*Disclaimer: author’s identity has been kept anonymous.
I remember volunteering at a recent community event, a rather prominent one as well, and was standing and conversing about an important task we were about to do with one of my close friends when he abruptly stopped and paused, mid-conversation. It was an important conversation as well, since we were attempting to make sure the event continued to run smoothly, so the pause caught me off guard. But I knew why it had occurred. You see, he was facing the entrance to the venue, and had just seen a rather (how to put this in a Halal manner) “MashaAllah” girl walk in. This of course elicited a pause as his brain immediately shifted gears from an intellectually heavy conversation to one of the all-time sticking points between males:
How do I best approach this woman?
I quickly curtailed the topic of conversation, much to the annoyance of the organisers, to observe my friend’s thinking process in this situation (I was planning to write this article for a while, but was awaiting some form of inspiration, so it was perfect timing). His brain began to whizz as it ran through the many methods of approach, and his experiences with each. Which one has worked in the past? Which one had failed miserably and embarrassed him? Which one had he seen work before that might apply here? What kind of method would best suit this situation, as well as this girl? Would she react differently to other girls from his past experiences and observations? Did he need to come up with an entirely new approach method for her?
Now in situations like these, it’s essential to keep in mind the “Halal” factor. That is, a guy’s need to make sure he approaches a woman in a way that balances Halal-ness with his own style, whether it be the brazen approach, the friend-zone-lite approach or the on on-the-haqq approach (each will be explained in time :). I watched my friend decide on his plan of action, and prepare himself to say something as she approached, flanked by her friends. He opened his mouth to offer his seat when…nothing. She had turned away just as was about to say something. The moment was slipping through his fingers as she wandered further and further away, but his confidence had begun to slide the moment she turned away. That burst of determined confidence was gone, replaced with a blubbering mess who had forgotten his prepared speech for her. He opened and closed his mouth more than once as he attempted to will her to look at him, but to no avail. Slumping back, he looked on sheepishly as I roared with laughter. (I can be a mean friend.)
Nonetheless, it was an interesting moment to witness. Because although most guys will come across as brazen and confident, they can quickly turn into a blubbering mess if the moment fails them. But it also brought to my attention the magic to the “Approach”. I’m talking about the initial contact, anywhere, anytime. It could be at a cafe, an Islamic event or at her house. The initial point of contact has long been argued over amongst guys’ circles. Because usually, most “approach methods” fail miserably, with only very few actually working. And most guys can’t work out which one that is.
So I have decided to compile a guide to the approaches I have so far witnessed amongst Muslim youth. These can split into the Brazen Approach, the Friend-zone-lite Approach and the On-The-Haqq Approach.
The Brazen Approach
This would have to be the quickest and most brutal way to approach a woman. Just straight to the point, no fluffing around, no beating around the bush. Just straight to the point. To be able to pull this approach off one will need to have skyrocketing confidence. This could be the result of a range of factors, none of which I’ll list here for fear that some (read: most) guys will be offended by my dissection of their false sense of confidence built on shaky ground. Nonetheless! False confidence or not, it has to be there. Without confidence, this method will surely fail, because it basically involves spotting that one woman that you find interesting, and without a single ounce of knowledge about who she is or what kind of person she is, approach her with interest. Without said confidence, you wouldn’t be able to pull off the “sweeping off her feet” moves needed to complete this Approach. It’d be pointless to just come in all confident and smooth and not have a plan to wrapping things up. That would just lead to endless pointless conversation, leaving most of your waiting friends in snoozing behind you.
So the guy approaches the girl all confident and brave, ready to sweep her off her feet. That may be to just directly say, “Hey, you, me, we could work. Waddya say?” or it could be over complimenting her or whatever.
Clearly, this is not my forte. All I know is that it’s a mixed bag in terms of success-rate, much like the rest of the Approaches. Although most guys may sing of their great brazen triumphs, it can bomb horribly. If the woman isn’t swept off her feet, the guy is usually left in a precarious position where the woman can either let him down easy (boring!) or take a swipe at him, kicking him while he’s down (far more entertaining). That usually results in leaving the guy a blubbering mess, embarrassed and bitter, as well as leaving his friends in fits of laughter around him. Hilarious stuff, I kid you not. Which leads me to the final key factor: friends. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT attempt without your friends murmuring annoyingly behind you, encouraging you loudly or just lingering. They are your support group, where you get an indication that your moves are working ( not from the girl, of course not), and when they aren’t. They’re the ones who’ll bail you out just as social destruction is about to be laid unto you and are the ones you’ll cry to/vent to about how much of a failure you are/she is. Essential stuff.