Welcome to Hump Day, where award-winning psychotherapist and TV host Dr. Jenn Mann answers your sexiest questions—unjudged and unfiltered. Have a quandary? Email us anonymously at HumpDay@instyle.com.
DEAR DR. JENN,
I really want to be pursued by a man, but guys never approach me on their own. Should I be approaching them? —Alone at the Bar.
DEAR ALONE AT THE BAR,
There are pros and cons to pursuing a man. In relationships, there is masculine and feminine energy, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the individual. According to Pat Allen and Sandra Harmon, authors of Getting to “I Do," regardless of gender and sexual orientation, we all have masculine and feminine energy. Masculine energy is protective, provides leadership and security, and is giving. Feminine energy is focused on listening, feelings, and sensuality, and is receptive.
They point out that there must be a masculine energy person and a feminine energy person in every relationship for it to work. A man may embody the feminine energy and a woman may embody the masculine energy, or vice versa. But once you take on that role, it is extremely difficult to change it. If you start off the relationship as the pursuer, in the masculine energy, you must be prepared to be in that role in the relationship. If that is what you are looking for, this is an easy answer.
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If, on the other hand, you want to be pursued and you are just proposing chasing dudes because you are tired of waiting, then let’s look at some other issues and approaches. What might you be doing that is preventing men from approaching you?
I once had a girlfriend who, before the days of the internet, would send a questionnaire to men who declined a second date with her. This brilliant and creative friend wrote the questionnaire with humor and a quest for honest answers. She made it clear that the information would not be used against them in any way and that she was looking to better herself as a date and potential partner. Surprisingly, a high number of men responded and she got some very valuable input.
Getting feedback from your key demographic is important. Ask three honest, close trustworthy male friends who are in the age range of the men you aspire to be pursued by for honest feedback. What might you be doing that makes you difficult to approach? What kind of impression are men getting from you? What could you approve upon in grooming or hygiene? How could you be more approachable? Other people that might be able to give you similar feedback are therapists or dating coaches. They may be able to offer you constructive feedback that could help remove some walls.
Frequently I hear single men in my practice tell me that there are a few things they frequently observe that prevents them from approaching hot single ladies, like you. Women who are glued to their phones when out are notoriously difficult and unappealing to approach. Nobody wants to burst someone’s social media bubble to take a chance of annoying the person glued to their Instagram. It sends a message that you are not engaged, and that even if he is able to win you over, he may not get much attention. Also, being out with a group of friends makes it difficult for men to approach. Who wants to take the risk of rejection and ridicule from the whole heard? Most men find large groups intimidating when approaching a woman they want to hit on.
When it comes to strategy, multiple approaches are key. I always thing of dating as a pie. Each slice of the pie should be a different approach to dating. Right now, the slice you are working with is not getting you the results you want. Try more approaches: request introductions to men from trusted friends, try dating apps, work with a matchmaker, try singles events, speed dating, get involved politically to meet like-minded men, accept invitations to parties you wouldn’t normally attend, go to places with a high saturation of men (sports bars, barber shops, car shows, etc.), take a class in something that interests you so you can educate yourself and meet people, ask your clergy if they know anyone nice, etc. It is important to be proactive in your approach to meeting men since dating is such a numbers game.
If you want to get different results, you have to do things differently. Be open to feedback, try new things and step out of your comfort zone. Before you know it, the men will be flocking to you.