Women aren't your objects.

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Therefore they clearly have feelings about how they are spoken to, and all you men are about to get a lesson on it.

u/Pepperwoodchronicles asked Reddit:

Women of Reddit, what's the best, non-creepy way to approach a woman that you don't know but are interested in?

Here is what they came up with.

One

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  • approach her in a place where she won't feel like she's being cornered. Other people around, casual setting, etc. An empty train car probably isn't your best bet.
  • be friendly and engage in at least minimal small talk before asking her out, for her number, etc. Literally asking 2 seconds into the conversation can be weird, because even if we know your intent right away, you haven't given us any time to feel out the situation and feel comfortable.
  • Don't be demanding. Just ask if she is interested, and do not be forceful about it if she rejects you.
  • Go in understanding that some women don't like being approached by strangers, period. You might be good looking, funny, and friendly and she still might be uncomfortable or uninterested
  • I know this is hard to execute in practice, but just don't be too weird about it. Don't treat her like a foreign species or a piece of meat, just like a normal person.

Two

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Wait until you're in a place where it's appropriate. Bar, coffee shop if she doesn't have headphones in or is reading. Ask if you can join her. Talk about something interesting.

Three

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If this is someone you see regularly, smile. If she returns the smile, say hi.

Let the conversation flow.

Do take a hint if she's not interested.

Four

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Whether she is someone you see frequently or not I suggest being short and sweet. Obviously get to know her a little so you're not complete strangers, but you should give that no more than 5-10 min and leave it off with asking for her number and then proceed to text her the next day and ask her out if you still want to. Don't ask her anything super personal but find out what she likes to do around town and use that as a way to help you ask her out.

From my experience, I get so annoyed when a guy just wont leave and basically turns our first time we meet into a date, so definitely don't overstay your welcome.

Five

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Every person is different and can't be approached the same way, but the one thing across the board is pay attention to whether or not you think she WANTS to be approached. If they have headphones in at all, what their body language is telling you (not making eye contact, turned away, etc), if they're busy and trying to get something done.

It makes the difference between me categorically ignoring you and also being annoyed or possibly even scared depending on context, or at the very least making friends.

And if you are rejected for any of those reasons or different ones, just remember that you or anyone else don't have the right to someone's time and attention just because you want it. Don't take it personally and move on and leave her alone.

Six

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The guys I remember the most fondly had very casual conversation starters and transitioned smoothly into asking my name. Don't start with "Hey, I'm so and so" or "What's your name?" It catches me so off guard.

Try mentioning something that doesn't have to do with her specifically. When you approach me, I'm trying to assess the situation, determine if you're dangerous, examine my surroundings, and figure out what your intentions are. I don't want to be doing all of this while answering questions about myself, even if it's just my name.

Also, read that body language. Make a little eye contact and smile. And then read her body language and make sure she's not already creeped out or on guard.

For instance, if you're in line at Target or something, smile and read her body language. Then mention something about your surroundings or the store: "I always come in here for a specific thing and end up leaving with 30 things I didn't need and forget the one thing I came here for." Every girl at Target can sympathize with that. If she doesn't say anything, don't push it. She's not into it. If she seems good with the conversation, just make small talk in line and then give her your number.

NEVER FOLLOW HER OR WAIT FOR HER IN THE PARKING LOT. That is creepy. We are constantly told how dangerous parking lots are so you immediately come off as a threat.

Seven

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Don't corner or confront them. Don't ask personal information off the bat. Compliment their outfit, hair, makeup, or something they have control over and not their body or face (don't objectify). If they they're doing something (reading, listening to music, shopping, etc.) leave them alone. If they ignore you, leave them alone. Realize that they probably get unwanted attention all day long and might not want to talk.

Eight

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Don't approach them as someone you are interested in, approach them as someone you want to make friends with. Start with "hello" or a wave, and then try making a friend. If you don't want to make a friend, you are not worth getting to know.

Nine

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Approach her casually in a public place and compliment something she has control over (i.e. clothes, hair, makeup, etc) and use words like "cool" "awesome" or "rad". Nobody is intimidated by compliments like that.

Also if someone isn't interested, just accept it and respect their space. There is no excuse to bother someone in their own time if they aren't interested

Ten

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I hate when men come up to me and say "hi, what's your name? I just wanted to introduce myself...blahblahblah". It's fine but that has never resulted in me having an awesome connection or giving my number out. It just feels forced. Like I know we haven't met, that's why your introducing yourself. Be confident. If you notice she's watching the game say "oh don't tell me you like the xyz team" or if she has an interesting looking drink ask her what it is. If she's looking at the menu tell her they make killer nachos. If she doesn't want to talk, she won't. If she's interested you'll start talking and at the first lull that's when you can tell me your name/ask me mine/etc. I don't want to hear the standard question list. Show me you can actually talk to me and you're fun to be around.

Eleven

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Striking up a conversation about a mutual interest sometimes works. The thing is you have to be genuine. Strange guys approach single women all the feckin' time and feign interest when the real message is, you're good enough; I'd do you.

Take an interest in her personality, in her tastes. Relate to her as a human being. She may shut you out for any of a thousand reasons and she doesn't owe you an explanation, but once in a while a woman might decide that you seem fun and interesting.

That being said, women tend to be less on guard when there's an introduction through mutual friends or if the two of you belong to the same club.

Twelve

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honestly? the same way you would approach a dude you simply wanted to have a conversation with.

Thirteen

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If I am on the street, just don't approach me. Period. I live downtown and I have received death threats after engaging with strangers.

Make your introduction light, and if shes not feeling after a couple of seconds, wish them a good day and leave. If you are engaged with a women for at least 30 seconds and shes not feeling it, I guarantee shes has thought of an exit strategy already.

Give her space to talk, so if she does want to leave, she doesn't have to wait for you to finish speaking or interrupt you.

Just giving a woman freedom to leave a situation makes a huge difference really.

Fourteen

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Don't forget this quote:

"Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them."

Fifteen

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Seriously, can this post become a sticky somewhere on some sub? I'm happily married, but when I was single I was terrified of approaching women and avoided doing so because I thought they didn't like when guys did that. I feel like this is what the other half of what the Me Too movememt is missing. Sexual misconduct needs to be brought to attention, and men need to be educated on what is appropriate behavior with regard to interacting with women. I can tell you right now that SOME men legitimately don't know any better when it comes to respecting women. Bravo to OP for posting this.

Sixteen

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Friendly small talk. Don't corner me. Take no for an answer. Ask if we can get coffee sometime.

Seventeen

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Also, if it's out in public, bear in mind she's probably on her way to do something- going to work, meeting a friend, trying to catch a train, making an appointment, etc... so if she ignores you or brushes you off, it might not be you, specifically. I'm often harried when I'm out and about, or otherwise very focused on what I'm trying to get done, and a random person trying to talk to me is more like a gnat buzzing around my ear. I might not even really notice someone is trying to talk to me until 10-20 seconds later, and I've already walked off. I've been called all manner of horrible things because I more or less ignored someone trying to talk to me. Well, I'm not going to turn around and talk to you NOW. Remember that she's not there purely for your benefit, so be polite.

Eighteen

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Worst pick up I've ever seen; a coworker sat at the bar all night and grabbed (yes, grabbed) the arm of every remotely attractive girl that walked by, licked his lips, and said "I have been watching you all night." He struck out 10/10 times.

Best pick up I've ever seen; kinda doesn't happen that way. Work on you, make friends, and be open to something happening naturally.

Nineteen

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I was sitting at a train station once and a guy walked up to me kind of slowly and disarmingly and said, "so before I embarrass myself, can I ask if you have a boyfriend?" He said it confidently in a light tone, with a warm smile, but without a trace of arrogance or entitlement. I did have a boyfriend, and when I told him I did he was respectful and left me alone. But before he walked away I made sure to tell him that he did that the right way and it was the first time I felt flattered when approached by a man I don't know, ever. I high fived him and we got on our separate trains. It's okay to say stuff like, "so I have no idea how to do this" as long as you're saying it in a friendly way and with some confidence. Honesty is disarming and endearing. You can even approach her and ask her that question. Say something like, "I don't know the best way to do this, but..."

Most of all, if she gives any indication she wants to be left alone (like if she's wearing headphones and/or reading a book), just leave her be. I wasn't wearing headphones when this guy walked up to me, but I am always super annoyed if I'm reading or listening to music and someone approaches me to hit on me. I might be having a bad day and not want to talk to anyone, I might be trying to quell an imminent anxiety attack, or any number of other things that would make me want to be left alone. Read her physical cues and if she looks closed off, it's usually on purpose. Respect that. Also don't corner her, stand a few feet away when you first speak to her so she can see that you're out of striking distance and feels less threatened. Even if the guy in question would never, ever harm anyone, we still feel more comfortable being approached by someone we don't know if we're out of their arms' reach.

Twenty

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Read the situation and the environment. If you see her walking down the street don't approach her, let it go. If you're in a coffee shop, university, or place where people gather you can simply walk up to her and give her a compliment. If you're at a club, there's this idea of us thinking you solely look at the exterior so what guys may interpret as "b**** face" is just our faces of knowing you only came up to us because of it. A bar is a more open environment. It's easier, just don't follow us to the bathroom or anything odd like that. In a park, have a pet or a reason to be there that makes you more approachable.

If she isn't interested or appears scared, just let it go. There was this one guy on 3 occasions who pestered me for my number (friends of a friend of a friend). We feel trapped and we don't want to come off as mean, but we are not obligated to give you our numbers. rant over

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