MAKE THAT FIRST MOVE
Guys have lost their nerve in the dating game so it’s over to us, ladies. We show you how to make the all-important first move. By Phoebe Hooke
How to man-up your dating game
Pthis: you’re sitting at a bar with the girls when you spot him. He’s cute and totally your type. The butterflies start and you instinctively flick your hair. The best part about this little scenario is that he’s looking at you, too. Minutes pass, friends come and go. There’s only so much suggestive smiling and eyelash batting you can do before you start to look a) desperate or b) deranged. Time’s up, last drinks are called and he leaves with his mates. A wasted opportunity, all because he was too chicken to walk over and introduce himself or, heaven forbid, buy you a drink.
icture Now rewind to the start of the night. Forget the endless stream of subtle signals and hair tosses. You stand, make the approach and then spend hours flirting and chatting with your guy. Finally, you exchange phone numbers with the promise of a date. Success! CLEO Australia explored this bar ritual in last month’s dating experiment and came to the conclusion that the fear of rejection has put the brakes on Aussie guys’ mojo. We’re over it. Someone’s gotta man up, so it may as well be us! What’s the worst that could happen? Guys say rejection. We say NEXT! We asked an expert (and some guys) to find out the best ways to approach them.
You know that feeling when a guy wanders over, taps you on the shoulder, leans in and breathes, “You’ve got a great smile” or “Sorry, I couldn’t help but notice your beautiful eyes”? Melt. Even if your head is saying, “Oh, that’s an original line, buddy,” deep down that compliment feels so damn good. Not only is it an instant confidence boost, but you’re more likely to sit up and take notice. So try it on the guys – making someone feel good is the smoothest icebreaker out there. “Giving a compliment is an easy way to make a man feel good about himself and also get a conversation going,” says sexologist
Dr Nikki Goldstein. “Maybe he is wearing a great shirt or something else that you can comment on in a neutral, nonflirty manner.” If nothing else, he will appreciate that it took guts to speak up! Bar manager Carlo says, “I think girls should approach guys, it shows confidence, which I’m attracted to. It says a lot about a woman.” And if there’s a spark, everything else will just flow naturally.
Humour is always a great way to break the ice and make you both feel comfortable
HOW: Think like a dude. Don’t just tell him how great his shoes are, because most guys won’t understand the value of that. Look for the quirkiest thing he’s wearing and comment on its colour, uniqueness or even ask him where he got it.
Buy Him A Drink
Guys use this one all the time and, let’s be honest, the promise of a freebie usually keeps you chatting to him at least long enough to finish your vodka, lime and soda. That’s just good manners. So if you’re at the bar and the guy you’ve had your eye on is there too (okay, well, you followed him to the bar), find a way to get close - without being creepy, obvs - and negotiate your way into the prime possie next to him. Dr Goldstein says picking up men this way is “a balancing act between approaching a guy but still giving him room to pursue and chase you”. Yep, even when they’re not doing the work, most guys still enjoy the chase. Callan, 23, says, “I’ve had bad experiences with girls approaching me. I like doing the approaching.” This is a subtle way of giving him the opportunity to take the lead but, in reality, you’ve done all the ground work.
HOW: Subtly graze his arm, catch his eye or even ‘bump’ into him. From here, you can offer to buy his round to make up for bumping him, or shout him a beer for so generously sharing the prime real estate next to him at the packed bar.
Make A Joke
Don’t take it all so seriously! There’s nothing guys love more than a girl who can laugh at herself. “Don’t be scared to say something, this is not a marriage proposal or even asking the guy out on a date,” Dr Goldstein says. “Humour is always a great way to break the ice and make you both feel comfortable. Just make sure you get it right. If you are not known for your sense of humour, don’t try it on him.” Graphic designer Toby, 30, warns this approach can be a train wreck. “I’ve been approached in an awkward way and had to pretend that I bat for the other team, or I’ve said something stupid like, ‘I only date girls who are taller than me’.”
HOW: If you’re going to make the jump, go head first with no parachute. Test a few opening lines on friends before you have a drink and think everything you say is hilarious.
Throw Him An Insult
This is the ballsiest of all the approaches. If your personality is on the cheekier side or you’ve downed a few bubblies first, it’s worth testing. “The key here is to take the lead. If you’re feeling a bit more confident, ask some questions, find out a little bit more about the person standing next to you.” And keep your eye on his game, too. “Always analyse if he is responding,” Dr Goldstein advises. “Gut instincts are very strong for women so make sure you use them.” While this technique can be a lot of fun, Dr Goldstein warns you could get games in return, so be careful.
HOW: Find something cute to mock him about. Be warned: don’t attempt this approach if you’ve had one too many drinks as you’ll need your wit to make a good impression.
Yeah, now that I’ve bought you the drink, let’s get talking!