By Jack Elliot
It’s your safe little bubble against the outside world. It’s your haven from strangers around you. It’s your zone. It’s your sanctuary. It’s personal space.
But all too often, I’ll witness as these fragile personal space bubbles, and most often those belonging to women, are popped and trampled on by eager, overbearing men as they attempt, with usually futile and inane efforts, to secure a date with any number of women at the bar- all of whom seem to be blatantly turned off and perhaps even repelled by these tasteless affronts, these lewd encroachments, on their personal space.
Men whose methods involve throwing their arm around a woman, speaking close enough to a woman’s face so the poor woman can smell their halitosis, placing their creepy hands on women’s knees, and other disreputable and hopeless techniques. In addition, it also seems that the more intoxicated the male, the more distasteful his frequent attempts at popping personal space bubbles become- almost to the point of filling the entire floor of the bar with suds.
From my observations, this method of securing a date seems almost completely fruitless and more than anything, embarrassing. After talking to a couple of women about the matter, they made it quite clear what a turn off these breaches of public space can be. To invade someone’s personal space right off the bat or shortly upon meeting is definitely a sort of invasion. Rather, what seems to work best is when a guy will introduce himself and candidly chat with a woman (of course, sometimes this initial conversation will stale and putter as the two strangers realize they have very little conversation and/or poor chemistry).
Then, if the conversation begins to flow and there seems to be a strong attraction and chemistry (coming from both sides), along with good-humored jokes and perhaps some flirty comments, then he may choose to enter into the woman’s personal space, with a lighthearted hug or something along those lines- as opposed to the invading done by the previous examples. Then, if all seems to go well, he will ask her for her number and set up a date.
In this example, it’s easy to see that the personal space is something that is both realized and respected. For both sides, the respecting of personal space seems to be something natural and healthy- a sort of initial respect for the other person that says, “Hey, I really like you and think you’re a great person, I want to take this slow and not screw things up.”
I mean I can’t think of a single healthy relationship that has arisen between two people who were all over each other from the very beginning. So, gentlemen, next time your out on the town, remember that you’re exactly that: a gentle man, which is synonymous with someone who doesn’t go around popping personal space bubbles.