Approaching someone in public is daunting - that's why dating apps are so popular. Whether you're riddled with insecurities or you're not quite sure the situation is right, both mustering up the confidence while making all the right moves is a difficult challenge.
Luckily ntegrative psychologist, mind and body expert, Leanne Hall can help out when it comes to approaching someone you may be interested in.
i throwing the Hail Mary, it's important to consider whether they want to be approached.
"Pay close attention to body language – there are so many non-verbal ways to tell if someone is interested in you. This will tell you whether to approach or not,"
"Looks and smiles are fabulous flirting tools."
It's important to also be mindful of the situation. Just because you've watched The Wedding Crashes a hundred times, it doesn't make it appropriate to work your moves at a wake or funeral.
However, if you are, choose your moves wisely.
"While I don’t think it’s necessary to 'avoid' approaching someone completely, sometimes you may need to adjust expectations – try putting yourself in their shoes. Maybe just offering a tissue is enough at first. Always lead with compassion."
There are also clear-cut signals that she's not quite vibing you the same way you're vibing her.
Body language is crucial. "If you smile at them, and they turn their back or move further away, take that as a sign they're not interested," says Hall.
"One word answers, looking over your shoulder and avoiding eye contact - especially if they pull out their phone - are all signs to wrap it up and walk away."
Once you've made the decision to try your luck, plan your approach carefully. Don't think about what corny pickup lines you can dish out, but rather than situation and what kind of chat might be appropriate.
"Make your opening statement relevant to the situation/context, and don’t lead with a rehearsed 'line' or cliché," advises Hall.
"Make your initial approach about them not you.
"Ask questions, but don’t pry and get too personal too soon - it can be a fine line - keep topics to surface stuff initially, consider the context and situation.
"For example: if you are in a bar, ask what they think of the band, of if you’re at a party, ask how they know the party host. Start with a question…..or a compliment is always nice too! Remember if you do ask a question, show interest in the answer, and keep the focus on them until they shift it to you."
"Be mindful of how much you talk about yourself….a little bit is ok, but don’t dominate the conversation.
"Show them you are interested through your body language. In other words, maintain eye contact and SMILE!"
However, if you're in doubt over whether they really do want to be approached, there are a few signs you can look out for.
"Always look at body language. A smile, a prolonged look or if they move closer to where you are standing are all possible signs," continues Hall.
Once you've done all the hard work and conversation is flowing, it's time to consider getting her number and setting up that second date. It's crucial that you don't exhaust all your conversation topics and you
"Rule of thumb is always: if they show an interest in you, if they starts to ask you questions about yourself and seem genuinely interested in your answers -smiles, maintains good eye contact - that’s your cue to ask for their number.
"Leave them wanting more – don’t over share, create something to look forward to at the next meeting or date."
At the same time, if you want to leave on a high, it's important to exit before there are long silences or huge changes in body language - this will leave a much better impression than scratching your head and asking about the weather.
A great way to suss out the mood of the conversation is suggesting that you should let her get back to her friends. This gives her an opportunity to end the conversation pleasantly, or better yet, she can give you a clear indication that she's interested...if she wants to stick around.
When it doubt, and you're struggling to find a way to approach that girl across the room, just treat them like a regular person - be polite and take an interest in them.