By Laura Snyder
In the great mating dance, women have it easy.
We get to sit back and relax, watching as some poor guy works up the courage to cross the floor and spout some pathetic line in a desperate bid to win our attention. And then, once he's standing there hopefully in front of us, emotionally defenseless, we have the option of dismissing him as heartlessly as we'd pick off toilet paper from the bottom of our shoes.
But while she has the advantage, she doesn't want to shoot you down any more than you'd like to be her next victim. She's just being careful. So your mission in getting - and keeping - her attention is twofold: Convince her you're not a serial killer. Then distinquish yourself from the other non-serial killers. And here's how to do it.
...From Across the Room
Before you even work up the nerve to approach her, she's already seen you. Her covert intelligence gathering revealed how you relate to your friends (and what your friends are like), if you're checking out other women and how you treat your wait staff. She doesn't want you to be the arrogant bastard with your arms crossed, surveying the scene as if you owned it. She doesn't want you to be the guy throwing his cash around, trying to look impressive. If you respect other people, look well-regarded and make those around you laugh, you'll get her attention.
...With Your Opening Line
Rule Number One: Never approach a woman cold. You need to establish eye contact and give her a little smile first. If you can't get that, you're wasting your time. (Remember, she's already out there scoping the room; she'd have met your eyes if she wanted to.) Take a strategic delay after that moment (so as to not seem desperate), and later head over to say hi. Not "come here often?" and not "What's a pretty girl like you doing here all alone?" - just hi. Anything other than a simple "Hi, my name's so-and-so and I really wanted to meet you" will sound cheesy and pathetic.
...While You're Chatting
It's that old entertainment rule: Always leave 'em wanting more. Don't ramble, don't ask her so many questions she feels interrogated, and don't crowd her space. Watch her verbal and nonverbal cues. If her responses are minimal and brusque and her body language is colder than a penguin's booty, abort the mission immediately.
...When You're Making Your Exit
Many a man, desperate to close the deal, blows it in the final minutes of the game. Even if it might just be the last time you see her on earth, it's not a good time to push... so no getting physical, declaring your undying love (or undeniable lust) or even just being too insistent about arranging a date. Just say it was nice meeting her and that you'd like to see her again, or is it okay to call her. If you talked about a common interest or hobby, mention getting together to do that. Or be really forward-thinking and just offer her your number. Then say goodnight and hope she calls.