Why Women Don’t Want To Be Approached In Public (And How To Do It)

A woman who doesn't want to be approached

Unsplash / Simon Launay

It’s incredibly challenging to approach women in public these days without looking creepy. In fact, I’d say it’s nearly impossible.

Women have been getting the short end of the stick for oh, just about ever now. And for the most part, men have been the ones giving them the short end of that stick. Unwanted advances, not taking no for an answer, assault, abuse, leering, inappropriate comments, harassment in the workplace, getting told to smile, the list goes on ad infinitum.

Some women just aren’t in the fucking mood to deal with men anymore.

They’ve had such horrible experiences that they no longer want ANY attention from men. And if you happen to give that particular woman some attention in the form of a conversation, a smile, or some furtive eye flirting, you’re likely to be disappointed.

At best she’ll ignore you, and at worse, you’ll be on the receiving end of a harsh public rejection.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the greatest guy in the world; It’s not about you. There’s a metric fuck ton of reasons why a woman wouldn’t want to be bothered by you.

Maybe she’s not attracted to men, or to you in particular. Maybe she’s busy or just not in the mood. Perhaps her grandma just died, and she’s not thinking of anything else.

Or maybe she’s been catcalled, harassed, and abused so much that she can’t stand the thought of it happening one more time.

Regardless of the reason, it’s not about you.

That’s the important takeaway. It’s about a woman’s preference to not have any attention paid to them at that particular moment. It’s not her job to acknowledge or validate you.

However, for every woman who doesn’t want any form of male attention, there are just as many who do. While some women would be perfectly happy never to have to deal with another man for as long as they live, others still want male attention.

Some women haven’t had the kinds of negative experiences that others have and would be thrilled to have a man strike up a conversation with them. They want to be pursued, charmed, and swept off their feet. They really do.

And they’d also prefer to meet a man organically in their daily life rather than on a dating site. They probably also want you to make the first move.

Remember, there’s a difference between being a nice guy and being a good man. Women don’t want a nice guy, they want a good man.

So, what’s a good man to do?

Some men have been rejected so many times, and in such a fashion that they’re no longer willing to give any women attention. They’re so terrified of being labeled a creep or a harasser that they  stop interacting with women altogether. They’re not up to the challenge anymore. I read about these men on a daily basis on dating advice forums.

So their flirting is confined to women they meet online because they’re not willing to risk being publicly embarrassed for acting on a perfectly natural desire. The human desire to connect with women they’re attracted to.

It puts some men in a real tricky situation because those that fear a harsh public rejection are often not the same men that give women unwanted attention. Men who consistently harass women aren’t afraid of rejection, they just don’t give a fuck. This article isn’t for them, they don’t read this shit and they don’t care to change their behavior.

The good men that are afraid of coming off as creepy or inappropriate unfortunately get bundled into the category of “men I want nothing to do with”.

So instead of trying to figure out if it’s appropriate to approach a woman and how to do it with kindness, they give up altogether. And I understand them because approaching the wrong woman can seriously put a damper on your day. Or your week if she ends up kicking you in the nuts.

So what’s a good man to do?

Not worry about it too much and stick to these suggestions.

Know that it’s a crazy gamble.

It’s always going to be a gamble to approach women in public. You never know what her past experiences with men have been, or what she’s going through right now. She might be cramming for finals, or working on a presentation, or maybe her grandma just died. Take the gamble if you think it’s worth it. Some women will never make the first move. So if you’re keen, and you think she might be as well, take the gamble.

Don’t take it personally.

Most women you interact with on a daily basis won’t be interested in you. It’s not personal. You are not for everyone, and everyone is not for you. We’re not mean to get along with everyone, all the time. You could be the best man in the whole goddam world, and it’s still OK for women to give zero fucks about you.

Don’t have any expectations when approaching women in public.

Let the interaction develop naturally. Don’t put her in the girlfriend zone. If there’s chemistry, great. Ask her out for coffee. If there’s a lack of interest on her part, bid her farewell and walk away. No harm no foul. You gave it the good ‘ol college try.

Read the situation correctly.

Headphones in while reading a book? Are her arms folded and is she looking in the other direction? Is she actively working on something and deep in concentration? These are signs that it’s inappropriate for you to approach this woman. Don’t do it.

Not doing much and looking around? Open look on their face and smiling easily? Willing to engage in eye contact with other people? Reading but looking up often, looking for a distraction? These are signs that it could be appropriate for you to start a conversation. Go for it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog