Tip No. 1: Do not yell "Sweet bikini!" at a woman you're… (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune…)
Thanks to online dating sites, men are getting off to an easier start when talking to women. Unfortunately, there are times in real life when you're not able to access a profile floating above a woman's head. So ... what then?
Believe it or not, single women want to be talked to. Usually not at a bus stop while you're screaming from your car. Probably not at 2 a.m., when you've consumed enough liquid courage to drown in. And definitely not after slamming a volleyball in the sand nearby and shouting, "YO, BABE! SWEET BIKINI!" Women do desire positive attention, and we are rooting for you to do well. But how? Allow me to break it down.
1. Observe the situation. Gaggles of girlfriends are more likely to engage in new conversations. Things that work in these situations are pretty simple:
>>Despite what you've heard to the contrary, talk to the woman you're interested in, and let someone else flirt with her friends. If she looks interesting, say hello, and ask what the occasion is and how they all know each other.
>>Do not assume that when women are on the dance floor, they want to be grinded on. We don't know you; we're not ready to know you that well. Instead, try asking the group if you can join in the dance circle. They may say "no," but at least you won't have creeped anyone out.
>>Steer clear of magic tricks. I'm not sure when this started to be a thing, but I have never seen more magic than I have the past few years of my life, and I do not regularly attend children's birthday parties.
If she's with a guy (or girl), she could be on a first date. Watch for body language, and how she's interacting with him/her. If she seems uninterested or on a friend level, there is nothing wrong with quietly slipping her your number while the other person is away, then walking off. It's unassuming and intriguing, which women like. Quiet confidence goes a long way.
2. Get creative. These are actual conversation starters that yielded positive results with me:
>>"This is weird, approaching you at a Jewel in the toilet paper aisle, but I wanted to give you my number just in case. Happy ... shopping."
>>"Have you seen this band before? What do you think?"
>>"Make sure to check if there's toilet paper before going into that Port-A-Potty. My friend made that mistake once."
>>"Do any of you want to play in? I'm obviously not great at volleyball."
>>"Can I ask your opinion on this belt? I personally like it, but I'm not sure if it says I'm trying too hard to look cool."
3. Be Yourself. This is seemingly terrifying for men. I don't know how many times I've been approached at a bar by an overly aggressive exterior.
While this may boost your confidence, it makes a lot of women feel cornered. Avoiding eye contact, monopolizing the conversation or bashing the scene around you won't help. A simple, "Do you mind if I sit here?" works wonders.
Ask if she knows what the specials are, borrow a menu or crack jokes with the bartender. This breaks down defenses, allowing for normal conversation.
Women just want to feel like we have a say in the matter. Let us know you're interested in a respectful way, then leave the ball in our court. That's the best way to play the game.
Nikki Pierce is a RedEye special contributor.
Need to give your dating life a boost? Sign up for RedEye Dating.
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.