I met a really very cute and pretty 20 year old college student waiting in line for the bus today. We started talking and grabbed seats together – actually, we almost missed the bus, too engrossed in talking to each other as we were, until we suddenly realized everyone else had walked past us and boarded already!
Our conversation flowed smoothly, but I could tell she had just the slightest hint of reservation, though I did not know why. I was being quite calm and nice with her, and was relatively certain I wasn’t coming across too strongly, and I did my best to stay away from any overly high-value topics, aside from speaking a little French with her and discussing my impression of France while traveling there a few years back when she mentioned learning French and wanting to visit Paris. Even that might have been a little too much, but overall I estimated the benefit of having these additional things to bond on outweighed the danger of showing too much value.
It wasn’t until near the end of the bus ride, fifteen or twenty minutes after we had already exchanged contact information and tentatively discussed meeting this weekend, that she finally came out with what it was that was keeping her reserved. I was able to get to it by asking her some deeper emotional questions – she discussed not loving what she studied in college, so I asked her what she loved. She then told me that her boyfriend had been disappearing together with his ex-girlfriend and not taking her phone calls.