Hey Will:

I hope you can help me. I’m a single woman in her 30’s, not married and if something doesn’t change, will remain that way for many years to come. See, I just don’t know what to say to a guy I think is cute. Here’s an example.

The other day, I was at a charity event and I spied a nice looking guy. He had a poster and was asking people to sign it in support of the cause. So I stopped to sign it; heck, he even held my dog while I did it. But when I was done, I handed him the pen and walked away. I looked back and caught him looking at me. Perfect opportunity, right? Did I do anything? No!

Another time I met a guy and we happen to have several mutual friends (I found this out on Facebook). But now what? Should I ask our mutual friends to get us together? Or is that too much like high school?

I’m terrified of making a fool of myself. What if I ask a man out and he’s married? Or gay? Then what do I do? I hate this because I’m petrified and like I said, at this rate, I’ll be alone forever.

Will, you’re a guy’s guy. What would you want to hear from a woman in a situation like this? And does making the first move sound too forward?

Dateless in Dayton

Hey DiD,

Huh? Are you serious? You don’t know what to say to a guy? What’s there to say? All you have to do is give him the ok and let him worry about what to say. I’ve sat in a room full of guys who were pitching opening/pick-up lines to each other, trying to figure out the best ones to use at the club later that night. That’s the God’s honest truth. It‘s what guys do. Let them worry about the sales pitch; you just need to learn to open the door when they’re knocking.

What you need to know is that women almost always make the first move, it’s just hardly ever spoken. Guys are just waiting on a green light and we don’t need you to speak; just give us a sign. Back in my single days, I had what I called the “Three Glance Rule.” If a woman looked at me once, she was noticing me. If I got a second look, it meant she might be interested, that’s a yellow light, proceed with caution. But if I got a third look, it was on! And this was just from a look! That rule served me well about 90% of the time (hey, no rule’s perfect!).

WHAT TO DO: Guys aren’t waiting for your opening line, we’re waiting for a chance to use ours. If a woman does any of these non-verbal signs:

-Makes eye contact
-Smiles at us
-Flips her hair
-Licks her lips (or nibbles her lip or… well, pretty much any mouth thing.)
-Whispers to her friend while looking at us
-Touches our arm, shoulder, back, or any other part of us
-Giggles at something we’ve said
-Brushes past us as she walks by
-Winks at us
-Or (obviously) motions for us to come to her

…we assume she wants us to approach and we do. And if we’re wrong, so what? The average guy is lucky if he gets one date for every four times he crashes and burns (not a proven percentage; but it’s what I remember and still see in my single friends).

So what should you do? Practice! I listed ten ways to get a guy’s attention and I’M A GUY. Your female friends will know a hundred more. But having a full arsenal is useless unless you go out for some target practice. Now you may want to try this stuff in a mirror at home first, if you’re worried your wink will look like you lost a contact lens or your lip bite will just look like you’re hungry (of course, that may not be a bad thing either). This is pretty simple stuff, and trust me, you can’t give the wrong sign to the right guy. Just try the ones I gave you, try some of the ones your friends use, then perfect the ones you feel most comfortable with. Remember: this is all a game; possibly the oldest game in the world. Have fun with it!

WHAT TO SAY: If you absolutely have to speak (which you don’t), keep it short, light, and cute, and then combine it with something non-verbal. Let the situation dictate. For instance:

– If he’s in great shape, you say, “You have nice arms”… then do a lip bite and a giggle.
-If he’s intellectual, say “You look familiar, are you a writer?”… then do the eye contact, hair flip.
-If he’s a talker, say “I could listen to your stories all night” then wink…giggle…whisper to friend.
(Childish? Of course. Why do you think they call it “the game”?)

Remember that guy with the poster? If you had said, “Here’s my name, do you want my phone number too?” and given him a wink and a smile, he’d probably have his feet on your coffee table right now. And that cute friend-of-a-friend on Facebook? Just replace the giggle and a wink with LOL and 😉 New technology, same old game. So definitely have you friends play match maker. Yes, it’s like high school, but the reason we did it in high school was because IT WORKED.

As they say, “There are plenty of fish in the sea” and now that you have the right bait and know how to use it, throw in your line! Oh and if you come across a married fish or a gay fish once in a while, so what? Toss’em back and keep on fishing. Your guy is out there somewhere; don’t keep him waiting. Good luck!

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William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.