“Hey Rob, what do you need to look out for when you’re about to approach a girl in a bar, club, or any nightlife setting for that matter?”
I was out the other night recently with a few of my good friends from college, slamming back a few beers, enjoying the views, reminiscing about our undergrad years and having one of those coming full circle moments on this rooftop bar.
As I retreated towards the lounge area of the bar, I couldn’t help but notice a group of guys standing by the corner of the bar trying to push each other to approach this group of young, pretty, 20-somethings on the other end of the bar.
I felt intrigued and wanted to move in closer to observe. Mind you, I’m completely off the clock right now, with no intentions to coach or meet any women. I was just out to simply kick back, relax, and swing down a few beers with some old friends from college.
As I found a good spot to sit down, enjoy my beer, and inconspicuously hide in plain sight to observe and hear the conversations on both sides, I felt like Nigel Thornberry or one of those people who do nature documentaries.
I watched the group of girls and could clearly tell based on their facial expressions and engagement with each other that they were not out to meet anybody and were just deeply engaged with each other, as if they hadn’t seen each other in years. From their closed off body language all the way down to the lax way they were all dressed, my gut instinct kicked in and knew that anyone who approached this group would immediately be rejected.
I watched each guy go into the group one by one, trying their luck and trying to finesse their way in. I could tell that the group of girls were getting pretty irritated. Not long after, they decided to leave the nice loungey rooftop bar for another bar to continue their conversation from before the guys came in and disrupted their night.
While I commend those guys for trying, especially seeing how they were psyching each other out through positive words of encouragement, the constant interjection of “bro!”, and I guess you can say with the help of a bottle of liquid courage, this brings me to the point of this article: to help you smooth out your future interactions with not only women, but people in general.
One of the foundations of emotional intelligence or EQ is not only understanding your own emotions and the emotions of others, but the ability to be able to non-verbally read someone and understand the context of their sub-communication.
To put that into layman’s terms, it’s the ability to read people’s emotions through their body language and tonality. I often like to use the analogy of a football quarterback being able to read what the defense is going to do and adjusting the play based on that. We can’t read people’s minds, but our non-verbal cues communicate our state of mind and emotions.
I often hear conventional dating advice from pickup artists, dating coaches, gurus, and matchmakers that you should just put yourself out there and push yourself to approach every girl regardless of the circumstance or situation.
While this rule of thumb is good for someone who is just starting out or has absolutely no social skills or social experiences for that matter, it doesn’t answer or teach the fundamentals of EQ. If you want to be successful at meeting women, creating attraction and comfort, and creating and effectively managing a relationship with a girl, whether it’s romantic, sexual, or even platonic, it boils down to being able to read the signals she non-verbally gives off.
As men, we spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not we should or shouldn’t approach a girl we’re attracted to. There’s a reason why we all naturally suffer from some form of approach anxiety.
For the beginner suffering from approach anxiety, I recommend checking out our series on how to overcome approach anxiety part 1 and part 2.
Going back to my earlier point, we spend so much time worrying about these things, but women also worry about rejection and humiliation as much as men do. It’s a normal part of the human experience. Due to a combination of our biology and mostly our social conditioning and the rules of modern day western society, it’s a man’s job to approach a girl and lead under the romantic context.
Most men are generally terrible at picking up the signs and signals of interest that women give off. It drives a lot of guys crazy and they end up wishing women could just be a little more direct and up front. As I’ve said before, women have the same fears as men do. They don’t want to be rejected or come off as desperate, and it’s our social conditioning that as men we’re to do the approaching and leading the interaction.
If a girl is attracted to you or in general is open to socializing, she will give off subtle non-verbal indicators that she likes you and yes, that means you should go talk to her. By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can make sure that the person you’re approaching actually wants to meet you and talk to you.
Whether its before the interaction and she’s giving off a signal, the beginning of the interaction and she’s still trying to figure out if she likes you, or the middle of the interaction where she’s already attracted to you but you haven’t picked up on it yet, it’s essential that you recognize and understand these subtle signs and signals.
So here are seven signals that she wants you to talk to her. In old pickup artist circles, they used to call these things indicators of interest, but to avoid complications, let’s just call them approach invitations.
1. She Plays Eye Games with You
One of the most common signals is often the most subtle: eye contact. Eye contact is incredibly powerful and intimate, which is why we always use the saying, “The eyes are the gateway to the soul.”
Prolonged eye contact can trigger feelings of love and passion in people. If you have the time and patience, you can check out this research study on the connection between eye contact and love.
This is why deliberate eye contact is used as a signal for you to make the approach. We don’t and rarely want to make strong eye contact with people we don’t like or deem unpleasant to be around. Avoiding eye contact is one of the ways that men and women attempt to avoid getting drawn into a conversation with other people.
So next time you’re wondering whether or not a girl is attracted or interested in you, watch her eyes. Not only should you try to make active effort to make eye contact with the women you’re attracted to, but you should also be looking out for the women that are trying to catch your eye. Someone who’s actively trying to make eye contact with you is more likely to be open to an approach and want to meet you.
A rule of thumb when we check someone out is that we take around 3-4 seconds to examine their face. If a person takes longer, let’s say 5 or more seconds, then that’s a pretty strong signal that they’re interested in you, there’s something interesting about you, or something you do that fascinates them.
Now, as I always tell my students, it’s important to test everything you do when you’re meeting, attracting, building comfort, and developing a relationship with a girl through the courting process.
It’s also important to understand and remember that there may be other factors in play and that she might not actually be attracted to you. She could just be trying to figure out why you remind her of that friend she hasn’t seen in years, especially if she’s got the perplexed or intrigued look in her face instead of a smile.
This is why you want to look for a specific form of eye-contact: the three part glance. A woman who is interested in you will often meet your eyes, look away down or to the side, and then look back again with a light smile. This can be an easy invitation to mistake, as most people will tend to assume that the eye contact was accidental and then move on.
It’s the “look back” part that you need to look out for. This is a subtle and flirty way of checking to see if you’re still interested in her. The smile she sends back to you is to let you know that she’s interested and that you should come over and initiate a conversation with her.
2. Body Language and Non-Verbal Cues
Other signals of interest and indicators that they want you to make the approach are the unconscious and non-verbal gestures they give off. People in general tend to make subtle adjustments to their body language when they see someone they’re attracted to.
One of the most common gestures you’ll see is what I call the adjustment gestures, such as making a small adjustment to her clothing or hair to present herself at her best form. The most obvious one is when a girl is playing with her hair such as pulling it down with her fingers, twining it around her fingers, or brushing it slowly away from her face.
Other ticks to look out for is when they start rubbing their neck or wrists. Self-touching is another subtle signal of interest as it draws the eye towards those areas.
Another common signal to look out for is one that frequently precedes the other approach invitations and signals which involves her torso. Someone who’s open to being approached is going to have more open body language. She’ll be facing outwards towards the room rather than facing the bar or her friends. Her arms will be angled away from her torso. As you already know, crossed arms are a defensive and closed-off signal that screams “go away!”
Then if she sees someone she’s attracted to, she’ll readjust her body slightly. One common sign is that she’ll straighten up and square herself off, as a way of improving her posture and displaying herself to a better advantage. She’ll also frequently angle her torso towards you. Humans are goal-oriented creatures and point themselves at things they’re interested in. If you catch someone’s eye and they open up towards you, they’re definitely interested.
Mirroring is another thing people do when they’re trying to build rapport or a connection with somebody. If you make a gesture when you catch her eye, a wave, or an eyebrow flash, then that’s a sign of interest and an indicator that you should go over and introduce yourself to her.
As a rule of thumb, always remember to look for these gestures in clusters instead of just one signal at a time. Looking out for these clusters that either occur simultaneously or very close together point to signs of interest.
3. She’s Checking You Out
Of course, while there are women who get flustered when they’re caught looking at people they’re interested in, there are also those who are much more open about conveying interest.
With the changing times and gender roles not being as black and white, even assertive women still prefer to be the one approached rather than doing the latter. The reasons may vary from them screening out and looking for a guy with the confidence to say hi to them, or the feeling of being desired.
Sometimes she’ll have the confidence and courage to be overtly flirty but not enough to pull the trigger herself. Other times, it could be that she’s as nervous about getting rejected as her male counterpart and is willing to leave a little bit of plausible deniability. If he doesn’t respond, it’s easier to play it off than thinking that she just got directly rejected.
So you’re probably wondering… what do these obvious approach signals and invitations look like?
One example is the most direct and forward, the classic “elevator look.” A woman may meet your eyes for a moment, look you up and down to check your physical appearance and how you carry yourself before looking back into your eyes again and smiling.
Another example is the good old “triangle gaze,” looking from your eye to your lips and then back to your eyes again. Pay attention, they may also do something to bring your attention to their mouth by touching their lip with their finger or biting their lip.
4. Lingering Around You and Cutting Down Proximity
We tend to position ourselves closer to things that we want. The same concept applies when we think of proximity. Girls will position themselves in such a way as to be within your orbit or to give themselves a higher chance of you seeing them.
She may linger near you as you’re standing around, not right next to you but close enough that it’s easy for you to engage her or make small talk. She may also make a point of always just happening to be in your vicinity on a number of occasions while you’re both there.
You may realize that you’re always seeing her out of the corner of your eye, or that you’ll keep bumping into each other, metaphorically speaking. It’s subtle and gives her a level of plausible deniability for trying to get to know you. If you’re not interested, then she’s able to move on quickly without having to deal with the embarrassment of getting directly rejected.
Look out for the “accidental bump” where she makes a point of brushing past you or accidentally colliding with you in a place where there is plenty of room. While there’s plenty of space at the bar, the woman who accidentally bumps into your arm or grazes against you may well be trying to nudge you to turn around and engage in a conversation with her.
Just keep in mind and obviously use common sense, if some place is crowded, then collisions are almost inevitable. This is true for high volume bars and nightclubs.
5. The Look About
Similar to lingering and another form of plausible deniability, a lot of men miss this signal. The look about is when a girl walks over to right near where you are or in very close proximity to you, and glances about trying to looked confused as if wondering where that thing she was looking for could have possibly have gone.
You will see this pretty often in daytime scenarios such as meeting girls in shops and stores. A girl will invariably react “pleasantly surprised” on your approach, and if she’s interested, she’ll show it right away. If your approach was mis-calibrated or rubbed her the wrong way, or she realizes you’re not as cute as she originally thought from a distance, she’ll be polite and finesse her way out by getting back to looking for whatever she was supposedly looking for.
6. Mutters and Sighs
Have you ever stood on line or were on a crowded train and a girl walked up next to you and muttered to herself, “Jeez…this thing is taking forever,” followed by a sigh, like you’re supposed to say something and validate her? People do this when they want someone to engage with them in a conversation. That’s your green light to engage her.
7. Requests for Help
Girls who want you to talk to them will ask for seemingly mundane requests to get you to engage with them. Some examples include:
- “Can you take our picture?”
- “Do you happen to know what time it is?”
- “Do you know where there’s some good cheap eats around here?”
- “Do you have a lighter?”
She could just genuinely be looking for information, but in some instances, if you can read between the lines it’s an excuse to get you to talk and engage with her. These are actually examples of openers we teach at our live classes and workshops, called functional openers.
Be sure to pay attention to her tonality – whether it’s softer vs. a matter-of-fact tone or if she’s giving off that “I’m interested in you” smile and if the request is non-specific, not something like, “Do you know how far and where MacLaren’s Pub is?”
So there you have it: 7 Signals She Wants You to Talk To Her. Next time you go out or even as you’re going about your day, pay attention to these subtle cues. In no time, you’ll be as sharp as a professional NFL quarterback who’s able to avoid getting sacked or pass rushed and still makes the play.
‘Til Next Time,