The wonder years
By Ryan Austin
Posted: Monday, Dec. 21, 2009
Photo by Alison Henry
"According to Andy" is our weekly peek into the male psyche, written by various contributors. To become a contributor, contact Editor Alison Henry.
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I have a code a rule I live by that demands I follow it to ensure success.Im not allowed to wonder. Im not allowed to have that gut-spinning moment when Im in my 60s, locked in whatever life Im living, and say to myself, What would have happened if I just asked her out? What if I told that waitress I thought she was pretty? What if I had driven five hours to tell her how I felt? Why didnt I just go back and freaking kiss her?Those things are usually done by Colin Firth or Hugh Grant in a very forgettable romantic comedy, and nine times out of 10 everything ends happily with a top 40 song playing over the credits. Life, however, isnt like that. But maybe it could be.When it comes to romance, Ive established the No Wondering Rule. If theres a girl I just cant get out of my head, then Im obligated by my code to do something about it whether its innocently complimenting a girl on her hair (something more guys need to get the hang of: genuine compliments without flirting), or driving several hundred miles to ask a girl out that Ive only met once. Yep, I really did that.But its not always grand, several-hundred-mile kinds of gestures. Sometimes its smaller. For instance, the code once forced me to own up to my crush on a local singer. (Hey, youd fall in love with her, too, if you heard her cover Tiny Dancer.) And although a mutual friend forbade me to ask her out, I did look her dead in the eye and tell her she was very pretty. (The genuine, non-flirty approach. Im telling you master that. Its good stuff.)While this newfound way of life has also lead me into an online dating fiasco, numerous rejections and more awkward moments then I dare admit to, I have had success. I have gotten dates and numbers from random, gorgeous women in situations that most guys back out of or simply dont initiate. Naturally though, the biggest perk is that I dont wonder what could have happened. And thats worth every rejection, embarrassment and awkward moment.The bottom line is: It all comes down to what youre willing to risk. Sure, getting shot down or looking like an idiot sucks, but thats what it takes to find someone. Accept it. You know its worth it. If Hugh Grant can do it, anyone can.And Im not just talking to the guys. Ladies, while Im not giving you permission to stalk that guy youve spent way too much time thinking about, dont waste your time over-analyzing what might happen. Make it happen.Oh, and that girl I drove several hundred miles just to ask out? Turns out she has a boyfriend. But at least I wont be spending the rest of my life wondering.Ryan Austin is a screenwriter and regular contributor to TheRugged.com. You can follow his dating adventures at TheUncompromisingSearch.com.
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