On the day I announced the Ultimate Summer Dating Challenge, my twitter timeline exploded with questions and comments. Some tweeted statements of gratitude like "thanks so much for making me step out of my comfort zone." While others tweeted thoughts of distaste like, "men do the chasing and women should be the prey…period!” Despite the variety of commentary, there is one question that has stood out as the most frequent…so much so that I estimate for every 10 questions I get, this is one of them"Paul, how do I approach a man (without looking desperate)?”
I wish I could tell you there was one secret line to instantly lock in that Lance Gross-looking brotha, but there isn't. I've never seen a one liner work for everyone.As a matter of fact, I can't tell you I've seen a particular approach work for everyone (although the damsel in distress ranks high as a universally effective approach). So, if there are no exact words or methods of approaching, am I saying to just jump out there with no strategy? Of course not — tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat (Sun-Tzu). What I have witnessed as effective strategy lies within the elements of the approach, which are no different for a woman approaching a man as they are for a man approaching a woman – we basically react to the same stimuli. What follows is from my observations, reading, and experiences with clients. I’ve distilled the strategy to 6 rules, that when applied collectively, will optimize your approach.
This is easier said than done, but the good news is that everyone has the ability to convey confidence (see Confidence Is Sexy: 10 Ways To Show It). Whenever you approach someone, know that your confidence (or lack thereof) will reach him before your perfume hits their nostrils or your words vibrate through their ears.
If I where ranking these rules, this would be Number 1 (Note: I’m listing the rules in order of observation). I call this step the non-starter, because while studies show “the majority” of men will not outright reject an approach from a woman (meaning they will converse with you), they will not be interested in a date if they don’t find you attractive. This is the one concept many people fail to realize. You can do everything “right” when approaching someone, but if they don’t find you attractive, it’s a wrap. The good news is that there are many, many ways to improve on your attractiveness and also it’s important to know that there are over 100 million single men out there. So if a few don’t find you attractive, no worries, it’s on to the next one (or million).
Hands down, when I surveyed men, this is what they say they see the least (a smile). They also mentioned that bottom line is that most of their decision to accept an approach (to go out on a date) is based on this rule and Rule 2. Bonus points are awarded if you don’t just carry a smile but can tell a good joke. Humor ALWAYS wins!
“Hello, my name is ______, what is your name?" is all it takes for a strong introduction. When it comes to asking for the date, simplicity also wins: "I really enjoyed talking with you, I would love to continue the conversation, how about we get together this weekend. Are you free?” That’s all it takes.
The one thing we all have in common about who we are seeking, is that we all want someone extraordinary…spending your life with just “anyone” never is appealing. Outside of humor, I’ve observed that people who can quickly distinguish themselves as unique are looked at favorably. Now, don’t overdo it! Just because you can crochet a sweater while hanging upside down on a pole doesn’t mean it should be shared in a first conversation (although I’m sure that takes a unique skill set).
I've seen so many good initial conversations nosedive because someone couldn't stop talking. Remember that everyone wants to feel heard. If you're talking nonstop, you stifle that feeling. Also, those who talk profusely tend to look desperate. If you feel it's your natural inclination to talk a lot, be very conscious of this rule. I’m curious to hear your stories of approaching someone for a date. What strategy did you find useful and what things do you suggest people avoid? Leave your comments below. If you have questions or comments specifically for me, feel free to reach me at fb.com/PaulBrunson, twitter @PaulCBrunson, and at www.onedegreefrom.me