Tagged: dating coworkers
AlexParticipantJuly 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm #2140
I’m posting this question here for the benefit of other guys who may be in similar situations.
A beautiful girl came into my martial arts class last night. (I teach a sambo/ judo class every Tuesday night at a muay thai school.) I think the interaction was very positive, I kept the class light and made them laugh a couple of times. I was able to work with her one on one at a point, because I separated the students out into pairs to drill techniques. While teaching her one on one, I tried to keep her consistently smiling by using light humor, and I was able to perform a great deal of kino under the guise of teaching her how to escape from a wrist grab. At one point she even put my hand on her breast (I don’t know if it was intentional).
We ended the class and I chatted with her for a few minutes, and she said that she’ll definitely be back next week. I want to ask her out but there’s an obstacle: I can’t make it obvious to the other students and instructors there that I’m pursuing a new student. My friend suggested that I discuss my weekend plans in front of her, and then if she asks about them, I should invite her to come with us. Does this strike you as a good plan? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
-AlexChristopher LunaModeratorJuly 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm #2147
Alex, you’re navigating through potentially dangerous waters, but we’re here to help!
On the one hand, you’re physically attracted to this girl. And being that you’re a man and she’s a woman, you’re going to look at her like a potential mate and think about sex. This is biology in action, and one of the most natural emotions that you’ll feel during your lifetime.
If you’re already feeling these emotions, and (as you describe) you have any type of prolonged physical contact with her, this emotion will spike and take over your brain.
The good thing is that if:
A. You’re in good shape.
B. She’s a member of a group, in which you’re the leader.
C. You’re a good leader (you’re competent, displaying emotional intelligence, you have a clear plan, the members of the group are being positively receptive to your leadership, and so forth).
It’s about guaranteed that she’s feeling the same emotions. Especially if you’re anywhere close to her age (and quite possibly even if you’re not).
Now here is where things get complicated. First, you don’t know what she’s thinking. And only if you’re certain that she would be receptive to your advances would I recommend trying to get nasty on the dojo mat.
There are a series of reasons for this. First, as you describe, you don’t want other students or instructors to find out. At least not yet. If you start dating her, and you end up as a couple, the world will have to find out eventually.
In a moment I’ll explain the road I would take from here to there.
Some men would argue, screw everyone else and go for it. And that’s one strategy. The problem is that if she’s not receptive, in a best case scenario you’ll be a bit embarrassed about the public rejection and you’ll loose a small amount of face with both your students and the other instructors. Hopefully she never attends the class again, and someone else in the group is involved in a bigger catastrophe which takes over the water-fountain talk.
In the meantime, the group members will gossip about your rejection, and a few will tease you about it.
If you’re incredibly lucky, you’ll be rescued by a knight in a glimmering white martial arts uniform. This is likely a fantasy, so we’ll go all out here.
Hopefully this person will have the highest position of power within the group, for example the owner of the studio or the most accomplished martial artist, and they’ll intervene on the chatter by saying something like, “You guys are acting like kids. Alex, that was awesome that you went after what you wanted! I wish I had the balls to do it.” Then the other group members will back off, as they take the leader’s perspective in an effort to gain his validation.
More than likely, the person in the position of power won’t be very excited about your sexual advances on the sexy young woman who fit perfectly into her gi, and more concerned about the threat to the group that will come as a consequence of being hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit or the negative impact on business from chatter in the community about how is dojo isn’t a safe place for women.
So the worst-case scenario, is that you make a move on this girl and you get reprimanded, demoted, or fired by the boss.
To move things romantically and potentially sexually with this student of yours, you’re going to have to create a context to do so. The best way to do this is by changing the circumstances for the interaction.
Circumstances are comprised of two elements: Dynamics and Area.
Dynamics is the navigation of people. Essentially, who is, or isn’t in the group. You’re trying to create circumstance in which you’re either alone, or if there are other people around, they won’t inhibit the seduction.
The second element is Area, which is the navigation of location.
In the simplest terms you want to ask five questions:
1. Is this a relationship that I want to move things intimately?
2. Who are we with?
3. Where are we at?
4. Is this a circumstance, in which, I can move things in this direction?
5. If not, how do I create this circumstance?
I would start by trying to move her from the present location (the martial arts studio) to a more neutral location.
There are two ways that you can do this:
First, you can invite her to do something together. For example, you could ask her if she wants to grab coffee or a drink sometime. Still, this is probably a bad idea, because everyone in the group will know what’s really going on. The exception would be, if it’s within (or sort of within) the same context of what you’re already doing.
For example, if she’s lingering around after class, ask her, “Can you help me clean up?”
By asking for help, you’re testing for her response. Attempting to get a benchmark of where she’s at emotionally.
Watch her, and ask yourself, how did she respond?
If she snaps back with a bad excuse, and then runs out the door, that’s probably a bad sign. But, if she explains that she needs to pickup her kids from the baby sitter, who has to leave early tonight for another commitment, then don’t worry about it, and definitely don’t take it personally.
If she does help? Is she excited to help? How much effort does she put in? Learn to get out of your head and pay attention to people’s choices and reactions to your stimulus or requests, and use this information to make decisions about what to do next.
Let’s say she’s happy to help, after most of the group members have left, you can mention that you’re thirsty and that you’re going to grab a juice at the shop a few stores down. Then ask, “Do you want to join?” You might even say, “I’ll buy, as a thank you for helping me clean up.”
In this context, members of the group might smell what’s going on, but they’re not likely to say anything. Then, once you’re alone at the juice shop, you can guide the conversation outside the context of the class, and then begin to shift the relationship from that of a instructor and student towards friends.
This relationship will make it much easier to set up a date or meet-up that can be led into a romantic or sexual context. Especially if the plans involve something other than whatever the circumstance and context was for your original meeting. In this case, you wouldn’t want to meet her at a martial arts studio as the instructor, and then offer to give her a private martial arts lesson, with the intention of getting her alone to make a sexual advance. Ideally, you’re able to get her to agree to do something with you outside of martial arts, then in that situation, you would make the move.
The second strategy, is to invite everyone from the group (or at least a portion of the group) to another location, either in a public or private setting. Normally, we call these parties, events, mixers, celebrations, etc. Ideally, you’ll use the change in location to shift the context for your relationship. For example, “I’m having a BBQ at my house this weekend, you should all come!” This shifts the relationship of the attendees of the BBQ from members of a martial arts studio to friends who hang out together.
As you’re planning the event, try to choose a circumstance and context for the event, that, like the juice shop example, will set up a shift in the relationship from that of a instructor and student towards friends. In the event that it doesn’t, this still might be enough to move things intimately.
For example, let’s say that you invite everyone to pizza at a restaurant to celebrate the new purple belts, or the two year anniversary of the gym, as long as you’re in a different location, even if it’s still loosely within the same context as before, ‘we’re all members of a martial arts studio at an event for this studio,’ this subtle shift should give you enough wiggle room to do your thing.
If you know what you’re doing, it doesn’t take much to test for sexual interest, and to move the relationship intimately, which is one of the reasons many companies have stopped the H.R. nightmares we once called off location corporate Christmas parties ; )
Hopefully this helps!
If you’ve just read this article, can you share with us below some ideas for things that Alex could suggest to his student to create both a circumstance and context to move this relationship out of the dojo and towards the bedroom?PeterParticipantJuly 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm #2148
That was a very informative answer.
I’ve been in similar situations, not in your same exact position, but I can relate this to work. My company is very small, like a dozen people. We always get new interns in and they are always hot lol. I’ve never went for one of them because of the high stakes with it being my job, plus there’s new interns every few months. So I feel if I get rejected, then went for another one a few months later, I’d just be known as the guy that goes for the interns. I also do martial arts, though I’m always a student, not the teacher. We have small classes with the same faces every week, so I feel the same situation where I don’t want to get rejected in front of everyone. Though my stakes wouldn’t be as high as yours since you are a teacher. At one college I worked for, I was a staff member and they explicitly told us we were not allowed to engage in any activities with students.
As a teacher, I would go to the lead teacher and tell him you’re thinking of throwing a small picnic and see if a few teachers want to come and if it’d be alright if you invited a few students. If he’s cool with it, then at the end of class just casually say to the whole group you are having a picnic in the park and everyone’s welcome to come and each person bring something. Afterwards, go to her and see how she’s liking the new class. Then say are you coming to the picnic? Just go with the intent of having fun, because she might legitimately have plans that day. Although the more I think about it, it would be so hard to isolate or kino her without it being so obvious to everyone else. Maybe at least you can find a topic you both click on, and invite her out to a quick drink afterwards to discuss it more. Or instead of the picnic, see who’s all interested in grabbing a quick drink after class. Then everyone would probably leave at different times and hopefully she’ll stick around with you longer. Chris’ suggestions are great though. I strongly agree with getting the interaction out of the studio, but at the same time making sure it’s acceptable to the lead teacher.
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