The Mystery Shopper

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Hi Dr. G,

I work at a grocery store as a cashier there is this guy who comes shopping every month. I’ve been seeing this guy for a year. I just started liking him when I first met him like in romantic movies as if there was a love surging in me. I wasn’t like this before. and I’ve gotta say that there is NO relationship between us but every time he comes to the store I start shaking even it gets worse when he comes to my line I don’t know why though? and I’m not sure if he has some feeling for me like I do for him I just know that he treats me differently than the other customers do (I mean boys) Every one who works at that store even my BOSS knows that I kinda like this guy and they’re trying to push me to make the first move they say what if he’s shy like u r but again I don’t know if he likes me. Actually I’m afraid that he turns me down. could u plz walk me through this dilemma. I know this is so simple for every or they might think this is weird loving someone without knowing if he likes u or without even talking to him. [more info: I don’t know any thing about him ,his relationship status but he always shops alone, his name and etc] I look forward to get my answer and appreciate your time and help in advance.

- Submitted by "in love but don’t know how to initiate", 21, U.S.A.

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Dear Friend,

Thank you for sharing your story. It’s definitely a new and fresh one and probably something that happens daily to people all over the world. One of the major predictors of who we end up dating is actually geography. This should be intuitive actually, right? We will end up dating people who we encounter frequently in our daily lives…at the local bar and restaurants, grocery store, gas station, library, local performing arts events, and so forth. Furthermore, there are often only one or two degrees of separation between people in our circle of friends and a random stranger’s (in the community) circle of friends. You may meet “new” people at a friend’s party, who are not actually all that new in your community. Having said this, I don’t think it’s strange at all to find yourself curious about or attracted to a mystery man who comes in frequently to shop and checks out at your register. It’s a sweet story. Now, I can’t tell you why he comes in and gives you “special” attention…perhaps it’s out of habit and comfort. Perhaps he is also curious about you. So…what to do…what to do?

Well, you have a couple of choices. You can suffer in silence, which will get you nowhere quickly…although you may continue to enjoy the intrigue of your mystery shopper. But, the alternative is that you can have some fun with your situation. He is still JUST A MAN, after all! He’s not superhuman. Why not talk to him? Say hello, ask him how he has been, let him know somehow that you notice him when he comes in or say something about how nice it is to see a familiar face. Make a joke about his groceries. Ask him when he’s going to invite you over for dinner or make a nice joke with him (depending on whether it looks like he actually cooks or not). If he only buys food you nuke, then tell him he should come over for a home-cooked meal. Make a joke, smile, share some eye contact with him…it will be appreciated and flattering regardless of how he feels about you. And if you want to REALLY put yourself out there, when you’ve rung up your groceries, quickly write your phone number on the back of his receipt. Okay, I know it’s a bit forward. But why not take charge of your own destiny? It’s the 21st century, and I think more and more women are taking things into their own hands. It shows confidence at the very least. And remember, there is always risk involved in dating. No pain, no gain. Don’t worry so much about rejection. It happens and you shouldn’t take it personally. It’s not personal, especially when 2 people don’t even know each other – really. It just means that there are probably important details that you don’t know about each other that might impede the possibility of a match or relationship at this time. It’s NOT personal. I think even if you are not quite ready to initiate anything, do something to give him the green light. This way, if he feels as you do but has also been hesitant to say anything, this might give him the boost he needs.

Life is short and should be lived to the fullest. Don’t live with all sorts of restraints on…free yourself and take a dive off the cliff once in awhile. It might end up being the most glorious thing you’ve ever done. We spend too much time living inside our own heads and we allow our fears, anxieties, and insecurities to hold us captive from the free lives we might otherwise live. You are still so young…start now. Don’t wait until you are 40 and wake up with all sorts of regrets because you were just too scared to ever try something because you were worried about getting hurt, worried of what someone would think, worried of rocking the boat. If you do get hurt, you’ll live, I promise. “They” don’t really care anyway. And there is no boat. Don’t look, just jump. And good luck to you in life and love. Now go find out who the heck this mystery shopper really is…it might be disappointing, but at least you’ll be able to get on with your life!

Sincerely,

- Dr. G.

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