A woman sipping a drink at a bar to get a man to come to her.

Dear Joan Actually,

I’m constantly putting myself out there, but no one ever approaches me. I’m trying all sorts of new venues and parties, but it seems like all my friends get approached over me. I have no idea what’s wrong with me, because I would consider myself relatively attractive. Striking up a conversation with a random stranger gives me so much anxiety. How do I get him to approach me without looking desperate?

The best way to get him to approach you is to send out the right signals. Whereas you’re wondering “What’s wrong with me? No one is approaching me”, he’s busy wondering, “What should I say to her?” This cycle will persist until one of you makes a move; help him make that move with some flirting.

Although it might feel desperate or contrived to act a bit suggestive, it’s not; it’s just your way of extending him an invitation to approach you. Flirting the right way will accomplish two things: 1. show him that rejection is unlikely and 2., make it easier for him to pursue you.

Up your flirt game by trying the following:

Make eye contact and keep open body language

When someone interests you, make eye contact for a couple seconds and look away. If he looks back at you a second time, you’ve made an initial connection. Now, take out your headphones and put away your phone. He’ll be more likely to approach you, if he doesn’t feel like he’s interrupting something.

Consider where you’re standing

If you’re standing with a group of women, you’re giving him another reason NOT to approach you. Try to break away from the pack or, at the very least, stand off to the side so he’ll be able to talk to you without feeling like he’s addressing a crowd.

Keep open conversation 

When he does approach you, avoid conversation topics that are one sided. So, don’t bring up your sister’s cold or talk about your new lipstick; he won’t have any input for you. Go with topics that will help you establish common ground as quickly as possible.


Stick with things everyone has an opinion about–travel, food, movies, or music. A lot of men talk themselves out of approaching women because they can’t figure out what to say; throwing him a conversational softball will make things a lot easier for both of you.

Give him a reason to contact you

If you’re feeling chemistry, shift the conversation to a place that makes extending an invite or exchanging contact information natural and easy.


Food: “I just don’t know if I can believe your pizza place is better than Tony’s” (You’re giving him a reason to invite you out to pizza.)

Music: “How did you get tickets to that show? You have to let me know if you come across an extra.” (You’re giving him a reason to ask for your number.)

Ultimately, your movements and behavior should be reassuring and inviting. Showing that you’re receptive through smiling, casual touching, and staying engaged in conversation will help you get approached and asked out on a date.


Joan Actually

Dating Expert

Joan is a writer and dating expert.