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On Being a Man: Should Women Approach Men?

Author: "Being a Man in a Woman's World"

"Are most men going to be okay with this or is it just a personal preference of yours?"

Hey Doc,
I have conflicting thoughts about whether or not it is okay for a female to initiate the conversation with the male.

Many people that I know and even those on this board swear by the fact that it is the wrong thing to do. They say it will scare the man off or make him less interested or he'll think I'm easy or desperate.

I have read your responses on this topic and I know you support the woman approaching the man. But are most men going to be okay with this or is it just a personal preference of yours?

Also, if I decide to approach someone and I give them my number, it then becomes the man’s responsibility to call me, right? Or should I be asking for their number?

I'm so confused as to how far the boundary goes after you approach the man because I've simply never done it before and so many say not to.

Also, when do I know it is okay to approach a man? Can I do it at a store? In the park? On the street? At an amusement park? Waiting in line at the movies? Just in general when is it okay and when is it not? Is it never okay? Is it always okay? The bar type is totally not what I'm looking for and that is generally where men will try to approach me.


Yes, I understand that you're confused. You have your sisters to thank for that. Men have never been confusing about this at all. We are very clear and specific about it. It's you girls (and many of the so-called "experts" on this board) that keep the waters murky for you.

Let's start with the approach. Yes, it's ok for you to approach and initiate a conversation with a man. Not only is it a new millennium and women have all sorts of new rules and options; you also have all sorts of additional tricks to approach men that even us guys don't have! Further, they are easy, fun and highly effective!

Next, the only people that think a woman approaching a man is "desperate" or "easy" is other women. It's a battle you have within yourselves - men simply don't think that way - trust me; I've interviewed over 10,000 of them. Men's brains are wired differently than yours. We don't respond to the games you throw and we don't think you're easy or desperate for approaching us. In fact, most of us think you're strategic and even clever if you approach!

I was in a bar just a few nights ago when a woman approached me right out of the blue. Even now; days later, I don't believe she was desperate OR easy! She wasn't my type, but we had a nice conversation and I got to know her much better. In fact, I think very highly of her! She's a very nice girl and will be terrific for some other guy - which she's going to get because she's willing to walk up and say hello to someone. Maybe the guy she gets next will be the one you are interested in because you're too scared to go say hello to him yourself?

Yes, if you approach a guy and give him your number, it's going to be his decision to call you back - just as if he had asked you for it in the first place. Keep in mind that initiating an approach (saying "hello") doesn't mean you have to finish it either. Likewise, if a guy approaches you first, it doesn't mean that you can't finish it for him by suggesting he take your number! There are no hard-and-fast rules about any of this. I've had many women say, "You know, you need to have my number!" Then, they proceed to write it down and put it in my hands. To this very day, I don't think any of them were desperate!

You can certainly ask for his number too, but I always suggest you give him yours in exchange. It doesn't mean he'll call, but at least he has it. Likewise, you can call him too, and you have the same expectations as a guy would have. For instance, you want to have some context and have built some rapport and connection in order to have a reason to call him later on. For instance, if you and he are having a great conversation, you can end it just a little too soon by saying, "Well, it was really nice talking to you. We need to do this again sometime. Here's my number - give me yours and let's get together some time next week."

Then, when you call, it's natural. You can say, "Hey - are you available on Friday to continue our conversation from last week?" You see, you've built rapport and connection with him already and this is perfectly natural. It gives direction without looking desperate or easy - you're not promising or demanding or expecting anything!

As to when you can approach a man, the answer is anywhere and everywhere! There are some obvious times to not approach someone. For instance, if he's there with his wife or girlfriend, or seems in a huge rush and you won't have time to connect with him, but frankly, this is pretty rare. It's the same problem that men face too. They see a girl they'd like to get to know, but she's in curlers, torn sweats and rushing through the isles at the store looking for baby formula. That's probably not a good time to approach her.

On the flip side, most men would really appreciate meeting a nice girl like you. They'd walk away from wherever you met thinking, "Wow, what a great girl!" and then would probably blame themselves for being such a catch or something. The point is, they're not really thinking about you as being desperate or easy at all - they're thinking about themselves - just like you do when a guy approaches you!

If you want to learn more about how to approach men, there's an e-book on my website ( that talks specifically about this. It goes into the reasoning behind it, how men think and react, how to find and approach guys, all your special "tricks" (the ones we guys don't have) and much more. It's called "How Women Can Approach Men", and I highly encourage you to read it for the complete answer here.

Honey, you've got to get your head out of all this ridiculous dogma and into the game. Stop listening to these crazy, lonely idiots that think the rules from 50 years ago work today. They don't. You're a new girl in a new world at a new time.

Best regards...
Dr. Dennis Neder

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Copyright (c) 2007-2009 Dr. Dennis W. Neder All rights reserved.
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Author of: Being a Man in a Woman's World
Dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of relationships.
Start having the relationships YOU deserve!
Got a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all letters. You can write to me at for answers. For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit: 

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