A few years ago I was sitting at a party with some friends when I ran into an attractive woman I knew who goes to our church. Kind of in jest I asked her if she felt like church was a meat market. In other words were guys always asking her out. She looked at me incredulously and said, “No because it’s not like any guy is actually going to do anything about it.”
I wrote about this a while ago, but this deal of guys not actually approaching women is a very real issue in our “Christian” culture. There’s a plethora of reasons for this. But some of it is that we are just not trained as men on what is a good way to approach women. The older you get the more important this becomes.
I’ve talked some about approaching women online. I want to offer some thoughts about doing it in person. Now most of this I learned by doing it wrong – a lot. So don’t think I’m some sort of guru. Also, keep in mind that I’m not trying to give you a formula. I actually think you coming up with one at first could be good. But the problem is if you give a man a hammer, everything becomes a nail – and that will backfire.
First and foremost is having our identity in Christ. Go back and read last week’s post. This is essential. If you aren’t working on this, nothing I say here will work. You’ll just be faking it. Now that doesn’t mean you have to get it perfectly before you can do this, I don’t mean that at all. But you need to be working on your insecurities and fears in light of your relationship with Jesus. If you’re not then this isn’t going to end well – even if you fake your way into marriage.
That said, here are some keys (remember all we are talking about here is the initial approach).
- When you see someone you want to approach – act quickly. Don’t be in a hurry but don’t over think it. Don’t let it build up. When you make eye contact and she smiles – you have maybe 15 seconds max to act. Otherwise you send one of three messages – that you aren’t interested, interesting, or you are afraid of her. All bad.
- Body language is everything. Women naturally pick up on this stuff. Learn to control yours. If you are slumped over or in a submissive posture or jittery – that sends the message you are afraid (which you might be but that isn’t the point). Don’t be rigid – but don’t be cowering.
- Along with that, make eye contact and keep it. Smile. Again not in a forced way but smiling means warmth, and comfort.
- Talk to her like you’ve always known her. Really almost like she was your sister. At ease. And talk slow. When we get nervous we speed up. Dead give away. Be thoughtful and intentional. Think taking a walk instead of going on a run. Seriously.
- Ask questions. It can be good to have a couple of questions ready. These should not be deep questions. They should also not be critical questions. In other words, what did you think of the sermon followed by a critique of it = bad. Think fun questions. Which brings us to:
- Fun is good – always. That doesn’t mean “ha ha” fun necessarily. But girls are attracted to fun. They are stressed out enough emotionally already – they don’t want that from a guy – they want the guy to be the escape – where they can relax. Fun is your friend.
- Don’t apologize for talking to her. Don’t say things like, “I’m just kidding”. Don’t act like she holds any power over you.
Keep the following thoughts in mind.
- It’s no big deal. Keep remembering that
- There is always someone else.
- You have no idea who she is or what she’s about. You want to find out – that is why you are approaching her. You’re investigating, not asking her to marry you. You are a high quality person – is she?
- Attraction (sexual tension & fun) + comfort (safety) = date*. Think about it.
- In the beginning less is more. Don’t ask her out the first time you talk to her. If you can, you want to be the one to end the conversation. Maybe something like this, “I’m glad I met you (or you met me – if you can pull that off). I’d like to talk more. Do you have email (a card, phone number) etc.?” This whole thing might take three minutes.
If you are not good at this at all, here is what I’d suggest. I’d practice. I know that sounds funny but really. It’s like golf. You have to go to the driving range before the course. Don’t ask for everyone’s number. Just meet them. Catch how that feels and how you react. See what works for you. Build sort of a formula for you. Once you do that, assuming you are working on the identity piece, you won’t need a formula long. Have fun.
* Formula adapted from Mystery’s Attraction + Comfort = Seduction