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With the on going, and much needed conversation about how not to approach, pursue, or otherwise interact with other people - be it for a hopeful romantic relationship or not - Katelyn and I decided to share our story again, but this time from my perspective.
I don't explicitly recall when I first saw her but I'd wager it was a Follow Friday thread. After a short time of seeing Katelyn pop up either from her own posts or linked in others I became interested in knowing more about the BADASS org and their mission. So here's tip number one for the guys out there. And yes, I'm singling out the cis-males because it's what I am and the only category I feel comfortable commenting on. Guys, it's OK to see someone, find them attractive, and DO NOTHING about it.
From the first tweet I saw of Katelyn's I found her to be beautiful woman, but that didn't mean I was entitled to make an advance. However, after I looked into the work she does I quickly moved from a visual attraction, to an intellectual one and wanted to know more. So I listened to her. I was already following her, I replied to a few of her tweets, but more important, I listened to the message she put out. One thing I heard was her description on difficulty meeting "good" guys in her area. Second was finding people to play Boarderlands 2 with. So I though, "I'm a good guy, and I played the first one, maybe this is my opportunity to open a conversation?" So I bought the game, worked on getting to a decent level for multiplayer, and replied on a tweet of hers that I was available to play. She didn't respond.
TIP #2: You aren't entitled to a response.
Some time passed. I continued to follow and listen. The more I learned, the more interested I became. Then she announced that a podcast was having her on to talk OSINT techniques. Somewhere in this time frame I was reading up on BADASS and found a story where Katelyn had help local police make an arrest. This was impressive alone, but there was no information about the over all outcome. So I tweeted out the story, and asked, "What was the outcome?" She replied! I was a little giddy, I admit. In my excitement I replied to her on the open tweet and hit send... then immediately felt like I had over shared a bit about a personal topic of mine so I deleted the reply and re-posted another more benign version.
But I was terrified she'd seen the original so I stepped into the danger zone and sent an unsolicited DM to explain. To increase my embarrassment she never saw the original. I apologized and the conversation died.
TIP#3: You aren't entitled to a conversation
And TIP#4: Be OK if the conversation dies, see TIP#2&3
As I took a time-out and licked my wounds, the podcast aired. I was impressed with her story of how she rapidly self-learned tools such as Google-dorking basically on the fly. I decided to try an actual conversation. I sent a brief DM saying I'd enjoyed the podcast, especially the bit on Google search techniques. I asked if she knew about the database of searches available on EDB. She replied that she was aware and thanked me for the suggestion. So that was that for the topic.
TIP#5: Don't continue to try to educate on a topic if the other person claims to already know about it. This is the basis of mansplaining. It's not your right to evaluate if they "really" know about it or not.
This thread is getting really long and I think I've hit the important aspects of opening a conversation but here are some other notes from the story of KB+TC:
▷ I didn't compliment her looks until around day 2 of the conversation. Don't rush to gushing over them.
▷ There were some time gaps in replies. Sure I got nervous a few times that maybe she'd lost interest: but see TIPS#2,3,4
▷ I let her know early on that she controlled the conversation. If she said it was over, then it was over.
▷ I was hopeful for some kind of romantic relationship from day one. But it was about a month before those feelings were returned. And even then I never felt that the TIPS above didn't apply to me.
The bottom line I want to relay is this. If you want to pursue someone; be patient, listen to the message they project (do they even seem to be available?), don't be a dick, be ready for and accepting of rejection.
And if you need to talk, my DMs are open.