How Do I Start a Conversation with a Straight Single Man?

How Do I Start A Conversation With A Straight Single Man?

I’m a 42 year old woman, newly single. I’m just re-entering the dating fray for the first time in many years, and I discovered very quickly that I have no idea how to identify men my age who are single and looking. They sure seem to be scarce, compared to when I was in my twenties! I’ve chatted up guys who turned out to be gay or attached – they were just extremely friendly/chatty, which I occasionally mistake for an interest in me. And I’m too shy to laugh off any misunderstanding with a comment like, “Well, if you have any single brothers or friends, here’s my card!”

I’m dating online, but I’d also like to meet people in other ways.  Yes, there are the singles events, the frozen food aisle during off-peak hours, etc. But for other situations I may find myself in – elevators, gyms, coffee shops – do you have any suggestions on how I could strike up a breezy, innocuous conversation and still be able to “out” single men?  The “Wow, nice jacket – did your partner pick that out for you?” line doesn’t seem too subtle.

Thanks very much for any insights.

Enjoy your blog, loved your book.

Linda

Love your attitude, Linda. It’s tough out there, all right, and the healthiest approach is to do exactly what you’re doing. A combination of online dating, singles events, and real-life interactions, all of which create the greatest number of opportunities to meet single men.

That said, it’s not your job to “out” single men.

Because single men have been socialized well enough to know that it’s their job to initiate conversation with you. And if they don’t, they’re going to go home alone AGAIN. I’m not suggesting that this is a biological imperative or that nothing good has ever come from women asking men out. Still, as a dating coach, I’m a big believer that your primary job is to create the opportunity, not to seal the deal.

Your primary job is to create the opportunity, not to seal the deal.

To sum up, it’s not your position to ask him out. All you have to do is make eye contact and smile. This gives him  permission to come over without being afraid of being shot down. Because that’s every guy’s concern, especially nice guys. We HATE feeling like fools. We HATE rejection. And we’d just as soon not even approach you, since it’s easier to go home and say, “Man, I wish I said hi” than it is to put our fragile egos on the line. The only way to get an insecure guy to come over is to let him know it’s going to be okay if he does.

Rachel Greenwald discusses her proactive approach for women in her book, and my friend David Wygant’s book “Always Talk to Strangers” is also illuminating, although it’s more written for men. But it sounds like you really have two questions, Linda – you want to “out” single men and you want to find pithy pick up lines as well….

And not that I’m any sort of pickup artist, but the best pick up lines are entirely contextual – meaning, they arise in the moment. If you’re plotting your line in advance, it’s likely to come across as canned. Once again, David Wygant gives excellent advice about meeting people organically. Just know that when you’re striking up conversation with a stranger, the stakes are low. Desexualize the situation and just start talking about what’s in front of you and voila – you’re in.

“I always get lost in supermarkets – you wouldn’t happen to have a map to the organic tomatoes, would you?”

“Jack and Coke, huh? Maybe I can teach you to drink it straight.”

Whatever. All of this is the equivalent of the famous party opener, “How do you know the host?” It’s safe, it’s non-threatening, and suddenly, you’re just talking. You’ll learn later whether you have mutual interest.

If he doesn’t show interest or offer to take your number, you’ve got your answer.

So stop being so hard on yourself. Apart from looking for a wedding band, the ONLY way you can out a single guy is to let him out himself. If he doesn’t show interest or offer to take your number, you’ve got your answer. Don’t worry about “wasting” time chatting with gay men or taken men – it’s all good practice, and the more comfortable you get bantering with strangers, the more it’ll pay off when they’re actually single and straight.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Steve

    Homosexuals are a minority in the US ( 10% of the population tops ), so I am curious as to how it is that a single woman keeps running into gay men when in ordinary places like supermarkets.

    Is it a byproduct of living in the city?

    In other words, is it the case that most 40 something men are married, and/or living in the suburbs such that they will not be found in urban supermarkets?

  2. 2
    $Francisco

    Taking a wild guess is that gay guys are more open to impromptu conversations than most men. They don’t seem to be as reserved and are more entertaining right from the start; why wouldn’t a single woman feel attracted? Yeah, it sounds stereotypical but it’s a stereotype for a reason.

  3. 3
    Lance

    Linda, you’re doing the right things as far as creating opportunities. I’m a big fan of joining activity groups and clubs (college alumni clubs, co-ed sports clubs, social clubs, etc etc) and just going out to places where large numbers of people socialize. This includes bars and clubs. Roll with you friends, have a good time, and let guys come to you.

    Evan is completely right with his points. It’s the guy’s job to open you and “out” himself as straight and available, and it’s simply your job to BE available, interact, and socialize. It’s very much like dancing, where the guy leads. Also, I always recommend dressing attractively and putting your best foot forward. Smile, and if you see a guy you like, shoot him a look.

  4. 4
    BigFella

    BULL CRAP!!!

    To the letter writer – take it from a guy you very might be interested in having talk to you….

    I’m 42 – just like you, and I’m single. I’m shy by nature. I am still a pretty good looking guy. I have a better physique than probably 95% of men my age. I’m not bragging…just calling it like it is.

    I’m straight. I’m not looking to get married. But, I am always looking for quality, avialable woman whom I’m attracted to. And yes, I’d take on a monogomous relationship with a quality woman.

    I 100% disagree with some of the advice that has been posted here (hello Lance) that puts you in a passive conversational situation waiting for the guy to initiate, waiting for the guy to ask you out.

    Look, there is NOTHING that would make my week more than to have an attractive woman show an interest in me, start a conversation with me, AND if she asked me out, or just intimated that she would like to get to know me better, I would be ecstatic.

    Given that I am 42, it does not happen like it used to. But I used to have women (strangers) come on to me all the time in public. I LOVED IT when women showed enough inner confidence to basically say, “fuck it, I like this guy and I’m going to show him I want to be with him.” I admired them for it. I did not think they were sluts, losers, feminists, or desperate.

    I’m sick of this bullcrap. This is 2008. Women want equal rights, and I’m all for that. But, when it comes to romance, our society still thinks it’s the man’s job to initiate.

    What happens when women don’t take the bull by horns (no pun intended)? They end up single and lonely.

    My advice is, go for what you want, but do it in such a way that you don’t come off as desperate (a big turnoff).

    Trust me – there’s plenty of attractive guys out there like myself that would LOVE for an attractive woman to show their attraction. And yes, it’s ok for women to start a conversation with an attractive man, and yes, it’s ok for a woman to ask out a man.

    Good luck.

  5. 5
    Selena

    BigFella,
    Where do guys like you hangout? I’m not adverse to striking up a conversation with someone who looks interesting, but there does seem to be a lack of 40- something men about. At least those without a wife nearby. Where are you guys?

  6. 6
    Lance

    Dude, BigFella, relax. I’d love it also if girls opened me, but I understand and accept why they don’t. There’s two problems with what you’re suggesting. 1) Not every guy is like you, ie cool and muscley, and in fact there are tons of weirdos and psychos that will take advantage of a woman who is too straightforward or overly nice. You can go on the internet and read plenty of online and offline dating horror stories. 2) It’s your JOB as a man to be the confident one and lead the interaction, this is part and parcel of what creates attraction. Like I said, it’s like dancing, and if the chick leads it’s really lame.

    With that being said, I do know a couple of chicks who have opened guys and made it work just fine. It’s the exception though, not the rule.

  7. 7
    downtowngal

    Bigfella, I’ve heard many times a guy say how much he would LOVE it if a woman FINALLY made the initiative for once – but the honest truth is that if the same guy really liked the woman HE’D take the main step. Truth is, a lot of guys are really put off by a woman who is too forward. And women are attracted to a guy who shows confidence, that he’s willing to risk taking the initiative.

    Or he’d think she’s too easy; sure he might be nice and all but at the end of the day he’s probably not that into her.

    Instances when the woman takes the initiative, I’ll bet it was after the guy sent a major signal.

  8. 8
    Li-Ann

    Some thoughts.

    Available men over 40 are scarce. Maybe they stay indoors, who knows? Every time I see anyone nice on the street, or meet someone at an event – it ALWAYS ends up that they’re attached. I’m hoping I’m wrong about that and they’re hiding out somewhere, but it has been like that for a long time, and I’m a careful observer. When you finally spot one, there’s some kind of catch – they are single precisely because they want to stay that way, or some other factor that would disqualify them from an actual relationship. You really need to have a positive attitude.

    I like Evan’s advice as to initiating conversation. Basically, his entire response was dead on. I wouldn’t strike up conversations just like that, unless it is something very topical like “where’s the nearest laundromat?” Men will take the initiative if they are interested in a relationship, and if a woman is desirable to them. When it gets to the point that you are really working at it – I think the men recognize that.

    Unfortunately for many attraction is just not the kind of thing you can come up with a strategic plan and battle order. If he finds you attractive, he will find you attractive whether or not you have good introductory line. The only thing strategic planning can do for a woman is help put her in a place where maybe she might actually be exposed to a man who might like her. After all, she won’t get anywhere if she stays in every night. But she cannot get him to like her. There is nothing you could plan or say to a man that will make him become interested if he did not feel the spark fairly quickly.

    So if you are in a great frame of mind, positive, and getting out there, just exposing yourself to lots of potential men could possibly do more for you than chatting with random strangers. Sadly, I have absolutely no idea about what to suggest as to where these venues might be. I suppose the next question should be – if you are looking for men in their 40s, where are the events and activities that these men attend? Or is it just demographic – is this the age group where they are most likely to be attached?

  9. 9
    BigFella

    Selena – “a lack of 40-something men about?” LOL – The Federal Government has put all all men aged 40-49 in a pen at Alcratraz.

    Most of us 40somethings are ass-ugly or are married. Probably why you don’t see them about town. You won’t run into many of them at the 21 Club. Most of them are too busy raising families.

    To the letter writer (and downtowngal who missed my point). PLEASE DO NOT assume a guy is not interested in you because he does not strike up a conversation with you or will not ask you out if you have good chemistry in an initial conversation.

    Some guys are shy. Shyness is nothing to be taken lightly. It can be a serious disorder for millions of Americans (and people around the globe).

    And not all shy guys come off as pathetic dweebs as the media might portray them.

    It helps if you can spot nonverbal signs of shyness.

    downtowngal – don’t take this as a personal attack, but you could not be more wrong with your comments. Try reading some good social pshychology by someone who has studied the dating and mating world. You are seriously misguided as to what really goes on out there socially.

    I’ll spare you the details. I’m sure you wouldn’t agree with what I’d have to say about your comments, so if you don’t know by now…

    To the letter writer: I cannot possibly believe that I am the only decent looking, nice male out there who would not fully appreciate a woman who was assertive in going after what she wants romantically. You see, some of us don’t live in the 1950s still. Maybe we are a minority, but I truly believe that you can really get what you want socially if you stop the old-style passive approach.

    The commentary that you have to stand around like some statue of liberty hoping a decent guy will talk to you and ask you out is bullcrap.

    I’m shy, and thank God that some real quality women have probably spotted that I’m shy and have made the move on me. Otherwise, we might not have gotten together. But then again, maybe these women spotted that I don’t think in bullcrap absolutes and I don’t carry around attitudes that women are the weaker sex who needs to sit around waiting for Mr. Dreamy to ask them out.

    These comments in this thread make me appreciate the woman who are assertive with me and who do come on to me (in a respectful way) even more. Who wants to wait for Donna Reed or June Cleaver.

    For the guys out there who think that THE MAN must do all the work -that it’s his “JOB,” all I can do is LOL. It tells me that you are not very socially desirable. For the record, many women noadways are incredibly forward, and can be very aggressive.

    Maybe try a new mouthwash.

    And to all a good night….

  10. 10
    BigFella

    Selena- sorry, I forgot to answer your question.

    I can’t say where 40somethings who are available hang out. No doubt, most are attached. But there are many who aren’t.

    As for me, I’m a lone wolf. I don’t run around in packs. I think that’s another reason why women feel comfortable approaching me. I don’t hang out in guy packs. I’m comfortable traveling light.

    I’ve found that women are forward in all different places. I don’t hang out in bars or clubs. Women approach me in pedestrian “every day” places. So, I’m quite surprised to hear people here say that doesn’t happen. I guess I’ve lived in a different universe.

    By the way, I’m nice looking, but definately not a pretty boy model, and while I’m in great shape, I’m not magazine material.

    Maybe there’s more to it than looks.

    Ladies – we men need more assertiveness out there. Don’t listen to what the dudes or your girlfriends tell you. Go for what you want with the guys. If a guy is so insecure that he feels HE has to take the lead with the woman, he’s not worth it.

    There are guys such as myself who will appreciate your making the first move. And we’ll make it worth your while.

    Li-Ann – great commentary.

  11. 11
    Kat Wilder

    It isn’t just talking to men organically, it’s knowing how to talk to all people that way, male or female, young or old. If you can remove the sexual aspect to it, you become more yourself.

    Then, if he responds, you can add the flirt.

    If you can remind yourself that inside we’re all pretty much the same wanting someone to see us for who we are, and like us for who we are it makes it easier.

  12. 12
    Evan Marc Katz

    By putting it on women, Big Fella, you’re trying to rewrite societal conventions. And most women haven’t gotten the memo. On the other hand, you know what you have to do. You said it yourself.

    “I LOVED IT when women showed enough inner confidence to basically say, fuck it, I like this guy and I’m going to show him I want to be with him.

    So, how about you show enough inner confidence to basically say, “fuck it, I like this gal and I’m going to show her I want to be with her.” Instead of doing what you’re doing now: telling women to break through your shyness because you don’t have the guts to talk to them.

    Hate to challenge you, man. Appreciate that you’re a reader. But the surest path to change is to do something different yourself, not to wait for the world to come around to your position.

  13. 13
    Lynn

    I do not believe in the *scarcity theory* that there are no worthwhile, attractive and available men out there. I am a 41 year old single woman and I do agree it is harder to meet potential mates, then say when I was 21; and I agree with Li Ann that it takes concerted effort and a positive, resilient attitude. However I think it is a matter of really going beyond the surface of what we think we want, and finding out that the guy writing to you on match.com who is 5′-6″ tall actually is pretty sexy in person, or that the guy with the receding hairline is confident and funny, or that the handsome shy guy opens up when you get a couple of drinks in him ; ). In order to find these hidden gems, it takes more “work” than just meeting the handsome fraternity brother at the keg party when we were in college. But I think there is ultimately more depth, and ultimately greater rewards for being open to getting to know a person on more than a superficial level before ruling them out.

    (BTW, I just broke up with the 5′-6″ guy after 6 months; our timing was off, so I am looking again :) Thanks to Linda and Evan and all others for this post; it;s my favorite yet from Evan’s blog.

  14. 14
    dee-lite

    Hi there
    I agree with Evan and I can speak from personal experience. Yes, I know it’s a single data point, but here’s my story…
    I’m a 25 year-old pretty attractive gal, e.g. since becoming single, half of the time I’m introduced to a single guy, either the guy asks me out or a few days later the introducer tells me the guy is interested and asks me if I’m interested as well.
    To this date, I’ve asked guys out on numerous occasions. Only 2 of them said yes. One of them was the most painfully shy guy when it came to approaching women. The other one told me it was a nice surprise and that he didn’t approach me before I did because he thought I wasn’t interested in him.
    The others? While some people are flattered by a cute young woman approaching them, they are flattered…at best. I re-iterate, it’s only a single data point, it might very well be the way I approach them that they find too aggresive, in some cases they may not be attracted in the first place etc.
    Nevertheless, I feel guys still would prefer to think they are making the first move. I agree with Kat Wilder in that if you can strike up a casual talk easily, he will most likely send stronger signals if he’s interested. A surprising exception to this is a friend of mine who is model handsome. Girls always woo him, girls always ask him for a phone number. He is very happy and doesn’t think any less of the girl who approaches him first.. probably because he knows he’s hot stuff and is understanding of come-ons. plus he doesn’t need to move out of his comfort zone.
    so while I sincerely wish one day BigFella’s wishful world of pursuer women will be the norm (since I obviously prefer pursuing to being pursued) I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

  15. 15
    BigFella

    Evan – sounds like more than a little sour grapes to me.

    I never said women have to do all the work.

    Women approach me. Not as often as they used to, but they make it easy for me.

    Sorry you and other guys have to do all the dirty work.

  16. 16
    Victoria

    To BigFella,

    I don’t like what you are saying at all. First of all it’s you aggressive attitude that puts me off, second of all it’s LOL in 40% of your comments, you are 42, right? I just thought lols would be left behind by the age of 42…OK, now – I am very attractive and young (31), but need a man and so I go out, but I go out because I like to go out, not necessarily to grab a man. I am also very particular who I’d give my number to, but I am a nice, unpretencious person and talk to everyone. So I don’t care how shy you (men) are if you can’t come up to a woman you like I don’t like you already. A man has to be a man – very simple. I am assertive and forward in a lot of ways, but I WANT a man to want to come up to me. He could be great looking, but if he doesn’t have the guts to come up to me I think “what a loser” – I’m just used to those brilliant, beautiful go getters – everything run/ran smoothly in their empires, not just the ladies aspect. So you are 42 now and still single – I don’t know, maybe the main reason for that is you are too insecure to come up to a really cool looking lady, huh? Thus you limit your chances…It is still a man’s job, no matter what you say.

  17. 17
    Markus

    I’m 38…lol!

  18. 18
    BigFella

    Victoria -Seriously, for you to call someone else immature. I would guess by your post that you are a teenager.

    For you to think that if a man is shy he is not a real man – that tells me a lot about you.

    Thankfully, there are many, many liberated, sophisticated women out there who do not have such a high school mentality toward the sexes.

    And by the way, dear. There are literally thousands of hot women out there who will agressively purse men they want.

    Like I said, I’m LOL at all this stuff. I have gotten plenty of approaches in my life. And I still get the occaissional approaches from college age girls.

    You see, many women do not hold your views. You can’t tell me otherwise.

    This reminds me of a old friend who kept telling me, “You know the coke commercials where the girl walks past the guy and then turns around and smiles to him? That never happens in real life – it’s a myth.”

    I always laughed inside at his comment. Because many times I experienced that nonverbal signal from women in my life.

    My friend assumed that just because he never experienced it, it had to be a myth.

    Similiar to your argument. You think that just because you and other stone age women will not approach men, then it’s a myth.

    Even at 40 I had young 20 somethings coming on to me. That was my universe. Hope you’re happy in yours.

    It’s slowed down recently, but I’m forever grateful to the women who made the first move.

    And perhaps you didn’t read my former post. I am single becuase I want to be.

    Revenge of the shy guys!!!

    Markus – LOL at our LOL.

  19. 19
    Steve

    Linda – the best way to start a conversation with a straight, single man over 40 is with “Hello”. After that talk to the man as if he weren’t a man you were interested in, just talk to him like it was an ordinary situation. Evan, as usual, gave great advice. Follow up on every lead he gave you.

    I would like to agree with BigFellas views, but I just can’t.

    I was raised in a family dense with feminists. Even for a man like me, if a woman is too forward in a dating situation, if she “tries to be the man” or take “the lead” as in dancing it just makes me uncomfortable.

    That seems to be the case for many other men out there.

    As Grouch Marx said:

    Who are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes?

    It may be wrong, but Evan is dead on when he advises people to be in touch with the reality of dating rather than what we would like the ideal to be. His point about gauging the your options and the options of who you are interested is valuable.

    I know it sounds bad, but there are many more women who will not be uncomfortably forward, who act like the software I was born with is designed to handle. I will go with them first if I can’t overridde my discomfort. I do try to short circuit that BS, but sometimes I just can’t.

    Linda, Selena et al. If you are ever in the Washington D.C. area and would like to spend the evening with an over 40, in decent shape, single, straight, non-neurotic man please let me know.

    Steve

  20. 20
    Lance

    Appears we’ve hit a nerve!

    Again, I agree with Evan’s response. Asking for women to do the opening and “dirty work” (bigfella’s word) is asking to change societal norms, and in fact it’s much deeper and goes against our core programming.

    Personally, I love opening and flirting, ie leading the dance, and I get a real thrill out of it. I used to be shy too, but I changed all that about a year ago. Now I understand that actualizing the male role is very much a part of what creates attraction and sexual tension.

    I’m in my 30’s, so I can’t tell you exactly where the 40-somethings are hanging out, but I suggest do wider online searches. Instead of confining yourself to a 10 miles radius, try 100 or 200 miles or more. Folks in their 40’s have the means to initiate and maintain relationships that are far more distant.

    I met a beautiful American woman based in Amsterdam who was actively searching for a mate within 1000 miles. She was a well-off professional, so she definitely had the means to close the distance. No, I didn’t get with her.

  21. 21
    Selena

    C’mon now! You 40-something single guys still haven’t shared WHERE we might run into you. If you’re not in bars, clubs and we’re missing you at the grocery store, then where should we go? LOL!

    Steve-
    I live in S. FL and don’t plan to be in D.C., but thanks for the invite anyway! You should like someone fun to hangout with.

  22. 22
    BigFella

    Lynn,

    I liked reading your comments.

    No doubt, the pool of single people drops off sharply once people are over 40.

    There are two problems for people who are looking for a serious relationship in their 40s (and older). The first one I just mentioned- many people are married off.

    The second problem is once people are in their 40s, they have a load of baggage. To people in their 20s, life is still fresh, and a lot of people do not have a lot of baggage yet.

    So for people like Linda who are looking for love, it’s really tough. First you have a much smaller pool. Second, available people are more than likely divorced, and with that comes ‘stuff’ many times.

    Selena – there’s no shortage of attractive people in SoFlo. Men in their 40s have to go to the grocery store, the Home Depot, the restaurants, the convenience store, the strip clubs (just kidding). They’re out there.

    The problem is that because they are in their 40s, you probably assume they are taken (which in many cases they are).

    YOu might try joining some clubs, joining a fitness club, casual sports league, church group, etc.

    And be on the lookout for fate trying to help you. When your girlfriend asks you to go line dancing and you want to say ‘no,’ because it’s not your bag, consider that there might be a guy there who will be your next husband.

    Good luck.

  23. 23
    Selena

    I’m not really looking for a husband BigFella, but hey, thanks for the suggestions. Home Depot…hmm. Possibilities.

  24. 24
    BigFella

    Selena – better watch yourself.

    Many a woman who was looking for Mr. Goodbar wound up finding a husband.

  25. 25
    J

    Ok, I know I will probably be sorry I did this, but I am going to have to comment on some of BigFellas comments –

    I try really hard not to take anything I read personally – other than reading to see how it might apply to me or what I could learn.

    I don’t believe this blog is set up as a means or a way for other people to personally attack or judge others. Ideally it isn’t, in any case. And I admire and respect people, and their opinions, less when they do so. Though I do understand why someone would take the bate and respond if they felt someone else had jumped all over them specifically – and/or if someone actually did.

    I also know full well that Evan can take care of himself and doesn’t need me or anyone else to come to his verbal rescue, or even, defense.

    Partly because I don’t feel he has anything to “defend”. His blog, his free advice that he could easily be charging us a helluva lot of money to dispense – (provided we could afford it – many of you surely can, I unfortunately : ) cannot), and his take on any given situation based on his personal experience, interactions with his clients, research, time working with dating sites and other things as well.

    BigFella’s assertion that, “Evan – sounds like more than a little sour grapes to me” is what is bullcrap, in my humble opinion.

    If you don’t care for the advice Evan gives or his opinion, then you have every right to say so, but is sounds like you are passing judgment on Evan as a person and as a man – one whom you have never even met. And that isn’t what this blog is here for. None of us should be judging other people or even really, their actions or what have you in their personal lives. The key here is the judging part.

    Judging how you feel about what someone has or hasn’t said, seeing if you agree or disagree and having a friendly debate – to maybe learn something or decide that what you believe, feel, know still holds true FOR YOU after reading, participating or whatever – that is what it is here for.

    As to your comment, “Sorry you and other guys have to do all the dirty work.” That comes off as very egotistical and catty to me at the same time and frankly, it is also offensive – to me. If you think approaching women or having to make an effort is “the dirty work”, then I hope I never have the misfortune of approaching you some day.

    Yeah, I know that is harsh and to be fair, I don’t know you either. I don’t get the impression that I’d want to from what you have posted. I’ll take your word for it that you are a good looking guy, in pretty good shape and that “Even at 40 I had young 20 somethings coming on to me. That was my universe. Hope you’re happy in yours.” The second part of this is just snarky and “na na na na na na” as far as I’ve concerned.

    If you are truly so happy in your universe, then why read a blog about improvement?

    You live in your universe and the rest of us live in ours. What is true for or to US, is true for or to us, whether it reflects what is true for or to you or not. It is bullcrap, in your opinion.

    You made some points that I agree with and said some things that were encouraging to women (again, in my opinion) – such as stating that you were grateful to women who had taken the bull by the horns with you, and saying if you like someone and you want to get to know them, then do so. You then went on to make some comments in several posts that seemed to very much contradict what you said previously. We all do that from time to time and I am not calling you on that.

    I do think to tell someone you are not attacking them and then to finish your sentence with “I’m sure you wouldn’t agree with what I’d have to say about your comments, so if you don’t know by now” comes across as very condescending.

    As does telling someone they should “Try reading some good social pshychology by someone who has studied the dating and mating world. You are seriously misguided as to what really goes on out there socially.”

    I have never picked on someone for misspelling something – though I have apologized on here for my own typos – nor do I take it upon myself to publicly correct misspelled words or bad grammar – so I am breaking a hard fast rule of mine. Before you start telling other people how to live their lives and telling them in affect that they are clueless or stupid after reading two or three comments on a message board – [which is pretty close to “social psychology on mating and dating from someone who knows (read Evan’s bio)” (no, he isn’t a psychologist, but that doesn’t discredit him in this regard as far as I am concerned)], and telling them to do something that you don’t have a rat’s ass clue about whether they have already done or not, you might try to spell “psychology” correctly.

    I am not dissing shy guys by any means and I am not saying the guy should always have to approach. I have made moves before – including asking guys out whom I have then dated for a long stretch of time. One of whom I am still friends with 14 years after the fact. I have also made first moves with a less than good outcome to a disastrous outcome – at least in terms of it coming to anything good.

    “You see, many women do not hold your views. You can’t tell me otherwise.” – I don’t get the impression that anyone can tell you anything – but you sure do feel like you can tell them that they are wrong (which you did in specific words), that they have a high school mentality because they don’t agree with you, that they are immature – which is vastly different from saying you believe their views, actions or whatever to be immature (which is still rude, but you are entitled to your own opinions and we do all put ourselves out there by commenting on a public message board), and telling us what we think by saying things like, “You think that just because you and other stone age women will not approach men, then it’s a myth.”

    Selena said it hadn’t been especially true for her in her experience. And she asked a good natured question, looking for some honest feedback on where to find men who might be of a certain age and who might also be wanting a relationship and who would be amenable to being approached by a woman.

    At no point did she profess to be speaking for every woman on the planet or even every woman on the board, and neither has Evan either (as far as saying or implying he speaks for all men, all of us, or whatever). If you want to generalize and lump everyone whose experiences and opinions differ from yours into a big group and view us poorly or say we believe in myths, fine. But please do not take it upon yourself to do so and then expect us to just go along. Because if we did so, that would make us the sheep you seem to already see us as.

    “And by the way, dear. There are literally thousands of hot women out there who will agressively ‘purse’ men they want.” –

    Um, lets count how many times you used the phrases “attractive woman” and “hot women” or woman (or something similar). You are ok with it if it is some really sexy chick who hits on you. You used an awful lot of qualifiers – which is cool. You do what works for you and respond to whomever you wish by whatever qualifications WORK FOR YOU. But you partially proved your myth theory by making it so clear who you would be open to hearing from. Not just any Jane off the street.

    And so do women who “purse” the men they want hit them over the head with their pocket books? ; ) (please take that tongue in cheek way it was meant)

    I acknowledge others have made some personal comments to you as well. And I guess I just did too. Felt they needed to be said so that people whom yours were directed at wouldn’t be tempted to say something unkind or whatever in response. OR in their own defense, of which they shouldn’t need to vociferously defend themselves for voicing their opinion.

  26. 26
    J

    It is hard for many of us to meet people who fit our specific needs and they ours, no matter where we live. But I do think some cities and places more readily lend themselves to doing so and do have more approachable people in public places (men and women).

    And I do believe age can be a factor in this. It has been my experience as well that it is harder to come by guys who are anywhere from about 35-45 or a little above that are available. I too have found most I do meet are either married, married with kids, or very attached. OR separated (I am fine with divorced but do not date someone who is still married in my opinion – broke my rule once and paid for it dearly when he basically said he couldn’t stand what he was doing to his future ex-wife by dating me after he said she told him to date). I live in Atlanta and have not come across too many men who turned out to be gay, but I also do most of my “meeting and greeting” of men through online dating. I do have friends who are gay.

    The few times I have talked to guys in public (that I spoke to first), it doesn’t go anywhere beyond that moment. I always wanted to be one of those women that men approached in an unusual place or just out of the blue. Atlanta is supposedly a big “pick someone up in the grocery store town (one in Buckhead actually has Singles mixers in the store for that purpose – but it is said it happens here normally too).

    So it finally happened – one time a guy seriously hit on me at the grocery store – followed me from aisle to aisle and wasn’t taking no for an answer. I stayed there an extra hour and kept looking for him to make sure he wasn’t going to follow me home. NOT VAIN! And not thinking I’m all that. Just cognizant that he could have still been in the parking lot. I did run into him late one night at a 24 hour Walgreens, and he again followed me to my car and said I had promised to go out with him. Scared the crap out of me.

    Some people mentioned it is ok to be a female and make the approach, as long as you don’t appear desperate. I would agree with that, but think it can be very hard to know what will possibly come off as desperate to any given guy in any given situation (beyond the really obvious markers of such ; ) ). I do think women are a bit more prone to take it personally if they get shot down or think something is wrong with them if the guy isn’t interested.

    Not meaning to speak for the rest of you out there – just something I have observed with many of my female friends – both in personal face to face situations and also, when they have made the first move or if they have Winked or emailed a guy online first thru a dating site. I know it is true for me.

    I give due credit to any man or woman out there who “goes for it” as long as it is done respectfully and doesn’t make the other person feel markedly uncomfortable or scared : ) in a bad way. You can also feel uncomfortable because you are really interested but not sure of yourself, him, or the situation or it is new to you or whatever.

    I think I too have looked for signs to try to see if someone is single, free, and all that – and I found Evan’s advice to make very good sense.

    You can always look for a wedding ring = but a lot of men don’t wear them anymore. Not necessarily to cheat (though some men and women do that too), but because maybe they don’t own one or didn’t chose to exchange them. Less likely to seriously chat up a married guy that way.

    I agree with you all that Linda is doing the right thing by trying different places, online dating, etc. and putting herself out there. She is being proactive, rather than passive and/or reactive – and no matter how you are proactive – whether it is putting yourself out there and putting your best foot forward (as Lance suggested) or doing the approaching and asking, you are still making a real effort instead of just waiting for it to happen. I didn’t get the impression that Evan was going so far as to say that you should just wait or be totally passive.

    Being available and making that known through your actions still counts as doing something on your behalf to me.

    An Aside:
    As to Steve : )
    – While the offer wasn’t made to me, and maybe wouldn’t be anyway after my post about BigFella – for the record, I’m sorry I don’t live in FL – (am in Atlanta, GA and am about to turn 37) because you do sound like fun (as one of the ladies said) and you also sound like a very stand up guy with a great attitude and a lot to offer. I get a lot of perspective from reading your posts and usually also agree with you. Even when I don’t, I still appreciate the way you word things and where you seem to be coming from.

    And to Lance : ) – You too seem like a guy who really knows how to express himself and can make your point(s) without feeling the need to put other people or there opinions, feelings, values down.

    Both of you seem like guys who would be a good catch. I hope some lucky lady finds you soon if she hasn’t already.

    Not implying or saying that other men on here aren’t worthy or aren’t good/great guys.

    Just wanted to send Kudos to the two aforementioned and also, say thank you.

  27. 27
    J

    Oh, and I have to agree with Lance when it comes to dancing … I am a girl and I still sometimes accidentally try to lead, maybe because I have trouble just trusting myself and letting go and letting someone else guide me, maybe because I am not coordinated and so afraid to stumble – figuratively as well as literally, and feel I won’t mess up as much if I am directing where I am going.

    Really hate it that I do that sometimes with dancing. It really isn’t the same at all. I’m not a great dancer, but when a guy is skillful at leading, it can be a wonderful experience – either just for what it is if you are friends but not more, or if you are only partners for the dance, or it can make you so much closer to someone you are in a relationship with. I think it can also help you learn to be more in concert with one another overall.

    And it sure is a lot of fun. As well as being a real pleasure to be in a strong (read: firm) hold and embrace and being able to just go with the flow.

    No matter what the gender and/or traditional roles are, I guess it boils down to what does or doesn’t feel right to each individual vs. how it feels to the other person (if not on exactly same wavelength, then at least compatible) and also, is whatever feels right to you actually also working for you to get the results, partner, life you want.

    Not many men or women out there who are into dancing anymore. Seems they too are harder to find : )

  28. 28
    Victoria

    To BigFella again,

    J said it perfectly, so there’s almost nothing left for me to add, but since you responded to me personally I will just say this: it’s you who come across as having a teenage mentality, you even insist on using LOL – good for you, BigFella, just go on like this. Also you come across as a very insecure guy. What I was saying was that you are just rude and not very bright when it comes to interacting with women. I don’t know how women can find passive men like you attractive or interesting. I don’t and that’s what I was stating. I wanted to express my opinion and the only reason I waned to do so was because of your remarks like “bull crap”, “sour grapes” etc. You are just wrong, mister BigFella – admit it, oh no, you NEVER will, men like you have such strong inflated egos that the only role they choose to play in this Universe is the passive and boring one and so they choose to remain single because what can they ever give or want to give to another human being? They are so incredibly selfish. And then there are those fantastic, generous, courageous men, maybe a bit shy, but they will at least make an effort to approach the woman who takes their breath away…and sometimes they end up having it all.
    English is not my native language – you can probably guess THAT by my post.

  29. 29
    BigFella

    My God, J – you’ve got issues.

    Catch your breath.

    Sorry to disappoint you, but I couldn’t get beyond the first couple sentences of your first post.

    You wasted your life with the other stuff. Why you would waste so much time attacking a stranger on the I-net is beyond me.

    But, it’s dysfunctional to say the least.

    Have a good day.

  30. 30
    J

    Okay, my point would have been better made had I not spelled bait “bate”. I swear I do edit. I just have a terrible propensity for transposing homophones occasionally and not catching ’til after submitting. Though “bate” isn’t even a word unless is short for rebate or the singular form of “Norman Bates”. Sigh…

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