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gabrielle_of_poteidia

Chatting (flirting?) with a guy at the gym

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So I have no idea if this is a suitable topic for here, but this is kind of the only online presence I have and I was hoping for some input from fellow gym people.

 

There's a guy at the gym who I've had a crush on for like a year and a half. I have been very happy single and haven't been attracted to anyone in about 7 years, so I'm very rusty in this regard. At first I tried to ignore it (because hey, I figured I knew nothing about him, and just thought I was being shallow and stupid) but then he spoke to me, and it turns out he's actually... REALLY nice and sweet. I'm now really thrown. I get butterflies when he talks to me. Our routines seem to coincide so I usually see him either at the gym or pass in the car park once or twice a week. I get nervous going in at those times now because I expect to see him!

 

I'm trying to decide if it would be even vaguely appropriate to offer him my number and ask if he wants to hang out. He has made a few comments that I guess could be construed as flirtatious, or expressing interest. He:

  • asked me if I'd been working out through lockdown, because he said when he first saw me he thought I looked good
  • we talked about training for pullups and he offered to give me a boost
  • he asks questions like whether I'm doing anything later, or if I'm around in the week

 

On the other hand, he is also kinda friendly with everyone. I dropped some hints (or so I thought) by responding to his questions about my schedule and essentially telling him "I'll be here for the early slot tomorrow" and thought he'd said he'd be in at the same time as me.... but then he wasn't. (I realise rationally that there could be any number of things and it probably has nothing to do with me.) My trouble is I really have no frame of reference for this kind of interaction. I'm 35 but I feel about 15, trying to work out if I'm in with a chance. The trouble is for every piece of evidence for the "he likes you" case, I can also find one that screams "you are a massive creep and have probably freaked him out by turning up at the same time every weekend and he can see right through you and now he's avoiding you" (he wasn't here this morning). Yes, I realise I am massively overthinking this.

 

We haven't interacted a huge amount, just snippets of conversation here and there over a few weeks now, and before lockdown. Would I be overstepping horribly if I asked him out or offered my number? I am a grown woman who has literally never done this before. How do people flirt??? 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, gabrielle_of_poteidia said:

We haven't interacted a huge amount, just snippets of conversation here and there over a few weeks now, and before lockdown. Would I be overstepping horribly if I asked him out or offered my number? I am a grown woman who has literally never done this before. How do people flirt???

Flirting is a conversation. You do it all the time without realising.

It could go one of two ways:

  1. He's really flattered, and you get to have a nice date.
  2. He's not keen, and you end up embarrassed.

1 would feel good, 2 would feel bad. But neither would really affect you in the long term.

 

I would stop trying to second guess him, offer him your number, and see if he wanted to go and do something. A walk in the park is ideal for a first date - nothing hard, stressful, expensive or risky. If you enjoy the date, it can carry on into the evening. If you don't, you can make your excuses and you've had a nice walk. Maybe even a story to entertain people with for the next twenty years. Ask how I know!

 

Come on, what's the worst that could happen? Whatever outcome, it's better than spending years wondering if it would have worked out or not. That's your alternative.

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I think my fear is more that I'm being inappropriate or presumptuous. Not insignificant fear over rejection aside, I'd hate to make him feel uncomfortable or preyed upon. I think in the midst of all my second guessing, I worry that I've missed some overt "back off, lady!" signals or something! You're right in that I think I need to do something rather than just make small talk and feel anxious, but boy is this terrifying! 😅

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1 hour ago, gabrielle_of_poteidia said:

I think my fear is more that I'm being inappropriate or presumptuous.

Nothing wrong with offering to hang out.

1 hour ago, gabrielle_of_poteidia said:

I'd hate to make him feel uncomfortable or preyed upon. 

So don't offer marriage and ask what kind of curtains he likes. Ask if he wants to meet for coffee, and if he says yes, propose a time and place, then negotiate a time that works for both. 

 

1 hour ago, gabrielle_of_poteidia said:

boy is this terrifying

I believe you, and those feelings are valid. It's ok to be scared. 

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1 hour ago, gabrielle_of_poteidia said:

I think my fear is more that I'm being inappropriate or presumptuous. Not insignificant fear over rejection aside, I'd hate to make him feel uncomfortable or preyed upon. I think in the midst of all my second guessing, I worry that I've missed some overt "back off, lady!" signals or something!

I honestly can't see what you want to do getting that reaction. But if it was, what would happen? You'd just not speak to him again. And it would be OK, because at least you'd know that he didn't like you, and then you could get on with your life.

 

This puts me in mind of this song:

 

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24 minutes ago, cd667 said:

I honestly can't see what you want to do getting that reaction. But if it was, what would happen? You'd just not speak to him again. And it would be OK, because at least you'd know that he didn't like you, and then you could get on with your life.

 

This puts me in mind of this song:

 

 

This is reassuring. I'll try and channel my courage next time I see him, if anything just to stop the exhausting cycle of anticipation, nerves, and self doubt! :D

 

I do love that Tim Minchin song, as much as it doesn't really apply to me. It would seem my attraction to people is vanishingly rare, so rather than focus on the idea of someone else, I prefer to reassure myself that I have wonderful close friendships and have managed to build a life where I feel truly happy in my circumstances. Any additional romance is sheer bonus, not something I have to stake my happiness on. But, hey, end result is the same - feels like a lower stakes operation. :) Thanks guys, I feel like slightly less of a fool now!

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On 9/12/2020 at 12:50 PM, gabrielle_of_poteidia said:
  • asked me if I'd been working out through lockdown, because he said when he first saw me he thought I looked good
  • we talked about training for pullups and he offered to give me a boost
  • he asks questions like whether I'm doing anything later, or if I'm around in the week

These seem like a pretty clear cut show of interest to me. I can't speak for every man out there but if I compliment your looks and I don't already have an established friendship with you, I'm definitely attempting to show interest. I know it's a lot easier said then done, but I suspect if you approached him with confidence it would go quite well for you. 🙂

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12 hours ago, N0rdicNinja said:

These seem like a pretty clear cut show of interest to me. I can't speak for every man out there but if I compliment your looks and I don't already have an established friendship with you, I'm definitely attempting to show interest. I know it's a lot easier said then done, but I suspect if you approached him with confidence it would go quite well for you. 🙂

 

It all proved rather academic because I didn't see him all weekend! 🙁 So I have another week of practicing in front of the mirror and tackling my insecurities. But thank you! I'll let you know if anything vaguely positive comes out of all this. I am sure he will be very kind either way, and it will probably be a good exercise in confidence for me!

 

PS: I love your shirt @N0rdicNinja - I'm a Marvel nerd and that made me smile!

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4 hours ago, gabrielle_of_poteidia said:

It all proved rather academic because I didn't see him all weekend! 🙁 So I have another week of practicing in front of the mirror and tackling my insecurities. But thank you! I'll let you know if anything vaguely positive comes out of all this. I am sure he will be very kind either way, and it will probably be a good exercise in confidence for me!

 

Stay motivated! In the immortal words of Cap

I Can Do This All Day GIFs | Tenor

 

4 hours ago, gabrielle_of_poteidia said:

PS: I love your shirt @N0rdicNinja - I'm a Marvel nerd and that made me smile!

 

Back at you! I actually planned on doing a Cap cosplay this year before everything went to... well... you know.  Was gonna do Infinity War Cap with the beard on Con Day 1, then shave and do End Game Cap with Mjolnir on Con Day 2, then incognito Cap on Con Day 3. So much for that plan! 😅 One of these days.

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3 hours ago, N0rdicNinja said:

I actually planned on doing a Cap cosplay this year before everything went to... well... you know.  Was gonna do Infinity War Cap with the beard on Con Day 1, then shave and do End Game Cap with Mjolnir on Con Day 2, then incognito Cap on Con Day 3. So much for that plan! 😅 One of these days.

 

That's very cool!!! My convention days are long behind me but I occasionally still cosplay and do a photo shoot for the lols. I had contemplated attempting a selection of "femme-Cap" costumes - ww2 Cap with the brown leather jacket, a feminised variant of his USO costume (sort of a blend of Cap's "tights" look and the dancing girls') and maybe his gym gear in Avengers and recreate the boxing scene, if I could find an appropriate location. And, yknow, get buff enough!

 

You probably can't see too well, but my shirt in my profile picture reads "Steve Rogers Running Team" and has half the shield with the caption "on your left" underneath it. 😁 So yes, feeling the Cap vibes! *high five* If the apocalypse permits you to complete your cosplay, do share pictures!!

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I actually haven't been to a convention in quite some time... approaching a decade. I was excited to get back into it this year with some friends but I may just need to go hard for Halloween instead. 🤷‍♂️ Who knows when conventions will become a thing again and I want to exercise those cosplay muscles dang it! How about we challenge each other to accomplish our cosplays and share the results? 🙂 After you approach anonymous gym guy of course!

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Sure thing! The nearest thing I do to a convention these days is the Xena-themed retreat in California. This has been disrupted by covid already, and 2 of the recent fires have also come very close to the camp where the retreat is held, so who knows what the future holds? Hopefully there will be a chance to go back. Somewhere there is video footage of me dressed as Gabrielle and doing a board break, complete with battle cry! If I ever get around to any further projects, I'll be sure to post photos!

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That's awesome! I oddly enough was just talking with someone a few weeks ago who was telling me about the Xena event in Cali, had no idea that was a thing, the irony. Well if I can manage to scrounge up one of the Cap outfits before Halloween I'll be sure to do the same and post pics!

 

And I'll stop derailing the thread now 😛

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On 9/15/2020 at 7:42 AM, gabrielle_of_poteidia said:

It all proved rather academic because I didn't see him all weekend! 🙁 So I have another week of practicing in front of the mirror and tackling my insecurities. But thank you! I'll let you know if anything vaguely positive comes out of all this. I am sure he will be very kind either way, and it will probably be a good exercise in confidence for me!

 

Yes. All shall be well. 

Gym romance screen play with two endings:


"Hey, would you like to get coffee some time?"

"No" ---> "Oh, okay, no worries" *cries briefly in deadlift but recovers rapidly from disappointment and carries on ripping iron off the floor masterfully*
"Yes"--> "Groovy" *exchanges phone numbers with adorable awkwardness* 

 

Last year after I left the university gym a cutie ran up to me and asked my name, saying he thought I was pretty and.... I told him I was married (I'm probably ten years older than him). I did not think any less of him for asking. It was a 'no match' but there was no reason for him to be embarrassed. We imagine that rejection is objective evidence of how we should feel about ourselves, but it isn't. 

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Hi guys,

 

Thank you all so much for your support. I felt I owed you all an update.

 

2 weeks ago I had an amazing day - we spoke at length on 2 occasions in the same visit, once when I just arrived (I found out his name, and we talked about our respective pets and some of our interests - he said he'd seen me photographing the surrounding wildlife near the gym, omg he noticed me!) and again when I was waiting to use a machine he was on. He actually stopped what he was doing to take me aside and show me some flexibility exercises for my bad shoulder, and then apologised for 'boring' me (seems to be a theme of his).

 

So I figured I was onto a good thing. I decided to use this to boost my confidence and was determined next time we spoke I would ask him out or ask for his number. Well, I didn't really speak to him over the next 2 weeks (waved to him once across the gym, but no opportunity to chat, and a quick hi in passing outside over the weekend) but yesterday he was there again so I tried to go chat. Again, same as last time, I was gonna jump on a machine after him and I cracked a joke about how I keep coming and kicking him off the machines. I immediately felt a bit dumb for that and apologised because I felt it might have come across as rude (I know I can be overly familiar with people once I feel I have a rapport going) and, well, he just replied "yeah, pretty much" and walked away. It felt like a bit of a gut punch and I think I garbled something out about how I was trying to be funny, but he ignored me and left, giving off distinct "don't bother me" or "I'm mad at you" vibes. I could be reading it wrong I guess?

 

I wish I had better news to report. I'm really feeling at something of a loss as to how to handle this. I feel like I want to apologise one last time, as I was clearly being over familiar and totally misplaced my sense of humour there, but I think I might just make things worse by attempting to explain my innate weirdness ("I'm anxious around new people and I make dumb self-depreciative jokes" - it's not exactly an attractive quality). I'm pretty devastated still. I did a huge amount of psychological prepping to get to this stage and now I feel like I fell at the second-to-last hurdle and will never know if I was in with a shot. I'm mourning the loss of a possibility of something, which is a strange place to be in, but after all the work I did to get here it is sort of a big deal, I suppose. Just trying to be kind to myself and keep the anxious thoughts at bay. So that's that.

 

Thank you guys again for all your support. Just sorry I couldn't come back with a happy ending here. And now our area looks to be going into a second lockdown so I doubt I'll get a chance to make amends after this humiliating debacle. But that's life I guess? 😕

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Sorry to hear that... never a fun situation to be in. With the sudden personality shift I'm curious if he's just the passive type and was hoping you might make a move. But then he just grew frustrated with the amount of time. Just a thought, can't imagine why he'd have such a hard personality shift if he viewed you as just a gym acquaintance.

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On 10/13/2020 at 9:13 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

That's really rough, I'm sorry it didn't turn out the way you wanted.

 

Thank you. :) I'm feeling way better now, had my day or two of feeling sorry for myself and now got much better perspective. The whole thing was a significant step out of my comfort zone but I can acknowledge that even talking to him was an achievement as I'm usually a total wallflower, so go me I guess! :D

 

3 hours ago, N0rdicNinja said:

Sorry to hear that... never a fun situation to be in. With the sudden personality shift I'm curious if he's just the passive type and was hoping you might make a move. But then he just grew frustrated with the amount of time. Just a thought, can't imagine why he'd have such a hard personality shift if he viewed you as just a gym acquaintance.

 

I'm not sure. I've spoken to a couple of friends and one theory is that he was just having a bad day, and another was that I'm letting my general shyness warp my perception (ie that he was just finishing up in a bit of a hurry and meant it in more of an offhand, "I'm just off out the door, but ha! I know what you mean!" kind of way.) It's really hard to tell as I was pretty hyped up on adrenaline so wasn't thinking clearly. Then my jerkbrain kicked in, hence why I ended up high tailing it out of there thinking I'd embarrassed myself in spectacular style. 

 

So who knows? If I'm brave, I might go back and see what the deal is. He might well chat to me like nothing has happened? There's really no way to tell because my nerves were playing havoc over the whole thing, and right now my instinct is to AVOID like the big scaredy wimp I am! :D

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