A guy talking to a woman who's laughing with him.

Hey Joan,

Lots of single ladies here. How do I start the convo?


Figuring out how to talk to a woman you don’t know—especially a woman that you’re attracted to—will trigger lots of uncomfortable feelings if you let yourself overthink it. Instead of anticipating all the ways she could respond, remember that all you’re trying to do is say hello.

Getting the courage to approach her is the hard part, but once you’re there, it gets easier. Forget about the perfect opener or delivering a clever line. Nothing you say will ever be more important than that fact that you made a move.

When you do approach her, the best way to break the tension is to put a time limit on your interaction. If you take a seat and give her the feeling that you’re going to be there all night, you’ll be forcing the interaction. You’ll both feel pressured to prolong the conversation, which will get in the way of establishing good feelings. All you need is enough time to introduce yourself, ask a couple questions to figure out if you like her, and get her number–or not.

Remember that people in social situations like to be social, so you don’t have to ask, “Hey is it okay if I talk to you?” ALWAYS assume that she’s interested in hearing from you. If you ask her if it’s okay, you’re inadvertently demonstrating that you need extra validation right off the bat. Needy guys—like needy girls—are turn offs.

You shouldn’t use the approach to get to know her; use the approach to figure out if you want to get to know her on a date. Once you get the number or decide you don’t want it, it’s time to scoot.

Still confused about how to approach women? Watch and learn.


Joan Actually

Dating Expert

Joan is a writer and dating expert.