When I meet a girl that I like, should I "blindly" initiate conversation first? Or should I wait for her to show interest before doing anything?
Today, sitting in Starbucks, a woman sat next to me and enthusiastically started a conversation. This doesn't happen to me very often, and it caught my attention both because of her enthusiasm, and because it was an unusual experience to be approached.
It could be that she was just practicing conversation. Or she could be super extroverted. Or it could be that she found me interesting or attractive in some way.
But I was quite impressed by her initiative.
It also reminded me of a question I frequently hear from other men...
Why don't women approach men more?
In general, modern society seems to expect men to do the approaching, and initiate conversations with the women they are interested in.
Why is that?
I can think of a few reasons...
- Rejection. Women are far less tuned to accept rejection than men are.
- Sexual propriety. Sometimes called the "anti-slut defense", describes a social behavior in which women will often avoid showing sexual interest easily, so that they are not socially branded as over-sexual. In many ways, this appears to be changing, but it's still a factor.
- Social norms. Women are deeply protective of their friendships, social circles and relationships. They feel more dependent on them for survival than men generally do. That amplifies the fear of rejection- getting rejected would hurt. Getting rejected in front of their friends would hurt far worse.
And there are many more.
So then, should men approach first?
For most of my life, I didn't openly express attraction to women I was interested in.
Instead, I became "friends" trying to figure out whether they liked me, or would hopefully grow to like me.
It never worked the way I imagined. Not once. And I tried so many times.
Because I was uncomfortable initiating relationships, and feared rejection, I waited until I got clear signals from a woman that she was interested in me before I clearly expressed my own interest.
In fact, the first time I ever had sex was when I was at university and a girl straight up, approached me and she showed a very strong, unrelenting physical interest in me.
She left me with zero doubts what she wanted. She literally grabbed my butt.
It took nothing short of that, to convince me that - in fact, she was interested, and it was safe to more forward.
But what if you're not sure if she's interested in you or not?
I think this is a common misconception that men have.
For men, their interest in a women is largely known from the moment they see her. Most, let's say 80% to 90% of that interest is based on visible characteristics, like...
- Her face
- Her body shape
- Her cleanliness, and style of dress
- Her smile
- How she stands, walks, or moves
We often assume that women evaluate us in the same way, and fully know ( before we approach them ) whether they are interested or not.
I think that's somewhat incorrect.
For a woman, yes physical attraction is important, and some factors will be obviously attractive or un-attractive to her before we ever say hi.
But there are also a huge range of characteristics that she cannot know just by looking.
- Our self confidence. Do we think we are worthy of her attention?
- Our interest in her- this can be a huge factor in her attraction to a man
- Our manner of speech, and intelligence level
- Our voice quality and depth
if a man approaches, the very fact that he had the confidence to approach, and that he expressed his attraction to her - these can both significantly increase his attractiveness.
If he doesn't approach, he might be cute... but either isn't interested, or probably gay, or wouldn't make a good, assertive, "masculine" partner, capable of protecting her.
Again these are all perceptions, but they are important at the start of a relationship.
What's the downside of waiting for girls to initiate? Or at least openly express their attraction and interest toward you?
We've talked about how not approaching diminishes your attractiveness, and will cost you a huge number of great opportunities.
This is cyclical- you don't approach, so you don't have many connections. This makes you needy about connections. You then become more fragile in your sense of self-worth, and scarcity, and develop a fear of rejection. So you approach less. And the cycle deepens.
But there's another cost to waiting.
For me, not only were successful relationship connections far more rare, but...
The only women I ended up in relationships with were noticeably more masculine than me. From day one, they were the leader in the relationship, and I was the follower.
At first we both seemed to like this. We both got what we wanted ( each other, sex, companionship ). She got to tell me what she wanted, and I enjoyed trying to give that to her.
I preferred that, since women were confusing, and I wanted to make her happy. She needed to be capable of telling me what she wanted.
Thing is, eventually, these relationships always deteriorated into nothingness.
My lack of masculine leadership, had a cost.
Eventually, she would get tired of having to lead everything. It probably felt like I was beneath her, because I always put her on a pedestal, and lived my life around her wants and desires.
She wants to hang out, so I skip the gym. Every time.
This might sound small, but magnify it by 1,000, and extend it to every area of your life.
I was also ultimately unhappy, because this was very clearly a Nice Guy Syndrome situation.
I was giving everything I could, but I wanted something back. Sex, attention, commitment, love, whatever.
When that wasn't coming... I would feel some resentment, or depression, or confusion... frustration trying to control something I couldn't.
Ultimately, these types of relationships ended up being very unhealthy, in my own development as a man. In a sense, it stunted my own masculine growth, because I never had to initiate or lead anything.
My perspective, reshaped
Now, my perspective is that I actually want to be the one initiating all conversations in every situation I'm interested in.
The more I've come into my own sense of masculinity, the more attracted I am to equally strong, but feminine women - who let me lead.
That, to me is sexy beyond belief.
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