I'm happy to report that there are plenty of grown-ass men out there who know how to talk to women. Whether they are chatting us up at a coffee shop or bar, or sidling up to us on the street when our dogs are greeting each other, or waving from the beach blanket one over (ahoy!), some men know how to strike up a conversation. To those men, I say: Good on you.
To the men who are dumbfounded when it comes to how to have a conversation with another (female) human being, I say: I'm sorry. I also say: Try having a few honest chats with us, and you'll find that it's not so hard. And, lastly, I say: It's best to come off as a bumbling, incoherent fool than to never have tried at all, so by all means, give it a shot. All of that said, I know there are women other than myself out there who have had their ears talked off by the worst of the worst out there, and have lived to tell the tale. If you are one of those survivors, I address to you these ten ways a grown-ass man should talk to a woman with whom he's not terribly familiar, because you're probably nodding your head in sad recognition on the other side of the screen.
1. With positivity
Nothing kills a date more than a grown-ass man ripping on everything under the sun. You don't have to be Pollyanna, but also perhaps refrain from crying into your macchiato, y'know?
2. With honesty
Honesty is the best policy, etc., and here's why: Women can tell when a man is giving it to us straight. Women can also tell when a dude is dithering. Guess which one is more attractive?
3. By being himself
Grown-ass men know there's no reason to adopt a persona to impress a woman. Women like men who are comfortable with themselves, who aren't afraid to look silly or nerdy or even — gasp — stupid sometimes.
4. To our faces
Our eyes are up here, pal. Thankfully, I haven't had to deal with some guy trying to have a full conversation with my breasts in a long time, but it's worth mentioning, just in case. Sometimes we all need a refresher course in human decency.
5. By owning it
Whatever "it" is, it's best if you just take it head-on. If you stumble over pronouncing a word or forget an important part of a story or spill your drink, just laugh it off. We probably think it's cute, anyway.
6. With humor
There's something super sweet about realizing that the man with whom I am speaking is trying to make me laugh. And when he says something that lands, and a tiny glimmer of self-congratulatory delight flashes across his face, I feel about as happy as he does. Women notice little things like trying to make us laugh, and appreciate it.
7. Without taking things too seriously
Don't take everything so so seriously, man. Women crack jokes too. Sometimes at your expense. A grown-ass man will take such jokes in stride, because he's not holding himself up to some kind of really special, untouchable ideal.
8. With compassion
I can be super emotional. It's just part of my nature. In the beginning, I am not usually especially forthcoming about this, but as time passes, it's likely a dude will find this out about me. It means a lot to be treated with tenderness, not judgment.
9. With intelligence
Do not, under any circumstances, dumb anything down for us. We can tell when you do that, because (spoiler alert!) we're not idiots. In fact, women just might be smarter than you are.
10. Like an equal
It's 2015, so perhaps this goes without saying. But there's nothing worse than being infantilized by a man, and a grown-ass man knows this. As such, speak to us like the adults we are. Just like you. K thanks!
Images: Drew Herron/Flickr; Giphy