There's been a lot of talk about what not to do when you attempt to pick up women, and for good reason. Sometimes you strike out because you did or said something that you really shouldn't have, and for a lot of girls, a first impression is everything. There's also been a lot of talk from men about how to pick up women, to the point where there are entire subcultures about it. A lot of those subcultures make a big deal about the "alpha male" and "sexual quotients" and a whole bunch of other things that really don't matter all that much to women. However, those philosophies don't really go out of their way to ask women what they think about their approaches, which is baffling to me, because women are the ones that they're trying to pick up!
That being said, here are 15 things to do if you're trying to pick up a woman, filled with suggestions and stories from real women.
15 Be direct
I'm not going to lie here: some of us women really don't know that you're trying to flirt with us. If you like a girl and you want to see where it goes, you need to actually say the words "I like you, and I want to see where it goes." If you're not looking for anything serious, tell the girl that. You can't hold a rejection against anyone if you weren't upfront about what it was that you wanted. You also can't hold a girl catching feelings against her if you strung her along. Be direct about what you want to start, and be direct when you want it to end. Directness can save you a lot of trouble in the long run, because it's not just about picking up women, it's picking up the right women.
AD: "I would want someone to just ask me out. Like straight up. I don't really understand it when someone is being flirtatious or whatever and I don't get the difference between someone being nice and someone wanting to date me. I would want them to say exactly what they are thinking so I don't have to guess or play headgames"
14 Be honest
As much as you should be direct, you should also be honest. I know that sounds like the same point, but it's really not. You can be upfront and direct, but still be telling a girl something that isn't the truth. If you tell a girl you want something serious when you actually just want to get her in bed, that is a breeding ground for craziness. Do not be a woman's start of darkness.
GB: "As a person who is awful at telling if someone is flirting with me, if it's someone I know and have known for awhile, I'd kind of want them to just tell me that they're interested... It may be a little awkward at first, but it would be so much easier."
For those who don't know what a "start of darkness" is, it's my personal term for the event that started a woman (or a man, this is an equal opportunity event) on the crazy train. Any woman that's lost her cool in dealing with a guy can probably tell you exactly what event started her descent into messiness. Once a woman's start of darkness has been pinpointed, it's a lot easier to understand where she's coming from, and it's a lot harder to justify your own actions with "she's just crazy." On top of that, if you as a man have a ton of stories about your exes/one night stands being "crazy," women take notice. After all, the only common denominator is you.
Regardless, don't be that guy.
13 Being awkward and shy can go a long way
Subcultures like the Red Pill have got it all wrong: alpha males are not only not what women want, they are actually the polar opposite to what women want (more on that a little later.) Women can appreciate when a shy guy breaks out of his shell to talk to her. Actually, it intrigues them when a guy trips up his words around her and is a little awkward at first. It shows the woman that the guy isn't going out of his way to put up a front for her. Let's be real, though: you shouldn't try to emulate this if this isn't you. However, if you are kind of a shy guy by nature, just own it. That's the best thing you can do, because for the right woman, that shyness will get you really far.
12 Show that you can hold your own
Women in 2016 are self sufficient. Not only do they not need to be taken care of, they don't need anyone to take care of, either. Even if it's just a hookup (actually, especially if it's just a hookup), show the woman in question that you can keep up with her and that you're a man with layers. For many women, nothing is more attractive than seeing a man in his element, no matter what that element is. Your element could be collecting international pennies, and women will find that attractive because you're being genuine.
GR: "A guy has to pick his moment and go for it. Make it casual but yet don't come off to strong. It's all in the way the guy talks as well."
That's why it's so important to be a man that has more interests than just picking up women. As much as you want a well rounded woman, women want a well rounded man. If you're a well rounded man, you're in a much better position.
11 Confidence is key
The last few points basically boil down to this, but this needed to be a point on its own. You can do everything stated above and still strike out because you weren't confident. Self esteem is everything. A woman isn't going to know why she should hookup with you if you don't know why she should hookup with you.
This doesn't mean you should be that overconfident, cocky guy, either. Cockiness is generally a mask for something else, and most women can see through that easily. Confidence is something different, and it's something everyone around you will sit up and take notice of. You'll find yourself in a better position with everything else in life if you're more confident, too.
CO: "Confident, but not arrogant. Honest and sincere, but not trying too hard to impress me. Wit, but not sarcasm."
10 Women are not trophies
I cannot stress this one enough. It is very simple, though: do not treat a woman like a trophy. Objectifying women is never a good look, and it's especially not good if you're trying to wife a woman up, either. Regardless of what you or the woman's goals are in this hookup, you still need to treat her as an equal, and you have to be sure to respect her. Women are people, just like you (big shocker!). In other words, don't get all macho, simply approach her just like you would want to be approached.
AT: "I appreciate being approached like I'm someone of value not a trophy to be won. Be confident, even if you're shy. I'll be more inclined to give you a chance if you come like a gentlemen."
The best thing you can do is put yourself in a position where the woman you're talking to knows that you respect her. That has to be genuine, as well: being fake about respecting a woman is one of the biggest turn-offs there is.
9 Talk to her one on one
This point isn't in reference to the fabled wingman, because you might not know this, but a wingman can sometimes be an invaluable asset in the dating world. This is about putting a girl on the spot. It is simple really, if a girl feels like she is special enough to have your undivided attention, this is already a huge plus for you. On the contrary, the worst thing you can do is try and ask a girl out in the front of all your friends or family (this is probably even worse), or in a way that will put her in an awkward position, especially if she says no.
AT: "I don't like being put on the spot. Please don't come at me in front of your friends or family. I will shut you down - hard."
To avoid putting yourself in a position where you're going to get shut down, just come correct. Approach the woman in question on your own, and don't make her feel trapped in the situation if she's not interested.
8 Actually make plans
Netflix and chill should not be the beginning and end of your date planning. If you're planning on closing the deal with a woman, actually put in the effort to close the deal. This is especially true if you're attempting on building a relationship with the girl in question, but generally, you should put in effort for a woman, regardless of where you want the relationship with her to go. You don't even have to spend a lot of money to do that! There are so many date ideas that involve almost no money whatsoever, and some of the best dates I and other women have been on have been just trips to the park or wandering around the city. Don't just worry about chilling, actually make experiences.
7 Have a sense of humor
I've talked to many women about what they like in guys, and the more I talked to them, the more I noticed one particular theme: a man needs a sense of humor. Not only does he need to be able to make her laugh, he needs to be able to laugh at himself, too. He can't take rejection so seriously, and honestly, you shouldn't be taking 'picking up' women quite so seriously either. Picking up girls isn't the beginning and end of life, and it's certainly not the only thing you should be doing with your time. Go at things with a sense of ease. If you've got a naturally good sense of humor, or even just a halfway decent sense of humor, you're already halfway to success with women.
6 Know your environment
In some places, you have the ability to be extremely direct about what you want. However, in other places, you can't necessarily be so forward. What's acceptable in some places is not acceptable in others. That's just the way it is. Additionally, you need to know when not to approach a woman under any circumstances. For example, if she's got earbuds in and/or is clearly engrossed in some activity, do not approach. Similarly, if you want to really impress a girl who's open for some conversation, go out of your way to make that happen. It can be a high risk move, but if you know your environment, you can make this work.
GB: "If it's someone I see around, but don't really know, like the guy that works (used to work? Haven't seen him in a while...) at my Grandma's pharmacy, making it really obvious that he is interested is helpful. The first time I encountered this guy, he was the guy ringing me up, and as I was writing out my Grandma's check, he complemented my handwriting, and asked me if I learned how to write cursive. I thought that was a weird question, lol.
The next time I saw him, I took note that he was at "drop off" on the other side of the pharmacy, and he literally crossed over to "pick up" while someone else was ringing me up and talked to me about my rings and gemstones, which again, was kind of strange... but it was obvious enough for me to get that he was flirting with me.
It's a shame I haven't seen him since, because since I realized that he was flirting with me, I kind of wanna talk to him about weird stuff!"
Women remember things like this, and it's a really good way to make the right impression.
5 Know what kind of woman you want
I've listened to a good deal of guys talk about what they want in a woman they'd put a title on, while simultaneously trying to get with women that are decidedly not what they want. You can't just know what you want, you have to know who you want. If you're not looking for anything serious, don't go looking for that, because if you tell someone you are looking for that, and it turns out that you're not, that is breeding ground for craziness, and it's not like you would be able to blame her, because you're the one that lied. That's a perfect example of becoming a woman's start of darkness.
Simultaneously, if you actually are looking for someone to settle down with, and you end up looking for random hookups, you will burn bridges with some amazing people because you weren't honest with her and with yourself. Don't be that guy.
4 Talk to her like she's your equal
No matter what kind of encounter you're looking for, treat women like you'd want to be treated. This is sort of like the golden rule of hooking up. If you're the type of guy that speaks about women in a dismissive or disrespectful way, women around you take notice of that, and that hurts your chances in the long run. On the flip side, putting a woman on a pedestal is a very easy way to scare her, too. The best advice I can give you is to treat the woman in question like you'd want to be treated if you were the one getting picked up.
ND: "When I was single, I ended up dating a lot of the guys I did because we would meet at a party or some sort of social situation where drinking would take place and they would challenge me to a drinking competition of some sort. Or if not a drinking comp. it would be that they challenged me in some way. I hate it when guys buy me drinks or follow me around complimenting me. I know I am attractive, I am more than capable of funding my own drinking and I'm too used to guys wanting to be my slave as opposed to my equal.
So basically, show me you can hold your own. Show me that I'm not gaining a pet, I'm gaining a partner."
3 Be yourself
None of the earlier points on this list will get you very far if you are not yourself. That's why I haven't said all that much about certain qualities that women are looking for in their hookups and significant others, because if you feel like you know what women want, you'll try and put yourself in that box. That's not only disingenuous, it's also not going to get you very far with women. You're going to end up with the wrong ones, and all it will do is suck the happiness out of life in the long run.
It's not about getting with as many women as you can, as fast as you can, it's about meeting and getting to know the right women, or at least the ones that are right for you. And you won't be able to do that unless you are being yourself.
2 Alpha males do not get far
For many women, there is nothing so annoying as an alpha male, especially an alpha male that's vocal about his alpha-ness. This is why places like Return of Kings and other pick up artist sites have such vocal detractors: they're selling an image of masculinity that's not only impossible to live up to, but it's also not what anyone wants to begin with. Not only does the whole concept of being alpha not jive well with humanity in its current state, nobody can really agree on what it means to be alpha in the first place! It's just a whole different can of worms to worry about, and you really should not be worrying about it. It has nothing to do with meeting women, and everything to do with a faulty definition of what it means to be a man. Regardless of the woman you are talking to, most can agree that they want a man who will treat them like an equal and with some respect.
1 There are many, many fish in the sea
This is the most important thing I can tell you. A lot of the reason why women might not be as open to a conversation as you are is because they've probably gotten into some trouble simply because they said they weren't interested. There's at least one trending news story a month about how a woman got seriously hurt or killed because she rejected a guy. As much as you know and she might know that that isn't you, the fear of that happening isn't just an academic one to women, it's a very real possibility. That's actually another reason why the whole alpha male thing is such a turn-off for women: alpha males don't take rejection well. They'll insult a woman who dares to say no to them, but they'll also turn around and completely denigrate the woman who says yes.
KM: "He's gotta respect boundaries. It's the guy you're familiar with and you KNOW he won't take advantage of you."
My advice for this particular point: don't take rejection to heart. More often than not, you're not the issue. There are many times when a woman is in a complicated situation or just doesn't want to date or hook up at that time, and nothing you could have said or done would have changed that. If you start taking things like that to heart, it'll take you on a bit of a start of darkness of your own, and that's not something that anyone wants. There's a whole wide world of women out there, and the ones that are worth getting to know are out there.