Saw someone I'm interested in professionally & romantically - how do I approach them?

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Anonymous #1
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Tldr attended a charity event, was smitten by 1 of the few women there however didn't speak to her due to her being very introverted / was a muslim charity event and felt it would be inappropriate to hit on someone in what was a charity /networking event.

Long version:
Attended a charity event < 2 weeks ago looking at ways to address social causes. These events are also used for networking / can be used for training /developing skills. These events are generally sausage fests but there were a few women there.
There was 1 woman who caught my eye however but I honestly didn't say anything to her as I wasn't sure she was a muslim (turns out she is) and she seemed very shy.
In anycase, my main alterior motive for attending this event was to network with people who can help me professionally... And it just so happens, she is a very clever person who could do that.

Now the main hurdles - I have no idea if she is single or not (fairly certain I did see her profile on a dating app a month ago) or if she is interested. Similarly, as we are both part of a network which is beneficial from a career perspective, I do not wish to jeapordise this and get blacklisted from events / potential jobs. Also there is the professional interest I have in her as I wish to seek her advice /help with something but am not sure how to discuss it with her.

Any suggestions?
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Anonymous #1
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Should clarify I'm 30 and she is late 20s
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Anonymous #1
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Anonymous #2
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If you didnt have the professionalism aspect to worry about, I would honestly say just message her if you have her details.

Because of the professionalism aspect however...it can be a headache as you quite rightly have said that you are worried about the network you are being a part of blacklisting you from events / potential jobs. I know londonmyst usually gives good advice - no idea who else does on here (london myst gave some advice in the past regarding a potential workplace romance which I ultimately backed out of (and as subsequently found out, was the right call).
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Gavin2016
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Tldr attended a charity event, was smitten by 1 of the few women there however didn't speak to her due to her being very introverted / was a muslim charity event and felt it would be inappropriate to hit on someone in what was a charity /networking event.

Long version:
Attended a charity event < 2 weeks ago looking at ways to address social causes. These events are also used for networking / can be used for training /developing skills. These events are generally sausage fests but there were a few women there.
There was 1 woman who caught my eye however but I honestly didn't say anything to her as I wasn't sure she was a muslim (turns out she is) and she seemed very shy.
In anycase, my main alterior motive for attending this event was to network with people who can help me professionally... And it just so happens, she is a very clever person who could do that.

Now the main hurdles - I have no idea if she is single or not (fairly certain I did see her profile on a dating app a month ago) or if she is interested. Similarly, as we are both part of a network which is beneficial from a career perspective, I do not wish to jeapordise this and get blacklisted from events / potential jobs. Also there is the professional interest I have in her as I wish to seek her advice /help with something but am not sure how to discuss it with her.

Any suggestions?
This ^. I would say start with the professional aspect as that is why you were there. It gives you an easy opportunity to talk to her and get to know her. Her knowing who you are in my opinion is the first step. If you randomly come out of the blue as a perfect stranger and ask her it's likely going to look weird. Better that you build up a bit of rapport with her first and the professional aspect gives you potential opener. In addition it gives you the opportunity to sound her out to see if your personalities would get on as without talking to her you won't necessarily know if you are suited there or if you like her personality once you get to know her.

From there you can establish whether she might be interested in you beyond any smiling & eye contact out of politeness. If she gives real quick flirty eye movements in quick succession then she likely likes you. If it's just a warm eye look then perhaps not so at least not in a romantic way. Anyhow, then work from there, find professional reason to contact her that doesn't sound perculiar but reasonable enough. Possibly a lunch time meet up but only if it seems reasonable and probably not straight away. After that if the occasional more casual stuff pops up in conversation along the way that it's too off sounding then you might be able to work in a date from there. For example discussing new film stuff, Netflix stuff or whatever.

In the past I have had a Muslim girl show interest as in the head scarf wearing variety. I did not pursue as it's not my scene but was surprised that she seemed up for spending time with me as I thought it was strictly a closed culture.

Anyway, my only guess as to raising a professional opener with her is to Google stuff on Google on that topic. A lot of people apparently feel difficulty at networking events on that stuff. I haven't been to a lot of networking stuff but the few loose networking stuff I have been to I can see why as it's kind of introducing yourself to a perfect stranger then asking for something for yourself which is kind of not the usual done way about things. There's probably a better way about it than just launching into a professional ask for something which may possibly come up on Google or of you think about it. Only thing I can thing of, of hand is introduce yourself, your interest/field and leave any big ask for help to a later date. At least then she's a slightly familiar with you so may go over better. That's my thoughts anyway.
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