Getting Women to Approach You

by Dr. Dennis W. Neder

Recently, I've been getting more mail from women complaining that men are sometimes put off when women approach them. How ludicrous is this?

Men, you've had to do all the work for years. If some women feel good enough about themselves to take on some of the burden - why turn them down?

Many men feel intimidated by women that are direct or even aggressive. It's time to get your own ego in check. What's going on here? Are some men so insecure that they feel intimidated by forward women?

Well, yes - this sometimes is the case. On the other hand, many men are tied into the "attitude relics" of the past - including that men always have to make the first move.

To begin, let's look at why women DON'T approach men. Here are a few reasons:

1) Most women feel it's the man's job to do the approaching (attitude relic).

2) Women are sometimes even more uneasy about approaching men than men are about approaching women.

3) Many women have never learned how to approach men.

4) Men often don't want to be approached and react poorly to women that do.

Women that approach men go through the same anxiety that most men experience - if they approach at all. So, the wise man will realize that he WANTS women to approach him. The trick (as many women know) is how to be approachable.

Being approachable is a combination of things. The first key is to make eye contact. Women will not approach a man whose eyes she can't see. Averting one's eyes is a defensive posture and tells people not to approach you. If she can't see your eyes, she doesn't know if you're shy or dangerous!

The second key is to smile. A smile doesn't have to be a full-tooth grin. Just a pleasant relaxed smile in coordination with eye contact is perfect. This doesn't come naturally to many people and you may need to practice this in a mirror to make it so. Just look at yourself and picture the image you want to express to others. Then, learn how it feels to present that image on your face.

Eye contact and smiling may also have cultural implications. In some cultures it is considered rude to look someone in the eye. In others (such as Japanese culture), any display of emotion can be looked down upon. Thus, you should learn the local customs especially when you're traveling and make them work for you - not against you!

The third key is body language and posture. You want to evaluate your body's posture. Slumping shoulders, crossed arms and legs are "don't approach" signals. Another "leave me alone" sign is turning your back or shoulders away from someone - or away from the center of activity.

If you're sitting at a bar, you are likely facing a wall. Turn around and face the center of the room (or somewhere away from the bar itself). Then, don't slouch. Sit comfortably up-right with your shoulders up, back straight and your arms and legs unfolded, in a relaxed place - over the back of a chair or on the bar for example. This posture signals your "openness" to someone's approach.

If you're sitting on a bench or couch, don't sit close to the edge (signaling your distance). Don't sit directly in the middle either (showing your ownership of the seat). Sit slightly to the side with room on either side of you for someone else. This is a universal sign that you can be approached.

One great tool to use is to imagine someone you respect entering a room. Think about James Bond or John Wayne entering a party alone. They show confidence, class, calm and comfort (the "4 C's"?). This should be your goal as well. If you're not sure how to act, stand or sit - imagine what they would do in this particular situation.

Even if you do all of this, don't be disappointed if you DON'T get approached. The women that will make the first move are rare - very rare. If you're one of the lucky ones that get approached, take advantage of this gift!

Got a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all letters. You can write to me at for answers. For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit: