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Old 01-13-2015, 05:22 AM   #1
Mysti Mountains
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Default Approaching Women

I hear from a lot of men that they have trouble approaching women most of the time.... especially when they are BHMs.... It seems that they think that women won't be accepting of a bigger guy, when there are tons of girls out there who would love to know that they are interested. In the last few weeks I have had 3 different guys tell me that they have watched my posts for years, but never worked up the nerve to say hello. So my question is...Do you find it easy or difficult to approach a woman, and why? and with the proliferation of the internet, is it harder or easier to approach the woman of your dreams?
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:01 AM   #2
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For me personally it's less that I have trouble working up the courage to approach women and more that I have trouble reading signals. I've been dinged a couple of times with thinking that women who are just being friendly and enjoying themselves may hold a deeper interest when they don't and that has made it tougher for me to trust my guy instincts in matters like this. For a lot of big men though I definitely think that fear of rejection is a key factor.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:30 AM   #3
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I don't actually have any advice, I just wanted to say the subject header makes me picture a road sign: "NOW APPROACHING WOMEN."
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by djudex View Post
For me personally it's less that I have trouble working up the courage to approach women and more that I have trouble reading signals. I've been dinged a couple of times with thinking that women who are just being friendly and enjoying themselves may hold a deeper interest when they don't and that has made it tougher for me to trust my guy instincts in matters like this. For a lot of big men though I definitely think that fear of rejection is a key factor.
This makes me think of the clip I watched the other day of Jimmy Fallon completely not knowing that Nicole Kidman had been interested in him. Watch this funny exchange:

He's thinking OMG I could have dated Nicole Kidman?!?!!
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:03 AM   #5
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What usually happens with me is that I will be friends with someone online....they will say hello if they happen to see me in a chat room or something, then I won't hear from them for a few months. They pop up and say hello, ask what is going on in my life, and then if I tell them I am dating or something they say "Well, I guess I can't talk to you then" and my reply is "Why not?" and they usually end up telling me that they were interested in me, but they couldn't possibly be my friend NOW.....as if they were actually talking to me as if I was anything but an internet moment in the first place.....but the same thing happens in real life....if someone is really interested, I would hope they would do more than just say hello if they happen to run into me..... find a common interest and run with it....enjoy your life and don't be afraid to take a chance...and to the guys who say "no one would be interested in me....I'm too fat!" Well what the hell am I, chopped liver?
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:09 AM   #6
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So my question is...Do you find it easy or difficult to approach a woman, and why?
It is difficult simply because I know the numbers and being a gamer nerd, I can't stop doing cost-benefit analysis. Being a SSBHM disqualifies me for the lion's share of women. Being socially awkward and lower class are additional penalties, as is not having prior relationship experience. When I approach a woman, I have to weigh the risk versus reward; is she worth getting a drink thrown in my face or her making a humiliating public scene? Is she worth getting a slapped with sexual harassment at work for asking if she'd like to go out for coffee?

It's a fine line between getting to know a woman to determine how receptive she might be and if it is worth the risk to approach romantically and waiting too long and having that hurt your chances.


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and with the proliferation of the internet, is it harder or easier to approach the woman of your dreams?
I think the internet has made it harder to approach women overall.

Consider the difference between someone taking the time to send a handwritten 'thank you' note versus a 'thank you' email.

Online interactions simply matter less; people give more weight to other forms of interaction. Approaching a woman (especially cold) is about making the right impression and simply making an impression. Approaching online simply stands out less compared to being in front of her, her having to look up to talk to you, smell your cologne, read your body language, etc.

It has also made women harder to approach in real life. Consider that the average woman is approached online much more often by random men (or just online friends wanting to chat it up) than she otherwise would be. Thus she's used to keeping her barriers up and, on a subconscious level, she's reacting to this increased demand for her attention even when she's just out walking around and this translates into her body language making her less approachable; a woman is simply more likely to be giving 'fuck off vibes' when a lot of guys speak to her, even if she wants them to.

Research shows the reverse is true for guys, however. Want women to talk to you? Surround yourself with female friends.


[EDIT Also if I spent less time online reading about the behavioral sciences and more obtaining money and status, I'd have more than just theory. ]
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:27 AM   #7
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This isn't going to be a very incisive post. I just felt like saying....
I have an inkling of how most guys feel. For the majority of the relationship/crush-type situations I've experienced in my life, I did the approaching.

I feel like it's easy for a lot of women to underestimate everything that goes into being the expected initiator. Over and over again. While keeping yourself encouraged about the process, as djudex and tankyguy mentioned. Sometimes I wonder if women wouldn't be a little less harsh in their rejections if they understood this better.

The advice guys most often tend to get from other guys and from female friends is "don't give up!" I feel that's where the trick lies. Muuuuch more easily said than done, of course. So I, as a potential approacher, will not give up either. Though, right now my weary self can't help thinking.... it would be nice to be the approachee once in a while. And not only at the very beginning of the relationship.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by tankyguy View Post
Being socially awkward and lower class are additional penalties,
This is about the last thing I would assume when reading your post(s).


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Consider the difference between someone taking the time to send a handwritten 'thank you' note versus a 'thank you' email.

Online interactions simply matter less; people give more weight to other forms of interaction.
This is definitely true. The ubiquitous availability of casual and more or less anonymous communication has made any P2P direct interaction not only much more valuable, but also more decisive. They shape our image of a person much more strongly.

A related personal and professional observation. I'm met many men - not surprisingly often print journalists - who were great at expressing their thoughts in writing, but could absolutely not transmit this in oral interaction. I've only ever met one woman where this was so strongly the case.

Also some men (size unrelated, and also just friends/colleagues, so no strings attached) are good conversationalists on the phone, but much less eloquent fact to face.

A psychologist once told me the latter might be related to very mild forms of Asperger's or face blindness, which much more men suffer from than women.

I often am also insecure whether I read all clues correctly I observe in communication with me. I'm much better at interpreting them as interaction between third parties.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:07 PM   #9
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This is about the last thing I would assume when reading your post(s).
Not sure if sarcasm because I sound like a smug ass or something () but I chose to take it as a genuine compliment.

But yes. I grew up and currently reside in a tiny fishing village. I only have a high school education and a couple of career college courses; a formal higher education wasn't something within my reach and I don't hold a degree. I'm not so brazen to claim to be an autodidact, but I constantly read online from a variety of subjects and kind people have paid me the compliment that I intuit concepts easily and absorb information like a sponge.

For a while I escaped and was able to hold down a professional lifestyle, mostly on luck, the raw talent I had and throwing myself into the work fully. The class differences with my co-workers were thrown into relief when I'd go out with them; they came from comfortable backgrounds for the most part and I was acutely aware of the dissonance whenever I'd think of dating.

Then the economic downturn in 2008 happened at the same time I made a bad career choice and well, things spiraled down from there and I'm back to zero.


Quote:
A related personal and professional observation. I'm met many men - not surprisingly often print journalists - who were great at expressing their thoughts in writing, but could absolutely not transmit this in oral interaction.
This is very much the case with me.
I think though, if one can compose their thoughts, rehearse and practice conversing with the person they fancy, they can turn written skill into oral skill. 90% of being great at conversation is knowing what questions to ask the other person and being able to memorize and throw down some literary quotes that are apropos to the moment. The art of charisma can be described as interpersonal rope-a-dope mixed with confidence.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:52 PM   #10
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Well every guy big or small has a fear of rejection ... which when I've mentioned this in the past to some women friends they seem shocked.

To answer your question though I have a hard time approaching women (women I don't have any previous history with) in real life and can probably count on one-hand how many times I've ever done it. I do realize that's been part of the problem for me as it likely is for other guys (big and small) who don't do a lot of approaching of women since there is some truth to it being a numbers game of sorts where if you do it a lot more you're likely to get more successes along with the increase in failures. Another thing is I'm not a big club guy so that kills a lot of the chance to approach women in public since doing it in places where people are running errands like at the grocery store, gas station, Walmart, or etc seems kind of awkward to me.

When it comes to online dating or interactions I don't have any issues approaching women (again women whom I have no prior history with). I'm quite the good writer when I want to be so online can work great for me when I'm serious about it. I've done my share of online dating and have had success even if I know that it is a stacked deck since women online tend to get bombarded by guys especially on "free" dating sites as well as you loose some of the intangibles in online interactions that can make or break a woman moving forward in getting to know you.

For guy that don't like or do a lot of approaching women the internet can certainly help, but it comes with its own downsides. The best thing is to try and find that balance between online and offline which is the route I'm taking.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:38 PM   #11
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I think the internet has made it harder to approach women overall.

Consider the difference between someone taking the time to send a handwritten 'thank you' note versus a 'thank you' email.

Online interactions simply matter less; people give more weight to other forms of interaction. Approaching a woman (especially cold) is about making the right impression and simply making an impression. Approaching online simply stands out less compared to being in front of her, her having to look up to talk to you, smell your cologne, read your body language, etc.

It has also made women harder to approach in real life. Consider that the average woman is approached online much more often by random men (or just online friends wanting to chat it up) than she otherwise would be. Thus she's used to keeping her barriers up and, on a subconscious level, she's reacting to this increased demand for her attention even when she's just out walking around and this translates into her body language making her less approachable; a woman is simply more likely to be giving 'fuck off vibes' when a lot of guys speak to her, even if she wants them to.
I feel you. For me it is hard because I need a signal from a woman to consider approaching her. A simple smile or some eye contact would be enough. But it seems like all women out there are in a natural "fuck off" stance. Only paying attention to there mobilephones.. If they dont pay attention to their phones they look like they want to kill someone, have there arms crossed. There whole body language says: dont you dare approaching me.

If women would start to use their "advantage" and stop this typical "the man has to approach" thinking the dating game would become so much easier for everyone.

Alternatively men could gather up and stop approaching women on the internet That would make them way more open for new contact. I guess this will never ever happen.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:51 PM   #12
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Not sure if sarcasm because I sound like a smug ass or something () but I chose to take it as a genuine compliment.
It is genuine.

If you do so much online learning - have you ever considered formalizing this, turning into an online degree? There are options these days that are inexpensive and from your writing I can only assume that something from your sphere of interests should lead to good results.
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:17 PM   #13
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It's hard. Seems like the other guys that have responded to this post have the same problem. It's difficult to tell if a lady is interested. I'll fully admit I'm really poor at picking up if someone is interested.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:25 PM   #14
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... Do you find it easy or difficult to approach a woman, and why? and with the proliferation of the internet, is it harder or easier to approach the woman of your dreams?
Approaching random women is a very low percentage game. Unless you're the type of guy who doesn't give a shit about rejection its also likely to be somewhat soul destroying. Also, many women really dislike guys who try to hit on them when they're just out and about. Its a bit easier in social settings (i.e. parties or at the bar/club) where women expect to be propositioned and are likely to be in a more receptive frame of mind. But even then its best not to try too hard. When the opportunity presents itself say or do something interesting to get the target female's attention -- if she's interested she'll let you know.

The internet makes it easier to play the numbers game. Its easy to send multiple women short notes. Concentrate on those who respond and forget about those who don't.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:44 PM   #15
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@Mysti,

Is this post inspired at all by Scott Aronson and the Comment 171 debacle?
http://www.newstatesman.com/laurie-p...lliance-empire
http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p...comment-326664

just curious
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:49 PM   #16
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@Mysti,

Is this post inspired at all by Scott Aronson and the Comment 171 debacle?
http://www.newstatesman.com/laurie-p...lliance-empire
http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p...comment-326664

just curious
Slate Star Codex had an equally incendiary retort to the Laurie Penny thing.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/01/01/untitled/

The montage of neckbeard memes from Tumblr originally drew my attention to it.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:51 PM   #17
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The signals thing seems like a pretty big issue all around. As a woman, I've had issues with it myself. Not picking up other people's signals...but men mistaking my friendliness for interest. When I'm out in public, I generally try to keep up an overall pleasant demeanor and smile at people. Just because, you know, most people look so closed off and unhappy. And it helps me be less anxious around people. But, in many cases, I've had people think I was interested when I really wasn't. I mean, I don't want to confuse the issue even more/let people down...yet I don't want to have to act colder to people.

There's also plenty of both women AND men who will flirt casually, as playful socialization that isn't intended to go anywhere. Which seemingly further complicates things. Like tankyguy said with the importance of forming an impression - if you don't have a good grasp on portraying yourself in a light that's at least a little "more than platonic", like subtle flirting and teasing, then women will often follow that lead unless they're very interested/somewhat bold from the get-go. Outright stating your interest, while very practical, tends to end that "I THINK I know but I'm not quite sure!" period of interaction that can be compelling. (If it doesn't end it, uh, you're just dealing with an outrageous amount of self-doubt on their part...)

Online dating is bittersweet. On one hand, it allows people to be connected to a much larger network than they would be otherwise and eliminates some of the stress of initiating. But I think it has a tendency to dehumanize people. Women typically get a lot of messages, and when you're dealing with that much interest, it's easy to ignore anything that doesn't fit closely to your ideal and forget that there's an actual, emotional human being on the other end of the interaction. So it may be easier to send out messages, but harder to truly capture someone's attention unless you already embody what they want (and can successfully capture that in your profile/message.)

But, on the other end (that no one actually asked about, admittedly,) I feel as if it's much easier to approach people on the internet as a woman. Especially as an FFA who would be apprehensive about a BHM questioning my motives/genuineness in person...especially because it would be awkward to come right out and voice my preferences. (Well, hi there. Do you come here often? By the way, those extra few hundred pounds look just wonderful on you!)
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:33 AM   #18
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I think you guys have to bear in mind as well that there are a lot of reasons that a girl might reject you and not all of them are to do with you yourself. I've turned down a lot of men because, er, well, I'm asexual and for the most part not interested in the hassle of a relationship. Perhaps the lady you are talking to already has a partner, or is a lesbian. Things like that are obviously no reflection on you as a person at all and would happen regardless even if you were the handsomest, richest, etc man in the world.

Just a thought for all you guys out there.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:46 AM   #19
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Slate Star Codex had an equally incendiary retort to the Laurie Penny thing.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/01/01/untitled/

The montage of neckbeard memes from Tumblr originally drew my attention to it.
:\
Yeah I read the SSC response, which left me unsatisfied in some ways. A couple of other articles had responses I liked with fewer reservations. Anyway I did take note of the situation with regards to intersections of fatness and this discussion re: Aronson.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:48 AM   #20
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I think you guys have to bear in mind as well that there are a lot of reasons that a girl might reject you and not all of them are to do with you yourself. I've turned down a lot of men because, er, well, I'm asexual and for the most part not interested in the hassle of a relationship. Perhaps the lady you are talking to already has a partner, or is a lesbian. Things like that are obviously no reflection on you as a person at all and would happen regardless even if you were the handsomest, richest, etc man in the world.

Just a thought for all you guys out there.
Yes. This. And even among women who are non-monogamous/ poly, any of the above might still be relevant.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:00 AM   #21
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Speaking honestly, I've never been approached by a man and thought it a pleasant experience. I think it's because most of the types of guys who are bold enough to approach a woman they don't know do so with really bad lines and inappropriate touching, etc. When something happens like that happens I nearly wonder aloud why people don't talk to me like a human being, ask to go out for coffee, etc. I think that is the key here. If you're going to approach someone be polite and treat them like a human entity and not a happless woodland creature to be tricked into the back or your van.

As to the fear of rejection, I think rejection is always a possibility - it could go either way. If someone doesn't want to go out with you that should be the end of the story. Don't be mad, you woudln't go out with someone you don't want to go out with. Just move on. If she's rude to you it doesn't mean you're a schmuck. That's a reflection on her. Consider yourself lucky she said no, it saves you a tank of gas. All the same, just move on.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:42 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by BChunky View Post
It's hard. Seems like the other guys that have responded to this post have the same problem. It's difficult to tell if a lady is interested. I'll fully admit I'm really poor at picking up if someone is interested.
This is the crux of the matter: the man is expected to make the first move, and by doing so he makes himself vulnerable. Since this is painful, he looks to the woman to give some indication of whether or not she's open to approach. Or, as the Brits say, "The boy scouts, and the girl guides." I usually try to catch the woman's eye and smile. If she smiles back, I say hello. If she doesn't, I abort the mission. If you're observant, you can usually get some sort of clue -- either from the woman or from the surroundings -- that can start a conversation (if either of you is walking a dog, you're home free). If you're in a bookstore, you talk about books; if you're at the laundromat, you ask if she knows how to get the ring out of your shirt collar. If it works, maybe it will go someplace; if it doesn't, at least you now know how to get your shirt clean.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:56 PM   #23
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... I grew up and currently reside in a tiny fishing village. I only have a high school education and a couple of career college courses; a formal higher education wasn't something within my reach and I don't hold a degree. ...

... The class differences with my co-workers were thrown into relief when I'd go out with them; they came from comfortable backgrounds for the most part and I was acutely aware of the dissonance whenever I'd think of dating.

...

Its important for a couple to share a compatible outlook on life. This is indeed much more difficult when people have divergent life experience. I grew up on a farm in Northern Alberta twelve miles from the nearest paved road. When I worked at a big San Francisco firm I was pretty sure I was on the only person in the building who'd ever set a coyote snare or dynamited a beaver dam. My life experiences were very different from those of my co-workers. I was always surprised at the low esteem in which they held blue collar workers. Different life outlooks made it hard to find a compatible date.

My wife and I share similar life outlooks. However, she comes from a very different background -- she was born in and spent much of her childhood in Tijuana Mexico. When she's in a management meeting she's in all likelihood the only one there who ever lived in an old school bus. Thus we're both outsiders to mainstream middle class American culture. Despite very different backgrounds we come down on the same side of almost every issue (i.e. we're very compatible).

With regard to this tread the take away is that if you're not really part of the local mainstream its even harder to find a compatible mate. Randomly approaching people is even less likely to work. However, compatible people may indeed be out there in unlikely places.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:58 PM   #24
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At this point in my life I'm clueless as to how to meet someone. I've struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life, my relationships were all started on the internet. I've actually never approached and asked someone out on a date out in the real world, always social media or dating sites. Even my marriage (divorced, still friends) started on MySpace (hi, I'm old)... I also struggle with not wanting to be that overbearing lonely white dude bitching about how nobody will date him. I know how unattractive that is. I don't want to be to forward and make a girl feel uncomfortable (feminism and all that, as an admittedly privileged young white male I acquiesce to the ladies on that front and keep my opinions in full support of the sister folk), but I also don''t want to come off as a wet blanket.

I don't know. I know I'm lonely, that's for sure. I know my divorce and the following relationship made me feel really unattractive and unwanted and sort of gross. So general confusion + anxiety + living in a small town + ... well, this site, the culture. All that has stirred me to complete inaction when it comes to perusing woman out in the real world.

Real world, hell, even within this community. I've been on THIS VERY FORUM for well over ten years. Add to that the time I spent lurking the old Dims board? The fact I've never had more than a handful of substantive conversations with an FA/feeder/gainer/FFA/whatever makes me feel like that aforementioned wet blanket.

I'm rambling / this makes me sound so gripey.

I know I'm a catch, I know this. I own a business, I'm not half bad looking (big guy, sure) but I put myself together well. I have a sense of style, I love going out to eat and finding new restaurants... so honestly, why am I so clueless? Why am I so willed to inaction? Why the terror?

Boys, even at 31 years old and a decent amount of lady related life experience under my belt I still really have no idea.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:31 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by LillyBBBW View Post
Speaking honestly, I've never been approached by a man and thought it a pleasant experience. I think it's because most of the types of guys who are bold enough to approach a woman they don't know do so with really bad lines and inappropriate touching, etc. When something happens like that happens I nearly wonder aloud why people don't talk to me like a human being, ask to go out for coffee, etc. I think that is the key here. If you're going to approach someone be polite and treat them like a human entity and not a happless woodland creature to be tricked into the back or your van.

As to the fear of rejection, I think rejection is always a possibility - it could go either way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Feelgood View Post
If you're observant, you can usually get some sort of clue -- either from the woman or from the surroundings -- that can start a conversation (if either of you is walking a dog, you're home free). If you're in a bookstore, you talk about books; if you're at the laundromat, you ask if she knows how to get the ring out of your shirt collar. If it works, maybe it will go someplace; if it doesn't, at least you now know how to get your shirt clean.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fat Man View Post
Add to that the time I spent lurking the old Dims board? The fact I've never had more than a handful of substantive conversations with an FA/feeder/gainer/FFA/whatever makes me feel like that aforementioned wet blanket.
All of this applies - and if you want to have at least the effect of establishing friendly, substantive communication you need to apply a few very simple rules - and a hell of a lot of endurance.

1) Deep down, most women know there is no such thing as love at first sight. So if a man approaches you with encroaching wording suggesting that, 99.8% of all women will think he's looking for nothing else but an instant screw and will back off.

Showing personal interest is much more convincing if it starts out about what the woman does, might know, her opinions, etc. Because that shows that the male counterpart has at least switched on his brain to put $ 0.02 into talking to her.

For instance the content of some PMs I get here is abysmally simplistic - going like the proverbial bull at the gate with questions like 'Do you want to feed me?' or vice-versa. Does any guy really expect an answer to that?

2) As Dr. Feelgood said - establish common ground, find a topic to talk about other than her persona, let alone body.

That is a lot easier if you approach women in a context that already gives you some common ground like job related, any type of activity you obviously share (sports, any club or association, culture, etc. etc.). Public sphere (yes, even bars) of any type is much more difficult, because most women addressed out of the blue will clam up and assume 1a).

Sometimes I think guys very simply don't put enough substantive thought into this - and I'm not talking innovative pick-up lines. It's more reflecting a little bit about topics or issues that might be of interest, good for debate or agreement with your female counter-part.

Recurring to my personal example - I think I'm a very easy target around here. I mainly write stories. So if you want to establish communication with me, all you have to do is read one of my stories and comment on some aspect of it. The 100% ticket to an enthusiastic response - because you identified something I do and care for. (It's as basic as that! Defines me much more than my bra size!)

3) Expecting anything more than friendly, communicative interaction is preposterous! If you get more out of it in the end, down on your knees and thank God Eros, for he is a fickle fellow who spreads his favors sparsely and erratically.

Apart from the fact that trivial aspects play a role (time, form of the day, emotional availabilty, outward triggers, etc.) physical and emotional chemistry is one of the not yet fully explored mysteries of mother nature.

Many men expect to quick and easy results from what I read not only here (women do too, but that's not the issue here).

Over the past decade, I've had a very baffling continuous experiment to watch proving this. I was in charge of the group education to an advanced professional trainee program. Altogether over 500 people in groups of 20, work together for 1 year, roughly 50:50 gender mix, 80% unattached in the relationship searching age bracket 26-35.
Do you know how many relationships and marriages resulted out of this? 2 ! (One of which ended in divorce and death) Even though these people were together for months, worked together and shared partially very formative experiences, had the common ground of being together on this pretty specific program, very many were actively looking for new partners.

Intimate Male-female interaction is very complex - it's a long, hard, grueling road to establish it successfully.
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