Dear Alice,

I would like some advice on how to make women feel special. You see, there's a girl I see on the bus who I think is the most beautiful girl in the world. I wanted to talk to her, but I am extremely shy. I'm thinking of writing her a letter and giving her a rose. Yet, I do not know what to really write to make her feel like responding. My other question would be if she is interested, how could I keep her? I really would like to meet this girl. Thank you for your time.

Dear Reader,

Your heart and thoughts are in the right place with this romantic gesture. However, in this situation, starting small may be better received, and it may also allow you to avoid embarrassment if your beautiful stranger doesn't reciprocate. When playing the role of suitor, it may be helpful to maintain both an optimistic and realistic attitude. In other words, proceed as though there's a possibility of rejection alongside a possibility of reciprocation. This is best done by taking things slow and building up the potential relationship over time.

Since you two haven’t formally met yet, you might start by smiling and making eye contact. If it seems like she’s annoyed or uncomfortable, stop. Remember, many people often receive unwanted advances and comments in public spaces — be respectful of the person's boundaries. If she notices you and smiles back, you might then try to say "hello," if the opportunity presents itself. If you’re looking for ways to start a conversation, take notice of any clues about her interests. Does the object of your affection read any magazines, books, or a newspaper? How about starting a conversation based on that — "What do you think about that (fill in with today's headline)?" Or, "I've been wanting to read that book. Is it as good as they say?" If the reading material idea doesn't work for you, you can always start with a comment about the bus, the weather, or another shared experience: "This stop is really crowded (or empty) today." Or, "Sure hope this nice weather holds out." The key here is to take it slow, at least in the beginning. If your admired stranger seems willing to chat, great. If not, then at least you tried.

If this approach works, then you may want to introduce yourself. "You know, we've been riding the same bus for a while now... My name's ____________." You'll likely discover the name of your bus friend as well. Then you may say, "It's nice to meet you," with a smile. Unless you're comfortable with complimenting the no-longer stranger, think twice before doing it. Saying something right away like," You have the most beautiful eyes," could make both of you feel uncomfortable, and may make subsequent conversations awkward.

Do you take the bus to the same place? If the "chatting thing" is going well, perhaps you could suggest meeting for lunch one day, or grabbing a bite to eat before or after you get on or off the bus. Logistics may pose a problem if you both get on and off the bus at different stops, but you could always try this one: "There's a great coffee shop at the next stop. Would you like to join me for a cup?"

During these initial conversations, try to focus on being honest and genuine so she gets to know the true you. Remember that you can't control another person's thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, so the best you may do is to be yourself and enjoy the time you spend together. Once you get to know this person and you’re ready to let them know they’re special to you, listen to your intuition and to your heart. Consider what it would be like in their shoes and think of what they may consider to be caring, sensitive, respectful, and loving gestures. When you hold someone dear in your heart, it shows in your actions and words. All this to say, buy a rose if you want, but don't feel like it’s a must.

The key here, Reader, is to let the relationship develop and grow naturally. In due time the wheels of your love bus will go round and round with a special companion, whether it’s with this beautiful stranger or another!

Alice!

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