I Keep Scaring Guys Away. What Am I Doing Wrong?

I Keep Scaring Guys Away. What Am I Doing Wrong?
Evan,

I’ve tried going after guys I’m attracted to even if I don’t really know them. For instance, there was this guy in the gym. I guess I creeped him out. I don’t know why… maybe he found me unattractive… who knows? But I kept trying to talk to him and he would run away because we were on the running track. He was kind of a jerk and then I caught him near the barbells where the men work out and I said “Hey,” he seemed like he was nice because he smiled at me, took off his headphones and said “What’s up?” I asked him why he was running away from me. He didn’t give me a direct answer but he said “I can talk to you 20 minutes from now” with a smile and he said he was going to work out… Well, he ended up ditching me. He had me wait an entire hour and then he quickly walked past me without looking back at me.

Now I’m wondering… what did I do wrong? Was there something different I could have done when approaching him? Is he just a jerk (probably)? Next time I see him, should I talk to him again?

Also, I want to talk to this guy at my Church but I’ve had so many rejections that I’m wondering if I should even talk to this guy or if I will scare him away too. I’m not really confident that he will like me.
–Ashley

Ashley,

Stop being a guy.

Since third grade, boys are taught that if they like a girl, they have to ask her out.

Before you get defensive – or before any women get on my case for invoking more gender stereotypes, let’s establish that stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.

Since third grade, boys are taught that if they like a girl, they have to ask her out. Or pull her hair. Or something like that.

It never ceases to be nerve wracking, but that, in fact, is the way a vast majority of the dating world works.

Man sees attractive woman, gets the nerve to talk to her, they have a nice conversation, he asks for her number, calls her, plans the date, picks her up, pays, drives her home, kisses her goodnight, and calls the next day to see if they can do it all over again.

I don’t see much room for disagreement with this one.

That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for women to approach men, ask out men, offer sex to men, or propose to men; it’s just that it seems that most men and women are comfortable with these gender roles. And when they’re undermined, many people get a little ruffled.

Don’t women get upset when men don’t call after a date?
Don’t women get upset when men don’t pay?
Don’t women get upset when men don’t make plans?
Don’t women get upset when men don’t make the first move?

If so, you’re buying into these same stereotypes of what we expect from men.

As for what men expect from women?

We just want you to say yes.

Say yes to talking to us at the gym.
Say yes to agreeing to drinks on Friday.
Say yes when I insist on paying.
Say yes when I try to kiss you.
Say yes when I follow up for a second date.

This is the core message of my book, Why He Disappeared. It’s not that you’re “wrong” to approach men the way you have, Ashley. It’s that it hasn’t been proven to be particularly effective.

So why keep doing something that isn’t working for you?

Men do what we want – most of the time. There’s always going to be some guy who’s too shy to say hi or ask for your number, but most women don’t want a man with that little confidence anyway.

Your job is simply to put yourself in the position to be approached.

Cross the room near him. Plant yourself within eyeshot of him. Turn. Smile. Make eye contact. Look away. Flip your hair. You’re essentially giving him every opening to approach YOU. If he does, then YOU’RE in control. If he doesn’t, he’s not interested.

Simple.

And if you really, really want to keep on approaching guys, click here, and scroll down to read Samantha Scholfield’s Screw Cupid which teaches women how to approach hot guys. For the more laid back system, which involves getting men to come to you, I’ve heard that Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts is a good read.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Robin Cockrell

    Next time you see him, no don’t talk to him again.  You already showed interests and he knows you are interested, trust me.  To continue to shower him with attention may make you appear desperate.  Not attractive at all.  I agree with Evan, let him come after you. If he doesn’t, he just isn’t interested.  Next is what I say. 

  2. 2
    Saint Stephen

    Evan, said it best . I wouldn’t subtract anything even if i was offered money.
    Ashley, don’t sweat it. If he’s not approaching you, a primary reason could be that he already has a girlfriend and don’t feel like getting your hopes high only to smash it against the wall. If you like a guy, go around him frequently to the point where he has no choice but to notice you. That’s what i’ll recommend you doing with the church guy. E.g, if he’s in the choir, join the choir, (even though you have not the slightest interest in singing). Your job is to make him notice you and he’ll take it from there. I wish you good luck in all your dating endeavors! 
    @Evan, fwiw, there isn’t any link attached to the “click here” you wrote. I dunno, but maybe that’s how you wanted it.
     

  3. 3
    Goldie

    I think the situation described in Ashley’s letter has less to do with following gender roles than it has to do with (sorry to be blunt, this is really the best wording I could come up with) not annoying people or creeping them out. The guy probably came into the gym to work out. He paid money for his membership and, if he’s like most of us, the amount of time that he can spend at the gym is limited. For all we know he may be training for a race that’s important to him. He wanted to run, not make small talk. Further, “why are you running away from me” is not the best pickup line, not by a long shot. Even though I am a woman, and men, by the rules, should be approaching me, I have to say that if a guy tried to talk to me when I’m working out, and/or used “why are you running away from me?” as conversation opener, this guy would probably get nowhere with me. Also, Ashley says that the guy said he’d talk to her in 20 minutes, and she waited for him three times that. That may come across as stalkerish. Again, with roles reversed, if I decided to ditch the guy by telling him I’d talk to him in 20 (not that I would), I’d expect him to get the message after, I don’t know, 30 minutes? If I still saw him waiting for me after an hour, I’d probably look for a security guard to walk me to my car, because I’d be pretty scared at that point!
     
    Bottom line, there are more subtle ways to show the man you’re interested. I never thought I’d recommend the Rules book to anyone, because I seriously do not like it, but it has a lot of techniques that Ashley may benefit from. I’d check out Evan’s links as well.

  4. 4
    Steve

    Ashley wrote: I’ve tried going after guys I’m attracted to even if I don’t really know them. For instance, there was this guy in the gym. I guess I creeped him out. I don’t know why… maybe he found me unattractive… who knows? But I kept trying to talk to him and he would run away because we were on the running track. He was kind of a jerk and then I caught him near the barbells where the men work out and I said “Hey,” he seemed like he was nice because he smiled at me, took off his headphones and said “What’s up?” I asked him why he was running away from me. He didn’t give me a direct answer but he said “I can talk to you 20 minutes from now” with a smile and he said he was going to work out… Well, he ended up ditching me. He had me wait an entire hour and then he quickly walked past me without looking back at me.

    Ashely, I have to apologize for feeling some vicarious satisfaction when reading
    your quote. I ( and many men ) have had your experience many times
    throughout my life. I enjoyed reading about it happening to a woman.
    My apologies for that. It DOES suck? Doesn’t it?

    Women have told me that they blow men off in this manner, because they
    aren’t interested and can’t think of a less awkward way of communicating
    that. Some of the more patient ones will work the term “boyfriend” into
    a short conversation. I think there is something to that. What were his
    alternatives? Tell a stranger making harmless casual conversation something
    mean like “I’m not attracted to you and I’m not in the mood to talk?”

    Many men are put off by women approaching them first. Especially if it is
    done in a very aggressive, masculine way. Having said that I…..and I believe
    most men would be very excited if a woman we found to be VERY ATTRACTIVE
    approached us. The bottom line is that he probably did not find you
    to be THAT attractive.

    No disrespect meant.

    Your situation happens to men all of the time. We tell ourselves that it
    is just their way of saying they are not interested without being mean,
    that it doesn’t mean we are not desirable, it doesn’t mean we will
    not be able to hookup with someone we find interesting and that we just
    have to keep trying.

    Happy Monday

    Steve

     
     

     

     

  5. 5
    Martha

    She is approaching men out of her league, men are about looks first then personality. Try going for the short, fat, bald guys and she will do fine.

    1. 5.1
      Jenn992

      It is not Ashley or leagues or anything! It’s because men are chicken and idiots. 
      Im a pretty woman and wudnt dare approach a guy because all men will reject me because I’m hot. Men reject u because ur pretty or cuz ur confident. And the opportunity to reject a woman. Not ur fault 

       

  6. 6
    Karl R

    Ashley,
    If you’re going to be the pursuer, like men normally are, then you have to approach dating like a man.

    First, even if you’re a very attractive woman, the majority of men will not be interested in dating you. If you’re good looking, but not drop-dead gorgeous, then you can assume that most men will not be interested in dating you.

    Getting rejected is the norm. If you’re going to be the pursuer, get used to rejection.

    Because of this, most men become very attuned to whether a woman is interested in them. We’re not randomly hitting on women we’re interested in. We’re are approaching women where we believe there may be a mutual attraction.

    We’re never sure whether a woman is interested (until we ask), and studies show that men are overly-optimistic about whether a woman is interested (or we’d probably be far more reluctant to ask).

    Ashley asked:
    “Now I’m wondering… what did I do wrong? Was there something different I could of done when approaching him? Is he just a jerk (probably)?”

    Have you ever been approached by a man you weren’t interested in?

    Maybe you saw him staring at you, so you deliberately avoided making eye contact. Maybe you saw him approaching you, so you walked over to where one of your friends was standing. He tried to strike up a conversation, but you pretended to be to absorbed in your conversation to notice. When that didn’t work, you tried to turn him down without hurting his feelings too much.

    Were you being a jerk to this clueless man whom you weren’t interested in?

    Was there something he could have done differently when approaching you to get you to go out with him?

    Back to your example at the gym, you switched roles and you got to be the clueless man. Based on your description, he gave you plenty of non-verbal signals of his lack of interest. You ignored them (or were oblivious) and pursued him anyway.

    I don’t think he was a jerk. He was a nice guy who wasn’t interested in you. And he was trying to let you know that without being rude to your face.

    If a man’s not interested (or not available), you can’t change that. Accept it and move on. As Goldie said (#3), stalking someone is just creepy.

    Ashley asked:
    “Also, I want to talk to this guy at my Church but I’ve had so many rejections that I’m wondering if I should even talk to this guy or if I will scare him away too.”

    It’s a church. It’s perfectly acceptable to walk up to somebody and meet them.

    You can walk up to him and say, “Hi. I’ve seen you around before, but I don’t believe we’ve ever met. My name’s Ashley.”

    In order to extend the conversation, ask a question: “What first brought you to this church?” That’s a very normal question in a church environment.

    When the conversation draws to an end, say, “I really enjoyed talking to you. I’ll see you around.”

    At that point, you’ve broken the ice, and you’ve subtly invited him to come talk to you again. If he is interested, he will begin pursuing you. If he doesn’t, then don’t expect anything beyond friendly conversation. (Since you’re at a church, friendly conversation is acceptable and encouraged.)

    I would not follow Saint Stephen’s suggestion (#2) of joining the choir when you have no interest in singing just to get close to him. Stalking someone is creepy.

    1. 6.1
      Linda

      @Karl
      I would love to get more insight into you statement(s):
      First, even if you’re a very attractive woman, the majority of men will not be interested in dating you. If you’re good looking, but not drop-dead gorgeous, then you can assume that most men will not be interested in dating you.
      I am educating myself, loving myself and figuring out how to flirt to show interest.  It’s been 5 years post divorce and I happier (single, but happier).  My sister would always comment, “my sister just doesn’t know how pretty she is.”  I didn’t think I was butt ugly (lol), but not drop dead goregous either. 
      I have been described as “stunning,” “beautiful,” “gorgeous,” and a “breath of fresh air.”  Coming from men, I brushed it off as a pick-up line to have sex.  It was hearing my friends, men and women, tell me I’m gorgeous or a natural beauty, that I said, maybe it’s not a pick-up line after all (lol).
      I will have men approach me, but immediately say, “I know YOU have someone, but I was just drawn to speak to you.”  I would tell them I’m single and the rest of the conversation would be of him saying how he can’t believe a woman with my looks and personality to match would be single.
      Then I read your post and I actually hear a guy say that someone with above average looks “that most men will not be interested in dating you.”
      Will you give me more insight into why you that is? 
      I don’t want it to be about my looks, especially if it will keep me from meeting the right guy. 
      Thanks,
      L.
       

      1. 6.1.1
        Karl R

        Linda asked:
        “Then I read your post and I actually hear a guy say that someone with above average looks ‘that most men will not be interested in dating you.’
        Will you give me more insight into why you that is?
         
        I apologize for not noticing this question (and responding to it) when you asked it. It’s a relevant question, and it’s not easy to answer.

        People look for a lot of traits. Physical attraction is only one of them. If someone has a clue, then physical attraction is not the most important trait they’re seeking.

        In the initial stages of dating, physical attraction plays a huge role. That’s because it’s easy to notice. More important traits aren’t (usually) as easy to notice.

        To a certain extent, most of us make some attempt to pick up on clues which might indicate the more important traits. Maybe it’s clothes. Maybe it’s how you interact with other people. Maybe it’s what you talk about.

        People do judge books by their cover. That’s not necessarily a bad idea. The cover of a work by Shakespeare looks different than the cover of a pulp fiction novella. Similarly, you can get some accurate (and possibly useful) information about me (and most other people) just by outward appearances.

        Let’s say you meet me, and I’m wearing a t-shirt that says, “Stupidity Kills (But Not Nearly Enough).” What can you accurately infer about me?
        1. I probably think my t-shirt is funny.
        2. That probably gives a clue about other things I might find funny.
        3. I probably am wearing the t-shirt to make other people laugh.
        4. I probably like making other people laugh.
        5. I’m probably more interested in making people laugh than in looking stylish.
        6. I’m wearing a joke that some people may find offensive.
        7. I’m either too clueless to know that some people may be offended, or I just don’t care whether I offend them.
        8. I’m probably the kind of person who doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

        If you think my shirt is offensive or cruel, you probably lost interest in dating me. If you think my shirt is hilarious, you may have become more interested in dating me (or at least knowing me). My choice in t-shirts both opens -and- closes opportunities.

        Linda asked:
        “I don’t want it to be about my looks, especially if it will keep me from meeting the right guy.

        As I pointed out, it’s too simple to think that it’s all about looks. Your overall appearance tells a (partial) story about who you are.

        Furthermore, you’re not looking for “the right guy.” You’re looking for “the guy who is right for you.” That’s a critical distinction. I’m not worried about my t-shirt offending the right woman. The woman who is right for me won’t be offended by it.

        Don’t be afraid to show people who you are.
        If you think Disneyland is the happiest place in the world, take some of your memorabilia when you go out in public. If J.K. Rawlings is your favorite author, wear your Hufflepuff scarf in the winter.

        It helps to stand out from the crowd.
        People who stand out get more attention, both favorable and negative. The real trick is figuring out how to stand out while still being true to who you are. Are you a Cubs fan? Lots of people wear Cubs jerseys to a home game. Far fewer wear them during the off season.

        If someone thinks Disney and Harry Potter are childish, they’re probably not a good match for someone who is a fan. If someone hates sports, they’re not a good match for a die-hard fan. You don’t ruin your chances with the right guy by standing out and communicating who you are. You only ruin your chances with the wrong man (or woman).

  7. 7
    Suzanne

    I guess I take issue with hitting on a guy so bluntly when you don’t have a clue what he is really about.  How about a smile or even casual conversation?  He may very well have a girlfriend/relationship and a lot of guys are intent on honoring that but feel wimpy stating as such when women are being aggressive…versus at the gym I just say I’m seeing someone.  I’m with Evan.  If a guy is interested he will approach and they almost always say “lucky guy” when I tell them I’m seeing someone. My boyfriend says he feels like women hitting on him are offering cheap and easy sex and look at him like a piece of meat on the table.
     

  8. 8
    andy

    He’s not a jerk, youre the one bothering him. Hes not attracted to you plain and simple. He’s doing what woman do all the time and blowing you off since hes not interested. Take a hint. 

    Plus YOU made it awkward by calling him out about being avoident. He’s BUSY working out, if you wanted to be friendly just talk to him when he is taking a break. geez

  9. 9
    Saint Stephen

    Joining the choir to get close to him is not stalking, Karl. I know lots of men and women who joined choir just to get close to someone they liked or admired and many relationships blossomed from there. Besides the choir is a free for all, he would never know if you joined solely because of him. I know  lots of folks who’s original motive of joining the choir was to expand their dating pool.
    However, that was only a suggestion. For all we know he might not even be in the choir.
    Ashley has already established through her letter that she’s very sensitive to rejection, hence my suggestion that she should only put herself in a position where she could be noticed and approached. By that way if he doesn’t step up she’d feel less hurt. Rather than getting shut down for a second time after summoning up tremendous courage to walk up to him and say hi! That will leave her feeling worse…   

  10. 10
    Heather

    Ashley,

    As someone who’s had guys say stuff like you’ve said to this guy, I find your approach slightly creepy.  I’ve had guys say “Why won’t you text me??” when I had just started talking to them on dating websites, and hadn’t even met them yet.  Hello!!  Those were the guys I blocked, told off, gave them a big piece of my mind for being so weird.

    You need to be a “bit” more subtle.  Nowadays I don’t even bother approaching men I find attractive.  I just smile at them.  If they come over, fine.  If not, eh.  Whatever.  Not my problem.

    And I’m with the others, joining a choir or doing an activity just to meet them or whatever, is very creepy.  If I found out a guy did that just to meet me or whatever, I’d be running for the doors.

  11. 11
    Saint Stephen

    Martha
    I’m not attracted to you isn’t a euphemism for i’m out of your league. She could eventually end up with someone more attractive than her previous lovelorn.
    Men have different tastes. Personally, I’m not really attracted to petite/thin women. I have a strong preference for heavier women, though i try to curb that preference and concede to the fact that i might not eventually end up with one.

  12. 12
    Steve

    @andy, post #8
    You said what I was trying to say but you did it far more clearly and briefly.

  13. 13
    Ileana

    @Steven: I could not stop laughing when i read your sugestion with joining the choir. It so reminded me of American Pie :D

  14. 14
    Androgyous

    I’d like to pick up on the point Goldie made about Ashley picking the wrong spots to approach men. The rules with chatting men up are :
    – Pick the territory. Do not pick places where men go to do non social things like the gym or work. Men go to places for specific purposes and while they are at it, are not usually open to other non task related possibilities. Pick places where men expect to engage in social interactions with women like parties or bars, preferably parties and other such social functions where you both know the host. Chit chat about mutual friends is the perfect opening. It is safe, non threatening and neutral so he can, if he wishes, gracefully bow out without being put on the spot.
    – Make sure there is an existing “friendly” rapport. If you must chat up a man up at work or other similar non social places, make sure you have already established a “friendly” rapport, but not an established friendship (some men may have difficulty transitioning a woman from good platonic friend to girlfriend). Do not start off by flirting – this can be offputting in an office or non social environment. Start off with friendly banter, slowly progressing to greater initimacy and familiarity. This can be a long, protracted process and can take a lot of skill and patience. This way, you know if he is in the market and if you could be his “type”. Give plenty of “I like you” signals closer to the time of your final approach. This way, he will know to ask you out first, or at least be prepared for what is coming so as to be able to ward off an “attack” by telling you about his non existant girlfriend for instance. Men absolutely HATE to be ambushed. 
    – The most difficult situation to be in is where you are both in positions that are non conducive to rapport building or social get to know yous – like bus stops, supermarkets etc where your paths are unlikely to cross more than once. The strategy here is to be friendly, yet non threatening and casual. You need to be very witty or make a very smart and funny comments/observations so as to be memorable. Most of all, you cannot come across as hitting on him. You can’t expect anything out of this, but at least he will remember you as that funny, smart and cute gal whom he would consider approaching next time he ran into you. If you keep doing this, then eventually the odds will fall in your favor. You never know, there could be other men watching whom you did not initially target, but who would remember you fondly as well.

  15. 15
    SnowdropExplodes

    Ashley:
    When guys behave the way you did towards the guy at the gym, GUYS get called creepy.
    You tried once and got your answer (he carried on and ignored you), but that wasn’t enough.   If the guy was interested in your cold approach then he would have stopped and talked.
    I’m all in favour of women being the initiators sometimes, and I happen to think it would be better for everyone if more women would do it more often.   But if you’re going to be the initiator, you need more than looks (unless all you want is a quick shag at a nightclub, and even then it’s no guarantee).   You need to be able to get the other person relating to you, set them at their ease and only then push for what you want.   And, as has been pointed out, you need to be ready for rejection, because even the most successful men probably flunk out 90% of the times they make a cold approach – in pickup artist circles, there’s a saying that “the first 1,000 approaches don’t count” because that’s how long it takes to figure out what works for you and in your environment.   But you’ve got a head start on the men, because you can ask yourself, “How would it feel if some random bloke did this to me?” and that should help avoid creepiness like the situation you described in your letter to EMK.

  16. 16
    Ruby

    I think that Ashley needs to make a more concerted effort to read the signs that men are giving her, rather than just blindly throwing herself at random men. If a guy seems to be “running away”, after you’ve already tried to talk to him, why walk up to him again and ask him why he’s running away? An educated guess would imply a lack of interest. This man was polite and said he’d talk to her later (probably to get rid of her), but she waited for him for an entire hour? If you smile at a guy or try to make idle chit-chat, and he doesn’t pick up the ball, he is not interested! I wouldn’t say that Ashley is going after men who are out of her league, either – she is simply being too pushy. Every day is not Sadie Hawkins Day.

  17. 17
    Jadafisk

    Men who “cold call holla” women based on attractiveness alone experience an exceedingly high failure rate and a steep learning curve. As a woman, it won’t be as high nor steep based on novelty and being largely perceived as non-threatening but it will still be difficult. You have to be emotionally prepared to be evaluated on the same shallow, arbitrary basis that you’ve approved your prospect by. You may be found wanting, even if you are objectively attractive, because people have varied tastes, inclinations, habits, default emotional states and comfort levels. If you can’t deal with that, you’ll have to find dates by networking and incidental introductions like most people do. Even a 250 word blurb on a dating site can tell you more about compatibility and your odds of success than a smile and a few miles shared on a treadmill. If attractiveness is extremely important to you, find a niche, a pitch and some nerves of steel. If it’s not, then be more subtle and come as a person who’s interested in another person and has somewhat substantial reasons behind that interest as opposed to an 8 who prefers someone within the 7-9 range.

  18. 18
    Desdenova

    Ashley,
     
    He’s just not that into you.  It’s not that you are doing anything wrong.  It’s just that he’s not that into you.  Some perspective might help – how many times have you blown off men who have approached you?  There’s nothing wrong with you for doing that; he just did the same thing.
    And please do all us guys (and yourself) a favor, don’t cling around a jerk who isn’t interested or very respectful.
    That being said, I disagree with Evan about approaching men. Some guys may be uncomfortable with this…who cares?  Their loss. Besides, you are probably better off with someone who isn’t constrained by pointless gender social norms. Just understand if you approach the opposite sex, you will get blown off and you just got to accept that.

  19. 19
    Karl R

    St Stephen said: (#2)
    “E.g, if he’s in the choir, join the choir, (even though you have not the slightest interest in singing).”
    St Stephen said: (#9)
    “I know  lots of folks who’s original motive of joining the choir was to expand their dating pool.”

    I’ll bet most of them enjoyed singing.

    Participating in an activity that you enjoy (like choir), in order to meet more potential dates … that’s a normal way to do things. Even if you don’t get any dates, you’ll enjoy the activity.

    Participating in an activity “even though you have not the slightest interest” in it … that’s not normal. And if you’re doing it just to put yourself in close proximity to a specific individual you’re attracted to….

    Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you feel if someone you weren’t attracted to did that to get your attention?

    Furthermore, why spend two hours at an activity you don’t like just to get a chance to talk to someone? Walk up to them after the service and tell them that you really enjoyed the choral anthem. It’s a much better use of your time.

    St Stephen said: (#9)
    “Besides the choir is a free for all, he would never know if you joined solely because of him.”

    The choir is the most tight-knit group in any church. Choir members spend at least 3 hours per week together. Some of the members have been part of the choir for over 20 years.

    Because of that, a choir is a terrific place to meet people. It’s a lousy place to try to keep a secret.

  20. 20
    Nicole

    @Ashley, you should read the article from last week about that “Men Are Being Honest, You Just Aren’t Listening.”

    This is a GREAT example of that. 

  21. 21
    Saint Stephen

    Karl R, I agree that participating in an activity you don’t enjoy just to get a shot at someone you like isn’t such a good idea. But as bad it may sound that’s what a lot of us do – be it consciously or at an unconscious level. I know many women who go to watch sporting activities just to meet men. Most of these women don’t enjoy it but deem it wise to put themselves out there simply because sporting games are male dominated thereby giving them a good chance of meeting lots of decent men.
    Let’s imagine all the folks who do online dating, how many of them actually enjoy such activity? I’ll guess that is pretty close to nil, yet that is something we must do to get a chance at having a love-life. Nowadays introverts are compelled to expand their social circles in other to find members of the opposite sex. It won’t be enjoyable at first but totally worth the effort in the long run.
     
    Karl R, if you discovered that a girl you really liked was on match.com – I’ll wager that you’d join match.com, particularly just to take a shot at her. You might not end up with her but eventually get someone better there.
     
    Ashley, may not have interest in singing but wind up loving it just right after giving it a try.
     
    If you walk up to someone after choir ministration to tell them you enjoyed the choral anthem don’t get mad when they effectively take you for your word by not attaching any meaning to it.
    I’ve told girls in my church choir that i loved the way they sang because i really did. It wasn’t a compliment born out of an interest in dating her.

  22. 22
    Saint Stephen

    @Ileana
    American pie is one of my fav movies. Very funny and entertaining. Got the whole collection 1-5… if this was a free forum i would have loved to discuss some very funny/awkward scenes. Watching American pie makes me believe you’re someone who loves to laugh :D  
     
    So do i  :)
     

  23. 23
    amy

    Um…
    1. Ash, learn to take a hint.
     
    2. It doesn’t sound to me like the problem is approaching men. In my experience, men love to be approached. Totally, totally dig it. A woman taking the lead is a recipe for weak in the knees. It just can’t be all the time — but I don’t know who’d want to take the lead all the time anyway.
     
    No, I think the problem here’s that Ashley doesn’t know how not to invade personal space, and she’s taking a frontal approach that’s kind of creepy. In her letter she comes off socially tone-deaf. If a guy’s running away from you while you’re trying to talk to him — you know, it’s hard to find a clearer demonstration of “he doesn’t want to talk to you”.
     
    As for the gender-roles thing — again, Evan, I think you’re being thoughtless about what all this means. If your only goal is to bag a man, congratulations, that’ll work. But this is a dumb goal. If you play girly chase, you’re going to catch a man who thinks he ought to be in charge and that he should be able to do whatever the hell he wants, regardless of context. If you want to live with that, congratulations. But if you don’t — if, for instance, you want a guy who’ll take your career as seriously as he takes his own, who’ll behave equitably when it comes to the hard work of making home and family at the same time that you’re both making careers — then what do you want with a guy who loves the chase and is repelled by anything else? No, you look for someone who’s reasonably balanced in courtship, too.
     
    Apart from which, in my experience, you’re way off base. I’m trying to remember the last time a guy turned me down when I chased him, asked him out, was direct about the fact that I wanted him, etc. Um…there must be someone. Jason R., 10th grade. Surely there…ha, aha, yes, oh boy, he was a cutie and so gay. College. I had no idea. Wound up with his roommate instead. …I’m totally drawing a blank otherwise. On the other hand, there were a couple of guys I was shy around, and much later they told me they’d had no idea I was interested and figured they had no chance, so didn’t bother. They’d totally have said yes if i’d approached them.
     
    Yeah. I think you’re discounting how many men — all, in my experience, except one pretty damaged guy who later wound up with restraining orders and jail — have a strong submissive streak. A direct, sexually confident, even dominant woman is pretty much a dream for them. There’s legions of these guys. Leeeegions. I mean if you want to make a significant proportion of the male population go drymouthed, just say “tomboy”.
     
    @Androgynous: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Of course you can approach men at gyms and at work, unless your HR code forbids it and you want to stay employed. If there’s attraction, the man doesn’t care where he is. A man who wants you will flirt with you in front of his wife and children (thus demonstrating why you don’t want to date him). Karl’s point is more germane: if the guy isn’t attracted to you at the gym, he’s not going to be interested at a party, either.
     
     
     
     
     
     

  24. 24
    Pat

    Hmmm…. I gotta say, there are an awful lot of men taking pleasure in the fact that Ashley got blown off by the man she was interested in.  As if she finally gets a taste of what dating is like for men.  Funny thing is, when women DO approach you guys, many of you don’t like it.  So what’s a girl to do?  A lot of women would love to ask you guys out, but we know that YOU won’t like it.  So please stop acting like the victims and understand that a lot of us are playing on YOUR terms already.  Enough sour grapes, give the girl a break.  As tough as it is to be a man in the dating world, it really ain’t any better being a woman.  Thought Evan’s entry underscored that.    

    1. 24.1
      Alton

      Pat, I think you’re misunderstanding what these guys have been saying. From read so far (posts 1 -23 inc) is that these guys were telling Ashley is now SHE knows what it is like for guys to rejected (like how she got with the guy in gym [which personally think he’s DOWNRIGHT RUDE]). The men on are saying that they get those negative modes of rejection and worse when approaching women. It’s got nothing to do with victimhood, it’s more about LACK OF CIVILITY (that’s gender neutral). There’s nothing wrong with approaching a woman/man and demonstrates their attraction towards her/him. There’s nothing wrong with them rejecting him or her. The problem is the WAY it’s done. Especially when it doesn’t contain constructive criticism. When happens continually it makes one is there something “wrong” with them. This what Ashley is asking, the same thing that many guys are thinking (who lack success with women). So it’s not about “Because Ashley’s a woman let’s find something to bash and belittle her”.

  25. 25
    henriette

    So, here’s a question to build on this general point.  Let’s say a woman sits back and lets a guy make all the effort with her.  He approaches her, asks her out, he pays for her dinner, woos her, they start dating.  Next phase is her accepting his sexual advances AS LONG AS THEY’VE HAD THE EXCLUSIVITY TALK, right? 
    But, let’s say he hasn’t broached the topic of exclusivity.  Can she bring it up, or is that her taking the masculine role?  If she is the one to say, hey – I want to f&ck you silly but I don’t feel comfortable doing so unless we’re not seeing anyone else – will that fall under the category of emasculating him and scaring him away?  I’m not trying to be snarky… just genuinely trying to understand were Evan (and all the rest of you) draw the line re the man initiating everything and the woman responding.  Working within this paradigm, at what point is it okay for a woman to move from merely being receptive to being proactive & asking for what she needs?

  26. 26
    Helen

    amy, in this case, I totally agree with you.  LOVE your comments in 23. :D

    Of course, the question for many women is: when does a man interpret her actions as approaching him (desirable) vs. invading his personal space (undesirable)?  The same action from a woman will elicit different responses in different men. Perhaps as long as you’re not stalking, if your natural approaching style turns a guy off because he’s too dominant or insists on being the pursuer (or simply doesn’t find you attractive), he’s not the right one for you.

    But yes, being a bit of a dominant woman is a huge turn-on for many men. You just have to do it with a smile and sparkling confidence. 

  27. 27
    Heather

    @ Henriette, that’s actually a darn good question.  I keep hearing all the time that basically if we girls open up our mouths for anything, we could be considered being pushy, and will chase a guy away.  It makes me wonder OK, so when CAN we speak up for ourselves and say that we would like to know what’s going on so we can make up our minds and decide where to go from there?  Do we say that as we’re out the door?  That seems unfair, but then again, if we say something beforehand, we might be considered pushy.

  28. 28
    Karl R

    Helen asked: (#26)
    “the question for many women is: when does a man interpret her actions as approaching him (desirable) vs. invading his personal space (undesirable)?”

    Some men are open to being pursued. Let’s focus on those.

    Helen,
    You could answer your own question by turning it around. When do you find it desirable to be approached? When do you find it undesirable? When do you find it to be an invasion of your personal space?

    You like to be approached by men you find attractive, men whom you’re interested in. So do we. Even if you’re unavailable, it’s somewhat flattering.

    You don’t like to be approached by men you’re not interested in. You’d prefer not to have to reject them to their face. If you think one of those men is interested in you, you’ll try to give signals that you’re not interested in him. We do the same thing, but we’re not as accustomed to this situation, so we practice it less often.

    You find it invasive if a person whom you’d never date make a blatant pass at you. You find it invasive when someone ignores the subtle hints that you’re not interested and keeps pressuring you. You find it invasive when someone tries to make a blatant pass when you are clearly preoccupied with something else. We feel the same way.

    The difficulty is, you never know whether the person you’re approaching is interested. The men who have a clue will try to avoid approaching women who aren’t interested, be considerate of when/how they do, and pay attention to any indications that the woman is disinterested.

    henriette: (#25)
    “let’s say he hasn’t broached the topic of exclusivity.  Can she bring it up, or is that her taking the masculine role?”

    That’s protecting your own interest. Present it as a desire to understand what the situation is (without having to assume), rather than a desire to pressure him into making a decision.

    Stephen said: (#21)
    “I know many women who go to watch sporting activities just to meet men.”

    If you’re attending a sporting event (or joining Match.com) to meet men in general, that’s not creepy. If you are attending a specific event just becaue one particular person is going to be there, that’s creepy (unless that was the person who invited you).

    To put it another way, if the person you’re interested in isn’t interested in you, they should have the ability to avoid you … without you following them every place you know they’ll be.

    Stephen said: (#21)
    “Karl R, if you discovered that a girl you really liked was on match.com – I’ll wager that you’d join match.com, particularly just to take a shot at her.”

    Absolutely not.

    I’d approach her in person. She is already encountering me in person. I’ve already made some effort to indicate that I’m interested. It’s how she would expect me to approach her.

    Furthermore, based on my personal experiences, I’d expect to be more likely to succeed by approaching her face-to-face.

  29. 29
    Christie Hartman

    This is one of those rare times I disagree with you, Evan. I don’t think Ashley is “being the guy.” I think she’s doing what women should do – initiating things with men so that men know it’s okay to pursue and do all those other things you mention. Ashley’s problem isn’t that she approached – it’s HOW she approached.
     
    I’ve always said that meeting people at the gym is tough. But Ashley did a few things wrong:
    1) You never try to talk to someone while they’re running, on the treadmill, or in the middle of a set. It’s bad gym etiquette, unless you already know that person.
    2) Don’t try to talk to anyone wearing headphones, unless it’s to ask if you can work in or something else important. People with headphones on aren’t looking to chat.
    3) Generally speaking, you don’t just go up and talk to someone you like at the gym. You have to start small. Make eye contact. Smile. Say hello. If you get good response, THEN talk (but still keep it brief).
     

    1. 29.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Christie – I think a woman should put herself in the position to be approached. I don’t think, in general, she should approach. This is what I mean by “being the guy”. Face it: it’s a lot more telling when a man approaches you because he’s interested in you than when you go up and ask him for the time.

  30. 30
    Bill

    A lot of women are giving pointers on how to approach a man at the gym. As a man at the gym the only women that have approach me are very unattractive to me. The reality if the girl is very attractive the guy would stop doing what he is doing and talk to her. This is another case of he just does not find you attractive. 

    When a girl hit up one guy and she fails she complains to the whole world. When a guy fails he turns around and talks to the next attractive girl. It isn’t that approaching doesn’t work but when you approach someone your attracted to there will be a huge fail percentage. 

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