Fellas, if a woman catches your eye across the bar/cafe/bus stop, be careful how you proceed.
There’s nothing wrong with approaching a woman (or man) you fancy, after all, that’s how most relationships started in the pre-dating app era.
But it’s important to hit the right tone when initiating a conversation with a stranger, because nothing’s less romantic than creeping someone out.
On Reddit, women have been sharing their best tips for approaching them, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites.
Single men, take note.
1. Avoid commenting on her appearance.
“To me, commenting on physical appearance is the worst thing to do. It’s like you’re saying ‘hey, I’ve been looking at your body and decided I want to screw you, I shall now proceed to ask you enough questions about yourself until you let me’. Saying/asking something random or witty about something happening in the environment is your best bet.”
2. Make small talk.
“Try to strike up conversation about a normal thing, mention the book they’re reading, the game/movie on their t-shirt, hell even the weather. And if they don’t reciprocate or seem interested, do not, I repeat, do not keep pestering them, especially if they flat out aren’t replying or are only doing so in a very ‘I feel uncomfortable and awkward, please leave’ way.”
3. Read her body language.
“If she doesn’t seem interested (starts to look away, gives short answers), back off and leave her alone. I feel like that’s where a lot of men fail; going past that point and not giving the woman space.”
4. Choose your setting wisely.
“For me it’s more like when shouldn’t you approach me. On public transport, with headphones on or if I’m clearly busy, do not approach. I am not in the mood for contact. If I’m just reading in a cafe or shopping then a nice, ‘hey, I saw you and you seem like a cool person to talk to’ or something not related to my appearance then I’ll probably be game!
“I’ve had guys approach me in coffee shops while I’m reading or working to ask what I’m doing. If I need to concentrate I’ll tell them super nicely, but often times I’m a-okay with procrastinating and bitching about my degree. Bring me something intellectual.”
5. Ditch the cockiness.
“Confidence, not arrogance. Learn the line, because arrogance is the least attractive thing in the world to me. Honestly, I welcome any conversation, and I’m not going to think you’re a creep if you come up to me and just talk like you’re comfortable.
“I can tell if you’re nervous and I’m not going to judge you for it. As long as you’re not making unsolicited comments about my appearance or trying some creepy line on me, we should have a nice convo.”
6. Make her smile.
“I feel like humour is something that is always a great icebreaker, or thought-provoking questions. If they’re not interested by that stuff they’re probably a boring person to talk to anyway.”
7. Notice your surroundings.
“The best way is to make a comment or observation about something that is happening in the room. She’ll probably have an opinion on it or not mind discussing more.”
8. Respect the sisterhood.
“Never attempt to compliment a woman by putting another woman down. For example, don’t say something like ‘wow, you’re so much smarter than other girls,’ because that’s a huge red flag.
9. Compliment her style, not her body.
“If you open with a compliment, make it genuine and about something she wasn’t born with.
“I constantly get the ‘your eyes are so pretty’ and I’m so awkward and never know what to say, one time I said ‘hey thanks, I got them for my birthday’.
10. Think about what makes her different.
“Ask yourself why you’re interested in talking to this girl in the first place. If your only answer is ‘she’s pretty’, then move it along, you’re probably one of five guys in shouting distance that thinks so too. But if it’s her style, a book she’s reading, or something more tangible then just being attractive, start with that.”
11. Don’t over-think it.
“Don’t talk to them like they’re girls, talk to them like they’re people.”