I do something with the first people I see for the day to begin my social momentum for the day. As I was getting closer to the bus stop, I saw two girls. One was facing my direction and the other was facing the first girl, away from me. As I got up to the stop, I simply smiled and said “Hello” to the girl facing me.
“Hello” said the one facing me as her friend turned around to see who she was saying hi to. When the second girl turned, [private] she said “Hi” as well, to which I smiled. As I said, I was just greeting the girls to begin the social momentum for the day. There was nothing striking about them, so I just greeted them and left it at that.
As I got on the bus I could see three seats in a row, each with a girl sitting on the inside seat, leaving the outside one open. A quick scan had me take the seat with the cutest of the three, whom I sat next to.
She was wearing headphones, so I waited a few moments then I turned to her, smiled and asked if she knew which stop it was that the Pru was on (yes I knew this, but I was using the situational questions to feel her out). She explained the stop was Copley so I thanked her, gazed at her face for a moment and smiled. She put her earphones back on and went back to her music. I waited a few more beats of time to go by and I turned to her again.
“What color train is that stop on?” I asked her. She told me ‘green’ then asked me if I was new in town. When a girl asks any question about me, it is a signal of curiosity to know more about me and keep the conversation going.
So I went into my elaborate story of how I am from this area, yet I travel so much. I tell her of my last trip to Puerto Rico lasting 7 months longer than I first thought I would stay, then I went on to tell her about the beauty of the place, the friendliness of the people, the tropical animals and my practice in real-life Spanish.
I talked about the food there, and our conversation transitioned to trading stories about different ethnic restaurants in town. She described a Colombian restaurant she liked (which I noted in my head) and I told her how I love to meet up with friends at different spots to split appetizers. This was about 10 minutes since I first spoke to her.
Our conversation was flowing smoothly, back and forth. I could detect her interest in me and I thought she was cool to talk to. I gauged how many stops were left before I’d have to get off and I said to her: “You seem like you have a really cool energy, it’s a shame we can only enjoy each other’s company for the length of this bus ride.” She expressed agreement in smiles and nodding and small comments. I paused to let it sink in; I even looked away for a moment in thought.
Then I turned back to her. “I wonder what steps we’d need to take to pick this conversation up another time” and I let it sink in while she thought of ways two people could connect later. Trade info, exchange numbers, etc.
Then as if I was hit with a discovery I said. “Ya, we should definitely trade info so we can talk again another time” as I pulled out my cell phone. It never seems awkward when I take baby steps to this type of suggestion, just like the expected normal thing to happen next. I have found that by signaling my way up to the number seemed to be easily accepted and replied well to. It wasn’t an all-of-a-sudden: ‘Let me get your number’ out of nowhere in the conversation. I showed where I was going as if it was the natural next step. I also take the asking for anything out of the picture. I don’t ask for numbers, I suggest we trade information. More even exchange, less pressure.
My favorite part when I do things this way is when I start to suggest, sometimes the girl will have the idea: “Oh ya, give me your number.” Or whatever. This seems to drop the flake factor and have her more invested into waiting for/getting my call too. Not all girls do this, they still are humble feminine creatures but it is cool when they do, usually the outgoing ones.
So I pull out my phone to her.
“What is it?” I asked with my cell phone in hand as I selected ‘new contact’ on my phone.
“Jenna.” She told me.
“No your number. I have to punch that in first, then I can put your name to it.” I said. We hadn’t even traded names yet.
She told me her number; I punched it in and put ‘Jenna’ in the name section. “Ok, I will send you a text right now with my name in it so you can save the number. I’m C.J.” and I sent her a text right then. I could see my call coming through, now knowing it is a real number she gave (we had clicked pretty well so I had no reason to think it wouldn’t be but it is a habit) and she saved the number with my name to it.
We kept chatting and she subtly mentioned her brother & his speaking English. “Where is your family from?” I asked. Even when girls make small subtle points, they are stepping stones for more information, further conversation, getting to know each other better.
“Nicaragua.” She said.
“No kidding, como estas?” I had to ask, practicing my Spanish once again. “You can be my Spanish practice buddy.” (I do usually hint at girls getting stuck in my friend-zone if they don’t play their cards right. Here is another frame that I found by owning it first, I never get stuck in.)
She then told me she was riding the green line too and would be coming with me since her stop was one after mine. We boarded the train, chatting for the ride, when I got to my stop, I took her arm for a small squeeze and told her I would talk to her later.
To keep whatever emotional high she was in from meeting me, I sent her a text about an hour later: “Hey Jenna, now I am all curious about the Colombian place you told me of. We’ll have to go split appetizers when we both have time free. C.J.”
…and 20 minutes later I get her text back: “Definitely! =)”