One of my favorite stories goes like this,
A young maiden was walking home with her chaperone, and on her walk, she passed a group of young women.
It was in the 1800s, it was uncommon for a single maiden to be seen in this sort of manner but that did not stop the young man from approaching the young maiden and her chaperone.
Greeting the two women politely, the young man lifted up his hand to reveal the young maiden’s handkerchief.
She had dropped it, and he had to return it.
And the rest was history.
A year later, the young couple was sharing how they met.
The man shared his triumphant feat of approaching her before her chaperon to return her handkerchief
The fluttering feeling that captivated his insides when he laid eyes on her, and how he knew he found the woman he was looking for
However, she had a different story to tell.
She would tell her friends, that she noticed him weeks before he noticed her. She knew his route, and knew how he moved -
And at the right time, she made her move.
As she was going on her afternoon stroll, she dropped her handkerchief… he picked it up and the rest was history.
I love this story because it shows the femininity and assertiveness that comes with dating. I often get asked who should make the first move.
When it comes to relationships, I believe that men should lead. They’re wired as protectors and providers and pursuers.
But most of the time, my friends who ask have the best intentions while asking this question - aren’t in a relationship - or close to one.
So when I give them my take, their jaws drop.
I think it’s perfectly reasonable for a feminine woman to approach a man.
I think the feminine woman should be inviting, soft, and alluring.
Because like the maiden in the story, we all have a “chaperone”
Our cell phones, air pods, friends, family, etc.
And if we don’t “drop the handkerchief”, how are we ever going to invite him in to make the first move?
My single friends have this unrealistic expectation. And I love them, but they believe that their guy is going to see them from across the room, and he’s going to know in his gut that they were meant to be together.
And he’s going to run across the room, chase her down, drop to one knee, and ask for her name and number
And while that can happen, that’s usually the exception, not the norm.
Rather, it goes something like this - A guy sees a cute girl across the room, thinks about approaching her but hesitates - not sure if she’s going to be offended by what he said, not sure if she has a boyfriend, is married or maybe not interested in dating at all - girl’s gaze is on her phone so distracted…
And he thinks, she might be dating, let me just move on…
So now how do we get you noticed? Well, like the young maiden, we need you to “drop your handkerchief”-
1st - Be Open
Dress up in inviting and warm colors, put your best self forward, and smile. You’d be surprised how a simple smile can go a long way.
2 - Appreciate the art of small talk.
Yes, enjoy chatting about the weather, news, and town events, or even have a well-known pop culture reference that you can use.
And here’s a bonus tip, follow an open-closed framework.
For example, suppose you walking down your local market, and you see a young man looking at an exotic ingredient.
The first thought you may have is, Wow, that’s interesting. I wonder what is he going to make with that?
Rather than keep that thought to yourself, smile and approach him, “Ooh that looks like a fun ingredient…(pause to see if they want to add something, usually they do but if not, smile and continue), I’m going to have to find a recipe with that. Enjoy your day” and you smile and walk away.
It’s light and fun but puts the pressure off the person to respond if they don’t know how too. I mean as a society, we have lost the art of conversation so that small talk can be awkward.
Especially if you’re from the north. Small talk is almost like speaking a foreign language!
But this framework allows you to always have a backup plan.
(PS, I borrowed this framework from my 2-year-old 🥲, he would babble and pause to see if you would contribute. If you don’t, he looks down and smirks just continues babbling, and walks away. Brilliant!)
3 - Be feminine during the conversation.
You’re friendly not trying to be the friend here. So, be present, watch his eyes, body language, and smile. Learn to smile with your eyes, do not be sexual but just conversational. Remember the point of this is to get noticed.
4 - Be Smart
When you approach men out and have small talk, pick safe locations to do so. For example, bookstores, art museums, malls, grocery stores, and coffee shops are all great starting points and also allow for further conversation.
Places like the gym, bars or clubs, gas stations, dark alleys, and abandoned buildings in bad neighborhoods aren’t the best places to talk.
God gave you a brain, ears, eyes, and an intuition for a reason. Use them!
5 - Have fun and end on a high note
Don’t take it too seriously.
It’s going to be awkward and you’ll suck but the more you do it, the less sucky you become. So, just laugh it off rather than beat yourself up if you say something silly.
You’re not asking them out, you’re just being inviting, feminine, flirty and alluring…
And when you feel like it’s good, just smile and step away. End on a high note, if he wants more… he’ll make the next step.
I can’t emphasize this enough if things are going well - the temptation is to keep going.
No, no no!
Small talk only, you can share your name and number if asked, but nothing about you that you would expect a stranger to share with you. He does not need any more help so don’t offer your number, let him ask.
If he wants more, he has to make the next move.
The right men will take that initiative. After all, all he’s waiting for is for you to drop the handkerchief - and he’ll take it from there.
Let me know your thoughts below and until next time, stay classy!