In the vast ocean of twaddle that makes up our Interwebs, and even my Facebook timeline on ocassion, I chanced upon what is perhaps Top Twaddle of the Month, when I discovered the musings of one Dan Bacon, self-proclaimed dating and relationship expert and proprietor at The Modern Man, who claims to know
In this particular piece, Dan-Dan Relationship Man, tells the single man ‘How to Speak to Women Wearing Headphones’…I kid you not, you cannot make this stuff up. We could have saved everyone the trouble, and answered that question with one word: ‘Don’t.’
But not our Dan. He then proceeds to dispense advice that ranges from hilarious to terrifying.
Once our hunter has his headphone-wearing quarry in his crosshairs, this, according to our expert Dan, is what he should do. My take on his advice is in brackets.
What to Do to Get Her Attention
1. Stand in front of her with 1 to 1.5 meters between you. (Don’t worry ladies, pepper spray shoots as far as 3 metres)
2. Have a confident, easy-going smile. (Everyone loves a leering stranger)
3. If she hasn’t already looked up at you, simply get her attention with a wave of your hand. Wave your hand in her direct line of vision so she can see it. (If she hasn’t looked at you, it’s because she is deliberately avoiding eye contact. Save yourself any further embarrassment now)
4. When she looks at you, smile, point to her headphones and confidently ask, “Can you take off your headphones for a minute?” as you pretend to be taking headphones off your head, so she fully understands what you mean. (Facepalm!)
5. If she doesn’t understand that you want her to briefly take off her headphones, simply gesture that you want to talk to her by pointing back and forth from you to her and say, “I want to talk to you for a minute.” (Unless she is on moving transport, chances are she has gotten up and left. Nothing spells ‘attractive’ like a stalker with the cognitive capacity of a chair)
6. In most cases, you won’t have to go to that extreme, but some girls are shy and will be hesitant about taking their headphones off initially. If she doesn’t want to take off her headphones, it’s probably a good sign that she doesn’t want to talk to you, so just respect that and leave the interaction. (Most intelligent beings would have got this by Step 3)
7. If she takes off her headphones to talk to you, do what we call “Acknowledging the Awkwardness” by quickly mentioning something about the potential awkwardness of the moment (see the conversation example below), to demonstrate you understand that approaching a woman in this way isn’t the most common of experiences for either party. (This is not going to happen. On public transport, she is going to ignore you, unless she thinks you are having a seizure, what with all that gesturing, and is probably taking off the headphones to get you help. If you are jogging in the park, Step 1 is impossible, making the whole scenario null and void. Also, chasing down someone in the park might be a matter for the police)
But things take a slightly sinister turn when he starts dispensing advice on
Common Mistakes That Guys Make When Approaching Women
Giving up too easily(aka…no can sometimes mean yes, boys)
Headphones are a great barrier between a person and the rest of the world. (Kaching!)
Some women wear headphones because they don’t want guys or anyone else to speak to them, so if you try to talk to a woman and she clearly shows that she’s not interested in talking to you, just respect that and walk away. (Just when you think that Dan has seen the light, he kills it with…)
However, sometimes a woman will be interested in talking to a guy, but she won’t immediately pull out her headphones and show interest. Why? (Yes, some numpties think no means yes and that if you want something it’s ok to browbeat till you get your way)
Some women like to test to see how confident a guy is by ignoring his attempts to converse with her and then seeing what he does next. (Erm…the majority of us don’t, really)
Does he become nervous and awkward? Does he walk away in shame (so rejection by a stranger, who never asked for your attention in the first place brings shame, does it…what’s next…revenge? what are you, five?) , or does he remain calm and continue talking to her in a confident, easy-going manner? (No, Dan, he walks away…period)
If a guy gives up at the first sign of resistance, a woman like her will lose interest because he lacks the type of confidence that she looks for in a guy. (…’a woman like her…’ really? And I am not even going to put this in a humorous light, because that statement and all the implications that follow are terrifying…No means no)
So, if you are going to talk to a woman with headphones, just keep in mind that some women will immediately take off their headphones to chat to you, some will make it obvious that they don’t want to be bothered and others might want to talk to you, but first want to see if you will remain confident if she doesn’t immediately begin talking to you. (Or she will scream for help).
What Dan has overlooked is that there are real ways to get a date and find a potential relationship even in these dark and uncertain times. There are dating sites, meetups for people with common interests, friends who can set you up on a date, and even that mutually initiated conversation with a stranger that sometimes…just clicks. But that’s for us regular folk.
For those who follow Dan’s advice, there always this.
The waiting room was cheerful and noisy with chatter. An elderly man watched one of the two doors in the room expectantly, while a teenager sat in the corner twirling her hair with her fingers, looking bored, as girls her age are wont to do. A child played with a small dog, and a young woman with dark curls and large brown eyes surveyed the room curiously.
The walls were white, and curtains fluttered at viewless windows where the light filtered through. She knew she had heard things about what this would be like, but she couldn’t remember. She didn’t even remember her own name, though she knew she had one, but none of that seemed to matter now.
She saw the young man at the desk, who was gesturing to people in the room, and handing them a slip of paper before opening the second door and ushering them through. She walked over to him and struck up a conversation. She asked his name though she had forgotten her own.
The young man smiled and said, “My friends call me Mort.”
She asked him what it was like to sit at the desk each day, and meet different kinds of people. “Oh, I know very little about them. It doesn’t matter who they are, and where they’re from. I just hand over the slip that appears on my table when it’s their turn and see that they go through the door. Some go through immediately, while others have to wait. The old man has asked to wait for his wife. It’s been two days. She should be here any moment now, and they’ll go through together.
“I do bend the rules sometimes and befriend some of them before they they even get here. In fact, it was my friend Terry who gave me the name Mort,” he smiled again for a minute, “but he’s gone through now…”
“So what’s on the other side?” she asked, though she knew she would find out soon enough.
“I’ve always wondered,” said Mort. “I’ve heard the slips come in different colours, but I only see white. I’m not even allowed to ask. I just see that they go through. You see, there are some rules even Death can’t cheat.”