14 brutal reasons guys don’t approach you (and what to do about it)

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Understanding why guys don’t approach you is essential to succeeding in the dating marketplace.

Why?

Because the better you understand why, the better you’ll be able to rectify it – and let’s be honest, if guys don’t approach you, you haven’t got much hope of meeting a guy you actually like.

Society expects men to make the first move.

Look, I’m Tina Fey, founder of Love Connection, and I’ve spent the better part of 10 years understanding how men think and helping women find the men they want.

Today, I want to help you figure out why men aren’t approaching you.

So let’s figure it out.

Here are 14 main reasons guys probably aren’t approaching you:

1. You look intimidating

This is perhaps the biggest issue I see in my Love Connection groups and online coaching services.

Men don’t approach you because they feel intimidated by you.

They think you’ll reject them, or they won’t live up to your standards, or they’ll be too uncomfortable with the idea of approaching a woman who makes them feel like less of a man.

So, what is it that makes a woman so intimidating that men won’t approach her?

Let’s just get away from looks for a second because men can be intimidated by beauty (but you can’t control that).

Besides that, men are often intimidated by women who are not only highly confident but ultra-serious.

The alpha woman.

Now, if you’re a powerful, strong alpha woman, that’s awesome. We don’t want to change that.

But being too serious is something you can change.

The truth is, men will avoid approaching you if you’re too serious or you look angry, making you more intimidating.

Do you tend to look like the below picture?

If you do, then you just need to work on smiling more.

In the book, The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over, Jack Schafer says that “Men more readily approach women who smile at them…A sincere smile gives men the permission to approach.”

This is my experience. So make sure to smile!

2. You don’t give eye contact or any other cues for a man to approach

Most people think the first approach is all up to the man, but that’s not true.

According to Psychologist Lucia O’Sullivan, it’s often “women, not men, who initiate the first approach.”

She is referring to that it’s typically women who signal whether a man can make an approach in the first place.

How?

Usually, this means an extended gaze in a man’s direction until he notices you, then you break the gaze, return the gaze later on with a smile, and then break the gaze again.

Furthermore, according to O’Sullivan, you might also want to self-groom, fix your hair, and adopt an open body posture.

Ever heard of preening? This means fixing yourself to show your interest in a man.

This short video is an example of preening:

Now obviously, that’s a little exaggerated, but you at least want to do this subtly to show your interest.

The bottom line is this:

If you’re not giving eye contact to guys, or you’re not fixing yourself in front of them, then it’s unlikely they’ll approach.

3. You’re always with other guys

This is a big one. Men will typically not approach you if you are with other guys.

It’s intimidating for them, or they might think that one of those guys is your boyfriend.

Now obviously, you don’t want to stop going out with your guy friends, but you at least need to find some time where you are by yourself.

If you’re alone, or at least only with your girlfriends, then it will be much more likely that a guy will approach you.

4. You’re glued to your phone

While everyone’s hitting the dance floor and getting their groove on, where are you?

Sitting at the table, scrolling through your phone, texting your friends while the party is happening right in front of you screams “Antisocial” to other guys.

I see this time and time again. 

My advice?

Try to leave your phone in your bag and enjoy the party.

If you’re by yourself, I know it’s difficult not to use your phone. In fact, it’s pretty much darn right impossible!

I agree with you, but what I mean is that you don’t always have to glue your eyes to your phone.

Look up now and then and try to catch the gaze of a guy.

As I said above, if you can get eye contact with a guy and smile a little, he will be much more likely to approach you.

5. You aren’t dressed to attract or you dress up too much

While it’s important to wear what you’re comfortable with and what makes you feel good, it’s also important to consider how it actually looks.

While you may believe that people should never judge a book by it’s cover, not everyone will agree with that.

Humans naturally rely on visual cues to inform us whether the approaching person isn’t some kind of outsider or that they’re serious about finding someone to go home with.

If you’re dressed in ill-fitting clothes, wearing worn-out shoes, or haven’t tidied up your hair, it’s likely lowering your chances of anyone approaching you.

In the same vein, you also don’t want to be too dressed up. This can intimidate some guys.

Obviously, it’s going to depend on what venue or party you’re at, but in general, nice-fitting jeans and a cute top should do the trick.

You’ll come across as neat and fashionable, but you also won’t run the risk of intimidating a guy.

You might want to also consider dressing “feminine’ as well.

Colleen Hammond, in her book, Dressing with Dignity, suggests dressing in a “feminine, modest and dignified manner.”

“In the past, I have found that when I am dressed in a neat, modest and feminine manner, men will hold doors for me, help find things in the store and offer to carry the items in the car for me…However, if I run to the store dressed in my work clothes, I am treated as “just another one of the guys.” 

6. You aren’t socializing with others

While giving men a chance to catch you alone is important, sometimes it might not be enough.

If you’re sitting somewhere way in the back of the venue, alone with your drink, away from the crowd, just observing everything, it might make you less attractive to some men.

Others might see you as a strange guest that no one should dare bother.

Someone might also think that you’re already waiting for someone, so they won’t even try to go up to you.

They’d rather approach the ones that are already mingling around, showing enthusiasm and energy.

When you’re out of a function, the point is to meet people.

Sometimes, you can’t just wait until someone approaches you; you might have to take the initiative to meet other people first.

7. You’re acting too tipsy

Now if you’re hoping to get approached at a bar, which is what most women want, then it’s important to not get too tipsy. 

Alcohol can definitely make a night extra fun, but try not to look like you’re having too much fun.

Being too tipsy can be a turn-off, especially for the more sophisticated guys (if that’s what you’re looking for).

While it might sound like a good idea to get up on the table to dance or smash a few glasses, it might not look very classy.

So go a little easy on the alcohol. You can have enough where you feel the buzz, but not too much that you begin slurring your speech – or worse, throwing up.

8. You look busy

This one goes out to the business ladies reading this. I’ve encountered plenty of them before, and these ambitious women can’t help but always be busy, even when they’re out. This definitely doesn’t help your case in getting guys to approach you. 

Say you’re at a classier venue, where the guests wear more formal attire and they serve wine.

The people who usually attend these types of functions might be quite busy on other days, such as yourself, but this is the time for them to relax a little. You should too.

If you’re off at your table, scrunching your eyebrows, doing mental gymnastics about when to schedule your next meeting, how to complete those reports due soon, and who to assign in the next project, you might not be projecting the most welcoming demeanor.

It might make others not want to bother you – which is about the exact opposite of what you want to happen.

Remember to smile and at least look like you’re having fun! 

9. You act as if everyone’s out of your league

Now don’t get me wrong:

It’s important to have standards. 

But you don’t want your standards to become impossible for any guy to meet. 

If you’re wearing your best outfit, with some of your best jewelry, it’s easy to fall into thinking that you’re something like the main character of the whole place.

You might start raising your chin a little higher, rolling your eyes at others, judging them for not dressing as glamorous as you.

But this might cause you to have what some may call a “resting bitch face” – I hate that term, but there is some truth to it.

When I’m having a bad day, I know it’s difficult to stop myself from looking like a bitch, but if you want guys to approach you, you’ve got somehow present a more welcoming vibe.

Try to smile more. And try not to look at every guy as if he is out of your league. Open yourself up a little to meet some new people and you’ll never know who you can meet.

One piece of advice I often give ladies is start friend zoning guys you meet, even if it’s just in your head.

This way, you’ll be open to meeting more guys because there’s nothing wrong with meeting friends. 

And the more guys you meet, the higher chance that you’ll find someone you genuinely like. 

10. He saw you being rude

While the event was happening, a waiter might have accidentally bumped into you.

You may have scolded them a little more than they really deserved but it was purely out of stress and frustration.

But in any case, other people might have seen you. This definitely is not a good look for you.

This is why it’s always important to be polite and respectful with everyone you meet. You never know; someone might notice you and be instantly attracted.

Furthermore, getting in the mindset of being friendly and polite to everyone you meet will make you more approachable as well. 

11. Your eye contact is weak

I mentioned eye contact above, but I want to go through it again, becuase it really is so important in getting a guy to approach you. 

The eyes are powerful for sending even the most subtle messages when you’re not within hearing distance.

Maybe you’re at a table with your friends when you notice that this guy sitting across from you keeps glancing your way.

You notice he did it when you arrived but didn’t think much of it.

But as the night went on, you kept noticing that he keeps looking your way.

Making consistent eye contact across the room can already be a way to spark up a conversation.

Eye contact could even be considered flirting if he pairs it with a slow-building smile.

But you might not notice it if you keep looking away out of fear or being shy.

If you keep looking away, that tells him you aren’t interested in him – even though you might be. So the next time someone interests you, try to keep eye contact.

If you’re bold, I found this excellent piece of advice from Tonya Reiman, in her book, The Power of Body Language: How to Succeed in Every Business and Social Encounter:

“When you get to a party or a bar, any room with people milling around, pause at the entranceway and allow people to glance your way. Take this moment to let your eyes sweep the room…until you see a guy you potentially want to speak to…then intentionally walk toward him. Once you know his eyes are pointed in your direction, let him get a look at you while you toss your hair back – preening while exposing your neck at the same time. Continue past him and accidentally brush him as you coyly say, “Oh excuse me.” Tilt your head slightly downward, tucking your chin; look him directly in the eye while smiling and maintaing eye contact…Casually walk away until a point in the room where you can still make eye contact…If you notice he has noticed and is smiling, force yourself to hold his gaze until he makes his move – and he will.”

12. Your behavior suggests you want to leave

If you’re out at night, and you look like you’re enjoying the vibe, and you just want to leave, then it’s unlikely a guy will want to approach you. 

This is because if you look around, drowsy-eyed, uninterested in everything you see, then a guy is going to think he is no chance in getting your attention, or maintaing a conversation with you. 

You aren’t exactly making a strong impact on the guys that are still there if you start looking like you’re bored.

The problem with this is that it is self-sustaining: the longer the night goes on, the more bored you look, the less guys approach you.

13. You’re constantly with your friends

There’s nothing wrong with getting a table with your group of friends, ordering bottle after bottle, taking shot after shot, or even if you’re a cafe with a large group of friends.

It’s great to have these groups and gatherings. 

But if you want to meet someone, you won’t meet anyone while you’re tucked away in the crowd of your friends.

This makes it difficult for men to approach you.

What men are looking for is to catch you alone somewhere. Try hanging out at another table or at the bar.

Pretend you’re waiting for a drink or waiting for your friend.

When a guy sees that you’re alone, it’s very likely that a confident enough one will walk up to you and ask if to buy you a drink.

14. They’re Intimidated by your looks

It’s also possible that you are much more stunning and beautiful that the men at the venue can handle.

In fact, many guys might approach you – well, they might try to approach you. They stutter and look anxious, but can’t hold a conversation.

When this happens, it might be best for you to find a different venue where the men are confident enough to approach you.

Or make sure you’re not too dressed up. As we mentioned above, if you can dress in an understated but feminine and neat way, then guys might have more courage to approach you. 

For me, I’d consider the picture below as casual outfit, but still cool and neat that guys will be attracted to you. 

Making A Good First Impressions

Okay, so if you’ve managed to get a guy to approach you, then you need to make a good impression. 

Just so you’re in a good position to make a great impression, I just want to give you some quick tips that helped my clients impress guys more easily. 

The first thing I want to say is that you need to adopt an attitude of being being curious and friendly, but also staying energetic.

This is why I recommend getting in the mindset that every man is a possible friend. Don’t see them as romantic interest just yet. This will in turn make you more friendly. 

Because if you smile and you’re friendly, then you’ll be on the right foot. 

Often, guys will feel the responsibility to carry the conversation anyway, you just need to not give single-word answer.

If all goes well, you might meet a man that you actually like. 

Here are some other tips I believe are important to consider to make a good impression:

1) Think body language

As I said above, you need to display open and welcoming body language if you want guys to approach you.

If you don’t want to ask him with actual language, ask him with body language. The way you move, sit, and stand are all vital means of communication.

You know how if you’re chatting to someone you like (or even on a date with them) and you get that weird feeling that they’re definitely not that into you?

That’s down to body language.

Even if you’re not conscious of anything specific, that vibe you get that they can’t wait to be anywhere else is all because of body language. And it works the other way around too.

To show your guy that you’re interested and want them to ask you out, make sure you look at him and keep eye contact (don’t stare, but maybe use just a little more eye contact than you’re comfortable with).

You might think that looking away or at your shoes is being cute and coy. He’ll just think you want to get away from him. Angle yourself towards him, keeping your arms away from your chest and your feet pointed towards him.

Crossing your arms across your body and your feet pointed away from his body looks defensive.

Finally, and this is the scary bit, touch him. Not in a creepy way but just brush his arm lightly when you go to pick up your drink, or if you stand up.

If he’s starting to think the same way as you, that little touch will make him think you might just be feeling the same. And that might be all he needs to ask you on a date.

2) Be confident

We all know confidence is attractive. Everyone tells you this.

But when you’re desperate for your perfect guy to ask you on the perfect date? You’re full of self-doubt and finding it really hard to feel confident.

If you don’t feel confident, act it. If you appear confident, your guy will think you’re the kind of person who’ll be fun on a date, with lots of good stories to tell.

You’ll be the person who’s willing to head out on an adventure rather than spending the night in front of the TV. Confident people are fun, together, and successful.

You don’t have to have a glittering career or a white-water rafting hobby to be considered confident.

A few simple changes to the way you think and talk about yourself will make you feel confident instantly.

  1. Stand tall. Confident people aren’t afraid to fill a bit of space. If you’re always slouched, you look like you’re trying to shrink or like you don’t really deserve to be where you are.
  2. Stop worrying about what he thinks. If he doesn’t end up asking you on a date? So what, there are lots of others out there. Have the confidence to make it clear you like him, without worrying about whether he does or not.
  3. Speak clearly. Own your words. Stop caring about whether he likes your stories or not. Tell them anyway and let things happen naturally.

Alright that’s it for today from me. I hope this article has helped you. If you want to get in touch, about this article, please contact me on Twitter. I absolutely love talking about anything to do with relationships and male psychology.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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