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"I am too old for her" is a decision, and not one that's yours to make. "She is too young for me" is your decision to make, but it doesn't seem to worry you at all. So assuming you don't want to make her decisions for her, let's rephrase your question to "How do I tell her my age?" Look what happens when you make that mental change. When you think about ...


168

I'm female, so I don't have a lot of the concerns you would have, necessarily... or a different set of concerns, but the solution I would personally accept if a guy moved in next door to me would be to get a small business card-like piece of paper that I could put on my fridge or enter into my phone. The piece of paper should be formatted and printed in a ...


105

I'm a mathematician too. I think there are two important things to keep in mind: the first is that asking what someone does is just a polite question. The second is that they are probably very aware that they lack knowledge about higher mathematics. You don't need to tell them current exact research interest to answer the question. What I do is tell them my ...


88

I am Indian. My first name is hard for many Indians to pronounce and my last name, common as it may be in India, has 14 characters! I know I am one in a million when I say this, but you can destroy my name as badly as you can, I'd not get offended. I know that my name is hard to pronounce. I am in the US and I know my name is not an English name. It is an ...


77

It’s not much of an answer—Kate Gregory’s is much more useful—but it’s “answer-ish” and I don’t think it’s appropriate for a comment, so: You are blowing the age gap out of proportion I am thirty, and a very good friend of mine, younger than me, is marrying a man older than you next month. We couldn’t be happier for her: he’s an incredible guy, and so many ...


68

If someone who truly does not have the background to understand your work is asking you to talk about it, chances are they are just being polite: They want to show interest in you and your endeavors and to learn more about you. In other words, they're trying to connect with you. The best way to respond is to reciprocate. Look for common ground. The ...


65

I personally am very bad with names, and often come across this issue myself. Firstly, if you have a mutual friend, or someone else who knows the person, it's always best to ask them first, to see if they know (and can tell you). If you can't think of anyone you know that might know their name, it might be worth trying to contact one of his friends, and ...


55

Anecdotal but probably relevant: When we moved to our neighbourhood (Germany, rural area, medium size community) we threw a "Garage Party" and invited the closest neighbours. That is the ones you'll likely be running into and say "hi". (Ended up to be around 20 people) We wrote invitation cards and simply dropped them in their mailboxes two weeks prior. ...


52

A trick to save you a bit of embarrassment, is the following. "What was your name again?" "John." "Sorry, I mean your surname." That makes it seem you've only forgotten their surname. Should they reply with their full name right away, be sure to emphasise it was their surname you had forgotten. "What was your name again?" "John Smith." "Ah ...


51

Why are you trying to protect them from not understanding? Why are other people suggesting all kinds of patronizing pre-screening questions? I would never ask something as specific as "what theorem did you prove?" if I wasn't prepared for you to reply with a mathematical theorem. Perhaps they're asking because they find titles in fields they don't know ...


38

I used to pick people up at the airport. I did the (maybe hokey) thing of holding a sign. Then when I would meet them, I would straight away tell them I am unsure how to properly pronounce their name. I think even cross culturally people understand this is a respectful gesture. I do want to say it correctly and I find asking right away is far less ...


37

(Based on western culture, this may not apply elsewhere) Since there were no introductions extended to me, I didn't know what to do and basically ignored this other person. It can be hard to introduce yourself if you're an introverted person, but the best thing to you can do is approach this directly. Walk up to them, extend your hand for a handshake and ...


36

Similar to the answer @Bilkokuya posted, the most important thing to stress here is that the number is for emergencies, and that you are not just providing your phone number to that particular resident, but to each of your "immediate neighbors". Including the other neighbors will make it clear that this is not an attempt to target that specific person, which ...


31

Some questions which I feel will answer your question You don't know her age. She may look young like you. How do you know she's early 30s? Why does age matter to her if she didn't ask you? Why would she feel deceived if you didn't tell her your age? What if she loses interest in you because at one time you owned a lizard (making this up, but making the ...


30

I'm Catija. I'm female and I met my (male) spouse on one of these dating sites. We met about 11 years ago and this is what made me respond to his message... and what made me not respond to others. First off, when I joined said dating site, it was because I wanted to take the quizzes. Yeah, I know that everyone claims that, but it's actually true. My profile ...


29

You could ask them directly, by saying something like: I'm sorry, I have a terrible memory. Remind me one more time of your name? Or, if you actually have a good memory and you're pedantic, maybe something like: I'm sorry, I know I should remember your name, but it's just escaped me for a moment. Could you remind me once more? If you really don't ...


28

One way you can answer truthfully and respectfully is to simplify it to the point where anyone can understand it: I work at X (university?) in the math department, (teaching? and) doing research. When people ask "what do you do," it's usually just a social query. They can then make the appropriate social response: That sounds interesting. How long ...


22

Your approach might work if she has noticed you and is also interested in you. However, if she hasn't noticed you or she's noticed and isn't interested, then such a blunt approach is likely to make her uncomfortable, which will translate into her not wanting to continue the conversation. What to do instead A better way to approach is to find a less blunt ...


20

If you know them well enough, give them your phone and ask for their contact information or Facebook profile. This saves you the embarrassment of asking, as the person will write out their name for you. As an added bonus, you now have their information saved to your phone as a contact, meaning you can easily look it up without having to ask again. If ...


18

How to find out how to pronounce someone's name: "Hi I'm Alex, I apologise, I don't know how to say your name, could you clarify how I should say it?" They say: "Jacob". Repeat the name at least 3 times as soon as you can, take every opportunity to do so: "Jacob, with a J not an I? Jacob, right? So Jacob, how was your flight?" Sometimes you can Google ...


18

Use the mutual friend to start the conversation, as that's the person you're probably both comfortable with. Approach the mutual friend (alone or even while they're with their friend) and say: Hey [Friend Name], I don't think you've introduced me to your friend! This method has helped me meet new friends at all manner of social gatherings. In my ...


17

In Randal Munroe's book The Thing Explainer (xkcd.com) he uses only the most common 1000 (English) words to explain things like what a cell is and what a Nuclear Power plant is. I believe that if you can't explain yourself to "the everyman" that you either don't have a very good handle on it yourself or aren't trying hard enough. It is good that by posting ...


17

Oh jeez, I wish this were standard practice. I’m a woman, and on this past New Year’s Eve, I wanted to wish the nice old lady next door a happy new year, as she might be lonely. But I was scared to knock on her door, because she might have gone to sleep early. I so wished I could just send her a text so that I could check whether she was awake before ...


15

There's a fine line to be drawn here for more reasons than this. At my last house, the neighbor seemed really friendly at first. We decided that we didn't know her so kept our distance and it turned out that she was really intrusive, monitoring the neighborhood and calling everything conceivable into the city/police/etc. She relied on the previous ...


15

Please, do not be concerned about this! Do something to get to know this lady and see if things can work out between you two. I am a nearly 30-year-old woman, very much in love with a man who is 20 years older than me. I don´t care about his age at all (in terms of that being a problem). In my opinion we are a great match; I have never met anyone I would ...


12

Turn the conversation into a 2-way learning experience. Explaining what you do to people without the background is a great learning curve which I recommend to everyone. (Not least because you never know when a conversation with someone in an utterly unrelated field will spark the idea for your next breakthrough). Usually I deflect or pre-empt the question ...


12

If it is an unusual or hard-to-pronounce name, I would just ask, How do you say your name again? I want to make sure I've gotten it right. If it's a common name, I would try to associate with someone or something that I already know. A "common" name makes it easier to make these associations. If all else fails, use Kaz' suggestion, apologize and say ...


12

Consider that she might be feeling as awkward about the situation as you are -- but you'll be at an impasse until one of you decides to do something about it. Walk right up to her cubicle, tomorrow morning if you can, and say this: Hi. I was feeling that it's kind of weird that we work next to each other and we've never been formally introduced. I'm ...


11

Here in Germany your example would exactly be the expected way to introduce yourself at least in smaller cities and communities. In a big town nobody might care and people might even be disturbed, but usually you are expected to introduce yourself. I would even extend that to Hey, WE are your new neighbors and bring your family with you. If you're ...


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