The Window of Opportunity

For some people they grow into liking someone.  They talk about not being initially attracted and then slowly seeing the potential in that person.

For me?  It’s the exact opposite.

I meet a guy, I’m attracted to him, and some invisible clock starts ticking down.

Depending on the guy, he generally has from two hours to three months to actually make a move before his window of opportunity closes.

I remember going to a friend’s wedding and meeting one of his good friends.  For whatever reason, that wedding weekend (and maybe it was the whole “I’m at a wedding thing”) I found that guy incredibly interesting and potentially attractive.

(I like smart men.  If I meet a man who’s smart in a non-douchebaggy way–i.e. he doesn’t try to hit me over the head with facts and figures and correct everything I say–I will find him attractive initially even if physically he isn’t all that.)

So, that guy had a window of opportunity with me.  But he didn’t act and by the next time I saw him, six months or so later, the window was closed.  Can’t tell you why.  We met for lunch and the spark was gone.

There was another guy I met in college who I found absolutely beautiful the day I met him.  To the point of awkwardness.  For whatever reason I was just mesmerized by him that day.  I ran into him a month or so later at the pub and didn’t even realize it was the same guy.  The window was closed.

If I interact with a guy on a regular basis the window can stay open longer.  Even if he’s not asking me out, if I feel like I’m getting positive responses back from him, I’ll stay interested for a bit.

But I can’t sustain that interest forever.  Eventually the window closes.

Why?  Let’s see…

– I see past whatever initially drew me in (like his intelligence) and the rest is just eh

– I realize that what initially drew me in isn’t really valid

– I get annoyed that he’s flirting with me but won’t act on it and decide he’s just an ass

– I convince myself that continuing to be attracted to him is just a waste of time (even if he isn’t an ass)

– I reach a point where if he did act I’d be so annoyed at him for not acting sooner that I know it just won’t be pretty even if we do hit it off because I’ll hold it against him for not acting sooner

For each guy, I can’t tell you how long the window will last.  And it’s a bit like a light switch.  I’m interested and then I’m not.  No, gray area.  It just dies.

So, my advice to the guys out there?  Act.

If you like a woman, act on it.  Sooner rather than later.

Failure to act is how you end up in the friend zone.

(Oh, and those first two points.  If you act before that happens then maybe you give the woman a new reason to like you that keeps her hanging on.  And then you give her another reason to like you.  And another.  And another.  Baby steps.  But you have to take the first one to get it started.)

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