You Asked! Meeting Someone New

You Asked! is the column where the Center for Healthy Relationships (CHR) answers.

Q: So, there’s this girl … How can I talk with her to get to know her better?

Fall is in the air. The semester has settled in to the point where students are focusing on things outside of classes and COVID-19. And you’ve enrolled yourself at a small Christian university, where you can prepare to use your Head, Heart and Hands in your future vocation. Meanwhile, you worry about losing your Head, breaking your Heart and burning your Hand in the search for that special someone.

While we appreciate the motivation behind this question, our answer is going to be more broadly applicable.

First, start slow. Whether it’s that girl in Evangelical Theology or your new coworker at Turner Construction, you don’t have to be engaged or bowling league buddies by tomorrow. You may be really interested in making that relationship happen, but you could scare other people off if you try to rush it. A part of making a new friend is letting them get to know you while you learn more about them. We all have a list of basic things we tell people about ourselves. In real life or on social media, we curate our public stories, because we want others to know us better without exposing our heart for just anyone. The same applies in any relationship—start small and slow.

Second, have a plan. Not a three-months-to-engagement or promotion plan, but a plan of how to foster the relationship through regularly connecting. If you both walk to the Caf after class, use the time to talk naturally. If you don’t have any time that you spend together outside of work, then you’ll need to be intentional. That could be asking your coworker to join you at lunch. If Tuesday lunch goes well, then your plan can be to see if he could do lunch again next Tuesday. If lunch doesn’t work, the next part of the plan could be a coffee break after the weekly meeting.

Third, be prepared and make the best of what you get. If those talks walking to the Caf after class lead to lunches and really connecting, run with it (and send us a save the date). But there is also that chance that it won’t fit or work out. When that happens, make the best of the situation you find.

Sometimes, you’ll connect with someone and immediately bond. Other times, you’ll become friendly acquaintances that work well together on group projects. You might find that your relationship is just professional and doesn’t turn into friendship away from the workplace. All of those are okay, too. To use a poker metaphor: don’t try to bluff your way to something better; just play the hand you have well.


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