I read your article on Dappered about the different types of dudes who hit the gym. Let’s say I am a “Regular” and/or “Treadmill” runner type. I am a normal guy who hopefully doesn’t grunt or pose half naked in front of mirrors at the gym. Let’s also say there is a lady who I have seen and we always seem to awkwardly make eye contact.
How do I go about talking to her without making it seem like I am openly and aggressively hitting on her? From what I understand, most women don’t like being approached at the gym. How do you handle it? What has your experience been on the receiving end?
With iron and love,
Luke (that normal/somewhat nerdy guy at the gym)
You’re right, most women say they don’t like being approached at the gym. But when they say that they’re almost always talking about being approached by one of the following people:
- Dudes who leer, ogle, or have otherwise failed Civilized & Gentlemanly Behavior 101
- Men who are significantly older than them (like 20+ years older)
- Guys who are dripping sweat or stinkyyyy
May I offer you a towel?
Or, women are talking about being approached when they’re in an embarrassing or compromised position:
- Mid-lift when weight training
- Dead sprint on the treadmill
- Any stretch or exercise that involves their butt being in the air
So, can I get your number? This isn’t a bad time, is it? (photo credit)
The deal is that most people are more vulnerable at the gym, than, say, the grocery store. Sweaty, smelly, perhaps wearing clothing that’s not flattering, bad hair, smeared makeup. When we all have fantasies about an attractive man or woman sauntering over to us in public, telling us we’re the most beautiful person they’ve ever seen, and sweeping us off our feet, in our imagination we’re likely standing in a ballroom, dressed in something fantastic with sexy hair and sparkly teeth…not wearing spandex and socks with holes in the heels.
So the trick is to recognize that the person you’re approaching at the gym likely does not feel his or her most attractive. Try to mitigate that by doing the following things: Approach when the person gives you a sign, like the awkward eye contact you mentioned, Luke, that’s a really good sign. Or, approach before the person in question begins working out, or when they’re done and leaving the gym. Don’t use a line. Straightforward and honest, scary as it is, is really the best tact: “Hey, I hope this isn’t too forward, but I’ve noticed that we work out at the same time a lot, and I was wondering if you’d like to meet me for coffee sometime?” Make such an approach when neither of you is near a crowd of people, so that you don’t have an audience.
You’re a brave man, Luke, and I applaud your willingness to go out on a limb. I think it’s great. In my misspent youth, I was picked up at the gym once by a guy who simply started talking to me based on something printed on the old t-shirt I was wearing. So yes, it can happen!
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