JET Love

5 Things to Know Before Approaching a Man

A few weeks ago while perusing Facebook, I saw a status written by one of my female friends who had approached a dude at a bar for the first time in her life.

Unfortunately for her, it didn’t go so great and he politely declined her phone number and kept it moving. Her post was spattered in the scent of fresh rejection that I, like many other dudes, have become acutely familiar with ever since junior high. But what truly jarred me was the responses from the women who commented on the post, which mostly ranged from, “He’s a wack a** loser” to “See girl, this is why you have to let them come to you.”

Now as a man with a lot of home girls, I often find myself overhearing conversations where a group of women are discussing the ins and outs of what men think without actually asking an actual man for his input, so seeing this conversation wasn’t new or surprising, but frustrating nonetheless.

My home girl who approached the dude is a really great woman, and the idea that the key to her relationship success is not ever approaching a man ever again, while hunkering down in a fortitude of bitterness is ridiculous and short-sighted.  I was going to comment on the post, but my thoughts are far too extensive for a simple comment box.

I think the interesting thing that some women may need to understand is that as different as women and men may be, men and women desire a lot of the same things when approached. That’s an important key to remember as you continue reading.

1) Stop thinking its so labor intensive.

If you’re thinking about approaching a brother, please divorce yourself from the ideology that by approaching him, you are effectively “putting the pants on in the relationship,” which will require you to take the first step in everything you do from here on out.  It’s not that serious. Just because you approached him doesn’t mean you need to carry the interview-style dating interrogation for the entire time you guys are talking. More often than not, men learn that we have to take a woman from point A to point Z in terms of gaining and maintaining her level of interest. But for women, it’s simply not that labor intensive because when a man is approached by a woman he finds attractive, as much as she’s beginning the interaction, he won’t require her to “chase” his interest. Just focus on starting the conversation and letting it flow from there.

2) Disinterest is sometimes not about you.

Now here’s where things start to get similar between women and men. Sometimes when men approach women, we do this thing where we believe if she’s interested it’s because she’s available and likes us, and if she’s not interested it’s because she’s available and doesn’t like us. Many times, men forget that relationships these days are complex and multi-layered (often confusingly so). There’s a huge, obscure grey area between being married/engaged/in a relationship, versus being alone and lonely, and we refer to that area as dating. Many people these days are in situationships, going through the stages of a break-up, living through the early exciting stage of meeting someone new, or just wondering if their friends-with-benefits wants to get serious for cuffing season. And that grey area doesn’t just apply to women; it applies to men too. So ladies, if you face rejection the same way my home girl did, it doesn’t mean that he deems your collective self-worth to be of minimal value, it can just be as simple as he’s either taken, or working through clarifying a complicated situation.

3) Sometimes disinterest is about you – and that’s not a bad thing.

We often talk about the “frail and toxic masculinity” that rears its ugly head when men believe that they are owed the affections of a woman. These are the men that threaten, harass, insult, assault and even kill women simply because they wouldn’t acquiesce to their advances. That behavior is disgusting born from a mentality of entitlement. When I hear women say that a dude is “wack” simply for politely declining a woman’s interest, it reminds me of the same musty dudes I hear calling women all types of BS names just because she wouldn’t give him her number. Sometimes men are available and disinterested because he’s not completely attracted or he just doesn’t feel there’s any chemistry there. That doesn’t mean that he’s a f*ckboy; it just means that he’s looking for something different. Just the same way you have your own wants and needs, men do too, and it’s better you both understand that from the start, rather than him feigning interest.

4) Don’t get down, just get better.

The funny thing many women do after being denied the first time is declaring that they will never approach a man ever again for as long as they live. Basically, they have an extreme overreaction. Just because you may have failed to get one guy’s digits, doesn’t mean that approaching men isn’t for you. More often than not, it just means that you may need to work on it a little. That’s the harsh lesson that many of us men learn after our first approach and there’s simply no way around it.

Ninety percent of men in the world had to learn how to approach women through a hellish baptism by fire. We’ve embarrassed ourselves, said horrifically stupid things and have had our ego trounced on multiple occasions. But it’s going through that hell that teaches us how to become comfortable and allow our natural charisma to show. Damn near no one gets it right on the first try. Men, like women, are attracted to confidence. Learning how to put your best foot forward is a skill that, like anything, needs to be mastered.

5) You don’t need lines.

If you don’t remember anything remember this: you do not need pick-up lines, crafted jokes, or some super clever conversation starter to approach a man. All you need is to be genuine and authentic. As much as women hate lines, it makes us equally uncomfortable.

In sum, approach a man in the same manner that you would want an attractive, interesting man to approach you. If it goes left, charge it to the game and keep it moving. And if it goes right, despite what your home girls and crotchety old men may say, it could be the best decision you ever make.

Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site, He’s author of the book, “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer.” He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.