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A T pass?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  September 6, 2010 09:00 AM

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I couldn't decide what to post for Labor Day. A letter? More Love Letters Spam? Updates?

Instead, here's something that’s more of an etiquette problem than a love problem, a letter we wouldn't post on a regular day but is good fodder for debate on a holiday Monday.

We'll get back to real problems tomorrow. In the meantime, discuss love on the T. And … am I the only person who finds Charlie from the Charlie Card moderately attractive? He's got a little Don Draper in him, I think.

Q: I'm a frequent reader and am curious to hear your advice on a conundrum I've been having. I consider myself to be a funny, kind, non-threatening, likable guy in my late 20s, but I'm initially very shy and have some self-confidence/self-image issues. This leads me to have difficulties meeting women, in general.

My question is -- what's the etiquette regarding talking to women on the T? Maybe it's because I'm shy, but I'm always skeptical when a random person tries to strike up a conversation on the T, but is it like that for everyone? Are women generally guarded against a guy approaching them on the train, or is it possible to make friends during the evening commute -- without getting maced?

– Curious Commuter, Saugus

A: You're allowed to approach a stranger, CC. But if you are rebuffed, please retreat.

You can say, "Nice backpack," and smile. You can say, "I feel like I see you every day. You must work near me." You can simply grin and nod. But if the object of your affection rolls his/her eyes or doesn't respond, that’s your answer. Move away. Stare out the window. Forget it ever happened.

I'd like to think that we're all allowed one chance to make a respectful pass. As long as your body language suggests that you're a shy-yet-hopeful guy who's not looking to steal a purse, you shouldn't get maced.

Just be prepared to move to the other end of the car if you get a dirty look. And don't take it personally if you do. Some people want their commute to be a quiet time. But I'm sure many folks out there would love it if a nice, cute, shy guy said hello during a long ride.

Readers? Are you open to being approached on the T? Is that weird? Is it any weirder than being approached in a bar? What's the trick? Is this harder on the Green Line? Discuss.


– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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