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

CLEO (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Com­pli­ment Him

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!

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