#3 “if I were a guy”: what personal space?
I don’t know for you guys, but one of my biggest inhibitors is no physical contact. When I can’t even playfully nudge someone, or they can’t touch me without them getting awkward about it, it shows me that it may not work out. When I can playfully nudge someone it makes me feel more at ease and comfortable with the guy I’m talking to. If you never gradually break the touch barrier, you may forever remain in a personal space distance from each other.
Things guys have done right:
Initiated hugs after the first interaction (instantly setting up hugging goodbye as a norm between the two of us).
Held my hand.
Put their arm around me.
Things I would do if I was a guy with no clue how to subtly break that touch barrier:
• Sometimes a formal handshake as you first meet each other and introduce yourselves could be the first step. I would initiate the hand shake as the guy, but grasp their hand in a firm but gentle way you could imagine in some kind of old fashion princess movie. (Like the princess diaries). Maybe even a kiss on the hand if your that quirky and bold.
• Throughout the conversation if they say something, maybe play pretend that your offended or that that was mean of them to say (possibly just shocking) and use this as an excuse to tap/ gently slap their arm or playfully nudge them.
• If they have any soft clothes on, feel the material and comment on it.
• If they have a beautiful or cool piece of jewelry touch it and comment on it. (If they are wearing earrings, don’t touch studs though, focus on only touching dangly earrings. Unless the studs have a unique texture to them).
• If their hair looks really soft that day, say exactly that, and run one hand through a bit of it.
• hug goodbye after the first time of meetings, maybe a few times after if you’re too nervous.
• if there is a large crowd, use this as an excuse to help guide her through the crowd while also sticking together, by putting your hand on her lower back.