She leaned over and asked, “Do you want to meet a guy or not?”
My best friend can be so annoying sometimes. “Of course I want to meet a guy” I replied.
“Well, you’re not going to meet him on this dance floor. No guy is going to have the guts to come up fo a swarm of girls dancing in a circle,” she said. (She had a point.)
Because I’m stubborn, I ignored her advice. After all, why should I stop doing what I want to do just to meet a guy? Shouldn’t a man like me because of who I am?
Then again…. she’s the one with an amazing boyfriend, and I’m the one who’s single.
I reluctantly asked why she thought I needed to get off the dance floor in order to meet someone. She explained that while it’s not impossible to meet someone in between my Beyonce and Justin Bieber dance numbers; it is just unlikely.
She had me look around the room. We were at a gala in the city, and there were well over 100 people.
I noticed there was a clear distinction between where the men were and where they were not. Those of us on the dance floor were mostly women — women who were either married or in a serious relationship. Every once in a while a guy would dance with his significant other for a song or two, then he’d shuffle off to grab a beer and talk about whatever guys talk about.
I quietly slid off my high horse. “Teach me your ways, oh wise one” I teased.
She reminded me that it takes guts to go up to a woman you don’t know and strike up a conversation. And if the woman is in a dance circle surrounded by 25 other women…. Well, forget it.
I realized she was right. I have never met I guy I was truly interested in on the dance floor.
So what now?
Her advice was simple: make eye contact, smile and wait. If you see a person you’re might be interested in, do that, and wait. He’ll come and find you.
It sounded too easy to actually work, but I begrudgingly agreed to try her advice. We left the dance floor, walked around the room, and found a few guys that seemed like a maybe. Finally we looked at each other and laughed. She was the first to say there wasn’t anyone who seemed like a great fit for me. I sighed with relief, and we pranced back out to the dance floor.
But even after that night I felt challenged to try this whole eye contact thing out. At first it was NOT easy.
Why does looking another human in the eyes feel so vulnerable?
Why was I so resistant?
Even with all the inner dialogues that kept rising to the surface, I committed to making eye contact with a man I found attractive at least once a day. Here’s what I noticed:
- It was easy for me to look into the eyes of guys that weren’t threatening or intimidating to me aka guys I was not attracted to at all.
- BUT, when it came to a man that I found attractive, I would find my eyes to the ground, or doing anything to avoid his eye contact. Why though? I started to experience that I avoided eye contact when I was afraid of rejection. And I avoided eye contact when I thought there was ‘no way a guy like that, could like a girl like me’.
I started to notice some other things too:
- Just because you look someone in the eyes does not mean you want to marry them or have their babies.
- It’s not embarrassing or shameful to let another person know that you think they’re cute.
- Not once did I die from looking a man in the eyes whom I found attractive.
The more I practiced it the more I noticed, and the more I got the opportunity to shift the inner dialogue for myself. Every moment is an opportunity to grow if we choose it to be.
I get asked ALL the time ‘how can I put myself out there’, ‘how do I navigate the dating world?’
And I tell women to do this all the time: for one week practice making eye contact with a man you find attractive each day. And smile. See what comes up for you? Because things.will.come.up.
Don’t judge yourself. Simply notice. Notice what you feel resistant to. Notice what you feel afraid of, where the insecurities start to rise. And see how you can shift those perspectives for yourself. One of my mentors says no one has a bad day when they find out someone has a crush on them. And it’s true.
So my invitation for you this week is to try it out for a whole entire week: make eye contact and smile. And see what happens.
This post is in collaboration with The Refined Collective Series.