I was the one who first approached the man who is now my husband. These days, it is acceptable for the woman to make the first move. Sometimes it is just necessary. Here are 10 tips for confidently approaching a man:
Get the scoop first
It will help having some information first, and it is usually pretty easy to get the scoop. I worked with my husband’s cousin, who told me about his family and my husband’s interests. That developed ideas on how to start the conversation. This also made me feel safe that I was pursuing a guy who had a good family and a good reputation.
If you make eye contact, see how he responds. Does he hold your gaze? Does he look for you again? If you make eye contact a second or third time, he is definitely interested.
Find a way to connect. Some girls like to be coy, going the old-fashioned route and asking for help. This works because it gives the man a chance to respond to you, help, or simply interact in some way. I lived far away from my husband, so our first connection was online, which wasn’t scary since I knew his family. I first connected with him by replying to something funny he had said on a public site, and knew he was at least a little interested when he replied to me directly.
Never try to be something you are not, and don’t change who you are for a man. The right man will love you for who you are. Being yourself from the beginning makes it easy to know whether you are a good match, without surprising him with your “real self” later (or condemning you to being someone else for always).
Light up the room from the inside out by giving the best smile you’ve got. Show him you are happy to meet him, happy to be with him, happy to be you. Relax and enjoy yourself in the moment, without putting pressure on either of you for this to be anything more than a first connection.
Ask him something. Anything. Ask him about his work, about his family, or about his favorites (movies, food, pizza, books, music, etc.). Don’t just gape and stare, but talk to him. Asking questions is a great way to get to know someone else.
Pay attention to what he talks about and how he shares. Is he able to share about himself? Does he talk positively about his family? Is he honest about the struggles of real life? What is he passionate about? Does he say kind things, or is he a gossip? You can learn a lot of things very quickly by just listening.
Once you have decided you are still interested and confirmed that he is interested, invite him on that first date. Think of 2 or 3 options for public places that are easy and fun, and let him pick from those choices. Make each choice a little different, and be sure to include something that reflects you have been listening (a type of food he likes, or a particular interest he enjoys).
If he gave you any contact information, whether a text number, phone number or email, then use it to follow-up. Simply thank him for the positive encounter, and keep it short. If he is interested, he will reply and your conversation will warm up. If he is not interested, he will not reply. Leave him alone if he did not accept your invitation for a first date.
Let the man breathe. Don’t stalk him or drown him. If he is not ready for dating, he won’t initiate. That will tell you a lot, so wait him out after you have made your move. If he is both interested and ready for dating, he will follow-up on his own.
There are safe and fun ways to appropriately approach a man you are interested in dating, and you can do so without smothering him. Confidently initiating contact while being yourself will introduce you to each other, while being a good listener will help you get to know him. Waiting after that first encounter may make you spin in giggly circles, but will tell you a lot about whether he is really interested in dating — and whether he is really interested in you.