Are you an introverted/sensitive male?

First of all, me too🙋🏽‍♂️

Second of all, I would love to talk to you.

I haven’t posted on here in a while, however I have busy in my new job and also working on a new side-project.

And this is where you come in. Are you a:

  • Introvert and/or sensitive guy?
  • In your 20s or 30s?
  • Interested in self-improvement?

If you tick those 3 boxes, I would *love* to talk to you. It will only take 10-15mins on a call, and your feedback would be really useful. I want to build a business to serve you, and as such I’m looking to get feedback that will help me test my idea and come up with the best possible solution.

In return, I’ll offer a sneak-peek into what I am building and you’ll also have the opportunity to be an early-user…

👉🏽 If you’re interested, please reply to this post or drop me an email at with “customer conversation” in the title.

I look forward to connecting with you! 🙂

Happy Friday & have a great weekend,



Introducing: Cute Gym Girl

About 12 months ago (woah, I hadn’t realised it’d been that long) I started going to a new gym. I’d been going to another branch of the same gym, but one had just opened up (actually, taken over), nearer to me. The gym area was bigger, with more space (and studios for solo-stretching etc. when classes aren’t happening), and the swimming pool and spa are bigger too. Plus, there’s a jacuzzi. A jacuzzi.

Also, especially when I joined, no one knew me. I’d been going to my last one for years, and as I knew a lot of people there the “hi’s” and chatting (#peoplepleaser) often distracted me and kept me from focusing on my workout. At new gym, I’ve been a lot more focused – and grumpy. (Seriously, I haven’t yet found the balance with eye-contact/wave/”hey” and then feeling OK doing nothing after that. I’m pretty sure a lot of folks now see me as the grumpy guy who just keeps to himself and doesn’t interact with anyone).

Anyhow, these days more and more girls are going to the gym. Which equates to more and more cute girls going to the gym. And – my word – part of me thinks that leggings were invented to distract males. I mean, seriously.

There’s this one particular cute girl in the gym who often worked out in the weights section, tending to keep her headphones on and do her own thing. I think I’d seen her briefly chat to someone just once. She was brunette, slim with a great figure, with a pretty face.

I saw Cute Gym Girl a few times, and we’d both just do our own thing. I initially felt she was wayyy out of my league. But this one time, I couldn’t help feeling that stuff was going on. There was some proximity, some un-tying and re-tying her hair, and some fidgeting with her mobile. I mean, she was playing her songs on her headphones via her phone, but one time she went to the water fountain and left the phone right there on the floor.

I may be reading a bit too much into things here, but I’m pretty sure I’d recently googled “signs she’s into you” (true story) and I was picking up on some subtle signs here. Besides, we’d exchanged some glances in the past, I’m sure of it.

In typical fashion, I almost bottled it. Multiple questions ran through my mind, and that inner voice was saying “Dude, what if all of this stuff isn’t signals at all, and you’re barking way up the wrong tree here”. F*ck. This was typical.

I nearly bottled it. I went through my whole workout and then right at the end, plucked up the courage to kinda wave as I walked near her to get her intention (I knew I’d have to make it pretty obvious to get her attention, especially seeing as she had her headphones in). I did my best situational-flirt-line I could (pre-planned, duh), noticing her phone had no case, and I was like “You should really get a case for that, especially for the gym, you could drop something on it” or something along those lines. I’m reasonably confident it sounded a little better in the moment. She received it pretty well, and was like “Oh, yeah, thanks – I hope you haven’t jinxed me though” (I think I’d mentioned she’d done well to keep it in such good condition with no case). She seemed shy-ish, a vibe I had kinda got anyway.

From what I could tell, she didn’t mind the approach. Hell, she might’ve even liked it. I think I asked her name, told her mine, and said I’d see her around.

So with that done and dusted, then comes…. THE AWKWARD SECOND CONVERSATION.

Why the f*ck do I have to over-think everything? Now that I’d spoken to her, I thought that any subsequent interactions would make it obvious I liked her? Wouldn’t they?

You’d think after I’d spoken to her the first time it’d be easy to at least say “hi” or gesture/wave or whatever, but oh no. Not this guy. I think one time I saw her coming off one of the running machines near where I was, on her way to walk past me, I walked IN THE OTHER DIRECTION to the water machine. Idiot.

I think I might’ve seen her another once or twice from a distance (i.e. working out in different areas). One time, I thought I’d head over to the weights area where she was to try and do some stuff and say “hi” / get into a conversation, and I saw/heard her talking to another guy. This was the 2nd time I’d ever seen her interact with someone (aside from me), and the most animated I’d seen her. To this day, I still feel she was trying to get my intention. But then there’s always. that. nagging doubt. F*ck sake. I did my pull-ups, and went down to the spa.

After that, there was a period of weeks where she seemed to disappear. I went away in the Summer for a bit, and then came back and she didn’t seem to be anywhere in sight. Where had she gone? Had she left the gym? Had she just gone away for a while?

My chance looked like it was gone, forever.

And then…

Around a month ago, Cute Gym Girl finally reappeared. It was like the second time I’d ever done an early morning workout, getting to the gym just after 6.30am. Around 7, she made an appearance. She was doing cardio and then working out on one of the mats. She looked like she’d put on a little bit of holiday weight, but she still looked great.

The thing is, by now it had been so long. And now the prospect of striking up conversation felt even more difficult. FML. After trying to concentrate on my workout whilst wondering if she’d come this way, or whether I should head that way… she disappeared and had gone.

The next time I saw her, a couple of weeks ago, she was in the weights area, like me. I didn’t have time to fully register/worry/plan what to do. However, for whatever reason, I was particularly grumpy that day. I think I’d spent the day indoors and on my own. And perhaps yesterday too. I get more awkward/closed-off if I’ve gone through a period of no social interaction. Sh*t. Coupled with it being so long since I’d seen her, I was well and truly f*cked.

At one point fairly early on, she walked close and right past me (probably on purpose) and what do I do? I looked semi-down and semi-straight-ahead, avoiding her gaze at all costs.


After that, I’m pretty sure we were both checking each other out a number of times during our workouts.

When I saw her in the weights area again just a matter of days later, at one point I tried to catch her gaze as she walked not-too-far-away… guess what? She looked ahead and carried on walking. No sh*t, Sherlock. Maybe it’s because you totally f*cking blanked her the last time, fool.

I haven’t seen her since.

One of these days, I pray that I talk to Cute Gym Girl again. And that it’s not awkward. I get a good energy off her, and it’d be cool to at least get to know her a bit more. I hope I don’t over-think things and dwell too much on the pressure of striking up a conversation with a good-looking girl at the gym. With others watching. Eek.

A friend of mine who works at the gym says “I’ve been saying this for ages, the gym is the new nightclub, man. It’s the place to meet people”.

As someone who’s a Personal Trainer there, you have an excuse to randomly talk to people! I wish it felt as easy for us mere, gym-going mortals.

✏️ Written: Monday, 19th February 2018 @ 11.27pm

the abg | articles | awkward newsletter 💌

What about you? 👀
Are there any gym hotties at your place? How do you go about flirting, or showing interest, without making it #awkward? I’m all ears (well, eyes).

The time I flirted with a married woman (and it back-fired)

Last Summer, during my year out (aka the #gapyear I never had), I was in Europe for 3 weeks. After a couple of weeks in Paris, I went on to stay with a friend in Luxembourg. Luxembourg is a place I probably never would have visited if I didn’t have a friend there but it turns out it’s cool. A nice city (Luxembourg City) with close access to forests (yay, nature), and a friendly expat community.

I stayed with my friend ‘Lady A’ and her lovely family. It was actually my second time visiting them, welcoming me into their home. They are one of the nicest families I’ve come across.

Having spent a couple of weeks watching tennis in Paris, I was desperate to play some tennis. I turned up to one of Luxembourg City’s 3 tennis clubs (it was one that Lady A’s friend went to), without racket or balls, to see if I could have a hit with someone. Unfortunately anyone turning up was their for a lesson, and the coaches were all tied up with their clients/groups of kids. No luck.

At Lady A’s suggestion, I texted a couple of her friends who play tennis. Again, no luck. One of them had a lesson and the other, Lady B, told me she was having lessons and was terrible, but we could go for coffee instead?

Hmm, interesting, I thought. Why did she suggest coffee? Is she just being friendly, and trying to soften the sorry-I-can’t-play-tennis blow?

I’d bumped into ‘Lady B’ a couple of times on both trips, including at a birthday meal for her (her 40th, I think) this time around. We were sat at opposite ends of the table, so no real chat took place apart from my wishing her a happy birthday and her politely thanking me.

It felt like she seemed a little nervous, shy even, around me. Maybe that was just her personality. Maybe she didn’t really have any male friends (outside of this group of female friends in the expat community). Maybe it was something else.

I left Luxembourg and decided to be cheeky and test the waters. I knew she was married (with kids), I knew she lived in another country. Maybe I knew I didn’t have anything to lose.

I sent her a Whatsapp along the lines of “Hey, it was nice to see you. Hopefully we can play some tennis next time in Luxembourg!”

It gradually got a little friendlier, with me cheekily saying maybe not to mention to Lady A that we were whatsapping, as she might get the wrong idea. She sent me a cheekyish response back, emoji included, saying our secret was safe.

She was going back to her native country, with her kids and without hisband. Lady A had actually told me that she had gotten married young, and didn’t seem to have the best relationship with her husband.

As well as being attracted to her, I also felt a little sorry for her. She told me her outbound flight was delayed, and that she’d probably be up worrying and not able to relax until she’d safely landed and reached her Mum’s house at the destination.

I followed up to ask how she was getting on. Anyhow, it carried on a little longer, before she seemingly freaked out. Perhaps it was the frequency of our messages, perhaps she felt that this didn’t seem right and it might develop into something inappropriate. Looking back, perhaps it had already gotten so.

Either way, eventually the messages stopped. I noticed her suddenly becoming more curt in her responses, before failing to respond completely. After a follow-up asking if she was OK, and still no reply, I got the message. I sent her one final message, telling her that I hoped she was OK, and apologising if she had felt offended or uncomfortable by our conversation. I also told her that, if we crossed paths again (e.g. if we ever bumped into each other via Lady A in Luxembourg), there’d be no hard feeling on my side.

I haven’t seen her again. And I might never. Part of me would be intrigued to, another part suspects that this would be uncomfortable for us both.

Either way, that wasn’t the only time I’d found myself flirting (innocent, not-so-innocent?) with a taken or married woman. Ashamed as I am to say it, I’ve somehow found myself to unavailable women (not exclusively, I hasten to add) – and they’ve also reciprocated. The mother of a student I was tutored comes to mind. Nothing happened, but it felt there was something there.

In my experience so far, if I’ve tested the waters, there comes a point where it gets awkward for one or both of us, and nothing ever happens. I’m not sure if I’d ever have the guts to do anything physical (especially not sober), as I think my morals would kick in.

Maybe they’re also testing the waters, seeing if they’ve “still got it”. Maybe they’re not having their needs met in the relationships they’re in. Equally, maybe I’m trying to see if there’s any interest for me, with the safety of doing some from women who are, for all intents and purposes, unavailable.

There was another married woman, Lady Y, who I also connected with and we had some deep, and flirty, conversations also around this same time actually. We were even going to meet for a coffee, but after some to-ing and fro-ing from us both, I didn’t get a response from her the last couple of times – and I’ve not tried to (the last message was a Happy New Year one, I believe).

Note 1: to re-iterate, though I’ve tested the waters, I’m not sure I would go so far as physically cheat. Chances are my morals would kick in and I’d bottle it.

Note 2: That said, I have kissed a girl with a boyfriend. Quite passionately, after some drinks, and in a different country. I’ll share that story another time.

✏️ Written: Friday, 16th February 2018 (time not recorded)

the abg | articles | awkward newsletter 💌

What about you? 👀
Have you ever flirted close to the line (pun intended), or crossed it completely? I’d love to get the gossip…