WOMEN
07/30/2012 06:45 pm ET

How To Approach A Woman, According To Women On Reddit

Reddit isn’t known for being female-friendly -- in fact quite the opposite. But the social news website’s notoriously “anti-woman” users apparently do value female Redditor's opinions when it comes to dating. The thread “Ladies of Reddit, please help us male Redditors out: What is the best way to approach you in public if we're interested in you?” has garnered 3,518 comments since the query was posted on the night of July 29th.

And if that conversation is any indication, the women -- and men -- of Reddit have a lot to say about the art of approaching a potential female romantic interest. One piece of advice that cropped up continually throughout the thread is the importance of a confident attitude:

StellaBelle1: Walk up and say hi. Start up a general conversation about where you're at and see how she reacts. If she keeps eye contact and is pleasant, continue on and ask her out; if she is avoiding eye contact and being short with what she says, move on. Just be confident (not cocky) when you approach and smile.
* * * * *
WiiNotFit 211: You have to do the hard part of playing it by ear and just approaching them, saying hi, and talking to them in a very confident and non-confrontational manner ... Just be confident, if you are, it doesn't matter what you say.

You know what doesn’t strike the women of Reddit as confident and sexy? Terrible pick-up lines:

Creamy_Peaches 966: I prefer someone who can just say hello to me and be forward about it without automatically using cheesy pick up lines or asking me to sleep with them.

Female commenters seem to be split on their preferences about being approached at work. Some users expressed that they would be flattered:

drocks: I had a guy come up to me at work and said I've never done something like this before but I just had to tell you that you are beautiful and see if I could take you out sometime. If I wasn't married at the time I would have totally said yes. I think if you seem genuine in saying something like that you wont come across as totally creepy, but still flattering. Like really flattering.

Others said they felt the workplace was an inappropriate space for romantic interactions:

Purpl3Bac0n: ... as a cocktail waitress (very revealing work attire), I do NOT appreciate guys trying to talk to me at work. You may be as genuine, charming or even CUTE, but whatever you are saying is going in one ear and out the other. It makes it uncomfortable.

Multiple people also brought up the importance of having the ability to walk away when talking to a stranger -- especially if that stranger is a man who appears to be physically stronger than the woman he's approaching:

Stembio: Guys don't realize how much most women think about things like exit routes. If you corner or trap us in some way, we will feel frightened, not receptive. I know 90% of guys don't mean to do this, and that kind of thing doesn't even occur to them ... And if you're wondering why we worry about things like that, it is because we've been cornered and harassed or groped, or know someone who has, and there is literally no way to know if you are going to do something like that until you do it. So just, before you approach a strange woman, look at her possible escape routes, and do not get between her and them.
* * * * *
Faranya: From everything I've ever heard from pretty much every woman I know, the key point to the "walk up" part is to make sure she has somewhere to go if she isn't into it.
If there is one exit, and you are in it, you're not going to be successful.

Another key point to a positive potentially-romantic interaction? Make sure the other person is listening to you -- and interested in what you’re saying:

Babberz: ... make sure you have the woman's attention. I don't know how many times a guy will just walk up beside me and talk. Not even have eye contact and expect me to be like "oh yes I was totally just paying attention to what you said and it was probably awesome."

For all the interest it generated, this sort of mass dating advice thread does have one crucial flaw, one user pointed out: Women do not have a singular set of preferences (shocker!). Thisisnotalice wrote,

Most importantly, looking through this thread, it's obvious that different women want different things; while I would prefer a guy who seems slightly shy/nervous and doesn't compliment me, other women want compliments and confidence. So if you approach one woman and she's not feeling what you're putting out there, that doesn't mean that you have to change your approach -- you just have to find someone that likes it, and then you'll probably be a better fit in the long run anyway.

Of course, dudes can always default to Ryan Lochte's seduction strategy as he described it to Women's Health: "Make eye contact. Some guys keep staring, but I'll give a wink and come back later, because it keeps her thinking." Smooth, Lochte. Very smooth.

What sort of “come-ons” work for you -- and which don’t? Tweet @HuffPostWomen with the hashtag #pickupwin or #pickupfail and we’ll feature them in a slideshow here!

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