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Why Men Don't Approach You During The Day

January 18, 2013
A reader recently asked in the comments of another post:

I saw you made a Twitter post about women wearing makeup to the gym... 
I go to the gym in my local area a few times per week. I'm one of those girls who wear makeup, albeit not a lot. I am 22, have a good figure and wear tight workout wear.
I have never been approached at the gym. I would have loved to be - there are many attractive men there, and it's in my local high-end area - they're well educated and successful guys, often attractive too. Sometimes I think they may be an age group a bit too old and that some of them are married. 
I usually get hit on quite a lot in bars. I see your posts about being around men and making yourself attractive to them. I follow all of that advice - I don't think I have a problem with the attractiveness part. I would love to be asked out in any of these scenes (gym, college...), because I feel I would have more of a guarantee that they're the right guys, but I am simply not. I sometimes catch them looking, but they never ever come over.
What is it? Are men too shy during the day? Or are there some things women must specifically do to make themselves approachable in daytime scenarios?

I probably should have addressed this question a long time ago, when I covered topics like Why You Don't Get Approached by Men and How To Make Yourself Approachable. In any case, there is a simple answer: men don't approach much during the day because there is a much greater social barrier to doing so. In a bar environment, social interaction is expected. People are there to socialize, if not there with the actual intention of meeting members of the opposite sex. Alcohol also facilitates the interaction a great deal, since it makes men relaxed and takes some of the difficulty out of the approach.

In other venues, like the gym, the grocery store, a shopping mall, or just on the street, most people are there to get something done. They aren't there to meet people; they are there to work out, or pick up some milk, get a new pair of jeans, or get home before it starts raining. Especially in the United States, which is a very accomplishment-focused culture, these activities are packed into an already tight schedule. And while this isn't always the case, and isn't an absolute bar to approaching a woman, it gives a man another excuse to talk himself out of an already nerve-racking experience. It is so much easier for him to tell himself "she is probably busy, and I probably wouldn't like her anyway" than it is to barge into her personal space and face rejection.

Your cause isn't helped by the following factors:

  • In public places like the gym or a bus, men who want to approach you would be more easily over-heard, so the embarrassment of failure would be greater than in a bar or nightclub.
  • Most women tell men "I would never want to be hit on at the gym. I am all gross and sweaty when I am at the gym. I don't want a guy approaching me; I just want to work out in peace." I can't count the number of times I've heard women say this. Granted, I usually understand this to be a self-serving comment, meant to display the fact that (a) men want to hit on them at the gym, and that (b) they have so much attention from men that they don't care. But unfortunately the effect on the male population is the same nonetheless: it tells men that women want to be left alone during their workout or daily activities.
  • Most women wear headphones and listen to music when they are in the gym, on the train, or walking down the street. This only heightens the sense that, when people aren't in the segmented few hours of their life assigned to "socializing," they are off limits to meeting strangers. If you follow me on Twitter you will remember the tweet I made recently about women wearing headphones in public. (Men do this too, of course, but it is less of an issue when it comes to being approached, since men normally do the approaching.)

So the short answer to your question is that men don't approach you in the gym or other day-times venues because they have to take much more social risk in order to do so. Most men can't get up the balls to approach a woman at night, so the added deterrents during the day make it even less likely.

One final note: although you aren't as likely to be approached during the day, and may therefore question the importance of always looking your best, it is worth considering that you are much more likely to be incidentally thrown into interaction with men during the day - for example, when you have a brief conversation with the hot guy at the front desk as you check in at the gym, or when you repeatedly run into an attractive guy at your favorite lunch spot. Not to mention that, by regularly paying attention to how you present yourself, you will learn how to improve your look and thereby optimize your chances in nightlife venues as well.

Related Posts
1. Bars Are a Good Place to Meet Guys - Part 1
2. You Always Go To The Gym. And You Like It.
3. What It Is Like to Be Rejected by Girls
4. How To Make Yourself Approachable

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