Without looking like a stalker!
The 15th of Av is a day of love in the Jewish calendar. To mark this occasion let’s speak about different ways to show you’re interested in someone. It’s not easy being the first one to make a move, open up or be vulnerable. Even when you are bold and try to make something happen, you may be turned down more often than you like.
Michael Jordan was quoted saying, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that’s why I succeed.” He goes on to say, “I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying.” These are important thoughts to keep in mind when showing interest in someone new.
1. Ask them outIt seems simple, but waiting does not always make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes people find replacements or become unavailable. Don’t hesitate. Go for it: ask someone out.
2. ListenIf you listen to someone speaking, they know it. They feel it. How do you show you are listening? Listening happens not only with your ears, but with your whole body. Are you facing the person, leaning towards them? Are you responding as they speak to show them you hear what they are saying?
3. ShareOf course you need to listen, but it’s also important to start sharing. A trusting relationship can grow because both sides are opening up. By sharing yourself with your date, the relationship has the best opportunity for growth and future success.
4. ActIf she told you she loves gardening, you might want to bring her a plant for your next date. Maybe you could even go to a bookstore together and browse the gardening section—even if you couldn’t care less about gardening! Ladies, same thing about sports. Showing interest in the things that interest them is a clear way to show that you care.
5. SmileSmile at the person you find interesting. This is also a good general rule; there’s nothing like the power of a smile to make someone’s day.
6. Power of the pen (or the iPad)A short note saying “Have a great day!” is not stalker-ish. But 10 text messages a day probably is. One short, sweet note will let them know you’re thinking of them.
7. Speak well of the person you’re datingSay to the waiter, “Isn’t s/he great?” It will show that you are proud to be together. You don’t want to boast or go overboard, but a few genuine words can brighten a date.
8. Show up for a surprise visitShowing interest and stalking is a fine line. You do want to let the person you’re dating know you are interested. If you’re in a relationship, surprise visits could be just the thing to enhance the relationship. However, if you are not in a relationship yet, save surprises for later on.
9. Be presentWhen you are together, put away your distractions -- specifically the digital ones. Nothing makes a person feel more important than when you turn off your phone or say, “That’s not an important call because I am with you now.” This one really goes a long way.
10. Ask for adviceIf you really want to make someone feel valued, share an issue you are dealing with and ask your date for advice on the matter.
11. Eye contactMake lots and lots of eye contact. It’s a language of love, comfort and desire when shared between people who like one another. It also means you are paying attention to what’s in front of you. And we all love that kind of attention!
12. Open up in the right timeA first encounter is not the time to share that you struggle with depression. But if it comes up in conversation after you both have established a mutual like for one another, it’s time to open up and show your vulnerable side.
13. ComplimentOffer genuine compliments to your date. It makes everyone feel good when someone notices something special about them.
14. Be respectfulOne way to show respect is actually less about what you do and more about what you don’t do. Don’t ask for daily reports (“Where have you been and who were you with?”). When you ask too many questions, your genuine interest can be misinterpreted. I know you may really be curious about their whereabouts because you’re interested in them. A better way to be inquisitive is to ask, “How was your day? What did you do?”
15. Speak up!Tell someone. “I like you.” It’s that simple! (Well, the concept anyway.)
Showing someone you’re interested puts you in a vulnerable position. You may not know if your feelings will be returned, but that’s a calculated risk you’ll need to take. Remember that despite the electronic networks that keep us distantly connected, we all crave real connection, adoration and companionship. So even if the feelings aren’t mutual, I hope the person you are with will handle your vulnerable state with care.
When you find someone who seems worth the effort, show your interest in a clear way that is likely to lead you to another date. Waiting for someone to make the first move might feel safer but it won’t get you want you want. Muster the courage to do something outside your comfort zone.
How do you like to be shown someone is interested in you? I know you’ve got some great ideas too. Please add to my list in the comment section below. Happy Tu B’Av!
Originally published here, on Aish.com.