I’m very attracted to a man I see in my local supermarket, I’ve seen him in there many times over the past year and we acknowledge each other, smile etc. unfortunately I’m too shy to ask him face to face if he would be interested in meeting for coffee or having a beer. I have found him on an online car forum and I’m not sure whether I should try sending an email through the online forum or whether that would that be stalkery and rather creepy? Any thoughts?
P.S. I’m in my mid 40’s and he’s a similar age.
If you are not already a recognizable, regular posting member of that forum, where he would know who you are if he saw your username, I vote “creepy.” Mildly creepy, maybe “vaguely off-putting” rather than “creepy”, but my advice is: Don’t do it.
I don’t know this guy, maybe he, specifically, would be flattered. Maybe some people reading this would be flattered and have great stories for you about how they handled something like this. To me, it’s risky stuff. When I was single, I had people do this, and I never liked it. It made me feel surveilled, not noticed in a good way. Even if I liked them from knowing them from around the way and would have maybe gone out with them if they’d asked me directly, something like this always felt like a dominance display and was a deal-breaker for me. “I am too shy to talk to you, but I know how to find you and am going to show off how much I know about you.”
In the social media age, our info is out there (largely put out there by us). My dating site username was…CaptainAwkward. I was super-fucking-findable. I’ve totally looked up my online dates before going on dates with them because I am a curious person and for safety reasons. I wanted to have a reasonable reassurance that they are who they say they are. I assume they looked me up, too. That’s okay, because we were already talking and making plans to hang out (through the medium of the dating site) and there was a mutual context for that to happen. But I think there are limits around this, and one of those limits is that if you want to spend more time with someone you know from a certain context, it’s way better to interact with them a little more within that context than to show off your advanced research skills. I know there are a whole subset of dating guides that are all about how to get someone’s contact info and prove that you are into them by showing that you made the effort. This site exists partially to run screaming from advice like that.
I made a movie about this FYI.
Dear T, if you want to meet this guy for coffee sometime, it’s time to quit Firthing. Use one of your business cards (or make one if you don’t have one, or write your email address on a slip of paper), walk up to him, and say “Hi, it’s always so nice to run into you here. Would you ever want to get a drink? Here’s my info, let me know.” If he’s pro this idea, he’ll carry the conversation the next little way. If it’s confusing or weird, you can walk away, no harm done. He’ll get in touch or he won’t. Even if he’s not interested, he will likely be flattered and glad to be asked. Good people do not take sincere invitations as insults.You can do it!