The other day I was sitting with one of my best friends at a restaurant. The waitress had already stopped by taken the drink order and told us about the special and when she came over to take our order she politely asked if we were ready to order. I went ahead and started to order when she told me to hold on because even though she asked if we were ready she was not ready. Not missing a beat I tried ribbing her back with a flirty comment however, what I got was a look of disgust from her, an abrupt taken of our orders, and her scrambling to get away from the table. It got me thinking and then I realized even though my comment was meant to be flirty and joking the way I presented came across very callous and cold. Maybe it was the fact I have been stuck on conference calls up to the point in which I walked into the restaurant, been sick the last couple of days, and had a couple other things on my mind. I quickly excused myself and went over and apologized to the waitress for my comment and explained how I meant it to be joking not serious. This then got me thinking about how our mental and subconscious state comes into effect when we are attempting to flirt and how most of believe we are flirting we are not truly doing that. First and foremost you have to be in the right mental state. A simple trick to get into the right mental state is just smile and think of a funny joke or something funny that has happened just to bump your mood up. Another trick before an initial approach is simply do not look at this girl as someone you could possibly have a relationship with but simply rather how she is going to impress me. All you know about this girl is that you are physically attracted to her and know nothing about her core beliefs, values, desires, dreams, or goals. This will help prevent the “dreaded pedestal syndrome”. The “dreaded pedestal syndrome” is when a guy turns into a groveling lunatic in order to impress the beautiful girl he will try everything in order to get the girl to like him from over complimenting, buying her everything under the sun, to basically becoming needy, clingy, and dependant. Remember kiddies in the game of dating needy, clingy, and dependant are not sexy traits and should be avoided at all costs. Ok now we are in the right mental state how do we approach? I am a huge proponent of a simple “hi, how are you doing?” This to me is better than any cheesy pickup line and follows one of the key rules of dating conversation, always ask open-ended questions. These are the type of questions that can’t be answered by a yes or no and give you room to work with. Your next question is based upon her answer to the previous question. For example: You: Hi, how are you doing today? Her: Awesome You: Really what exciting thing happened today to cause you to be in such a great mood? Her: blah blah blah. So many people make the mistake of turning this initial conversation into a job interview and feel that there are key questions they have to ask that are irrelevant such as religious beliefs, political beliefs, ex-boyfriends, her entire past work history, etc. This is all information that will come later if you two actually starting dating but for now all you need to be concerned with are: 1) Can I carry a conversation with her? 2) Is she currently in a relationship? 3) Did I ask her for her phone number? We have made the approach, got the conversation started with a simple yet effective introduction, and now what? Well she is female which means she loves to talk. I don’t care if you are debating Smurfs vs. Care Bears or Sun Tzu’s Art of War vs. Niccolò Machiavelli’s Art of War if you get her talking about a subject keep asking open-ended questions to stay on that subject. One thing you do want to pay attention to when talking to her is her body language. This is the ultimate judge of her interest in you. Some positive signs of good body language or facial expressions: 1) Eyes focused on you not darting around the room. 2) Arms relaxed and not crossed in front of her. 3) Smiling. 4) Leaning towards you. 5) Playing with jewelry or hair If you are noticing that her body language is more closed and she appears to be apprehensive then it is time to move on. Politely excuse yourself and continue on your way. Some tips to ensuring a good conversation are: 1) Use the environment around you. Last weekend I was meeting my brother at the mall where he works for a coffee. I saw a cute girl who looked to be in her mid to late 20s standing at the toy store handing out stickers. I swung over asked how she was doing and proceeded to ask her for a sticker. She laughed and we talked for a few and mostly it was about how toys are no longer the same. Later that night I was at the grocery store and saw another cute girl looking at avocados. I approached her again with a simple how are you doing and then made a comment about how produce has been horrible lately. We shared secrets about different places are good to pick up hard to find groceries. In both these cases I used something that the girl was doing in order to continue the conversation instead of just letting it die at hi, how are you? 2) Be funny this does not mean use that great joke you heard about the goat, priest, and the nun at work but rather let it show in your expressions when telling a story or when she says something that is funny. 3) Strong knowledge of pop culture. People love to hear movie, song, or a TV show quote. I once met a girl at the gym because I started laughing when “Wheel in the Sky” by Journey came on the radio and she likewise was laughing. 4) Read books and in fact read everything you can. Intelligence is sexy. 5) Have an opinion and stick to it. It is ok to disagree and in fact it is going to happen more than you can imagine. In fact it is healthy because it gives both of you a chance to see something in a different light and experience new things. A friend and I were talking to these two girls one night. Conversation switched to music and the one girl enjoyed pop style music. My one buddy who despises that music instantly agreed with her because he did not want to disagree with her. When the question came to me I was honest in that I can’t stand it and would prefer some good old Rat Pack, jazz, or 80s hair band music. Ended up getting a date with the one girl because she never heard anything from the Rat Pack. 6) Pay attention and maintain good eye contact with her. This is essential because if she catches you scanning the room, you will be back to square one faster than you can blink. 7) Have fun with it. This is the most exciting part and should be cherished not feared. The conversation is flowing and everything is going perfect now the next task is how to gracefully step away and exchange phone numbers. You always want to leave a situation on a positive note so when the conversation starts slowing down tell her how much you enjoyed talking to her and getting to know her and you would like to exchange phone numbers so you can call her and discuss (insert something that she said she liked). I am a huge proponent of exchanging phone numbers this way she knows what number is yours when you called since so many people screen their phone calls. I have a good friend of mine who has to ask the girl for her phone number even if he is not interested. Do not be this guy. If you do not see her as someone you would want to go on a date with then just tell her you had a wonderful time talking to her and excuse yourself. I understand you feeling some sort of obligation to do it but why would you want to get someone’s hopes up of a phone call when it is not going to happen. Better to be blunt and honest than play with someone’s emotional wellbeing. During the course of your dating life you are going to notice many girls who you are interested in you that you are not interested in and vice-versa. This brings us to the final point and that is dreaded rejection. As far as rejection do not take it personally at all. There are a thousand reasons why should could have rejected you and it is your responsibility not to care. She may already be seeing someone, just got out of a relationship, just there have a good time, bad day at the office, bad time of the month, her cat is sick, or her mind is elsewhere. Simply smile and tell her to have a great time and walk away with your head held high and realize you have the guts to go up and do what so many people can not do. If you are not use to approaching women trust me it will take a couple failures before you start getting comfortable but through every failure learn the lesson and adapt. Each time you approach though you will notice your confidence will grow and you will become better and more relaxed each time till eventually you do not even think twice about it. Good luck and remember in life everything favors the bold.