How to “Look Available” – Yes, Men still Approach Women

Is it rare that men approach you or do you ever wonder why you aren’t approached more often? I remember when the only advice given was “you need to look available” which feels so unhelpful. It’s also frustrating that no one really explained what it means. The statement alone sounds vague, accusatory, and desperate. But I finally cracked the code on what I hope was well intentioned advice being given.

Looking available is just being available

I was walking around a mall HURRIEDLY looking for a top to wear for an event. I caught a glimpse of a group of men as I walked, but I was only thinking about how to get around them as quickly as possible.

There was one guy that may have been looking at me, but I wasn’t paying much attention initially. I dashed into a store and in about 90 seconds tops I started making my way to the exit. As I was leaving, I felt eyes on me again. I look to my right and see the same guy. And as we made eye contact, he began to laugh.

And then it hit me.

He had come into the store to talk to me. I was so busy and unavailable that there was no real room for him to approach me.

Disclaimer

After that event, I started to pay closer attention to my demeanor and typical habits when I was out.

Some common themes on how I didn’t look available

  • Walking with head down
  • Trekking around places quickly
  • Using my phone (texting, on calls, playing around on apps)
  • RBF (yep, I had a serious face and a focused stare ahead)
  • Quickly looking away if eye contact ever did occur

Now do any of the above items say “available” or interested? Absolutely not. It looked like I didn’t want to be bothered at all most days.

The encounter in the mall wasn’t the only time I was made aware that I didn’t “look available” or interested, but it was the first time it was blatantly obvious. I could no longer ignore it and make excuses as to why men (and people in general) hesitated to speak to me. Because truth be told, I could’ve possibly missed out on meeting friendly strangers as well. Sometimes small interactions with people you don’t know are so wholesome.

Changes I Made to Look and Be More Available

I tested out what would happen if I did the opposite of the list above.

Ways to Easily Look Available

  • Slow down when you’re out in public. When possible, stroll and take your time.
  • As much as possible, stay off your phone or at least look up often and notice your surroundings.
  • Look up and grin when you see people. If this is out of your comfort zone, that’s why you’re practicing now! Do it with everyone. It’s spreading joy and one day a grin might end up going to a nice looking man (just saying).
  • Keep the eye contact when you lock eyes with someone. Smile and say hello or at least nod your head. Acknowledging people is friendly and is often lacking these days.

Looking Available is About Being Inviting

Do you notice the one thing that the entire list above has in common? All of these actions describe someone that feels inviting. You don’t fully know someone’s personality when you first meet them, but some people just feel pleasant and warm. When you slow down and are open to engaging with people, others can feel your openness. There’s often more of a calmness to you as well.

Obviously, you will have moments when you are in a rush and there will be times you don’t want to talk to people. That’s okay. Remember when I said “looking available is being available?” Sometimes you won’t be available. The cool thing is when you find moments where you can slow down, you’ll feel so much more at ease.

So give yourself permission to slow down more often and to be open to meeting people.

Extra Tip for Looking Available

Be ready! Don’t be so surprised when someone approaches you that you completely shut down. It might feel completely out your comfort zone if you’re not used to engaging with people randomly.

I gave a friend my “looking available tips” from above and within one week a man approached her at the grocery store. She got so nervous that she rushed off. As mentioned before, there’s no guarantee with this approach but it can work. And even if this helps you to engage with more people or get out of your comfort zone, still count that as a win! You’ll be ready when the time does come.

God’s timing is perfect and even if dating has been challenging, I pray you stay encouraged. I pray you continue to pour into areas you are gifted and use those gifts well. Let your own cup be poured into as well and find joy in all that God has blessed you with in this season.

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