Wise Guys: What Makes Someone Approachable?

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Advice from three of EMandLO.com’s guy friends. This week they answer the following: “If we’re talking about guys making a move on a stranger, what makes someone approachable?” To ask the guys your own question, click here.

Married Bisexual Guy (Bryan Sebeck): As somebody who’s spent a decent amount of time giving advice to guys who want to go out and meet people romantically, I can tell you that it’s quite simple. Guys will look for any number of things that all tie back to one central question: “How likely is it that they’re going to shoot me down?” It’s a big risk that a guy is taking by approaching someone that he doesn’t know and so I always tell guys to look for signs that they’re into you, or at least open to talking.

If there’s one thing for you to take away from this, it’s to look like you’re having a good time. No guy is ever going to approach somebody who looks like they’re having a bad time unless he lost a bet or Mystery is around the corner giving him challenges. This is as simple as laughing, smiling, and talking to the people you’re with, but it makes all of the difference. From there, you just make it known that you want him to approach you.

In the “pickup” industry, they call these Indicators of Interest. They work like a charm. Make eye contact when nobody else in your group is looking his way. Keep the eye contact for a few seconds before looking away, repeat. If you’re in a crowded bar, brush lightly against him as you walk past. He’ll notice you, and probably think it’s a complete coincidence. Just remember that guys are horrible at picking up subtle signals and need a little bit more guidance than you think they ought to. When in doubt just ask yourself what you can do to make it clear that he’s not likely to get shut down. With just a little practice, you should be able to have him approaching you in no time.

Single Straight Guy (Nick): There are a lot of things that are fairly universal in this area: smiling, laughing, being energetic, talking to other people who are around, making eye contact. Most dating and courtship studies show that men will typically only approach a woman if there is a moment where the two make lingering eye contact. On the other side of that, when men DO approach a woman when no eye contact has been made, or if the eye contact is fleeting, he will usually be shot down.
If there is a specific guy that you want to approach you, let him catch you looking. When he does catch you looking, don’t look away, allow your eyes to lock for a moment. Chances are he’ll come over and say hi.

Single Bisexual Guy (Jack): Having been hit on myself, I have heard a lot of crazy lines from being asked my sign, to if I was psychic, to a rather inept description of someone’s endowment (that was supposed to be some sort of lure). In every case, though, I’d say I was open and willing to talk to people, and that’s the only thing I can think that made me approachable.



Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Married Bisexual Guy is Bryan Sebeck, a newlywed engineer and artist working in Detroit, MI who blogs at A Yooper Steampunk; our Single Bisexual Guy is Jack, a software consultant based in Phoenix, Arizona who blogs at Facets of Our Lives;; and our Single Straight Guy is  Nick German, a network technician based in Minnesota. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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  1. In my experience, this whole “eye contact” thing is BS. I always feel like I’m back in 7th grade, making eyes at my crush, hoping he’d notice me. Every once in awhile, if I’m bored at the house (and all of my closest girlfriends are taken/engaged) I’ll go to the bar by myself
    I’ll sit down and get a couple drinks in me while surveying the room. If there is a guy who is sitting by himself, I’ll go talk to him. Inevitably the seats around me will fill up also, and most of the time I will start a conversation with a man sitting beside me. It may seem aggressive for a woman but I’m not going to sit there and make flirty faces at a man and wait for him to come up to me. Men in general suck at picking up hints. My friends have told me my approach is uncommon; at the very least I’ll get a good conversation, some laughs and some drinks out of it; sometimes I get a phone number or a make-out session in the parking lot. Sometimes its nothing at all.

    If someone were looking to approach me, I would hope he would be as ballsy as I am in that respect and just come up and talk to me.

  2. Funny thing – you’d THINK a girl who looks bored would be a great target, but like Bryan suggested… nope.

    I’ve put this to the test numerous times. I’d look for the girl at the party or bar who seemed bored. I’d figure, “maybe she just doesn’t know anyone. Maybe she feels awkward about mingling with people she doesn’t know. She probably wishes someone would come along and be friendly. I know I would, in her position! Approach time!”

    … but no dice. Invariably they were not just bored. They were also boring, sulky types who weren’t looking for fun. As they also say in the pickup industry… NEXT!

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