As guys, we tend to give each other advice when one of us is really interested in a woman and doesn’t want to mess it up. I was always the one my friends would go to for advice. It wasn’t because I was a “ladies man” or a “player.” It was just because I seemed to have the secret intel they didn’t have.
In reality, I just always made sure to ask myself some questions before I approached a woman.
Now that I’m a happily married man, I can pass along those very questions I once asked myself to you:
1. Does she even want to be approached in the first place?
I had some rules when I was a single guy that always influenced whether I thought a woman wanted to be approached.
Rule #1: Don’t approach a woman if she’s with a group of 3 or more women.
Groups of 3 or more women usually mean a “girls’ night out.” That usually means they don’t want guys hitting on them. They probably just want to dance and spend time with one another, and you’ll just come across as a creep if you try to go talk to one of them (unless one is really giving you signals. See Question #2).
Rule #2: Don’t approach a woman if she’s working out.
Many women would appreciate that you not approach them while they’re at the gym, but there are exceptions, of course. It’s important to remember that there are rules and then there are exceptions to the rules. Rules > exceptions.
It does also come down to IF she seems like she wants to be approached. If she’s on an elliptical machine, headphones in, not making eye contact with anyone, she’s not open to being approached.
But if she doesn’t have any headphones in and keeps looking at you, she’s probably open to you coming over there and chatting with her.
Rule #3: Don’t approach a woman if she’s working.
If you meet a woman while she’s at work, it’s probably in your best interest to not hit on her.
For one, she’s getting paid to speak to you. For that reason alone, I didn’t hit on women who were working because you may not even be able to tell if she’s interested in you if she’s trying to get you to buy something or tip her more.
She’s also at work, the least sexy place, and she’s stuck there until her shift is over.
You can either make her time at work better or worse. The fact that she cant run away from you if she wants to may work against you, even if you think you’re being pleasant.
2. Has she given you any signals?
It’s been said many times, but women are a lot less overt than men.
A woman will indicate her interest in subtle ways. She’ll turn her body towards you. She’ll lean forward and try to catch everything that you’re saying. She’ll laugh at your jokes, even the ones that are terrible. She’ll keep trying to catch your eye and/or smile at you from across the room. She’ll bump into you “accidentally.”
If you see signals like that, yes, go for it!
If not, you can approach her anyway, but don’t get upset when she turns you down. You just may not be her type.
3. Can you give her an exit route?
When you approach a woman, always make sure she has an exit route and that you aren’t blocking it. If that’s not a possible way to talk to her without giving her that, don’t approach her.
Most of us guys don’t even consider the fact that women live in a different world than we do. Their world can be scary. Men are usually physically larger and stronger than women, and we can be real jerks too.
It horrified me to learn from a former girlfriend that 81% of women have experienced sexual harassment (defined as “verbal sexual harassment, unwelcome sexual touching, cyber sexual harassment, being physically followed, unwanted genital flashing, and/or sexual assault”).
I learned from her that just by the nature of a guy’s size and that he’s a stranger means that blocking a woman’s exit route might terrify her.
Terrifying a woman is the absolute least sexy thing you can do. It’s going to ensure that you never ever see what color her bedsheets are.
If there’s no way to approach a woman without trapping her, skip it. See if she moves or try to make eye-contact with her to see if it draws her to you.
You HAVE to make sure that she has an exit route. If you do this for her, it’ll help her feel safer and give you a better shot of her not running away as soon as she gets the chance.
4. Can you get her attention?
One day my wife and I were at the gym when a guy behind us started talking. I turned around, and it looked like he was trying to talk to a woman working out on one of the machines. She was wearing headphones and clearly had no idea this guy was talking to her.
I continued watching while he kept talking away.
“What do you think?” he then said.
She didn’t answer.
“What do you think?” he asked again, and then he tapped her on the shoulder.
If you’re going to approach a woman, you have to make sure she knows you’re coming. You can’t surprise her (see #3).
If you’re going to talk to a woman, make sure she’s paying attention to you before you start talking. She needs to be looking at you. She needs to have responded in some way before you start in.
5. Can you handle the rejection?
Just by the nature of putting yourself out there, you are going to get rejected. Women rejected me plenty, even when I was certain one was into me. Rejection never feels good, I know.
But if you can’t handle the rejection politely, respectfully, like a real man should, don’t even bother approaching a woman.
A lot of guys get so frustrated with getting rejected that they start to lash out at women every time it happens. Lashing out looks like calling a woman names, saying you weren’t into her anyway, or anything else rude.
The only response you should have to a woman rejecting you is something like, “It was nice to meet you.”
When you get angry after getting rejected, your anger has NOTHING to do with that woman. You’re angry at your situation, not her, so don’t lash out at her because of it.
If you can’t handle rejection right now, take a break. Focus on making yourself the kind of man any woman would be happy with, and then try again in the future.
Women can seem scary, and I get it. They’ve got the power since it’s mostly on us to walk across the room and start talking to them, but as long as you pay attention and ask yourself the questions I’ve listed above, you have a better shot than not.