What We Are Thinking When You Approach Us
So you’ve got your sights on your target and are ready to go in for the kill. How this is executed (I just realized that I’m using a lot of hunting and killing words, hmmm) makes all the difference in the world. Most do it poorly because of what they bring into the situation with them (see Dealing With Baggage) that reeks of insecurity, fear and desperation. This can be manifested as the guy with the stuttering voice and poor conversation skills, (who is at least transparent and truthful in presentation) or the highly slick and polished dude who has gone to extremes to hone an act and rehearsed material to compensate for his insecurity (who thinks he’s fooling everyone with his façade, but isn’t). In this lesson, I’ll go step by step into what we are thinking from the time our eyes meet to the time you ask for my contact information.
I think it’s important to first distinguish the difference in our reception and perception of you according to the setting we meet you in. It’s pretty basic: bars and everywhere else. The reason why bars deserve its own category is first, because many people still go to them with the misguided perception that this is a great way to meet people and secondly, because of this reputation, the setting generates competition that elicits different responses in women.
In case I wasn’t so direct in my previous statement, let me clarify that we are not advocates for picking up women that you intend to have any kind of future with in bars. If you want a one-night-stand or casual fling, then you’re looking in the right place. That being said, a certain kind of woman is likely to be trolling the bar scene and open to your advances…one that has been hit on by lots of other guys like you and have heard the slickest lines they offer. Though I don’t like generalizations, they tend to be keen to the schemes many guys use and can be edgy and bitchy to fend off the usual tools. It takes some smooth talking and confidence not to be dead in the water from the beginning, which is a difficult feat. In addition, you’re also dealing with the substance factor; one that can greatly compromise your judgment or hers, giving you a blurred sense of reality and skewed perception. On the other hand, a few drinks can lessen social anxiety and take the edge off, but it’s a slippery slope indeed.
Here are some typical scenarios and the woman’s inner voice in response:
Approach: Woman at the bar, guy walks up and offers to buy her a drink.
She’s Thinking: “Is he cute enough, smart enough and safe enough for me to want to spend the time it takes to sip this drink in his presence?”
Translation: This doesn’t work because aside from your appearance, you haven’t proven that you have what it takes for her to want to commit to this offer and it indebts her to you in a way that is uncomfortable. If you use this and you aren’t her type physically, you may throw away your chances altogether because you haven’t demonstrated any of the other qualities that make you valuable. For most men, those traits are shown over time and by putting her in the situation where she has to make a snap decision about your trustworthiness, she’ll likely err on the side of no.
Approach: Woman is standing with a group of friends; guy singles her out and approaches her directly with questions, compliments or a line.
She’s Thinking: “This is awkward. I don’t even know him and he’s pulling me away from my friends.”
Translation: She feels unsafe. When in a group, you must acknowledge the members of that group if she is going to feel safe with you. Taking her aside or commanding her attention without addressing the others feels like you’re cornering her and unless you’ve been flirting across the room all night, she’ll feel threatened and will be eager to return to the group.
Approach: Woman is at the bar, guy walks up and pulls the “You’re the most beautiful woman in this bar” line (or any variation of this cheese).
She’s Thinking: “Though this is a nice thought, it’s simply not true and neither is this jackass.”
Translation: Premature over-flattery doesn’t necessarily establish trust or safety. It puts her in an uncomfortable situation where she will either shoot down the canned compliment or she will feel uneasy and try to squirm out of your presence. Though your intentions may be sincere, calculated lines that are uninteresting and common give us the sense that we aren’t unique; that we are another number to you. And if this is your goal, then our perceptions are correct and you’re more transparent than you think.
Approach: Woman is out at a club, guy walks up with a smile and says, “My friends and I are having a debate about geography and I’m wondering if you can help me out. Do you know the names of the 7 seas? I was never really that great with maps and I can only think of 2….”
She’s Thinking: “Interesting question and not your typical approach…if nothing else, this guy has me thinking, isn’t showing off is own knowledge and is asking me for answers.”
Translation: Asking some interesting general question (one that involves global or common knowledge that she can answer at least partially) will get her talking to you about some topic that you can easily converse about. This gives her the chance to get to know you and sense you a bit before making the decision (usually just based on looks or body) that she’s interested. This gets you talking and an opportunity to demonstrate the Better Deal you bring, along with your Unique Appealing Persona, humor, intellect, wit and charm.
Approach: Woman is out at a club, guy walks up from the side (not from behind) with a warm smile and says, “Hi, how are you?”
She’s Thinking: “Thank God this guy didn’t choose a stupid line or a canned question. I appreciate that and regardless of whether I’m interested, there’s no harm in being cordial and kind.”
Translation: Approaches don’t need to be fancy and polished. There’s a lot to be said for simplicity and sincerity. We women are groomed to have good social graces. Even if she’s not interested in you, chances are high that she’ll respond kindly. If she says more than a one-word response, this is a good indicator that she is open to more conversation with you and you can take it from there. Here’s where your knowledge of non-verbal cues and body language come in handy. If she’s crossing her arms, gives you a one word response or feels closed off, you can respond with something witty along the lines of “Hmmm, I guess I was wrong, I told my friends I thought you looked like you had a sense of humor…” This will usually elicit a response of some kind, even if it’s a smart ass one. Getting her to crack her shell a bit is a good thing and can parlay into further conversation.
I’ve lumped this together because in a sober and more intentional environment, with the lights up and awareness high, she’s going to be more alert and attuned to your advances. This is in your favor because you won’t have the “2 at 10, 10 at 2” (i.e. beer goggles) factor nor will you have to contend with a gaggle of guys simultaneously groping for her attention. Less is more in these circumstances and there aren’t as many distractions to compete with.
Approach: Woman is in the produce isle of the grocery store; guy walks up to a nearby section of veggies and asks her to help her pick out the freshest of the bunch since he’s no good at it.
She’s Thinking: “I can help him with that, I like to be helpful.”
Translation: Women like to feel needed and feel good when we offer something that shows our value. By asking for her advice, it demonstrates that her opinion is worthwhile and she’ll feel safe, as she’s the one giving direction. This safety is the foundation for opening the conversation up further. This is also a good use of your environment because it doesn’t commit you to anything further than a few minutes of her time.
Approach: Woman is watching some type of competitive event that the guy is participating in (could be pool, baseball or even video games); guy begins by raving about how great he did and how he obliterated his competition.
She’s Thinking: “Insecure guy who’s trying desperately to overcompensate.”
Translation: Only guys who feel insecure and inferior (because they have something to compensate for) speak about their wins and feel the need to put others down to boost their sense of worth. Though the thinking behind this demonstration of value as an alpha male is in the right direction (sort of), this is a juvenile way of saying “Mine is bigger than his!” and will turn most women away.
Approach: Woman is at a backyard BBQ and has been talking to a guy for the majority of the event; different guy walks up and attempts to chime into the conversation to grab her attention and trump the first guy.
She’s Thinking: “Uh, what do I do? I don’t want to be rude, but I really don’t want to talk to him…can’t he see that I’ve been into this other guy all night?”
Translation: Cock blocking rarely works. It is a very bold move and not only requires loads of confidence, but it also means that you’re willing to risk being ousted by the guys at the party. I almost didn’t include this one because I thought it was written in indelible ink in the Guy Code under WHAT NOT TO DO, but inevitably, this seems to always happen. This is not only extremely awkward, but puts her again in a position to choose whom to devote her attention to in an instant. If you’re bold and DGAF, go for it, otherwise, scope for another woman or approach her when you’re not jockeying with another guy.
On to Section 2!