April 30th, 2007 by Nina Atwood
You’re standing there in front of someone new, someone cute, someone you would maybe like to date. Suddenly, you’re tongue-tied, at a loss for words, can’t think of anything intelligent to say. Your brain does a quick file scan, searching desperately for a good “line.” Before you can let the words out, your brain sends you a second message: “What if this sounds like a line? What if I turn her off because I sound like some slick dude trying to score?” More consternation and another protracted pause. Do you feel your anxiety rising as you recall times like this?
Let’s push the pause button for a minute and take a look at what’s really happening. First, your investment in the situation skyrockets when you feel strongly attracted. She’s hot, you want her, and suddenly what you say (or don’t say) becomes too important. Irrationally, your mind hangs your future marriage and mother-of-your-children on this moment in time. That is way too much pressure!
A far healthier perspective is this: While this person is attractive, I have no idea whether or not we can form a positive and healthy connection. If we have a shot at a good connection, the way that happens is through being authentic. If I am okay with who I am and simply open a normal conversation with this person, we will discover what, if any, are our mutual interests, values, and goals. The process of open, honest communication takes care of the end result.
How do you make a line not sound like a line? Don’t have one. Be real, be authentic, be yourself. Lines are for people who don’t trust themselves and others to engage in mutual discovery. Lines are for people who think that manipulating people and situations is the way to go. Lines yield illusory situations and relationships that eventually crumble.