Quite a few of us have recommitted to new dating habits this new year. In fact, the relationship app, Hinge, tells us that January 7 (aka this Sunday) will be the biggest digital dating day of 2018. Even so, knowing that there will be plenty of women out there freshly resolved to give love a chance doesn't change the fact that approaching a woman—on an app or in person—can be daunting. So daunting in fact, that it might be tempting to just sit back and see who reaches out to you first (hello, Bumble.) While I know this works just fine for many women (in which case, again, hello Bumble!), I know a lot of women would prefer a guy to "man up" and be the first to say "Hi".
To put it frankly, it's just not as simple as "growing a pair" (not sure if that is very simple either...). That said, it is usually up to the guy to get up the courage if he wants to make something happen. But there are things women can do to help a guy out.
No, I'm not talking about maintaining eye contact or smiling—although that kind of friendliness has been proven to send the right signals. Rather, you might consider being a bit more present, like these five types of super approachable girls:
01. The Girl With Open Ears
Unless she’s a DJ, a girl with earbuds or noise cancellers is basically a big “Do Not Disturb" sign. I used to only see people with ear gear while working out or riding a skateboard. Now it’s common to see people with earbuds in line at the grocery store or just eating lunch.
On the other hand, a woman who is open to the world around her is something else. She is aware of her surroundings. She is observant. She is facing outward. She is present. For myself, I know I generally at least say hello to anyone next to me on the work shuttle or waiting in an elevator. If they have earbuds in, though, you basically need to do jumping jacks to get their attention—too much work, and more than a little awkward.
02. The Girl Who Reads
Phones are generally not conversation starters, even if you do have the $999 iPhone X. A $10 paperback, however, is a whole other thing. Most guys aren’t amazing conversation starters, but a girl reading a book suddenly makes it a lot easier. Often, I find myself asking myself, “What is she reading? Why is she reading what she’s reading? What other books does she read?” Only one way to find out!
03. The Girl in Pink in a Sea of Black
In the effort to be fashionable and stay on trend, it's forgotten that your clothes can actually convey a sense of who you are—rather than just a sign that you're able to keep up with the demands of fashion. A lady who dresses in a way that conveys some personality and who is wholly confident in who she is, will be much easier to approach. Call us crazy, but clothes can sometimes give us men a hint on how easy it'd be to start a conversation.
I remember being at a happy hour once in a sea of black cocktail dresses. Sure, sheath black dresses are elegant, but when every single woman is wearing one, I don’t even blink. There was one young lady with a pink dress on and she stood out. Pink dress aside, there was something about the way she held herself, and it made her more intriguing—and approachable. And the micro locket hanging from her neck? Whose picture was inside? I went and talked to her, and she allowed me to help her with her prosciutto and cheese board. Don't worry, I know fashion advice is not my thing (that's what Lilly Fallon is here for), but I guess all I'm saying is it helps when you allow your personal style to shine through a little bit.
04. The Girl Who Leaves a Seat Open
When guys want to meet new people we generally choose the path of least resistance. Is there a seat open next to that single woman? Or do I have to ask her to move her coat and purse?
Typically this means sitting in one of two open bar stools, but it could also mean the treadmill line-up in the gym or even sitting in the middle of an empty church pew. The young lady who leaves some space somehow communicates that she’s willing to talk to people and open to some companionship or conversation. The girl sitting in the farthest tucked away corner somewhere, however, is a lot harder to get to and therefore gives the impression of being a little less approachable.
05. The Girl Enjoying Herself At an Event You Both Enjoy
Common ground is the basis for all discussion. For all the talk about men being poor communicators, this is one aspect we do understand very well. Go to any business networking event and you’ll see men start conversations based on what they have in common.
Events that have some interesting context make it so much easier for us to branch out and meet people. It gives us common ground. It's hard to imagine we have something in common with a random woman at a bar—but it's easier to believe we have something in common with a woman at the bar during a fundraiser for kids with autism, for example. Perhaps we're both familiar with autism; maybe I have a brother with it, and maybe she's a special ed teacher. Maybe we both volunteer. Suddenly, we have a deeper connection—something real in common.
As guys, we try our best not to overthink when, where, and how to ask anyone out. But no matter how much confidence we have, or how awesome we may feel from deadlifting earlier that day, we’ll always appreciate a little green light from ladies.