Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Q36: How do I snag a smart guy?

Hey! I got this little bit of a problem. I like a smart guy. He's my senior by two years and I've been close to him for the past month. I've hinted at him that I kinda like him, and I've been asking him questions on my genetics lecture notes (he's a final year biology student doing a project on fish genetics, who always ace his exams, and I'm a second year biology student who still has no idea what to do for my own final year project, and I'm just an average student), even though I totally understand everything stated in the lecture notes. He didn't seem to get my hints and to tell you the truth, it's starting to drive me crazy.

I have no idea how to pursue him since he said he prefer Chinese girls over all other ethnic group. I've tried asking him out but, he declined me politely, telling me that he's too busy doing his project.

How do I pursue this smart guy? Is it similar with pursuing average guys?

Just another question, this is biology-related though (the subject, i.e.)

I'm supposed to be doing a final year project in two years' time, of which I've to make up my mind by next year so that I can plan on what to do. The trouble is, I just can't make up my mind whether I want to do field work or lab work.

I like doing field work since I like being in the rainforest, but I hate the heat and the fatigue of working in a rainforest, since I suffer from a controlled asthma which only attacks me when I'm feeling very tired and if I stay up until the odd hours in the morning. Meanwhile, though I am comfortable working in the lab, I don't really like it as much as I like field work, but somehow, due to my condition, almost all my lecturers discourage me from doing field work.

Please do give me some advice...

-Bio Babe

Here's what I'd say, without much editing done:

Although it's not true that all men are the same, well... they kind of are. Unfortunately, I have to say it means he is just as oblivious to any and all hints as any other guy. Sigh.

He's just got the added bit about being very driven academically. It's like asking if it's different to go after a sporty guy than an average guy, or a stylish guy. I think in some ways you're avoiding bigger problems by wondering if the issue is that he's "smart".

Now, I think you're on the right track trying to engage him intellectually since that seems to be his thing. But I think you're already selling yourself short by placing him in a higher place intellectually than you are. He may be bright, but he probably doesn't need you to tell him that, and if you're really interested in him, you're probably better off talking about some subject in which you are "equals". By always treating him as someone "superior" to yourself, it's not anything like the beginning of a relationship -- it's like he's your TA.

Heck, that conversation about your fieldwork... might you be able to ask him about that? Or your final year project? Something where his input really *would* be valuable.

I think things will become a lot easier for you once you stop thinking about him as someone who is so much smarter than you, and really think of him as just another human being. He has faults, flaws, and embarrassing stories just like the rest of us. Changing the way you think about him may really help you interact with him better.

That said, we come back to what I said before about hints. Guys don't do hints. Definitely not subtle ones, but even clear and obvious ones can pass them by. What confuses me, though, is that you said you've already asked him out and he's said no. I think that is far more important than him being "smart" or "oblivious", because here I come back to where I said you may be avoiding the bigger problems with these labels: you are probably more worried about the fact that he seems "uninterested".

Put aside, for now, the fact that he is a "smart guy", the fact that he prefers Chinese girls... these things are only going to make you more insecure and less likely to catch his attention. The first thing you need to do is ask your gut if he's really too busy to go out with you (in which case he may not be the most exciting catch anyway), or if he's trying to politely let you down. Either way, you're going to have to change his mind, whether it be about making time for you or considering you at all. And that's going to take confidence. So put aside anything that might make you feel defeated and put on your game face! The right woman can change a man's mind about race, religion, class, or any preconceived notions he may have about who would be right for him. And when she can't, all that means is that the guy probably isn't worth her effort anyway.

So this is my long, convoluted way of giving a little tough love and giving you the bottom line: no more excuses (he's too smart, he prefers other girls), no more games (asking him safe questions about genetics), just be yourself and treat him like you would any guy that you genuinely like. Show interest in things he likes (academic pursuits) and also make sure you get him thinking about your interests (field work in the rainforest must be cool!). And if he says no, it's probably not because you failed to find the appropriate snag-a-smart-dude technique. He might just not feel the same way.

Now, as for your field work... I say, stick to your passions. Do your best to find a way to do what you love, and you will be happier than settling for something comfortable but cold. Like Hannibal, you'll find a way, or you will make one.

Hope that helps!

[Note: If this didn't answer your question, or if there are more details you'd like advice on, feel free to email/post again! :)]


At 11:03 PM, Blogger sixty-seven said...

Two Things, Bio Babe:

1) Asking a guy lots of questions on genetics lecture notes will give him the impression you are both needy and unintelligent. A few questions as an ice breaker is one thing, but don't go overboard.

2) If you've asked him out and he declined, he is not interested. Period. No normal heterosexual male would turn down a date if he was interested, project or no.

I am a smart guy. Hey I have an MIT degree; quiet peachy ;)

At 4:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well i dont really understand how this thing works... subtle hints dont work, obvious hints dont work and out right coming out and telling him doesnt work either... so wot do we do??

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Adi said...

Thank you for sharing.
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