Whenever I bring up the topic of meeting members of the opposite sex, the male commenters here inevitably strike up the “OMG WOMEN MAKE IT SO HARD I WON’T APPROACH ANY WOMAN WHO DOESN’T HAVE A GREEN LIGHT WITH MY NAME ON IT PASTED TO HER FOREHEAD” song and dance. Their position is understandable, but women are instinctively programmed to put the man through the paces in order to get to her. This is because (a) women know that men want the most bang for the least buck, and (b) women want to be worth more than a buck. Women who make themselves extremely available to men have very little way of telling if the man liked them specifically, or if the man was merely taking advantage of convenience. Making a man work for it is a way of differentiating the warm body seekers from the specifically me seekers.
This is the general reason that women don’t approach men. Most of the other reasons are situational and personality-centric, as I discuss below:
- She’s shy. Some women are terrified of talking to anyone they don’t know. Clearly this leads to glowing results when women who are petrified of strangers and men who are petrified of women mix.
- She’s intimidated. This is a little different from shyness. Shyness is more of an inner timidity, whereas intimidation is externally based. A woman who is not usually shy may become intimidated depending on the situation, such as:
- She feels he’s out of her league. Contrary to what the majority of the manosphere thinks – that all women are entitled landbeasts who wear XXL “head bitch in charge” T-shirts over their industrial strength bras and blast men for not being able to “handle them” – many women will balk at initiating interaction with a man they feel is markedly superior to them in looks, popularity, intelligence, socioeconomic status, etc. A woman will think to herself, “A man like that could have any woman he wants, so why me?” and as a result, either outright ignore the man or only give furtive little glances when she hopes he’s not looking. (Exception: women who attend fan conventions and pay for pictures with their objects of affection. The exchange of money and experience of waiting in a line make it okay to approach, giggle, praise, and sometimes sneak a grope.)
- He’s surrounded by bros. Much like men grouse that women can never be found alone, women also find men surrounded by a posse intimidating. Little Susie Sweetheart, pounding heart in her dry throat, will be much less likely to approach Hal Hotness if Hal is surrounded by five bros who are all slapping each other on the back while grunting about the manliness of
Tom Brady’s hairfootball. Same goes for Susie approaching Tom Tron and his five engineering buddies who are discussing their latest Halo 3 strategies. Too many bros, especially if one of the bros is a class clown type who is loud and attracts a lot of high-energy attraction, says to a woman that the man doesn’t want to be bothered.
- He’s surrounded by attractive women. While some women will be motivated by preselection competition, most women are not self-confident enough to cold approach a man who is constantly surrounded by other women, especially if the other women are good-looking, or at least popular (the good-looking vs. popular Venn diagram doesn’t always have the greatest overlap), or THINNER. Susie won’t want to deal with the competitive shunning by the women, and she will also ask herself why Cory Cubicle would talk to her when he’s already got his hands full with some nice stuff.
- He has never shown any previous signs of acknowledging her existence. A hurried “thanks for holding the door” at the elevator at work, followed by pushing the button and zero conversation, doesn’t count. Non-communicative inertia just begets more non-communicative inertia. There’s little more humiliating than attempting conversation with someone six months after seeing the person every day, and having that person look at you like they’ve never seen you before.
- She’s a creature of habit. Some women (and men, too, for that matter) settle into a rut of existence and find it immensely difficult to break out of the daily grind. I don’t know if it’s that they find it too energetically taxing to vary their routines, or what, but there are just some people who habitually refuse to stray from the path every once in a while, even if it’s at the cost of meeting new people. This means that if you’re not currently on the schedule, you might never be.
- She’s not interested. Yes, sometimes this is the reason women don’t initiate contact. It usually means that the man hasn’t done anything to make himself stand out as someone to consider. He hasn’t demonstrated any personality, any leadership or expertise, any sense of humor, any smidgen of fashion sense, any physical fitness, any special talents. If you are the definition of drab, you’re stacking the deck against yourself.
I’d say that intimidation and interest are the most easily solvable issues. So if you’re a man and you’re frustrated that women aren’t cold approaching you, understand that just as, if not more, difficult for women to do than men, and then check and see if you’re doing things that make it even harder.