A man on the subway today
"I think you are incredibly attractive."
How did he react?
Within a second his face opened up. He smiled and was speechless. A few moments later he'd found his words again and said, "Thank you so much! That is beautiful! Thanks... thanks for... sharing that happiness! Thank you!"
How did I feel?
I have done this one before. It was a huge challenge for me. Back in the summertime I spotted a man in Kreuzberg and told him I liked his looks. It took me five minutes of going back and forth while approaching him and three resets for my statement till the sentence "I find you attractive." finally came out of my mouth. And don't even ask me about how many times I interrupted myself in those four words because I was giggling.
Half a year and 800 compliments later I am happy to announce that there has been progress made! That's right. Here's what happened:
Today, on the Ubahn. I was sitting with my bike when a guy entered the wagon. The only free seat was across from mine. Our eyes met. Immediately I looked down. I was shy. When I lifted my gaze again he was reading a text. That's when I realized: I had been shy because he was what my sister would laugh at me for and say, "...completely your type, girl! You are so foreseeable." Whether I am or not- that man was good looking to me. Just picture someone with a unique appearance, a serene vibe, clothes that suit him or her well and physics that you find insanely appealing. Whatever that means to you. Got something? Good. That's what I was facing there.
Three stops later I was about to get off. And realized: This was my last chance to step out of being shy. I turned around, walked up to him and asked what language he spoke. He answered, English or German, either one was fine: He was Danish. Now that I had approached him question marks filled his expression. I grabbed a support strap by telling he was going to receive the most challenging compliment of my project. He said, "Uh-huh, am I..." The question marks in his face grew bigger. Then I went for it: I said, "I think you are incredibly attractive." And--
Stayed. Looked him in the eye, smiled. The question marks turned into rays of sunlight. He lacked words. Then he said, "Wow, thank you!" I answered, "Yeah, honestly!" And laughed. The train stopped. He repeated, "Thank you!" The doors opened and I started pushing my bike. That's when he entered the word world again. "This is so beautiful! Thank you so much for.. for... sharing that happiness! Thanks!"
I stepped outside, the doors closed. I smiled broadly. What a great moment! I had overcome my fear and surprised someone. His reaction was not what I had anticipated (in fact I was so busy telling myself to approach him I didn't have time to illustrate potential reactions for myself) An open-eyed, wow, thanks- this was perfect. Because it felt like a heart-to-heart moment much more than a pick up line. I now have proof of two things: First that my insecurities telling a stranger they are cute have decreased and second that one can tell a person one does not know that one is attracted to them and it is likely to trigger a sweet moment no different from all the other compliment situations. I think we both felt I was not trying to drag him home with me but just express what I had thought and felt. My smile stayed for another few hours and when I came home and told my roommate the story he pointed out, "In front of everyone!? That's daring!" I shrugged and realized that again, I had been so focused on the challenge walking up to him had been, I had not even thought about the fact that other people had been able to listen. Probably a good thing...
I did it :) !
Yup! There was another compliment today which I am going to report: A collective one. Together with 25 others I complimented one amazing person. Stay tuned :)