The Christian RP circle is talking of how traditional young women can signal availability to RP guys in the church. I’ve written advice on this topic a couple of times before, but I’ll write on it again.
The first step is to make it easy for men to approach you and to signal availability. I’ve already written a some tips:
Be out in the world. Men can’t approach if they don’t see you.
Get in environments where approaching is easy. A casual, social environment is best.
Smile: A kind smile lowers the expected cost and raises the perceived odds of success, increasing the chances of being approached.
Signal availability: Look pretty, have an open demeanor, put yourself in a physical space where approaching is possible (ie. stand around other people, not on the other side of the room by yourself), walk casually instead of bee-lining: make it easy for a man to approach and it will be more likely.
Don’t signal unavailability: Don’t wear earphones, don’t wear a ring on your ring finger if you aren’t married, don’t stare at the ground, don’t walk around staring at your iPhone, etc., these will all discourage most men (players aside) from approaching. Most men don’t want to intrude on you when you are doing something. By doing this you are self-selecting for the kind of guy who interrupts busy people.
Signal something unique: Signal something that makes you stand out, particularly for the kind of man you are looking for. If you are looking for an physically active man, wear something that indicates you participate in a sport. If you are looking for a bookish man, carry a book. If you are looking for a traditional man, look traditional. If you are looking for a family man, coo over your friend’s baby. If you are looking for a player, show your cleavage. If a man sees you share something in common, something particular that interests hims, or that gives him an easy in to open, he will be more likely to approach you.
Do the opposite of all this if you want to be approached less.
For Christians in particular:
When out of a church setting, it can often be difficult for a Christian man to tell if a woman is Christian or not, and if she isn’t he likely won’t be motivated to hit on her; hitting on a non-Christian would be a waste of time and effort. By displaying something obviously Christian, a Christian woman can give him that much more of a reason to talk to her, increasing her odds of meeting someone.
For Christian women, if you want more Christian men to hit on you, bring along something with you when you go out that makes it obvious you are Christian. Carry your Bible or a CS Lewis book or something else obvious; wear a Jesus fish necklace or a Bible camp t-shirt. (This is probably what the WWJD bracelets used to be for).
I know this from experience; there have been at least two cute girls I’ve cold approached because I overheard they were Christian, where if I hadn’t overheard them I probably would not have.
Another step is to get onto a dating site. Find a Christian one if you can. That opens up a lot of potential men you might otherwise meet. Hit up your social network as well; I’m sure there’s a few middle-aged women in your family and at church who would love to meddle in your affairs and introduce you to young men they know.
Once you have signaled availability, the next step is to reciprocate. Always give positive feedback to any interest a man* shows you. Most men hate approaching; showing interest invites them and helps them get over their dislike of approaching, not showing interest drives them away.
So how do you know a man is showing interest: he pays attention to you.
It’s that simple. If a man is looking at you (and you do not have an large obvious deformity or ketchup smeared across your face) he is interested. If a man is talking you forfor something not related to practical matters or a social obligation, he is interested. Any man who is spending attention on you when he is not socially obligated to is at some level interested. Always assume any single man talking to you is interested in you; you will be right at least 90% of the time. It may be only a vague interest or a small one, but it is interest, and reciprocation will grow that interest, a lack thereof will kill it.
If you see a man looking at you, smile back. Look inviting. If you’re too shy to hold a smile: smile quickly, quickly look down, then slowly look back up while smiling.
If a man comes up and talks engage. Talk with him back. Answer his questions and ask questions in return. If a man is talking with you but is awkward, try to help him out by asking questions or just by bearing the brunt of conversation until he becomes comfortable with talking with you.
If you’re shy, just stutter out something, anything. Don’t worry about embarrassing yourself, just try to show interest. There’s many guys who find shyness or social awkwardness, even to the point of self-embarrassment, cute or attractive and it is rare than any man finds it actively repulsive. For a woman, it is always better to come off awkward or silly than cold in the dating game.
Finally, part of reciprocating is giving a man opportunities on which to act. If you have some interest in a guy, make it easy for him to ask you out. Mention that play or movie you want to see, that new restaurant you want to go to, that place in town you want to visit, etc. Give him opportunities to invite you out and be obvious about it.
If you’re on a dating site, respond to (thoughtful) messages ASAP, write longer responses, and ask questions in return.
Personal example of what not to do:
My mother has been pressing me for a while to go after a girl I’ve briefly mentioned here before. She recently returned to my church after a year abroad. She’s plain but not unattractive. I’ve never pursued her because she’s done nothing to attract me to her, but its possible something could develop. A few months back we happened to end up near each other at a church function. I was not pursuing her, but I was not closed to the idea either, so I decided to see if something could develop.
I turned to her and asked her a question of some sort. A one sentence answer. So I talked a bit then asked another question. Another one sentence answer. So I forced out a bit more talk, then threw out a third question. Another one sentence answer. She gave no questions in return and no unforced way to continue, so I stopped. I haven’t talked to her since and have no interest in doing so. I don’t know what she thinks of me at all, but I know I don’t feel like spending any more effort.
Now I was not interested per se, but had she reciprocated a conversation could have developed, and from that attraction may have developed, but she’s not pretty enough for attraction to develop on its own and the possibility of developing attraction was killed. I have no idea whether she has any interest in me or not, but it is possible a small bit of reciprocation could have led to something, but now its unlikely anything will happen unless she makes a large first move.
Finally, the third thing is to say yes. Unless he is obviously scummy or degenerate, if a man asks you out, just say yes.
Now when I say ask out, I mean anything. Any time a single man invites a single woman (who have not friendzoned each other) to something, he is asking that woman out. If a man wants to “hang-out” or something that’s not specifically a “date”, it’s still an invitation, he’s interested. It doesn’t even have to be alone time. If a man asks you specifically to a group event, he’s still interested. The exception is if he invites the whole group and you just happen to be a part of the established group (but even then, if he takes a special interest in your attendance).
Personal example: A couple years ago, there was a cute blonde from out of town who was going to a local university. We talked a couple times. I was interested in getting to know her better and thought I could help her make some friends, so I invited her to a group event I was going to. She declined because she was visiting other people at the church. A couple weeks later I invited her to another event. She declined so she could study. After that I talked to her once or twice more, but my interest faded; the group event invitation was a sign of interest on my part and I took her rejection of my invitations as a sign of her rejecting me. A couple months later she stopped attending our church.
There is almost zero cost to going out with a man when he asks you out. So say yes even if you aren’t immediately attracted. At worst you’ll get a free coffee/movie/meal and waste a few hours in awkward conversation, then decline the second date, so why not say yes? What is there to lose? (If its an online date or with someone you don’t know, stay in a public space).
On the other hand, the upside is huge. The guy is already interested in you, maybe on the date he’ll surprise you and you’ll fall for him.
So, when asked just say yes.
Exception: he is a long-term friend you know with certainty you are not interested in. In that case shut that down immediately and very clearly.
If you must decline a particular invitation because you are busy, immediately counter-offer with another time/date so he knows you are still saying yes. The “I’m busy” response is a common brush-off, so even if you’re reasons are valid and you are interested in him, he’ll probably take it as a rejection. Make sure he doesn’t misinterpret.
The same goes with if you want to decline a particular type of date where you are interested in the person but not the activity. Ex.: If he invites you to his place for a movie but you don’t know him well enough, counter-offer with coffee or a movie at the theatre.
To summarize: signal availability, reciprocate, say yes. Do all this, and you’ll greatly increase your chances.
*Standard boilerplate: When I say a man or any man throughout this piece, I am not referring to obvious degenerates or cads. Ignore them and drive them away. I am referring to decent men.