A Vague Guide To Maybe Hitting On Someone

when-you-try-to-flirt-with-someoneI’ve attempted to write a How To Hit On Someone post for a while now, and man, it is impossible. I now fully understand why the only options out there are either the dangerous “physically pull a woman into your lap and make her push you away” or the vague “say hi, see if you have anything in common, and then move on if there’s no spark.” It’s because any middle ground is so personal and circumstantial. Some people like having drinks bought for them, others consider it an insult. Some people enjoy being approached, while others prefer to do the approaching. There’s almost no way to write something for everyone. Which is a shame, because neither “SEX IS A CONQUEST” nor “I don’t know, do what you want?” is helpful for anyone.

So, knowing that I can’t speak for anyone else’s experiences or tastes, I want to relate some times where I have been approached by a stranger in a bar, at a concert, or in another public setting  and how it worked out, since when you’re single the general idea is that you’re supposed to meet people in public settings. Many of these were in the successful range, others were not. Take from this what you will.

Do ask what I’m reading: Once I was at a bar alone, reading a book, waiting for my boyfriend. A guy came up to me and asked what I was reading, and at that particular moment I was feeling conversational, so I started talking to him. Within 15 minutes I was drinking beer with him and all his friends at his table. If he was sincerely hitting on me it didn’t work out because, duh, my boyfriend showed up, but all in all I think we had a pretty good time.

Don’t neg me about my race: If you’re not familiar with negging, it’s the process of insulting/ignoring the person you want to woo in the hopes that they will be confused enough to sleep with you. Yeah, I don’t get it either. But once a guy outside a bar kept saying out loud to his friends while pointing at me “She’s so hot, I don’t care if she’s hispanic.” 1. I’m not hispanic 2. It doesn’t even matter what race I am because holy shit what are you talking about?? I was drunk enough to get pulled into a conversation (argument) with him, in which later he insulted my friends’ intelligence and looks (“They’re not smart like you”), and was then baffled when I wouldn’t go home with him.

Do find common interests: When I was 22 I found myself in a weird bar in New Zealand (I mean, on purpose, I did not wake up on my 22nd birthday unable to remember how I got to this country), and everyone was dancing to really clubby music and it just wasn’t my scene. A guy apparently noticed this, and began talking to me about how it wasn’t his scene either. We got some drinks, sat in a booth in the back and talked for a really long time, and then made out for an even longer time. Common interests doesn’t have to be boring!

Don’t be surprised that we have common interests: I once was with a guy who basically sent flirting into overdrive once he discovered that I could quote The Blues Brothers and agreed that the best Guinness I ever had was in Ireland. The night went well, but in hindsight I find it sort of disturbing that his reaction was less “wow, I love that thing too!” and more “you’re so cool because most girls don’t like that thing!” Lots of people like lots of different things. Girls like video games, guys like fashion, gay men like football…etc. It’s a great moment of luck if you find out someone shares your tastes, but it shouldn’t be surprising because of their sex.

Do be honest if you’re attracted to something: If you find something attractive about someone, tell them! This can be physical, like telling them they have a nice smile or you like their hair. The whole point if this dating thing is that you’re supposed to find something attractive in the other person, so that’s nice to know! In early-on flirting situations I’ve had guys compliment some aspect of my body, and it’s usually felt pretty nice. If I’m starting to become basely, lustily attracted to someone, it’s nice to know it’s mutual.

Don’t focus entirely on the sexual: If you think this person has beautiful eyes, great, but for the love of god do not make that the entire thing about them. Feeling lusted after is nice, feeling like everything you’ve been saying for the past hour has been ignored because your partner cannot ignore their attraction is another.

Unfortunately, there is an infuriating key to this, that I cannot describe any other way than don’t do any of this as anyone other than yourself. I know, the “be yourself” advice is so frustrating to hear, because duh you’ve been yourself, how you can you be anyone but yourself, but “yourself” isn’t working. But yourself will work, I promise. Being yourself isn’t about being every aspect of yourself all at once from the get go, it’s about doing things in a way that feels natural to you while still being able to test the waters with someone new. So go forth and talk to people you find attractive! It’s ok, I promise!

Have you’ve ever been successfully wooed by a stranger? Let us know how it went!

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