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This Is How to Successfully Approach a Beautiful Woman
Building up the confidence to talk to a beautiful stranger at the bar is something that’s oft-discussed and analyzed. There are a million manuals, books, articles, and YouTube channels that focus on a million different ways to do it. And you know what’s wrong with every last one of them?
They make it way too hard!
Having a nice, normal conversation with a beautiful woman (and hopefully leaving with her contact info) is not the same as Sudoku. There’s absolutely no need to make an elaborate game of it. All you really need to do is have a little confidence in yourself and be attuned to certain social cues.
Okay, we’ll admit that’s easier said than done. But that’s why we’re here to hook you up with some simple and effective tips for approaching women. And, if you really take ‘em to heart, you just may find that they transform the way you think of the whole process and totally upgrade your flirting game.
1. Be Chill
Let’s get one thing clear. Approaching strangers is the least “chill” thing in the entire universe. Why? Because you’re interrupting someone as they go about their day, and completely without warning. But, we humans are social creatures after all, so there is a cool, calm, and collected way to go about this process. First, consider how you would feel if a stranger approached you. You’d want them to be relaxed and friendly, and most of all, normal, right?
“If you are interested in approaching a woman in public, but get easily nervous, pretend that she is an old friend or someone you already feel comfortable with,” suggests Dr. Christie Kederian. Also known as the Date Doctor, she’s a nationally-renowned psychologist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and professional matchmaker and relationship expert for eharm.ony and Match.
“This can help build that confidence internally, rather than from a fearful place,” she continues. “Be ready to accept that she may not engage and approach with respect, not desperation.”
When you do make conversation, try asking her about something she’s doing, like whether or not she recommends the wine she’s drinking. Or, ask her opinion about something that’s going on around you, like that ridiculous hat the bartender is wearing, the song that’s playing, or a local store or restaurant.
The goal is to make the interaction about both of you — what you’re experiencing, what you might have in common, and anything else you could naturally build a conversation around — instead of aggressively pouring compliments on her. The latter is bound to make her feel really awkward and she may immediately want to shut down any attempt at further communication. The former approach, however, should create a natural rapport and make the conversation that much smoother and more pleasant.
2. Ditch the Pickup Lines
It’s totally understandable to be nervous about approaching someone new, and it’s natural to want to compensate for that nervousness. But try with all your might to resist the urge to fall back on some corny gimmick or eye-roller of a pickup line. You’re not a salesman going door-to-door with his product. Women can sense that type of bullshit from a mile away, so it’s not necessary to dream up some complicated shtick to try to market yourself in some outlandish way. Plus, the awkwardness of it all will probably stress her out, and that’s obviously the complete opposite of the reaction you’re trying to get.
Instead, just try to be yourself and get to know her organically.
“Leading with kindness and genuine interest in connection is key when you are approaching a woman you may be interested in,” says Dr. Kederian. “Approaching from a place of genuine connection and asking questions in a way that communicates you care about getting to know her as a person — rather than just thinking she is physically attractive — is appropriate to communicate off the bat.”
3. Read the Room
Good timing is key to flirtation, so be sure to observe what she’s doing before you go leaping across the room to talk to her. You really want to make sure — to the best of your ability — that she is open to talking to you, and that she actually has the time to talk to you. Does she appear to be furiously texting someone? Is she walking hurriedly across the room? Is she already having a profound conversation with somebody at the bar?
If she’s busy or frustrated, or otherwise engaged in an important interaction with someone else, don’t expect to swoop in and be her knight in shining armor. Even if she’s smitten by you, she won’t be able to talk while her boss is emailing her about a work crisis, or she’s comforting her friend who’s going through a tough time. You should brush on these types of social cues so that you’re only approaching women who seem relaxed and at their leisure. They’re the ones who will be open to socializing, and therefore will actually be far more likely to talk to you.
4. Check Her Body Language for Positive, Inviting Cues
If she’s been looking in your direction and seems like she’s trying to catch your eye, or even better, if she’s already sent a smile your way, then she’s probably very open to you approaching her. If you’ve been aware of these body language cues, you should feel pretty confident that she’s willing to have a conversation with you, so mosey on over and say “Hello.”
Once you’ve slid into a conversation, you’re likely to know that things are going well if she’s making eye contact, smiling genuinely, leaning toward you (not away), mimicking some of your movements, and subconsciously inviting you to talk more with the “triple head nod.”
Furthermore, a recent paper published in the Journal of Sex Research claims to identify a set of flirtatious facial expressions that may effectively be used by women to indicate interest in a man. The researchers, based out of the University of Kansas, found that the so-called Facial Action Coding System, or FACS, included “a head turned to one side and tilted down slightly, a slight smile, and eyes turned forward, toward the implied target.” In even better news, they found that these nonverbal cues are highly recognized by men. So basically, you’ll know it when you see it.
5. Check Your Own Body Language
It’s important to be confident (but not cocky) when you approach her. This lies in more than just what you say; it’s very much about how you act, too. So, first of all, be sure to make eye contact when you’re speaking to her. Not in an aggressive way, of course, but a normal amount. A few seconds of eye-to-eye action at a time can establish a better connection, a sense of trust between the two of you, and maybe even a greater sense of closeness.
Beyond that, you’ll want to keep your body language open and your hands visible, and also try to approach her from the side or at an angle, if possible. Sneaking up behind her could be startling, and approaching her head-on might be a bit intimidating, especially if she can see you making a beeline for her from all the way across the room. Ultimately, you want to strike a balance where you’re not catching her completely unaware, but you’re also not threatening.
6. Keep It Low Stakes
Imagine that you’ve just spotted a girl who’s a dead ringer for Jennifer Lawrence. (Or Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Hudson … or whoever is the most famous Jennifer of your generation. You get the idea.) Your heart just skipped a beat, the pressure is on, and you feel like this is it. This is your one and only shot at true love!
Okay, cool it down there, bud. Women are always evaluating the likelihood of a threat from strange men, so any intense come-ons are sure to be interpreted as more creepy than flattering, regardless of how well-intentioned you think you may be. So, before you go pouring on some wild admiration for your dream girl of the moment, snap yourself back to reality. There will always be another day, another beautiful woman across the room, and another shot at “true love.”
Now, take a deep breath and play it cool instead. Try walking over and saying something like, “Hey, you seem really cool. If you’d like a drink later, I’ll be by the bar.” Then, just walk away. This is perfect, because it leaves the ball in her court and she’ll probably be pretty intrigued by your show of cool confidence (even if you felt incredibly nervous and not-at-all-confident as you did it). Now she’s free to come find you, and she’ll feel comfortable doing so because you’ve already established that you’re not going to be pushy, needy, or creepy about it.
7. Don’t Ask For Her Number (At Least Not Right Away)
This is not an all-or-nothing game. You absolutely do not need to walk up to her and ask for her phone number right away. No one — man or woman — should be comfortable giving that much information to a complete stranger right off the bat. Instead, start small. Make some conversation, then ask her politely if you can buy her a drink. Tack on a little “If not, no worries,” for good measure. (Because, you know, you’re not a serial killer and you want her to know that.)
If she seems receptive and you want to make sure you leave her with a point of contact, you might choose to give her your phone number instead of asking for hers. Or, even better, give her your social media handle. This way, instead of a random set of numbers, she’ll have a bit of a digital resume to get to know you a little better and feel a little more secure in reaching out to you if and when she feels comfortable doing so.
8. Pay Attention to Negative, Nonverbal Cues
So you’ve worked up the nerve to go talk to her. That’s great, but your work is not done. You still want to make sure that she’s being receptive to your approach, so don’t get stuck in your head. Pay attention to how she is — or is not — responding to you. It’s really important to keep in mind that women don’t always reject men directly. She may feel too uncomfortable or too impolite to rap out a hard “No” the second you go over. But that doesn’t mean you should keep rambling if she appears to have no interest. After all, why would you want to talk to somebody you have to hold hostage?
With that in mind, be sensitive to any signal she may give that indicates she’s not interested, and learn to read her nonverbal cues and body language. Is she crossing her arms, or maybe tapping her foot nervously? Is she only replying with one-word answers, or not making eye contact? If she seems kind of distracted and is looking elsewhere, get out of there, bro. She feels uncomfortable and is looking for a friend — or anyone — to help her out of the situation. Take the cues, politely excuse yourself, and go get a drink. It wasn’t meant to be.
9. Be Comfortable With Rejection
You’ve made sure she seems open to a conversation. You played it cool and didn’t come off as creepy. You weren’t pushy, you weren’t cheesy, and you were totally cool, calm, and collected.
But she still wasn’t interested.
Hey, it happens. Even if you do everything right, she just might not be that into you and there’s nothing you can do about it beyond accepting it.
If she turns you down outright, just smile and genuinely say “Well, it was worth a shot. Have a nice night!” That way, she’ll still be flattered, and you both leave with a positive opinion of the interaction. After all, making someone’s day with a nice compliment and a pleasant conversation is still a pretty decent alternative.
“It’s important to enter any situation with high involvement, low attachment — meaning that you are engaged and ready to connect, and optimistic about the opportunity, but you have little attachment to the results,” says Dr. Kederian. “If it’s not a fit, you’ll be okay. And remembering that it doesn’t have to do with some inadequacy can help you handle any disappointment without letting it discourage you in dating.”
So whatever you do, just be sure not to internalize the rejection. Don’t overthink it, and definitely don’t ask her why or push her to change her mind. Not only will it creep her out, but it may also make her feel pretty threatened and possibly even unsafe.
Instead, just take the “L” and chalk it up to good practice. After all, even Steph Curry misses a shot here and there. You can’t succeed every time, so there’s no point in stressing about it. Just make sure it doesn’t knock you out of the game for good.
“As they say, practice makes perfect,” encourages Dr. Kederian. “And the more you connect with women organically, the easier it will become,”
10. Respect Her Time
Now for the positive alternative. You’ve done everything right, you’re making great conversation, she’s enthusiastic and chatty, and she seems to be genuinely interested in you. Nicely done!
But hold on. That doesn’t mean you should push it. Even if she is interested in potentially pursuing something with you, she still may not want to spend the entire night talking to you. This is why you should be mindful of her circumstances.
For example, if she’s out with her friends on girls’ night, don’t monopolize her time. There will be plenty of chances to talk later. Give her your phone number or other point of contact, and let her know you’d love to continue what you’ve got going on. Being cognizant of her time and space is a respectful move and she’ll think highly of you for it. She’ll also appreciate that you’re not coming across as clingy, and it will leave her with a little sense of mystery and a deeper interest in wanting to get to know you more.