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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Look out ladies – the shy guy has got his mojo back

Henry McKean

Published 20/07/2014 | 02:30

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Henry McKean believes success is all about confidence. Photo: Thinkstock Images

People assume because you're a bachelor you have lots of free time, but you have no idea how busy life can be living on your own and being single. My bachelor diary is action-packed.

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Being a single bloke in your 30s sounds like fun. You have your teens and twenties to make mistakes and find out what you like and what you don't like. But soon the party stops and then what? Nothing but an empty room and a wall.

In Carrick-on-Shannon recently I was chatting up a girl at the bar and it was going well. Then, out of nowhere, a handsome young guy stood right in front of me and said to the pretty girl: "You are gorgeous, can I buy you a drink?" I was fuming, standing there and trying to look cool with the situation.

Then I lost it with the upstart and said: "In my day I would never make a move on a girl when she's being chatted up by another man." He gave me a surprised look and walked off.

After having my heart broken twice in two years, it's been really hard to get my confidence back. You see average-looking guys and think: how did he end up with that drop-dead-gorgeous girl?

It's simple. It's all about confidence. He believes in himself, while girls can smell the desperation off me.

I tried the dating app Tinder, where it takes five of your Facebook photos and you choose your age bracket. I went 18-50 over a 100km radius but kept coming across women that reminded me of my mum's friends.

It's cruel. You click heart if you like them or x if you don't. In my opinion, Tinder in England leads to a passionate rendezvous but here in Ireland it's just mindless church disco flirting.

I'm useless at flirting. I get shy if a girl looks at me straight in the eye and I run away. I hung out with a dating doctor, Stephen Nolan, for a 'Newstalk' report (well, that was my excuse) to try to learn how to flirt with girls.

Dr 'Get A Snog' told me to touch them (not like that) but just a little touch on the arm and he gave me the best chat up line ever: "You look nice and I thought I would come over and say hello."

My confidence has been missing for a long, long time but it's slowly coming back. I recently walked into a hipster bar and a girl smiled at me, I smiled back and I knew the magic could happen.

I went to Ireland's first morning rave, called Morning Gloryville, at a yoga club in Dublin and more than 200 people showed up before 7am. Most were female and they all looked so attractive in their trendy yoga gear, dancing to Daft Punk, but I felt it was just too early to try to pull.

Recently, I was in Kenmare, the secret jewel in Failte Ireland's crown. This stunning part of Kerry is full of smiley beautiful girls from around the world, all with amazing features. One barmaid had yellow eyes. People say you can't ask a barmaid or a waitress out, but if you fancy them and there is chemistry, why not? I complimented her on the colt pistol tattoo under her arm and I really wanted to ask her for her number, but I just lacked the courage.

The next morning, my friend Oisin Langan wanted to pop into Fat Face, the clothes shop which sells clothes to people with thin cheeks. An assistant came over and said "can I help you?"

I was immediately distracted by her blonde hair and I loved her manner, her deep crystal-grey eyes, like a snake, but a cute snake that doesn't bite.

She said: "Are you okay?" in a northern English accent. I said: "Yes, I like this flowery shirt," even though I didn't. My mate started chatting her up and then pasted the baton on to me – what every good wingman should do.

I plucked up the courage and said: "Where are you from?"

"I'm from Sheffield," she replied, "I'm just here covering maternity leave."

In my head I said: "I find you attractive, will you go to bed with me?" Out loud I said: "That's where they filmed 'The Full Monty'."

I had just walked out of the shop with my new shirt I didn't want, feeling like a big eejit, when I bumped into a sexy rustic Kerryman, Senator Mark Daly. He was out and about getting some messages.

We grabbed a Kerry cappuccino where the hot, yellow-eyed barmaid worked. I told Mark how I got shy and couldn't ask the Fat Face girl out.

He said: "You must go back and get her number."

At this stage I was shaking with nerves. How could I walk back into the shop? But the Kerryman was right. I had to. I took a big breath and tried to grow a pair.

The cool, trendy shop was now deserted, so I browsed the underpants section for what seemed like forever. Then I heard rustling in the back. I waited and waited until the 'Full Monty' girl appeared. She was even prettier than I remembered from 20 minutes earlier. I went straight over and said: "I think I like you. I'm around later watching the match. Maybe we could meet up for a drink?"

She said: "I'm only in Kenmare for two weeks." To which I replied: "I'm only here for two days."

At this stage my phone was already on the 'add number' page and my fingers were shaking. "I only have an English number," she answered finally.

"That's okay," I replied. So she gave me her long 0044 mobile number. I looked her in the eye, got shy and walked out the door to the gorgeous Kerry sun. I felt like I had won the Lotto. I had asked a girl for her number. My mojo was back. (*Phonecall pending.)

Henry McKean presents 'Under the Covers' Saturdays 8am and is a reporter on 'Moncrieff', weekdays 1.30-4.30pm on Newstalk 106-106FM; Newstalk.ie

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