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Your eyes catch the handsome stranger from across the bar and you find yourself captivated — he’s just your type. “Go talk to him,” your friend nudges.
As your head swirls with imagery on how you might approach him, your body tenses as you begin to worry about how you might be perceived and fears of rejection and embarrassment immobilize you.
Frozen in place, you try to muster up the courage to put one foot in front of the other, but before you can contemplate your opening line, he walks out of the bar with a group of his friends. Opportunity lost.
I conducted a poll on my website once asking single gay men if they tended to initiate contact with a man they found interesting or if they waited to be pursued.
The overwhelming majority of respondents indicated they were passive daters, meaning they waited for men to approach them to start conversations.
The sad reality of this is if most men wait to be approached, very few contacts are made.
How many great relationships could have gotten off the ground had someone made that first move?
Refuse to allow yourself to be one of those liability statistics.
To be successful in dating, one must be a proactive dater by being in the driver’s seat and making things happen through one’s own initiative.
Nobody likes the idea of being rejected or being in a position of being judged and scrutinized if that object of your interest is surrounded by his posse of friends.
Being a proactive dater does come with an element of risk.
However, your odds of making a connection are greater if you take the lead, since most others won’t reach out first.
And this scenario then only leads itself to a bar full of men leaning against the wall, sipping their drinks and trying to look busy, all the while desperately hoping someone will talk to them.
Here are some tips for boosting your confidence to initiate contact with more men who grab your attention.
“Each attempt you make will make you
a little bit stronger over any anxiety.”
Inhale deeply from your gut up your nose, hold it about seven seconds, and then deeply release the air out through your mouth.
Repeat this exercise until you feel more grounded and less controlled by your nerves.
Approaching someone when you’re on the verge of a panic attack will likely interfere with your delivery and your anxiety will be noticed.
But no cheese please! Corny one-liners are outdated and you’re here to make a good first impression.
Referring to something within the environment can be a natural segue into a conversation that would make sense. Saying or doing something creative can go a long way.
And nothing beats the no-frills, “Hi, my name is Tom. May I buy you a drink?” to get the ball rolling.
A best-kept secret to forming a good impression with someone you’ve just met is to validate that other person.
Find something about him that warrants some positive feedback.
It has to be authentic and genuine, however, lest it will come across as fake and like you have a hidden agenda.
By making someone feel good about themselves, studies have shown their perceptions of you are heightened.
My favorite book on this subject is “First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You” by Ann Demarais and Valerie White.
When you imagine approaching someone and you find yourself unable to follow through, more often than not your self-talk has interfered and creates anxiety and low confidence.
Write down on a piece of paper all the thoughts you have that undermine your ability to approach someone.
Work hard at developing believable counter statements to these negative thoughts and practice frequently so they become internalized.
To claim the prize of a compatible boyfriend, a gay dater must work on developing his assertiveness skills to go after what he wants.
Passivity in dating often times yields minimal results.
We have to take responsibility for our own outcomes and avoid the victim mentality trap. By living with more initiative, your confidence will gradually grow.
While you won’t be successful with every effort, each attempt you make will make you a little bit stronger over any anxiety and insecurity and will increase the probability of making a connection with a handsome stranger, much more so than what had you standing on the sidelines.
Be the chooser and go out and make it happen for yourself!
What’s your secret for approaching men?
Photo source: photoshelter.com.