Over the past couple of days, I have asked a bunch of my friends their opinions on dating and the gym. Is it possible to meet someone at the gym? What should a guy definitely not do? What would be acceptable? Would the ladies respond at all ever or would that attempt be a fundamental no-go? What have the men done that has worked? Here are my findings.
Caveat: This is somewhat less than scientific. I polled my friends – married, single, attached, divorced, with and without kids – but I used Facebook as the medium.
Ok, so say you – a regular man – see a woman at the gym – not a gym bunny – that you would like to approach. Now, we all know it’s because this woman is attractive. We know this because there isn’t much stimulating conversation at the gym going on, just lots of sweating and counting. Against your better judgment you have decided that you would like to approach this woman and ask her out for a drink, or dinner, or whatever. What should men never ever evereverever do?
According to the women I have chatted with, and in my opinion, you should never approach a woman and flex your muscles, stare at yourself in the mirror or talk about anything gym-ish as it relates to you. The gym is just a common place, it’s not the tie that will bind if you are a normal man. So, don’t go over with your Pure Protein bar and offer her a bite and don’t talk about your awesome chest work out and see if she wants to try out your routine. You may as well pee in your sneakers and walk over with a protruding erection.
“Most dudes at the gym trying to pick you up are annoying juice heads that can’t look at your face when they talk. They check you out as you’re talking to them or they just look in the mirror at themselves as they talk.”
Also, if you crowd her while she in working out you will be perceived as one of “those guys” – you know, the ones who could care less about the fact that a woman is getting her lift on and just wants to muscle (pardon the pun) his way into the workout space. Some men have said this is a tactic they employ to get close to their prey. Shockingly, they have all admitted it’s never worked… and it never will if the woman has any pride.
“If he wants to talk about a certain machine or work out with the same machine I am working out with (in between my working out) and we start to chit chat, it’s all good.”
You should never ever rush this, either. This is not da club. You will have more than one meeting. If you are unsure, you can always ask the staff. She is probably a regular and, if not, why would you want to approach her? She’s either in town on business or visiting people… either way, the lady is busy. You don’t want to be “that guy” and you will earn that reputation at the gym by feverishly hitting on women left and right. We notice these things and laugh at you. Sincerely.
Ok, so what can you do that could possibly work? If you must approach a woman at the gym it’s important to remember that the gym is viewed by people, men and women alike, as a sanctuary. This is the only time that people have to themselves – no kids, no work, nothing – so don’t muck it up for her by being awkward. Also, remember that she is there for a reason. She is actually in the middle of doing something that is important to her. Who cares if she’s not training for the ING Marathon and who cares if she is? She does. Respect that.
“When you’re at the gym its usually your *me* time.”
Assuming we are all still on the same page (you’re not going to be weird, you’re going to respect her space and time) and you decide this is the day, here are a few techniques that would be permissible according to me and to my female contributors…
Do not smell. Not what you thought, right? I’m serious, though. The first move you make should be when you are in clean clothes with a proper layer of deodorant strategically placed on your offending parts. Know your number, meaning don’t go over to a woman who is out of your league. This is a good idea for all of us at all times, but don’t make your move at the gym – a place where you will both run into each other regularly – knowing you’re ill-equipped to close the deal. These things seem basic… but they’re not.
“If the guy is sweaty and stinky then no thanks.” And… “I prefer not to talk to guys that are interested in me at the gym. I’m sweaty; I’m in and out. Although if the guy is super hot I may give him the time.”
Now, go over and say hi. Just hello. That’s all. If she says it back and doesn’t sound annoyed, you may continue. If today’s not the day, just give up and say hi when you see her again. She may have had a bad day and isn’t receptive at the moment. Going for it one more time (one more time!) isn’t going to hurt anyone.
“I look like a sweaty, mean mess at the gym.”
But let’s say she seems receptive, now you compliment her. Don’t say you love her bo0bs in that top. Don’t say her pants make her body look DY-NO-MITE! Say something normal.
“A simple hello or a question about the machine I’m using wouldn’t bother me too much and could lead to further conversation if I wanted it to.”
Once you have her talking it is up to you to not be off-putting and there is no specific advice I can offer you there. Just be yourself and don’t come on too strong… and definitely don’t chat too long. If the gym has a juice bar, maybe offer to grab her a shake. If not, let her continue with her workout and say you will see her again soon. Don’t forget to get her name. Maybe offer a handshake, maybe not. Feel it out and go with your gut but slower is going to be better in this case since you know that you share a common destination.
As a woman, here is the best advice/answer I got in regards to the question of a gym pick up and it’s from a guy (yes, he’s a straight guy)… “I try not to ever have to resort to hitting on girls at the gym… it’s typically not the time or place. I just let them know that I’m there, and I usually let them know that I know THEY’RE there… and then wait till I see them out – like at a bar or grocery store – before I introduce myself. And that’s when you have the easy self-intro…’Oh, yeah, you work out at my gym.’ And you’re in.”
That’s man tested and woman approved.