Last week I had that magical moment of seeing something work that I’ve known and written and spoken about for years proven to my face. And what’s more, it worked on me.
I’m talking about “The Look”.
But there is an addition to this simple idea that Matt always stresses:
“You can’t just look at a guy once. This is what so many women do: they look over, catch eye contact with a guy for a split second, turn away and then think “Ok, he knows I’m interested.”
No, he definitely doesn’t.
This is where my story comes in.
About a week ago, I was at a sushi place in London queuing to pay for a chicken katsu curry (Jesus, I already miss that katsu curry, it was so damn good), when I spotted two young women sitting down in the corner booth.
They were giggling and indulgently enjoying hearty sips from their tumblers of green-camomille-peach-whatever-flavour bubble tea, generally being all feminine and attractive and lovely, when I noticed one of them look over in my direction.
I was sure our eyes met for a second. I smiled. She held eye contact for a tiny moment, then turned back to her friend and they carried on talking.
Once I paid for my food I sat down propped on a swingy chair facing the glass window that looked out onto the busy London street. The women were behind me now, as I proceeded to eat the best damn katsu curry I’ve had in a long time, and at the exact moment I expertly dipped the breadcrumbed chicken into my side dish of soy sauce (with chopsticks and everything), I had a sudden, brilliant inspired thought, which was this: “I will talk to her before she leaves”.
I was sure of it. I had decided. And that was that.
Happy in my excellent decision, I polished off the chicken, and started spooning the last few soy-drenched edamame beans into my mouth, feeling absurdly proud of my decision despite having not yet made a single actual move towards conversation with this woman.
I looked back once more, and saw that she was also looking back in my direction. I felt even more ready now, even more sure that this decision to approach her was definitely 100% an absolutely brilliant idea.
I turned back to finish my food, absent-mindedly listening to a podcast on my iPhone as I downed half a can of diet coke.
And that’s when it all went wrong.
As I turned around one more time, I noticed the chairs where the women were just sitting were now empty.
I spun my head around to the door and noticed they were both walking through the glass doors out onto the street, leaving the sushi place, and presumably my life, forever.
My heart sank.
I looked at them both one more hopeless time as they walked out of the restaurant, and then something incredible happened.
As they walked out the door, the woman I had been looking at turned back one more time, looked at me through the glass, and smiled. It was the kind of plaintive smile that said: “Yup, I was looking at you, and you didn’t come over, you stupid dumb man. We could have been talking right now but you blew it. Are you sure that’s the memory you want of this day?”
And that was when I finally made the decision: Go after her!
I started to walk down the street after them, even breaking into a slight jog as they got further away. I knew I had to catch them soon just to prove to myself I wasn’t some crazy stalker.
“Excuse me,” I said.
She turned around, and upon realizing that the guy from the sushi place had followed them down the street, her and her friend giggled excitedly.
“I was looking over at you in there…” I continued, “and I just wondered if you’re single”. It wasn’t the best opening line but at this point I was just trying to get my mouth to open a make words come out of it.
“In that case, I’d love to take your number and go for a drink some time soon.”
“That’d be great.”
As I reached for my phone, her friend nodded in approval of my act of bravery, sighed, and said, “good decision”. It was as if she was saying “You got there in the end.”
I put in my phone number, feeling ridiculously impressed with myself, but at the same time realizing that if it wasn’t for that extra couple of looks from her, there was no way I would have felt like there was an obvious signal for me to approach.
The second look works.
I know it works because it works on me.
This isn’t some romantic story about me meeting the girl of my dreams. It’s just a simple snapshot of what a moment of encouragement can do. How it can spur a single chance you take that can lead to a great experience.
I’m not saying you’ll get every guy chasing you down the street if you look at him a couple of times, but never look only once. Giving him that extra 10-20% of courage with the second and third look makes it much more likely he’ll seize the moment.
And what’s life about if not those moments that make your heart skip?
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Stephen Hussey helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.