How To Approach A Woman

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By the time this goes up, it will be the end of April and the start of May. Hooray, hooray, the first of May, outdoor fucking begins today.

With the warm spring sun slowly turning to summer (or not so slowly for those of us who live in the south – THANKS GLOBAL WARMING!), we’re entering prime time for going out and meeting new, sexy singles. Women are breaking out the sun-dresses that cling to every curve while men are breaking out their shorts and tighter tees. Sex is in the air and everybody is looking forward to hooking up.

So there is no better time for you to brush up your skills and get ready to meet the woman of your dreams.

We’ve talked about how to get comfortable talking to women. We’ve covered what to say. I’ve taught you how to beat your approach anxiety.  You know what to look for to see if she’s interested in you.

Now it’s time to quit talking and start walking. It’s time for you to actually get out there and start meeting those awesome women you’ve been thinking about for so long.

Yes, it can be profoundly intimidating. Coming up to a total stranger and trying to get her interested in exploring the possibilities of  a sexual or romantic relationship with you can be difficult and stressful. In a lot of ways you’re making yourself emotionally vulnerable and being rejected can sometimes feel like a rejection of everything about you.

But fortunately you don’t have to worry; I’m here to walk you through the steps, as well as the common pitfalls that you need to avoid.

Side note: While this article is written with a predominantly male audience in mind, this advice applies equally well to women who want to make the first move instead of waiting for guys to approach them.

Consider The Context

Social context is incredibly important when it comes to approaching women; different social context will directly affect how you should approach someone and how you will be received. A party or a bar with an active social scene is a completely different situation than, say, approaching a woman you don’t know at a bookstore during the day or out on the street at night. If you approach a woman late at night, in a situation where it’s not as socially expected – the parking lot of a bar, for example – you’re running a very high risk of coming across as a threat rather than someone cool that she should get to know.

“Hey, who do you think lies more, men or women?” “I HAVE A GUN!”

The social context will affect how you approach people and when. At a party, for example, you’re supposed to mingle and get to know people. It’s generally accepted that people will flow in and out of conversations or to come up and introduce themselves. Similarly, at a rowdy bar – one where the focus is on talking and having fun rather than sullenly nursing your beer –  or a club, it’s understood that you are there to meet strangers, flirt and have a good time. You can be much more touchy at a bar; it’s generally accepted that people will be slapping backs, touching shoulders or pulling people in for side-hugs.

At a bookstore, on the other hand, different rules apply. While you might be able to simply insert yourself into a conversation at a party without too much interference, interrupting a group of friends talking will be considered rude at best if you don’t have a socially relevant reason to intrude. You’re better off approaching someone who is by herself and striking up a conversation. Asking for an opinion about a book or making an observation about the books on the shelves – ever notice how much urban fantasy covers all seem to look exactly the same? – is a socially relevant and acceptable conversational opening for that context.

Pro-Tip: “Hey, you know there’re perfectly good chairs over there,” is NOT a good conversation starter.

Being situationally relevant is key here; if your actions are not relevant to the location and situation, you’re going to come across as odd or disconcerting.

Keep this concept in mind. It’s going to be incredibly important.

Follow The Three Second Rule

Part of the problem of being nerds and geeks is that we spend a lot of time lost in our own heads. As a rule, we have active imaginations and a tendency to try to game things out before we actually make a move. While this does have it’s uses, it’s also a huge handicap when it comes to dating. That tendency to want to plan for every possible eventuality ends up leaving us in a state of paralysis, too afraid or intimidated to try to talk to someone we like for fear of inevitable rejection.

Hence: the Three Second Rule.

We’ve talked about the Three Second Rule many times before, but it’s worth repeating here:  if you see someone you like, you have a count of three seconds before you must go up and introduce yourself. The Three Second Rule is there to keep your brain from going into vapor-lock; if you take longer than three seconds, you’ve given your brain all the time it needs to game out every single  reason why you shouldn’t approach and every way it could possibly go wrong. Before you know it, you’ve gone from being about to introducing yourself to someone cool to picturing a series of Rube Goldberg-esque social missteps that ends with you clawing at your newly maced eyes while cops slam you to the floor and haul you off to a jail cell with a burly outlaw biker who is gauging your value in cigarettes.

Is that likely to happen? No. But the whole process will drain away any motivation you had to go over and meet her and leave you feeling depressed and frustrated with yourself.

The first rule of meeting awesome women: you can’t get a date without actually making a move in the first place.

By forcing yourself to move as soon as you see someone you like, you’re changing your immediate reaction from freezing like a terrified bunny to forward momentum – and that momentum will help carry you along emotionally as well as physically.

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  • haul you off to a jail cell with a burly outlaw biker who is gauging your value in cigarettes.

    I think this point could be made without the prison rape jokes.

    • PizzaSHARK!

      I dunno, I thought it was pretty funny. It's a joke, not a dick; don't take it so hard.

      I don't have much else to contribute, but I will say that I'm going to be glad to welcome the return of summer dresses, Doc.

    • WordyLibrarian

      According to George Carlin, "it's all about where the exaggeration is." This wasn't poking fun at rape victims, and it wasn't excusing rapists – it was a point about the extremes of the worst case scenarios our brains dream up. Truthfully enough, rape is one of those "absolute worst possibility" outcomes for everyone when you get down to it. I know this is really old, but the topic of rape jokes is certainly still relevant. With a rape joke you always risk offending someone, but humor sometimes offends some people and has to decide what lines to draw. To me, it's about where the exaggeration is, and what the punchline is poking at. Joking with me about how much it sucks to have to worry about rape? I'll laugh for days. Joking about prison rape like it should be part of the expected punishment that criminals totally deserve? You better believe I'm offended and I'll tell you so. Other people, of course, could interpret any given joke in a different manner.

  • Definitely going to try the 3 second rule. Like on the soccer field, I find I react more confidently and effectively when I do not over think the situation but do what I think is right. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sam

    Just read this article:
    which I thought was fantastic. Brilliant : )

    Then I clicked your icon to read more and found this article: – "How to Approach a Woman"

    which was crazy ironic.

    Your perspective on geek girls is soo refreshing and wonderful. However, you faulted others for treating women as something different from the norm or as sex objects and then and went and did the exact same thing. I doubt that was your intention and do appreciate your general advice on how to communicate and be respectfully sociable, but do you have to link your advice to getting a woman? You mention the beginnings of spring and awesome weather – does this necessarily have to immediately correlate to getting a girl and fucking outside? Admittedly, sounds like a great time, but women are everywhere. All year round in fact. You kind of made it seem like its open season on woman and these are some great tracking techniques. Why not just generally give advice, rather than have it be specialized for women? You stress that we are different from you, which you argued against in the first article. Even if it's winter and you're talking to a man, it makes sense to be aware of body language and context. You advice is great and is beneficial to both men and women on how to be sociable and good communicators. Why limit those skills to spring time seduction?

    Also, I get the impression your readers are not that comfortable in social situations or with people interactions. If you encourage them to talk to women casually as individuals one can befriend, study with, work with, or what ever, their anxiety may be reduce due to familiarity. (Develop and maintain casual relationships with women, before you dive into the messy world of romantic relationships and intimacy.) We're not rare. Everyone has a 1 in 2 probability of encountering a woman out there in the wild. If you explain that not all interactions with women are necessarily sexually charged, then your readers might not have as much anxiety about interacting with them and you expand the limits of women being predominately sexual objects.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      Without wanting to sound like I'm being dismissive, you may want to do a little more reading around the blog to get a feel for things. I think you'll find a lot of your questions and concerns have already been addressed.

      As for why does the season make a difference? Well, it's late spring now and the weather's gorgeous. That's really about it. Plus I like the rhyme; my friends and I have been saying it since college.

      • Fnordish

        Hey Sam, I think it's worth your time to take a closer look at the Good Doctor's back catalogue. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

        As for the 1st of May, I thought it was a JoCo reference myself.

        I'll just leave this here. (NSFWish)

  • Paul Rivers

    Any advice on how/where to approach vs how/where to ask her to do something else? (Whether it’s a date or something more casual or whatever).

    I’ve met a number of girls who would be happy to do that “initial contact” thing with their friends around, but actually asking them to do something (especially if it’s actually a date) in front of their friends gets dramatically worse results. I’ve been able to ask female friends of mine, and they say it’s much higher stakes to say yes to doing something in front of their friends than if you can ask them if it’s just them…

  • Oilivia

    Thank you for the note about this working for ladies! I’ve been trying and trying to figure out how to do this. Do you think women need to be careful not to come off as too aggressive? (What if they’re kind of intense already…)

  • Ghost

    Personally, I assumed that the “First of May” comment was just quoting the Jonathan Coulton song of the same name…

  • Dan

    Great article Doc.

    I do "day game" at college campuses. My day game interactions last no more than 10 minutes. I get a number in about 1 in 3 approaches.

    The biggest challenge in pickup is not getting the number – girls these days give out their numbers like candy. The problem is getting the girls out on a date. Often they won't come out. So how to combat flaky numbers?

    The key is buidling comfort over text and phone.

    Keep in mind that she's only actually spoken to you for only 10 minutes, you're still a "random stranger" to her. She's thinking "If I go out with him, will it be awkward?" It takes a bit of time to establish enough rapport for the girl to be invested and comfortable enough to meet with you alone.

    In my experience with college girls, it takes a good 2-3 days of steady text correspondence to get her comfortable enough to even answer the phone. You have to warm them up first. An impromptu phone call from a "random" is "creepy" to her and they won't answer your call.

    I like the "text to call" strategy. Bait them with a teaser text like "i need your input on something, it's a long story". When she texts back, exchange a few more texts to warm her up. Then text her "i hate all this texting, i'll call you now" and call her right away.

    She's now compelled to answer the call as she knows you know she has her phone in her hand. Now spend a good 10-15 minutes on the phone, show her that you're a cool, normal guy and not a serial killer, and ask her out. Younger girls today are seldom used to prolonged phone converations with guys, so if you can pull it off you're golden.

    Moreover, at this point she knows your voice, you've moved from "random guy" to "normal interesting guy" and she feels comfortable enough to meet you alone.

    So my system is:

    Day 1 – get number, text her that night (callback to something initial conversation)

    Day 2 – exchange texts through the day to build rapport

    Day 3 – exchange texts to warm them up then "text to call" & phone call

    Day 4/5/6 – meet

    If you can't get a meet within a week of the number-close, it's a bust – at this point she's likely forgotten what you look like.

    IMO this is the most effective strategy to combat flakes from quick number closes, and transition to meet and lay. This system has worked well for me and a buddy who also does day game.

    Input appreciated.

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  • dave

    It appears as if fewer and fewer men are approachinh women these days. Could it be that men are fed up with the double standards and games, hoping to have some value for once? I know that I would NEVER approach a woman, waiting for them to approach so that I at least know that they are interested.

  • Good article and good tips on how to approach a woman. I especially liked the tips you gave about having the right body language. This will demonstrate to a woman that you are a confident guy. I am also glad that you pointed out that the "opener" is not the most important thing. What matters is not so much what you say, but how you say it, and how you use your voice and body language to flirt with her.

  • Mickey

    What crap!!! As much as women hate men today, this is just one more exercise in futility!