Learn To Be Approachable and Put Yourself Out There

Some people are natural flirts. They have a natural charm and charisma with the opposite sex that makes them appealing and approachable. Some of us lack this approachability. When told to “put ourselves out there” if we want to meet someone, we show up at a bar and park our fannies on a bar stool. But something is wrong…There are no flocks of people approaching me wanting to chat me up. I’m here. What else do you want from me?

Forget the fact that our faces probably have looks of terror or hostility painted on them. Forget the fact that we may actually avoid eye contact with the opposite sex because it makes us feel vulnerable. No, no. That can’t be it. I’ve seen the movies. People should be approaching me and be undeterred by my ambivalence! They should be persisting! What is wrong here?!

Call it shyness. Call it introversion. Call it insecurity. Call it a unicorn for all I care. What you call it or why it happens isn't really important. What is important is that this has to change. It never works. Trust me, I know.

Even knowing, logically, that this made absolutely no sense whatsoever, I still felt this way throughout pretty much all of high school. My friends would get boyfriend after boyfriend, and I’d look at myself in the mirror and wonder what it was about me that guys didn't like.

Then after high school, I met a guy who was super into me. FINALLY, I’d found somebody willing to pursue me until I was comfortable enough to give in. And that took several months. It was such a relief. And that whole relationship thing? It felt really good. So good, that after 5 years of dating, I married that guy. And then 5 years later, I got a divorce.

flirting
Look, people get divorced all the time, and for lots of reasons. I’m not claiming every couple that gets divorced is like me. But looking back now? I had no business dating that guy in the first place. It was a rocky relationship filled with drama from the very start. We had completely different backgrounds, completely different values, completely different goals, completely different personalities… I won’t say I didn't love him. But all that proves is that humans are capable of loving people who are totally wrong for them. That probably isn't a huge newsflash for anybody.

Moral of the story: If you wait until you meet someone who is willing to pursue you relentlessly, you might actually meet someone like that. But it doesn’t mean that person is someone you’d actually want to be with. If you have standards in what you want in a significant other, you absolutely have to put yourself out there and not wait from someone to chase you relentlessly.

Question of the day: How the #@$% do I learn how to do that? It’s fricken scary!!

Finding myself divorced in my late 20s with absolutely no real flirting or dating experience under my belt left me terrified. I had no idea how to date! I figured it would be awhile before I was actually ready to start seriously dating somebody again, but I needed to figure out how to be approachable before then. I’m sure there are multiple ways, but here is what I did:

1. Create a profile on a free dating website. Often times, you get what you pay for with the free dating websites. So why one of those instead of something more reputable? Because we’re here to practice. THAT is our main goal.

2. Say things to people you wouldn't have the courage to say normally. We’re gauging their reactions. Stay true to yourself, though. Don’t try to be someone completely different than who you usually are. But you know that person you are when you’re with your closest friends? Tap into that aspect of your personality – whether you’re a total nerd, kind of a pervert, a hopeless romantic, or a lazy bum. You shouldn't be trying to think of things to say, you should be saying the things you’re thinking already anyway.
"Say things to people you wouldn't have the courage to say normally!"
3. Tell yourself “this is just an experiment”. Because, truly, that’s all it is. If you’re thinking about saying something potentially controversial or ballsy, take a deep breath, say to yourself “oh well, this is just an experiment”, and say it. If it gets a positive reaction, cool. If it doesn't, oh well. On to the next one. (And a different tactic! Don’t keep trying the same one that keeps NOT working!) Have you heard the Thomas Edison quote “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work”? That’s a much easier mindset to work with than “ I've been rejected 10,000 times.” They aren't rejecting you, because you aren't acting the way you normally would. They are just the mice in your maze.

4. Don’t let yourself get hopeful about someone. If you get hopeful about someone, you’ll revert back to your reserved ways out of fear of being rejected if you say something outlandish. What’s funny is these safe, reserved conversations are, in all actuality, boring and dry as can be and unlikely to really spark anyone’s interest.

5. Start experimenting with strangers. After a while, move your game to real life. This could be people you meet from the website or people you meet in person. The safest bet: Complete strangers you have almost no chance of running into again in the future. Why? Because you can run away and retreat if it doesn't go well. That’s not so easy to do with someone from work or school who you see all the time. Start small, like by holding eye contact with someone as you walk by them. Are they going to come chasing after you and pursue you? No. (And that’s not what we’re hoping for anymore anyway, remember?)

6. Progress to striking up conversations with strangers. Once you can figure out how to start a conversation with a complete stranger, you’ll be able to start one with just about anybody without it seeming forced. So how is this accomplished? Have you seen the movies where someone makes eye contact with a member of the opposite sex and then moves straight in for an introduction? Yeah, don’t do that. Put yourself in proximity to someone and just make a comment to them. Make it seem like you would have said it to anybody who happened to be standing there. The scene in Knocked Up when Ben starts talking to Alison at the bar is a perfect example. At this point, if there’s a connection you keep it going. If there isn’t, you go back about your business. You don’t seem like you were coming on to anyone. You just seem like a friendly person who was making small talk.

7. Start striking up conversations with people at work/school/wherever. You do the exact same thing. Only, since you have common ground, it should be even easier.

Congratulations, you are now “out there” and far more approachable than you were when you were cowering in the corner. Next you’ll get to dive straight into a whole new set of insecurities that come with trying to figure out if someone LIKES you likes you and all that other awesome stuff. But that’s a completely different article…
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What Guys Said 27

  • So being approachable and putting yourself out there isn't an attempt at attracting and finding a mate?

    What's the point of it then?

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  • This method of "approaching" is so ambiguous. No guy should do this, you'll get friend-zoned.

    I hope this is only for girls.

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  • How can you write an article about attracting and finding a mate without even mentioning looks? Its ridiculous. Looks are undoubtedly the most important factor in who dates who.

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  • Interesting Read...

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  • Thanks CD I just can't get over the whole rejection thing, and I get girls telling me that I'm good looking and nice, among other things yet I don't believe any of it sure some cute girls approach me in school, and I usually dismiss it as them being nice to me, because I'm such a "nice guy". I was also reading about how some girls won't approach nice guys thinking they're too good for them, personally I think that's some BS, but it would explain a lot.

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  • Why is it that NO women in my experience ever approach men. It is always the responsibility of the man. I know a couple of bisexual women, and they will only approach a potential when it's another woman. They EXPECT men to do the first approach, and they are(in their words) 'girly'. It's almost comical.

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  • interesting article. I just assumed all girls got approached all the time and just had to take their pick of the guys. this is what is see. girls of all body types and looks get approached constantly at the bars and clubs. the girls are almost always busy "rejecting" the guys.

    are you not getting approached, or are you not giving the guy a chance? if you expect every guy to chase you despite it looking to him like you are constantly rejecting him, then it probably won't work.

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  • So from what I gather, we need to approach them after they create this unnatural environment, so that if you are the type she goes for..then Hooray he was able to read my mind! and I made him think it was all his Idea...and if it's not the type... it's "I don't know what you were thinking I am not interested, I am uhhh waiting for my boyfriend, or I am waiting for my brother sister etc." This way they have a way out without taking any responisibility or risk and leave it to the men...gotcha.

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  • That whole point you wrote to vision. WOW. The create a situation that feels natural? By manipulating the situation using sublte cues. That is not natural. Walking up to a woman saying hi and offering her a drink in a bar is NATURAL. You are at a bar...drinks are in bars. You said women are just that good. Yeah at confusing men, you can't call women creating an environment to interact them "approaching men all the time."

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  • Ill tell you why your dating life sucked. You are not attractive enough

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  • What's the difference between "pursuing relentlessly" and stalking?

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  • Wow. I've been in a totally different mindstate these days, a more confident one, and I was looking around for resources to boost that confidence. You girl hit the nail in the head. I can totally confirm 2,3,4 because that's what I was trying lately. For example, I got out yesterday with a girl I used to crush on (I had told her and got rejected). In the past, I didn't even dare curse in front of her or say something sexual in fears of her thinking I'm not romantic.

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  • also, they say "those who can't do teach" and I think you are trying to tell us to "put ourselves out there" while you aren't even doing it yourself. I smell BS

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  • well, you are attractive so youve never had to really do much but sit there since guys will just start hitting on you regardless if you're shy or outgoing... sorry but this advice doesn't work

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  • This is amazingly helpful. Really, I'm looking forward to practicing it. However, I didn't like what you told about your personal life, and your views about people who don't approach. However, it's your view, and this is my opinion. I respect yours and agree to an extent with your whole article. But really, this article is what I and many people need. :)

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  • This article was amazing. I'm hopelessly shy I'll try these tips out and see how it goes!

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  • Great article, celestialdaeva. Actually answered a lot that I hadn't thought when presenting myself to other women.

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  • Fascinating. It is reassuring that I'm not the only one who took this methodology. Only, I did these things instead:

    1. Dancing at night clubs (easy to get a circle forming if you fake-break dance)

    2. Making noticeable eye-contact with female strangers

    3. Meetup groups (no two meetings have the same people...?)

    4. Online dating

    I'm now dating a chick who has a lot in common with me but I'm not sure if we are attracted to each other...ONWARD TO THE NEXT ARTICLE!

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  • THANK YOU

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  • Respect to you

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What Girls Said 22

  • The point is you shouldn't care if you get friend zoned because it's practice. If you don't have social anxiety or anything an you don't need to warn up to approaching people, you don't need this.

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  • i like to approached lool

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  • Funny, I thought I wrote an article about being approachable. My bad.

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  • Vision17 - women approach men all the time. You just don't notice it. Women are subtle. They don't run up and offer to buy you a drink. They create a situation in which a conversation can take place and feel natural. Because it feels natural, you don't realize it was deliberate on her part. The truth is you'll probably never know if the situation was created by chance or on purpose. Women are just that good. If you're complaining that women never approach YOU, that's a different issue.

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  • Luv this

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  • Loved the article. I've been learning this on my own... nice to know that it does get you somewhere. I did exactly what you said to do and what would ya know... there's a guy in my life. No idea if it will go anywhere but he's still around so I guess he really does like like me ;)

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  • Great article! Just what I needed to read. I definitely need to put myself out there more :)

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  • "are you not getting approached, or are you not giving the guy a chance? if you expect every guy to chase you despite it looking to him like you are constantly rejecting him, then it probably won't work"

    Exactly.

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  • Call it whatever you want. The fact remains that it happens frequently.

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  • LEARNING and PRACTICING and precursors to making an actual attempt.

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  • Wow, way to hit the target. This is the same approach I use to making friends. I just hang out with people who want to hang out with me. I never took the time to ask myself if I want to hang out with them. I ned to figure out my standards and start practicing rejecton.

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  • 4 - amen,

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  • I was pleasantly surprised ... good article!

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  • UwantME - that's an interesting theory, however it fails to then explain why my dating life improved.

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  • I hope it's OK I added you as a friend.

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  • This is the type of article I need right now. 3 weeks ago I broke up with my boyfriend and we were stuck in the honeymoon phase. I was so sick of it and relationship only lasted a year and a half. Things were great then I had to tell him the news. Now I want to really try to meet someone I don't know by friends. I've done the whole flirting at the bar I just don't have the curare to go up this article helped me a lot. Thanks (:

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  • Tell yourself that all you want, Breathe. Sounds to me like you are looking for excuses not to even try.

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  • Umm sorry you don't like my personal life? Or something. I am not sure what views I have about people who don't approach you are referring to. I was under the impression the entire goal of this was to be more likely to meet the people who don't regularly approach because the ones who do regularly approach might not be the right type of person

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  • Beege, I'm not sure what you're wanting me to take away from your comment. This isn't about going after a specific guy and making him love you. It's literally just about being approachable. Some guys are shallow douches who only care about looks. Some girls are too. Those guys won't approach, and you shouldn't care. Some other guy will. IF you are approachable.

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  • Sometimes flirting doesn't work with guys because they judge you by your looks, how fat or skinny you are, and your smile. I blame myself sometimes for not being approachable and I try to deal with reality by not caring what they think of my looks. When a guy smiles at me or opens a door for me or compliments me and doesn't even know me I take it for what it is. Most of the time they are just being considerate.

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