We recently published an article about unwanted sexual advances and one of our male readers commented that it’s hard for men these days to know how to approach a woman without giving offense.
I thought I’d write a post on the art of approaching a stranger — in this case a women — that has attracted your attention.
It’s awkward to start a conversation out of nowhere with someone you don’t know. You have no idea how the person will react, so you’re taking a personal risk and if you get a snide response to “Hi there”, it can play havoc with your self-confidence.
In this day and age though, it has really become tricky. So many people are easily offended these days that a guy just might shrink into himself and not give the fair sex a try at all! What a shame.
It so turns out that this question has been put to ladies on Reddit before and I have consulted this great source for some answers to round out my own and some of my friends’ ideas.
1. Don’t lead with a comment on her physical appearance
Women are human beings, not sexual objects. We love sex, but that’s not our number one function.
Commenting on physical appearance is just creepy and gives the girl the message that you appraised her body and found it suitable for a romp in bed. It immediately puts most women on the defensive.
I’ve heard “You have beautiful blue eyes,” more times than I can remember. It’s just a lame comment. After all, being born with certain physical features is not a personal achievement, it’s just good luck.
2. Take a hint from her body language
This is not too difficult guys, really. If a woman steps back and turns her body away from you, she is not comfortable. Back off!
And hey, headphones mean: “I want my own space, I’m not interested in the world today” Get it?
3. What about a straight forward and friendly “Hello”
This may sound too simple, but I like simple answers to complicated issues – they so often are the best. The trick is to be genuinely friendly. It works because it’s a natural way to start a conversation and it’s non-threatening.
4. Don’t forget what you learned about small talk
This sounds so boring, but if this is the way to get her to talk to you, then you’ve got to go for it. A shared experience — the exhibition you’re attending, the place where you are, even the weather can be a conversation starter.
Music shops and book stores are great places to meet people that might share you interests.
In Starbucks there’s the coffee and the music and a myriad other things you can comment on to draw the lady out.
5. Nervousness is okay, but being cocky is not
It’s understandable if you can’t hide your nervousness when you approach a woman. We totally get that and it can even be endearing, but don’t be all cocky as if you’ve won over many women before and are sure you’re going to land this one too. So not cool.
6. Don’t make it a personal goal
You want to start a conversation with a person, not win a prize. Here’s how one Reddit user put it:
“Stop making it a goal! I am not a prize to be gained. I’m a human being, just like all the guys you interact with in your life. It’s creepy when it’s clear all I am is an object of desire. It’s not creepy when I’m a human that might be interesting to talk to.”
And here’s how a guy put it: “Something that helped is that my personal goal wasn’t to get in the other persons pants, it was to know something that sets that person apart from the rest.”
7. Treat her like a person so she knows you see her as a woman
Here’s a thought: don’t use an opening line you wouldn’t use on a guy. The first thing you say to a man you’ve never spoken to is surely not: “I love your eyes. Such a great color!”
You are talking to another human being. Just be normal, make polite conversation and don’t be obnoxious.
8. Be realistic
It is really uncommon to meet the love of your life in the street or the subway – that’s the stuff that movies are made of. That’s not real life.
You’re better off approaching a girl that you have been interested in for a while, someone you’ve seen in class, the gym or Starbucks. Chances are you’ve noticed her not just because she’s pretty.
You’ve probably noticed something about her that interests you. From this starting point, you’ll have something genuine to say and she’ll probably also be more comfortable responding to someone she’s seen before. Just don’t stalk her for weeks.