DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: Hi, as a super shy person that’s has the hardest time talking to someone for the first time, I wanted to ask for tips or advice on asking a woman from the gym out?
I usually just work out and that’s it, but I saw her one day and she radiated the whole place, we’ve exchanging glances but no words yet since I don’t know how to start
Gym Body Language
DEAR GYM BODY LANGUAGE: My general rule of thumb when it comes to asking women out at the gym is simple: don’t. With caveats.
To start with: You know nothing about her besides her looks. She could be a horrible person. She might think that shooting kittens out of a cannon is fun. She might be an anti-vaxxer who thinks Fauci is grinding up babies to make Pfizer juice. You don’t know her at all.
Then there’s the fact that most people at the gym aren’t there to meet people; they’re almost certainly not there to be picked up. They’re there to work out and folks who’re really interested in working out are also not likely feeling at their sexiest or most attractive. They’re hot, they’re sweaty, they’re exhausted and there’re clueless dudes who think that they’re there for the dudes’ consumption. So that creates an understandable disinterest in random people hitting on them.
(This is only slightly less annoying than dudes who insist on trying to give them tips on their lifting or otherwise try to “help” with things that they clearly have well in hand.)
There’s also the fact that you don’t actually know this person or have ever talked to them at all. Despite what pop culture teaches us, we very rarely ever go out on dates with someone we literally just met or who asked us out right off the bat. Most folks – even people who are actively looking for dates – like to get to know someone a bit first.
So I would recommend against going over and hitting on her or asking her out on a date.
Now, if you had opportunities to talk and interact like normal – i.e. not flirting or hitting on her – then you have a chance to start getting to know each other. But again: in most cases, the gym isn’t the most opportune place for these sorts of interactions to happen. It’d be one thing if you two were standing by the smoothie bar (assuming there is one); that’s a place where conversations are expected. It’s another if she’s lifting and needs a spot, or vice versa. That’s another time when you’d at least have reason to chat.
If you do have reason to talk – even if it’s asking for advice or help with something – then you’d have an opportunity to get to know her and see if she’s even someone you’d be interested in for more than just her looks. But those opportunities are difficult to make happen organically.
However, remember what I said about “with caveats”? There’re times when it’s easier to talk with folks. If, for example, the two of you were taking the same spin class or pilates or other group class, there are often times when everyone’s milling around beforehand and after, when striking up conversations are normal. These are good times to just get to know folks, especially if you and they are both regulars. And the “regulars” part is important – being a known quantity helps immensely because it signals to folks that you’re in that class for the sake of taking the class, not just hitting on the women in it. So if you and she were, say, in the same yoga class regularly and after some amount of time – three weeks, say – you were to say “hey, you’re good at this $TRICKY_POSE, could I buy you a juice at the juice bar in exchange for some tips on achieving that pose?” then you’re more likely to get a positive response. You’re not a dude looking at the yoga class like a sex ATM, you’re not hitting on a relative stranger, you’re a classmate with a relevant reason to talk. Moreover, you’re asking for her advice – which helps create a sense of both familiarity and friendship – and offering a value-for-value exchange, instead of just asking for stuff from her. This makes it easier to segue into a getting-to-know-you conversation that over time makes it easier to build a connection.
Notice very carefully that I said “over time”. This is another key factor. Most folks tend to try to move way too fast; you’ll have better results if you slow things down a bit and see if the two of you even like talking to each other before trying to move towards getting a date.
But again: this is all very much in the “caveat” end of things. If it’s the case that you and she literally have no contact or interact at all and it’s purely “hot woman at the gym”? Odds are that you’ll come off as another dude who just sees an attractive woman in athletic wear and doesn’t care to get to know her as a person. And that’s going to work against you.
TL;DR: look for organic opportunities to talk that respect the social context, rather than trying to ask her out right away. Get to know someone over time and you’ll have better results than trying to pick up a stranger in a place where picking people up isn’t part of the social contract. ��If there aren’t opportunities like that, then you’re likely better off focusing your attention on meeting folks in places where flirting and getting dates is expected.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com