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Rabu, 20 Mei 2009

The Shy Girl's Guide To Making Man Contact

You’ve spotted him across the room, your future life together flashes before your eyes, but there’s no one around to introduce you. Don’t let him get away — break the ice yourself.

On some enchanted evening, you see a stranger across a crowded room … so, what do you do about it? “There are women who can pilot 747s, yet they’re still afraid to approach a man first,” points out Sharyn Wolf, author of ‘Guerilla Dating Tactics’. “Women don’t lose out by making the first move. Yes, it’s scary, but you can’t sit around passively and wait to be noticed.”

Just as you wouldn’t go zooming downhill on broken skis or parachute out of a plane before a lesson or two, neither should you set out to make the first move on a new man without learning a few tried-and-tested techniques.

Start With A Smile
“A smile is nice and shows you’re open to contact with a man,” says Amy Alkon, co-author of ‘Free Advice: The Advice Ladies On Love, Dating, Sex And Relationships’. But, you need to hold that smile for at least three seconds – count in your head, “one 1,000, two 1,000, three 1,000.” You’ll feel silly at first, but otherwise, a man won’t realise you’re smiling because you’d like to meet him.

“A smile’s the best green light a woman can give a man,” says James, 32, a photographer. “I went alone to a friend’s wedding, and didn’t know anyone. Then I noticed a woman smiling directly at me. It was like she was giving me an invitation to dance – and we did, the entire evening.”

The Eyes Have Him
Watch the way babies play peek-a-boo — they look at you, then look away, look back at you, then away. That’s a great flirting technique. “A woman breaks the ice by making eye contact, which allows the man to approach her,” says Charles, 32, a lawyer. “Last week, on a business trip, I was boarding the airport shuttle bus, and there was an attractive woman sitting opposite me. I felt her looking straight at me. I’d meet her gaze, then she’d quickly look down at her newspaper. But when I’d glance back up at her, she’d be looking at me again. Finally, I said hello, and we began chatting. We went to breakfast that morning and exchanged phone numbers.”

Say Something
“A lot of men don’t feel chemistry until they hear your voice,” says Susan Bradley, author of ‘How To Be Irresistible To The Opposite Sex’. “If you’re too shy to talk, sit next to someone you want to meet and just let out a soft sigh. It’s sure to elicit a response such as ‘Hard day?’ and get conversation going.” Susan Rabin, author of ‘101 Ways To Flirt’, suggests you make a comment, ask a question or pay a compliment — all good ways to break the ice. “If you’re in the lift and have just collected your post, say, ‘I hate junk mail!’ The man is likely to respond.”

When asking questions, anything goes — ask for the time, directions, his opinion on single malt Scotch. Heather, a 26-year-old reporter, says, “I met my boyfriend during a sudden downpour – I was getting soaked and I noticed him standing on a corner under a big umbrella. I ducked beneath it and asked if he’d mind sharing.”

And, use compliments … Tell him you like his haircut, his tie, his smile. “Once, at a club, a woman came up to me and said, ‘You look like a great dancer – would you come and get me when a song you like comes on?’ says Ché, 26, a media sales rep.

“So, the next good song, I asked her to dance with me. We ended up dating for a year.”

Opening Lines
“A lot of opening lines can sound too rehearsed,” warns Alkon. But, they can work if they’re simple and appropriate. Ask a man at the video shop to recommend a funny film; ask a guy at the gym to show you how to use a particular machine. Men are thrilled when you let down your guard and show them you’re not a frosty princess. “I take the tube to work and used to see this woman every morning,” recalls Arthur, 32, a musician. “We’d smile at each other, but we never spoke. Finally, she came up to me and said, laughing, ‘Stop following me!’ The way she was so flirtatious and had more nerve than I did was really appealing. We went out for a year, then moved in together.”

“The words aren’t important,” says Nina Tucker, author of ‘How Not To Stay Single’. “Say something, anything – or you’ll miss out on a great opportunity.” The direct approach is one of the best — why not simply introduce yourself? “I don’t think people do that often enough,” says Katie, 33,a writer. “It’s friendlier than some clichéd, ‘Come here often?’ line. At a party, if I notice a man standing alone, I’ll say, ‘Hi I’m Katie,’ then ask him a question. I’ve met a lot of men this way.”

Five Great Openers
Here are the most successful. They led to conversations and even to exchanged phone numbers.

“Hey Mark! Oh, I’m sorry – I thought you were someone else”
“My brother’s birthday is next week and he wants some new trainers. Can I ask where you got yours?”
“I see you here a lot. Would you mind if I bought you a drink?”
”I know this seems forward, but my friend just bet me £5 I wouldn’t have the nerve to introduce myself to you. My name is …”
“Do you know a good coffee shop round here? I’m gasping.”

Seven Opening Lines To Avoid Like The Plague
“Hi, you look lonely.”
“You remind me of my ex-boyfriend.”
“Hey, ever been with a virgin?”
“Hey, handsome, what’s your sign?”
“You must be tired – you’ve been running through my mind all night.”
“I hate spending every Saturday night home alone. Want to see a film?”
“With your eyes and my hair, our children would be beautiful!”

Unexpected Moves
‘Men don’t always pick up on subtle signs, so you may want to try something a bit more obvious,” says Rabin. Robert, a 26-year-old entrepreneur, remembers a woman he met on holiday. “I was walking down the street in Val d’Isere when a woman ran up to me, jumped into my arms and said, ‘Where have you been all my life?’ I was taken aback but the atmosphere was casual, she was sweet, and we ended up hanging around together for the entire week.”

If an all-out attack isn’t your style, there are less outrageous ways to let a man know you’re interested. “I was at the opera,” says Lisa Sargeant, 35, an architect, “and this big, athletic man sat directly in front of me. I’m pretty short, so I blurted out, ‘Oh, no!’ and he very politely switched seats with his friend so I could see. During the interval, I went to get a drink, and I brought him back one, too. He was really friendly and we ended up going out for a while.”

Use Props
For women who are too shy to introduce themselves, props can be great conversation sparkers. Some accessories are man magnets. “I have a Jackie Chan baseball cap – a production company freebie – and men are always stopping me to ask where I got it,” says Catherine, a 35-year-old magazine editor. Anything high tech should also attract some welcome attention. “Sit in a busy cafe and pull out your Tamagochi or electronic desk assistant,” says Alkon. “Men will flock around you. They love gadgets.”

Still Nervous
You need to realise that men have tremendous anxiety about rejection — that’s why they’re not approaching you. Bradley suggests pretending you’ve known the person all your life. You’ll feel a lot more at ease and more animated. This simple technique can actually trick your brain into overcoming that initial shyness.

“If I like a man I’ve seen around, I’ll say, ‘Hi, how’s it going?’ as if we’re already good friends,” says Barbara, 30, a surveyor. “It’s much easier to talk to someone that way. I’m currently seeing a man who lives down the road — I used to see him walking his dog all the time, and we finally got talking one afternoon when 1 saw him alone and asked him, ‘Where’s your pup?’”

Now Be A Little Braver
Try out a few bolder moves. Jeffrey, a 35-year-old solicitor, tells this story. “I was watching football in a pub when the barman handed me a beer and a coaster with a message scribbled on it. ‘Join us!’ it said. I looked up and a woman held up her drink, so I went to sit with her and her friend. Though we only dated a few times, I’ll never forget how good she made me feel.”

Flattery will get you everywhere. “I was reading in a coffee shop,” says Tom, 28, a graduate student, “and this attractive woman came over and said, ‘I saw you come in and reckoned I’d regret it all day if I didn’t say hi.’ I blushed, but asked her to join me. We ended up dating for a few months.”

Or; if you’re feeling really gutsy, stop pussyfooting around and just ask the man out. “When I was working in a cafe, there was a woman who came in regularly,” says David, 32. “We never talked, but one day, after I made her a coffee, she asked me whether I liked U2. I said I did. Then she said, ‘Good, I have two tickets to next week’s concert, and I’d like you to come with me.’ Now we’re married.”

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