Men shouldn’t be nervous about approaching women, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to make the ladies feel more comfortable approaching you. It’s called peacocking. Women have been peacocking since the dawn of civilization: We put on heels and little dresses and generally try to make ourselves as shiny as possible to draw attention. For men, the goal of peacocking is to stand out by looking as interesting as possible.
I called a summit of women to help me assemble a guide to approach-ability. These are our findings. And for more information on the secret to making women chase you, check out my friend Mike Wright’s program on the matter, Elixir of Eros. After following his technique, you’ll be thrice as likely to be hit on and sleep with the lady that same night. NOTE: This program was NOT created by me.
STEP 1: Dress Down—But Not Casual
I’d argue that dressing for comfort and dressing for women are the same thing. So would my friends. “I’d also probably feel more confident walking up to a guy who’s dressed more casually. Fancy business men can be intimidating, and I feel like we wouldn’t have anything in common,” said Kaila. “I’ve also used an interesting piece of clothing as a means of hitting on guys. It’s an easy conversation starter.” Break out those novelty tees, gentlemen. Shannon suggested that men’s clothes should be “comfortable but also fresh”. What does that mean? You need to dress down, but upscale down: Wear white sneakers, but make sure the sneaks are very clean; and if you generally wear jeans, with a T-shirt or sweater, but everything should fit well and be in good condition—no wrinkles, stains, or holes. Your clothes should be unintimidating, but not frumpy.
STEP 2: Bring a Buddy…
Having a friend or two around also helps. (Although, Shannon pointed out, a man who is “comfortably alone,” reading or somehow occupying himself, is very approachable.) “If a guy is around a bunch of guys, it’s a good sign that he has friends and isn’t just prowling around a bar like a weirdo,” said Sophia, adding that she’ll usually wait for a guy to separate from the herd—by taking a solo trip to the bar, for example—before she approaches. “I’m not going to talk to four guys when I just want to talk to one.” The smaller your group, the more approachable you’ll be. “If it’s just him and a buddy, I’d probably be more likely to chat him up than if he’s in a large group of guys,” Eliza agreed, “especially if there are women in the group.”
STEP 3: …But Not a Lady Buddy
Rolling with female friends definitely makes other men jealous, but it also makes women less likely to approach you: We have no way of knowing whether that beautiful woman to your left is your friend or your girlfriend, and we’re not going to risk her wrath by shooting our shot.
STEP 4: Don’t Brood
Women like the brooding bad boy on screen (call me, MarlonBrando circa 1951), but nobody wants to talk to the brooding bad boy in a bar. Almost every woman polled in my grand summit of babes said she would not approach a man unless he was smiling a lot and having a good time—unless, in other words, he looked friendly and easily charmed. “I’m not approaching a guy who isn’t smiling. It just feels too dangerous to talk to a man who is serious, quiet, and trying to be cool,” Sophia said.
STEP 5: Remain Alert …
Use your friends to look less broody, but don’t get totally caught up in their chat. “One thing that has kept me from approaching a man is the feeling that I will be interrupting a conversation, or his enjoyment of whatever game he’s watching on the bar TV,” said Ashley. “When I’ve approached men, it’s usually when but not engrossed in it, or when they’re watching something but also frequently checking in with what’s happening elsewhere in the room.” Women are very skilled at half participating: we’re capable of having many long, wonderful conversations in which we all half-assedly throw in contributions every couple seconds while scoping the room.
STEP 6: …But Chill
While you’re having your half-assed but very enjoyable (smile!) conversation with your small group of wing friends, be sure not to get too loud. In middle school, being loud and boisterous was a great way to signal confidence and get girls’ attention. In adulthood, being loud and boisterous suggests immaturity. It also suggests that you’re drunk. One of the cruel contradictions of flirting is that alcohol, which makes you feel comfortable approaching someone, also makes women less likely to approach you. So order a soda with bitters and sit tight. If you create the right impression, the women will come.
P.S. Here’s a question: would it really be so bad if men took a sabbatical from making the first move? What’s the worst that could happen? Yes, it’s a radical notion, but it’s one that you will love, because who doesn’t like being chased, right? Check out my friend Mike Wright’s program, Elixir of Eros, and let him guide your way to a world in which you’re the coveted prize women fight for. NOTE: This program was NOT created by me.