My neighbor who lives across the hall from me in my apartment building is clearly trying to extend an olive branch of friendship. We met at a community gathering for residents a little over a month ago and got along splendidly, but due to opposing work schedules we have not seen each other since. I gather he has some social or professional contact wherein he can get free tickets to sporting events, because for the second time since we exchanged numbers, I've had to politely decline an invitation to a football game. I travel a lot for work, so I legitimately was and will be out of town on the dates in question.
Having just moved here recently, I don't have any friends and would welcome the companionship. My problem is twofold:
- I don't want him to think that I'm blowing him off. People who consistently refuse invites -- even with good excuses -- stop getting invitations after a while.
- I have a non-obvious, hard-to-explain visual impairment that makes sporting events in particular a no-go for me. It's a neurological condition that affects motion tracking and object recognition, so playing or watching sports is nearly impossible for me to enjoy. Aside from that (or maybe because of it), I'm not much of a sports guy anyway.
I want to let him know I appreciate the overture, and I figure the best thing to do would be to make a counter-proposal. But I don't really know how to do that. Personality-wise I'm an ambivert, so I do well in social situations most of the time; I just don't know how to initiate them.
- I have a very spartan, bachelor-esque studio apartment, so inviting him across the hall is out. I don't have anywhere to entertain guests. I don't even own a TV; I work in IT for a living, so my computer provides all my entertainment needs.
- I don't know what his interests are. Sporting events are such a stereotypical "guy" thing, so no real insight there. He's a lawyer professionally, so I don't know how our social spheres would intersect.
- I'm a homebody by nature and a recent transplant to the area, so I don't know much about what there is to do around town. I've found a few bars and restaurants that I like, but one-on-one those options sound like a date and I don't want to make things awkward. I have no idea what his intentions are.
- I'm rarely available on weekends, so any get-together would likely need to happen in the evening during the week. That precludes most festivals or block party-type events as those typically happen on Friday or Saturday nights.
I don't really know how to ask people to do things with me. How can I reciprocate or otherwise display that I am interested?
Also, how do I respond if he invites me to a game again and I'm actually free to go?