When it comes to approaching someone you’re interested in – whether it be at a bar, the gym, the supermarket, whatever – all I have to say is, “I’m so glad I’m not a dude.”

Yes, the art of the approach is a delicate one, gentlemen, and plainly put – it sucks to be you. True, Miss Wingman has schooled you more than once on how to execute this maneuver within certain situations, but it wouldn’t hurt to clue you in to what’s going on in our heads while you’re sweating it out. Consider it a play-by-play analysis, boys – though I suppose I should apologize for the title. It’s not that we’re judging you, per say, it’s more like dissecting. Or…no, wait, info gathering. No…

Oh hell, fine. We’re judging you. And if you’re smart, you’ll beat us at our own game.

The zero hour (i.e. the moment we realize you’re beelining in our direction): There’s an initial second of panic on our end. “Sh*t, is he looking at me? Do I want him to be? How do I look? Do I have anything in my teeth?” and a host of other female neuroses. So don’t worry, you’re not the only one holding your breath. Incidentally, we’re also probably checking to see if your friends are hotter than you, so you might want to leave the Bradley Cooper types at home, bro.

Then we size you up, from the top down. I know it’s harsh, but hey – no one ever said broads weren’t superficial.

Before you even start speaking: We’re looking at your hair – is it combed? Your shirt – is it tucked in and belted? Does it have a wrestling logo on it? (No Tap Out, please.) Is it shiny and tight? Revealing too much chest hair? Hopefully none of the above. Next is your shoes – are they regulation guy footwear? Or something offensive, like Crocs, white dress shoes, mandals (Merrells are the devil), or (gasp!) SWIMS? It might seem ridiculous that girls pay attention to such things, but we do.

When it comes to your appearance, we’re really just looking for clues into who you are, it’s as simple as that. And we’re hoping that who you are isn’t a guy who just robbed an Old Navy.

We’re also checking out your physique (hey, if you can do it so can we), your smile (it’s disarming, and way better than looking nervous), and what you have in your hand – a man’s drink says a lot about him, after all.

In the first 30 seconds: We’re listening to what you say. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: no pick up lines, guys. A simple “Hi, I’m _____” will do. Don’t ask us if we know you from somewhere, just tell us who you are and that you wanted to come introduce yourself. A simple “I noticed you” is enough to flatter us – leave the Barney Stinson game at home.

But you still have to have a follow up move, right? So use your resources. If you’re at a bar, offer to buy us a drink (um, not if we have a full one in our hands though, so pay attention.) If you’re at a party, ask how she knows the host. In the park? See if she wants to join your game of frisbee, or use your dog (or hers) to break the ice.

Don’t over-think this part, fellas. You talk to dozens of people every day, just be yourself. And if you’re really struggling, ask us questions – it keeps the pressure to be interesting off of you, and it tells you whether or not you even want to continue talking to this girl anyway.

In the first five minutes: We’re watching your body language. Are you respecting our personal space? Engaging our friends in the conversation? Making eye contact? All of these are a huge thumbs up. If you seem uptight, or worse – check out girls over our shoulder – don’t be surprised if things go south. Another thing we’re praying to avoid? Standing downwind of bad breath, or hearing you any egregious grammatical errors. We’re not expecting you to be Hemingway, but we’re hoping you have at least an 8th grade education.

In the first 10 minutes: If you get that far, and that’s a big “if,” you’re doing well. At this point, if she hasn’t run you off or suddenly had to pee (read: escape to the ladies room or “find her friends”), then you’ve got a solid chance. Remember, women know within the first 10 minutes of meeting you whether or not we’d sleep with you. It’s hardly scientific, but it’s true.

From this point on, the game is yours to lose – meaning, you can really only eff it up if you do something rude or socially awkward. And like I said, if you’ve made it that far without bungling it, chances are strong that you won’t. So it’s a safe bet that we’re wondering when you’re going to ask us for our digits, and hoping that you do. Now is the time to ask when you can see us again. And if you’ve read the tea leaves right, she’ll probably oblige.

Whether you choose to stick it out beyond this point, or make a tasteful exit is up to you, gentlemen. It’s not a bad thing to leave us wanting more. Just remember that even though we may be sizing you up, doesn’t mean we’re not hoping you like what you see, too. And if you have a rough take off or a bumpy landing, no worries. Just call for back up – that’s what wingmen are for.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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