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I’m gonna keep this very simple. If a guy notices an attractive woman at a bar/lounge and he would like to approach her, how would you recommend he go about this? In other words, if you were with your friends (and I’m assuming wanting to be noticed), how would you want a guy to approach YOU?
I have no shortage of stories about lame/childish/feeble/just-for-kicks attempts that by no means ruin my night, but if I were to make things a little more interesting for me and my friends next time around, I’d definitely like a few pointers that I “know for sure I’m doing correctly”.
Thanks for writing in. Well actually, no. Thanks for nothing, You’ve asked me the question that has NO CORRECT ANSWER . I haven’t been doing this advice column gig for long–it will be two years in October. But something I learned quickly, via friends’ input, reader comments, and my own experience, is that all people everywhere have different opinions about the best way to pick up someone else. It’s incredible! A planet full of pick up experts and still there are people out there not getting laid! What are the odds!
Here are your options:
1) You could just approach the woman. Walk up, introduce yourself, find out her name, tell her a bit about yourself, etc. This gives you a lot of control–you’re putting yourself next to her and initiating conversation. One drawback is that she could reject you right to your face. I’m sure you’d survive the brutality, but, you know, it’s something to consider. Also, some women have a very strong aversion to forward men, so if she’s one of those women, she might reject simply because you approached her. Which is lame, but it could happen.
Probably best to just move on to a woman who doesn’t have issues.
2) You could send her a drink via the bartender. That leaves the matter in her hands. If she wants to talk to you, she’ll come over. If she is painfully shy, though, you do run the risk of her bailing even if she might be interested, because she’s just too reserved to approach you even after you’ve bought her a drink. Bonus: you won’t be rejected to your face. Drawback: this move might be seen by some women as archaic and cheesy. It does have a certain…Wall Street (the first one) feeling to it. Also, sending drinks to every attractive woman you see could be an expensive dating habit.
3) Hand her your number on the way out. This third option is the lowest pressure, lowest risk, and lowest reward. I hesitated to even mention it…but I do know two people who met this way and are now married, so I had to put it out there. You could hand her your number on your way out of the bar, or tuck it in the pocket of her coat that’s hanging on the chair, or place it on the bar next to her drink. I’ve seen it work. Myself? I would never call a guy who snuck his number into my personal effects or handed it to me without so much as a hello. It seems very…lazy, maybe? Avoidant? Come on, you can’t even talk to me first?
In addition to these options, there are variations, like chatting up her friend first and then using that “in” to meet her, and so on. But know that what works for you one night with one woman may not work the next night with a different woman. Like many highly-developed species, we vary from specimen to specimen so there is no one-size-fits-all. Since you asked how I would want to be picked up, I choose option number 1 every time. It’s honest, it’s direct, it’s adult. In an ideal world, it also gives the woman the opportunity to be open to your advances…or to shut you down in a gracious way. “It was nice meeting you but tonight I’m hanging out with my girls.” I mean, you have to depend on the kindness of strangers, and you may not always get that, but that’s a risk you have to take.
Speaking of A Streetcar Named Desire…no one does STELLAAAA better than Elaine.
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