Sunday, April 20, 2014

How to approach a girl if I like her?

It always surprises me at how many guys completely mess this up.  Having been married for 11 years, then divorced, I had to figure this out all over again, with varying degrees of success.  The most important thing to remember is that there is no magic formula to get a girl to like you back and much of it will come down to basic forces of attraction. That said, provided there is a reasonable level of pre-established attraction, I have some good news: it's actually pretty easy if you learn some ground rules.  Here are my basic rules for pursuing a girl I like:

Rule #1: If she's in a relationship, don't pursue her. If you really, really like her, become friends with her. The laws of attraction don't apply to friends and you can become friends with anyone if you're a nice person.  It's very important that you don't ever make the first move with a woman in a relationship. You need to show her that you respect her relationship. If she's unhappy and attracted to you she'll let you know subtly, but don't get involved in a love triangle, wait til she's broken up or find someone else. If she's married, find someone else.

Rule #2: Be confident. This cannot be overstated. Forget about the movies where the girl is attracted to the guy because he's cute as he's tripping over his words; girl's flee this scene in reality. A girl wants to feel comfortable and she will not have an issue with you approaching her if you know what you're doing. So what are you doing? You're talking to her and showing her that you're interested in her. Find a way to ease into a natural conversation. Guys mess this up by getting nervous and trying to be funny, but it's more about not saying anything that will ruin your chances than saying the perfect thing that is going to win her affection on the spot. Just relax, her affection can't be won there, it takes time and chemistry.

Rule #3: Be yourself. Don't lie. If you're trying to pursue a relationship with this girl, all truths will be exposed sooner or later. It is also not good for your confidence to know that you have to be untruthful about yourself to have a chance with a girl. Know who is in your league, and don't take it personally if you try to go for a girl who is out of your league and she rejects you. You have to take the shot before you can make the shot so give yourself credit for trying, but be graceful in rejection. This will win you points and may even get you a second look at some point down the road.

Rule #4: Keep her engaged. This is the hardest one because it takes a bit of the intangibles like charisma and charm, but with practice these can be developed. Girls have amazing ADD when you're pursuing them. A split-second gap in conversation and they are checking their iPhones or making their way to the bathroom. You don't have to keep her enthralled all night straight but strive for solid 10 minute conversations where the two of you are making consistent eye-contact and the conversation is flowing. This will establish the rapport that you're trying to build. After 10 minutes of good conversation it is safe to ask for her number if the situation dictates it and she will give it to you if you've succeeded.

Rule #5: Don't double-text. You've got her number and sent her a text. If she's interested she will return it. Pay attention to the duration between her receiving and returning your texts. If she waits an hour, don't return fire immediately, wait a bit depending on her message. You may think she likes you, but girls use text-etiquette as a filter, so don't blow it by getting desperate and sending her a text asking why she hasn't responded when you thought you had a really good time together. Well formed voicemails or phone calls keeping in mind the above rules can also be a good idea, but let her dictate communication frequency. You can't force anything here and you will ruin your chances if you try.

Rule #6: Decrease your chances of rejection. When securing a date, whether its your first, second or whatever make sure she is available to go out before you ask. Otherwise after one or two rejections, both sides may start to feel like its not meant to be, and the relationship can die on the vine. To eliminate external factors from the equation make sure scheduling issues do not play into her decision whether to go out with you again or not.

Rule #7: If you've done all this and it's still like pulling teeth to get her to go out with you, stop pursuing. This may actually shift the dynamics in your favor and make her interested in you again. It has happened to me for sure. If it doesn't, let her go and find another girl.

Rule #8: It ultimately comes down to compatibility. Be honest about your feelings and don't force something that's not there or you'll pay the price later. Heartbreak is tough and constant communication is important so both parties can know if the relationship is working or not working.

Good luck!