Think you know everything there is to know when it comes to dating, but still not having any luck? Sorry to break it to you, but it’s not always them—sometimes it’s definitely you.
Most people have a certain style when it comes to flirting, and men always seem to have an arsenal of tips up their sleeves for approaching women. However, when their charm isn’t enough and the woman isn’t taking the bait, a guy might end up wondering why all of the alleged tried-and-true advice he’s been collecting throughout the years has failed him. If this sounds like you, have you ever thought that your approach might not actually be as smooth as you think?
The women of Reddit decided to lay it all out there and talk about the dos and don’ts of approaching women for guys who don’t want to be labeled as creeps.
Don’t keep trying to talk to someone who isn’t interested.
“Don’t go into it assuming she wants to talk to you. You could be nice, funny, attractive, have a great conversation topic…. and she just doesn’t want to talk to you. Let her go. The creepiest thing is when someone continues to talk to you even when you are trying to make them go away. It might not be you. She might be having a bad day and doesn’t want to talk to anyone. She might just not want to talk at that time.”—foxlizard
When it comes to initiating conversation with a woman that you don’t know, the ultimate thing to keep in mind is that she has no obligation to talk to you. Sure, you might be a nice, handsome guy who’s both smart and funny, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to be attracted to you or give you attention.
Sometimes it might be because she’s not interested and sometimes it’s just because she’s not in the mood to talk, but forcing it won’t do you any favors. If it seems appropriate and not too intrusive for the situation, you can always try giving her your number for later, but don’t push it if she’s obviously not feeling it.
Do read her body language.
“Strike up a conversation about something very normal, and read her body language. If she doesn’t seem interested (starts to look away, gives short answers), back off and leave her alone. I feel like that’s where a lot of men fail; going past that point and not giving the woman space.”—texashilo
One of the most important things to remember about approaching women is that going too far isn’t just annoying to them—it can often make them feel unsafe. A guy that makes the conversation intense right off the bat and just won’t back off fills their heads with thoughts of being followed or worse, and we’re assuming that you’re a normal person who wouldn’t want that to happen.
Take the hints when they’re given and just leave someone alone when they’re not reciprocating your advances. Oh, and let’s not forget—if you consider yourself a nice person but won’t leave someone alone at their request, consider that other people probably don’t think you’re so nice.
Don’t be overconfident.
“Confidence, not arrogance. Learn the line, because arrogance is the least attractive thing in the world to me.”—nerdsten
Confidence is a trait that most people say they desire in a potential partner. Not only can it be exhausting to constantly have to build up someone who’s insecure, but insecurity often spurs jealous, turbulent sides to many relationships.
However, being confident to the point of arrogance isn’t much better, either, not to mention that’s it’s typically this type of person who doesn’t listen to the word “no.” Remember, you’re a person just like everyone else—don’t be surprised if you’re not too popular when you act like you’re not.
Do focus on something other than her appearance.
“Compliments about my appearance immediately put me on the defensive because I assume guys who do that are only interested in sex, and frankly, I think my flesh-vessel is the least interesting thing about me. Like everyone else said, comment on the band/superhero/whatever t-shirt she’s wearing, make an observation about something in the environment, ask about the book she’s holding. Say hello.”—052908
There’s nothing inherently wrong with giving someone a compliment, but commenting on someone’s looks right off the bat will only send the wrong message. Well, maybe it is the message you want to send, but don’t be surprised when women don’t fall for it.
You never know—some women might be just as interested in a one-night stand as you are, and they might totally go for it. If you’re looking to cultivate a relationship that might be a little longer lasting, however, try to get to know her as a person first.
Don’t try weird pick-up artist tricks.
“Talk to us like a normal human being. We’re not mysterious forest creatures that will get into bed to you if you say the right combination of words or do the right actions at the right time. Just be kind, make polite conversation, and don’t be pushy.”—SlutRapunzel
A great tip to remember? Women are people, just like you! Talk to them just like you’d talk to anyone else and you’ll be good to go.
As time goes on, you’ll either end up with a new friend, eventually start a new relationship, or figure out that the two of you don’t click and you’ll stop talking altogether. Just relax and see where things lead—if you happen to end up with only a friendship because of it, we’d say you still did things right.
Don’t talk about sensitive or controversial topics when you don’t even know her.
“Just a tip when you’re in a conversation with the girl, when you got her interest: don’t start on debate subjects or a discussion where it could leads in a very heavy discussion, something like ‘So, what do you think of Trump?’ or ‘What’s your opinion on feminism?’. Things like that. Got one guy trying to discuss ‘if Quebec should be independent or not’, which is a very, very sensitive subject in my part of country. Like, I don’t even know you: I don’t want to start that type of conversation with a stranger.”—browniiesx
Yes, it’s ultimately important that you’re on the same page with the person you’re dating, but the time to figure out all of those things is not when you first meet someone at the club. There’s no need to stick to small talk only—just go where the conversation takes you—but bringing up political views and religious affiliations right off the bat is a little too heavy.
If you feel like you have to, you can always throw a lighthearted comment into the mix to see how the person reacts, but try to avoid getting into a debate with a woman you’ve only known for three minutes.
Do consider the time and place before you introduce yourself.
“Most important thing: There are some places and times that are never good for starting a conversation. Yes, I’m very flattered that you think I’m pretty or interesting and you want to talk or go on a date. I am at the gym right now, please go away. I am at the library, please go away. I am with my family, please go away.”—NotDido
It’s understandable that you might see an interesting-looking and attractive woman and want to talk to her. After all, if it’s not a place you go often, you might miss your chance completely and never have another. However, you’ll blow your chance anyway if trying to talk to her only serves to annoy her.
Think about it—when you’re in the zone while working, reading, or working out, do you usually feel happy to be interrupted? Most people don’t, including the woman you want to talk to. If anything, just try to catch her another time, but you may have to just let it be.