and how to fix them.
He had stolen next to me at the bar, and I turned to look at him.
“Hi,” I said and smiled.
I was out celebrating my friend’s promotion, and I’d been hoping to meet someone new, and this guy was really cute, and not in a I’ve-had-a-few-drinks way, but in a I’m-totally-sober way.
“Hi,” he said back.
The bartender came over, and I ordered a beer. Cute guy said, “Could I get that for you?” I took another look at him, assessed if I thought this could go somewhere, and said, “Yeah, thanks.”
I watched him as he ordered his own drink and then paid for both of ours.
We exchanged names and then he said, “What are you up to tonight?”
I told him, and then said, “You?”
“Just here with some friends,” he said and motioned to a table of two guys.
“Cool,” I said.
I waited for him to offer something else, like a, “What do you do?” or…anything, but instead silence hung between us. He cleared his throat and then looked at the ground.
I tried then asking a few questions, but he wasn’t reciprocating much. I kept seeing him glance back at his friends, like he was wishing he was there with them instead of me.
Finally I said, “It was nice talking to you! Thanks for the drink. I hope you have fun with your friends.”
He rubbed the back of his neck, gave me a little half smile, and said, “You too.”
When men are talking to women, whether it be on dating apps or out in the wild, there are some pretty common mistakes women all see, and cute guy made the very first one:
1. Not continuing to talk
I realize it’s difficult to just say “hello” to someone, but it can take a minute to get a conversational rhythm going. You have to move past that initial icebreaker to something more concrete, and you need time to get there. You might need to figure out what you have in common, or she might be a little nervous and need to warm up to you a bit.
If you don’t immediately click with her or know what to say, that’s okay. But if she’s responding to questions and not un-matching from you or resembling an animal that’s been trapped and looking for an exit, then you should keep talking.
2. Ignoring her body language
Women are very expressive in their body language if you pay attention. When it comes to talking to a woman, you have to pay attention to whether she looks like she wishes she was anywhere other than where she is now (because you may need to accept she’s not into you), but also how engaged she is with you.
If you talk to me about football, my eyes are going to gloss over. I may nod sporadically, but that’s me just being polite. I’m more likely to start looking around the room to see if something else is going on to distract myself from the snooze fest in front of me. I’m passionate about a lot of things, but football will never be one of them (believe me, I’ve tried).
When you bring up a certain topic, does she look you in the eye? Is she nodding? Is she leaning forward, possibly to hang on your every word? If not, you may need to change course, maybe even by asking, “What’s something you’re really interested in?”
3. Interrogating her
We often start asking a string of questions and barely giving our chatting partner a chance to respond when we’re nervous or insecure. Conversations have to organically evolve, and they can’t if you’ve become an interviewer.
You know how people feel at job interviews? Nervous. Stressed. Anxious. Is that how you want the lady you’re trying to talk with to feel? No.
Once you realize you’re asking way too many questions, take a deep breath, and give her time to respond to your last question. Listen to her answer, and respond in a real way instead of jumping to the next question.
4. Expecting her to “lead”
After briefly chatting with that cute guy, I went back to my friends who’d seen everything.
“What was that about?” they asked.
“Nothing,” I said. “Guy wouldn’t really talk to me.”
“I hate that,” my friend said.
While it’s 2020 and women are perfectly capable of carrying conversations, we are going to assume very quickly that a dude isn’t interested in us if we’re having to take the lead.
We want to know about you, and if you’re not really participating, whether it be because you’re only giving short responses or not asking questions of your own, we are going to assume you don’t care to know about us, and we are going to move on.
5. Trying too hard
Women can tell when you’re being inauthentic, and that will always be a turn-off. You don’t need to constantly crack jokes or brag about how much money you make. You just need to treat it as if you were chatting with a nice human that…you also happen to find attractive.
The best thing you can do is keep it casual and simple. “Hi. What’s your name? How are you doing? What do you do?” Simple. Easy. Nothing too special or hard.
The art of the conversation is an important one, but it will get easier with practice. Keep talking through your own insecurity, pay attention to what she’s interested in, let it evolve, take the lead, and keep it simple, stupid.
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