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A woman shares what she's thinking when approached by a man.

I'll be forever grateful to this woman for the following insight: I asked an ex- girlfriend what went through her mind when she is approached in a bar. She seemed ready to answer, and told me she had done quite a bit of thinking on this. She described to me a 4 part process, that works in a specific order and builds upon itself.

  1. Am I in physical harm? The first thing she needed to decide is whether this person was physically safe to be around, or possibly had dangerous intent.
  2. Is this person normal? Not to shame non-neurotypical people, but she needed to know if the person was sane, rational, and in touch enough with reality to interact with safely and productively. Might include emotional responsibility and respect of boundaries here.
  3. Is this person someone I would want to hang out with? Is their an ability to socialize and have fun with them. Can we banter and spend time without it getting uncomfortable or awkward.
  4. Finally, is this a person I have physical chemistry with? Did she want to have sex with them, or at least interact on a physical level. Was there excitement?

I sincerely appreciated everything she had just said, but I had to laugh out loud after. And while still laughing, I explained that, as far as I could tell, she had described the male process but completely in reverse.

  1. I think many men just start with physical attraction. If there is no way we're can see ourselves having sex with a woman, I don't think we're motivated to approach them.
  2. After sexual compatibility, we have to decide how much we want to spend time with that woman after the sex. Is the conversation good? Do we like some of the same things in the same way? Or am I just waiting for her to go?
  3. Now that I've spent some time with this person, are they kinda... Off? I think a lot of guys don't make the decision that a woman might have some deep issues until after they've already sealed the deal and started spending some concentrated time together.
  4. Finally, am I in Physical Danger here? There is a lot of safety and security involved in having more upper body strength, thicker bones, and testosterone. It's not usually until a woman is embedded in our lives that we begin to worry about them doing us serious physical harm.
By Humanistheathen
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Which is why I don't like bars (or public places in general) for meeting women. I can't stand the idea that I'm seen first as a potential threat.

My instinct is to protect people around me, not just women, but everybody. My training is to scan the area I'm in for potential trouble all the time. Which, I realize, makes me seem like I'm potentially dangerous myself, but it's something I picked up in my job and now I just can't stop.

Paul4747 Level 7 July 27, 2018

I've been thinking about this. I don't get approached often, but I always assume I am safe until I have reason to think otherwise. I assume they are neurotypical, again, unless they act otherwise. I assume the conversation will be pleasant and playful because they are talking to me, and with 20 years of experience interacting with strangers, I can be pleasant and playful in my sleep. I can create spaces for you to introduce yourself, I can open doors to flirting. But that's as far as it ever goes. Maybe that's because I don't allow myself to even consider whether or not I find them attractive. I'm not looking. Maybe they can smell that.

Nottheonlyone Level 7 July 16, 2018

Damn, I think more like a dude!

Sunflower Level 4 July 13, 2018

Yeah that's pretty insightful, although I think it's less about inherent gender differences than about male privilege. Though both are in the mix.

What I learned though is initial sexual chemistry is a poor predictor of the overall quality of a relationship. Women will not be sexual for any sustainable length of time if they don't feel connected. So if it's great sex you're after, you'd better learn to relate and to practice all forms of intimacy, not just sex.

mordant Level 8 July 13, 2018

This was good stuff. I agree.

nutrition_nerd Level 7 July 12, 2018

If that male thought process is true for a majority of men, that's a shame, I know it's not for me, sanity comes first in my book, I guess that's why none of my relationships have lasted cause women are paranoid af cause the rest of you act like a bunch of walking dicks lol

Eric_in_bham Level 5 July 12, 2018

I really like and appreciate that you used 'typical' in your statement. I've never considered myself a typical male, but I can admit to having been the male @birdingnut speaks of at one time. Now though I have to feel safe first before I consider someone. I may be drawn in by the picture as @recluse discusses its rather natural, but for me they have to have a good written profile as well. I'm done having kids and cannot deal with dating "kids" anymore.

I'm actually to a point where I'm literally afraid to meet anyone. So I understand where your friend come from, I understand I'm a male and can't fully understand, but I can epathize.

cimoore34 Level 5 July 12, 2018

Sure, you know what you're looking for. But a man doesn't have to be looking for love to find it. I think it's natural for a man not to be looking for love. That doesn't make them an asshole who only wants sex. Key word here is only. A healthy man should be looking for sex to some degree. Everyone knows that, so why can't everyone accept it like an adult and move on? Lol, it's ridiculous.


Fertilizing an egg is easy. You could literally do it every single day. As a man, your natural purpose is to generate and protect as many offspring as you can. Bearing children is difficult, time-consuming, and potentially life-threatening. As a woman, your natural purpose is to weed out the losers and bear the most mentally and physically strong offspring you can with the time you've got. When you remove emotion from the equation and think about things rationally, our behavior makes a lot more sense.

recluse Level 4 July 12, 2018

I think of men as giant male organs with legs, with large bellies.
Sex and food. I think food might come first, even.

On dating sites, they mostly look at photos of women and choose mates that way..the youngest and hottest possible; zero interest in the woman as a person.

birdingnut Level 8 July 12, 2018

Non-threatening, normal but still interesting, and sexy.

I'm going to need a venn diagram app?

mattersauce Level 7 July 12, 2018
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