Anyway, she’s nervous she’d end up asking him too many questions and it would appear like an inquisition. (I tell her that’s what her girlfriends are for!!). But, alas, she’s not in a situation where she has those kind of girlfriends. Mabye the story will change in the next few weeks.

Regardless. Guys. Do you have any answers for us? How do we get to know you without being too forward? Or too direct? Or too silly? Or too flirty? Or too much of anything? What’s the right balance? So that we can just subtly show you we may be interested … in getting to know you–to start with….

Duck-Hunter, what do you think? Can you start off the comments?

Join the Conversation


  1. 1. You’re putting too much pressure on yourselves.
    2. If a decent* guy is interested, it doesn’t matter how silly or flirty or direct you are with him. He:
    a) is probably clueless to the fact that you like him, because that’s how decent guys generally are – clueless.
    b) probably likes you so much he:
    i) won’t notice that you’re getting tongue-tied OR
    ii) thinks your tongue-ti-ed-ness is really attractive. (If he likes you, you could probably have snot streaming out of your nose and he’d think that’s attractive, too.)
    c) is probably in the same mental state as you are and is worried about a million and one things that he thinks he should and should not be doing.
    3. Be yourself because that’s who you are and that’s who he wants to get to know.

    (* This information does not apply to sleezeballs, who are only ever interested in themselves.)

  2. Oh Jen, I totally know where you’re coming from on so many levels…

    My problem is that I just keep on blathering, esp. if there is a momentarily silence, I try to fill that void by not shutting up! It’s ridiculous, but most actually find it humourous(if they’re not annoyed by it). I’m annoyed by it, but hell, I can’t stop it. Basically I’ve come to the conclusion that being back in the dating scene truly sucks on so many levels. But at the same time, it can be fun and exciting!

    I also agree that most guys are totally clueless when you’re interested!! They so don’t pick up on any cues you are sending their way for the most part. Being yourself is great advice, and just go for it when you meet someone you like!

  3. Yes. Being back out there truly sucks. At so many levels. This isn’t where I thought my life would be.

    Thanks for the support guys. I’ll just keep believing in myself.

    Stacie, where did your blog go?

  4. First of all I want to assure you that if we are interested, we will be just as nervous. I would honestly be leery of someone who did not show a bit of nervousness
    I believe that the unspoken jesters show if a person is interested or not. Look into his eyes, let him see that you are interested. I believe that eye contact is one of the most important signs of attraction, as well as a very strong indicator if someone is interested or not. Other then that be yourself, if things don’t workout by being yourself then he wasn’t right for you anyways.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.