“Aye yo girl, lemme have your number.” I hope we can all agree this is played out and unacceptable. Only a few rare, hilarious people try this, but some of the other come-ons are just as terrible. “Aye, lemme holla at you for a minute.” “Wait up!” Or even the dreaded arm grab — it makes my skin crawl.
I know it can be hard to approach a woman, especially when she’s over there looking all confident and sure of herself. She doesn’t have time for that line you learned in middle school, nor is she going to wait for you to get the point. She wants to be captivated, but she’s seen it all before. She’s had men and women come at her thinking they know how to speak her language, but it’s been hit or miss.
Breathe a sigh of relief, because I’m here to clear things up for y’all. There are right and wrong ways to approach women, and I’ve decided to spell a few of them out for you. It may not get you every woman, but it just might keep you from making a bad first impression on the right one.
Do: Be a gentleman or woman
I know this should be a given, but unfortunately, it just isn’t. If you don’t know a woman’s name, just ask. And definitely, don’t pick a pet name for her to replace the one you never learned properly – you’ve got to earn that. Also, if she looks like she has somewhere to be, and you’re just standing around, don’t expect her to stop, or worse, walk back to you. Make eye contact, shake her hand. These are the basics, folks.
Don’t: Ignore her lack of interest
If a woman tells you she’s in a relationship or not interested, believe her. It is not a challenge. She is not playing hard to get. At best, she’s trying to nicely tell you to buzz off. For the life of me, I can’t understand why folks would want to fight this. I’ve had someone tell me they could “rock my world” as if that was supposed to make me change my mind. And I’ve had loads of folks tell me “we can be friends” as if that was their intention when they approached me or would be their intention once they got my number. Let’s agree to save ourselves some time here.
As I’ve mentioned, we’ve seen it all. We’ve been hollered at, whistled at, told jokes, and handed compliments. So it’s refreshing when someone tries a new approach, something we haven’t seen before. I will never forget the time this one guy walked up to me singing “Hey There Lonely Girl.” He had my full attention, I admired his confidence, and we definitely had something to talk about at that point. We’re friends to this day.
Don’t: Be afraid to approach a group
I know, I know — this is super difficult. But it might actually be harder to approach a woman who is by herself, enjoying herself, and guarded up like a castle. Take a chance on the group. My suggestion is that you try to chat with everyone. In my experience, every time a guy has picked up on a casual bit of girl chat and joined in, he’s been successful. You just have to find a way to make it clear who you’re interested in getting to know the most.
Do: Make her laugh
Most of us don’t plan to marry a comedian, but we’re looking for someone with a sense of humor. Personally, it’s top five on my list of must-haves in a mate. I want to be with someone who’s my friend, and my friends and I are total goofs. We will pretend we know how to dance like the young kids these days, treat a game of Tetris like our lives depend on it, and cackle as we share way too much detail about our bodily functions. If you’re all business and no fun, well then, you might as well be networking.
Don’t: Lead with your baggage
In our eagerness to get to the open and honest part of our relationships, we sometimes try to skip the getting-to-know-you part. Let me tell you, that period of time where you talk about nothing but the easy stuff is important! Yes, we want to know how old you are and if you have kids. No, we don’t want to know about your daddy issues, your recent divorce, or the ex who shares your apartment…wait, scratch that. We want to know, but don’t be surprised if we scurry off immediately after you spill your mental health resume. We all have baggage, but any normal person would get overwhelmed if you dumped it all at once.
Do: Accept whatever means of contact she gives
Let’s imagine you have a great mini-convo with a new lady and you’re ready to get her digits. Ask! I’ve never offered my number to a man who didn’t first ask for it. But also, be ready for a counter-offer. I have a history of agreeing to connect with a new friend on social media. Why? Because I’ve had the same number since I was 11, and I don’t want to give it up just because some guy I just met started abusing it. If red flags pop up in my DMs, we can end the connection early. If all goes well, you’ll get the number eventually, boo.
Don’t: Force it
Sometimes she’s just not the one. If that’s the case, let her go. No amount of aggression will change that or make her gain interest in you. In fact, it just makes things harder for the next guy. Be comfortable enough with yourself to approach a woman, but stay confident enough to dust yourself off and try again. Being a respectful person always pays off, and when you’re looking at the right woman, you won’t feel like you’re trying to do anything but be yourself.
Cheers to those of you going after what you want. Once you’ve got this down…well, then comes the fun.