How To Survive Approaching People You Fancy in Nightclubs. (A What Not To Do Guide consisting of Anecdotes from One of Many Hideous Encounters.)

Image from my Instagram @lo_cowen

Sorry to disappoint but this isn’t anecdotes about myself approaching people I fancy in clubs- although that would definitely make a highly cringe-worthy and self-deprecating post that would entertain you for hours. But no, this is a post based on experiences as a female in a nightclub on a Saturday night, just wanting to get dolled up and go out dancing. 

The scene was set: My friend and I had a drink in hand, sat at table waiting for the dance floor to fill when BAM. This guy forward rolls into the area. Yes, actually forward rolls. His mates follow him, all dancing and looking like they’re having a great time and they notice my friend and I laughing and watching and I’m thinking “these guys… these guys have the kind of hyperactivity and tom-foolery I’m feeling tonight, I bet they’re a laugh.” So they approach us, they sit down next to us, and then this guy opens his mouth and delivers his opening line… “Have you got a boyfriend?” He says this as he leans across and puts an arm around me. Well… I mean, the vibes I’m getting here are “Okay… less fun than I thought, I think I actually preferred it when you were forward rolling on the other side of the room now, and clearly you’re only interested in engaging in pleasant conversation with me if there’s a chance you can get in my pants- not because I want you to be in said pants, but because there’s no other guy saying that you can’t be– and since I do in fact have a boyfriend, I am clearly utterly useless to you on your sexual endeavours and not worth a moment of what I am sure would be top quality conversation.” That’s what I’m saying in my alternative reality in my head, so I turn to this guy and I actually say “Yes. I do.” thinking maybe, just maybe he might feel like having  pleasant, platonic conversation while his mate chats up mine. NOPE. Here’s his follow up- “Oh well… He doesn’t need to know.” Well sir, aren’t we presumptuous. So then he comes out with “Do you two want a drink?” (Note: “two”) and without missing a beat my friend turns and says “Yes, two vodka orange juices please.” So he leaves to the bar and I feel kinda uncomfortable- I am, after all, about to take a drink from someone who clearly has ulterior motives that I’m not comfortable with- and he returns with ONE vodka orange juice. He leans in again and says “Well… I was gonna get you one as well but since you have a boyfriend I just got one for your mate instead.” Yeah, kinda brutal but at this point I’m quite relieved because I didn’t want to take a drink off someone I didn’t have any intention of spending any more time with and I’m like okay fair enough, he’s probably a student, save the dollar, waste no time. Fair enough. HOWEVER. He then proceeded to ask me “Do you love your boyfriend?” “Erm… yes.” “Oh… are you like engaged or something?” “No…” “Oh well doesn’t matter then does it.” I mean well pal, I’m glad you don’t mind hitting on girls with boyfriends but you draw the line at fiancee. Gotta have morals.

So then it’s revealed that these guys are, in fact, 18. My friend and I are 21. Things get awkward, they leave. So me and my friend are finishing drinks and these two other guys come over. One of them is chatting to my friend and his mate moves towards me and is like “Do you have a boyfriend?” “Oh good. I’m so glad you opened with such creative wit and eloquence.” is what I said in my head. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know it’s hard to approach people and be witty and intelligent, and in some ways it’s nice to get the awkward “Are you DTF?” stuff out the way but please. Please. Just humour a girl. Let’s just pretend that, while your mate is chatting up my mate, you wouldn’t mind just talking about normal stuff, having a normal conversation. But anyway, IRL I answer yes and in fairness, this guy stuck it out. He did actually chat to me for a bit about where I’m from and what I do at uni and what he does and it was all fine and pleasant and the lads are like “Do you wanna dance?” So obviously we’re like “Sure.” and we’re dancing and then it happens. The hand on bum. And I don’t want to make things awkward so I just politely shimmy (not literally, that would make things weird) out the way and this guy (well done to this guy) takes the hint and doesn’t try to touch me again. So, so far, this guy is doing okay in my books. Well done for trying, I am flattered, thank you for sticking around for the polite conversation, dancing with you with at least a foot between us is fun. Then it turns out these guys have friends and they do that weird like… homing in thing where you can practically hear the Jaws music as they surround you. And my mate is having a great time, dancing with them, chatting to this guy, and I’m like “yeah this is fine just more people to dance with, whatever, I love this song, woooo!” and this one new guy keeps trying to hold my hand and pull me towards him. So I again, politely slide away and then my friend wants to sit down. So these guys sit with us and holdy-hand guy plonks himself sloppily next to me. He asks if I want a drink, I’m like “No I’m okay thank you.” He asks if I want to dance, I say “Erm… no thank you.” and then he hits me with the “What’s wrong? Do you have a boyfriend?” and by this point I am TIRED of this so I go “Yeah.” and I turn away and get my phone out and scroll through a Twitter thread. But this guy… this guy LEANS OVER AND TOUCHES MY PHONE AND STARTS SCROLLING. Now, okay maybe I was kinda rude but I don’t know how many hints I could’ve given this guy that I just kinda wanted to be left alone but I thought the turn-away-and-scroll move was enough. Apparently not. I turn back and he asks again “Do you want to dance?” Absolutely not.

Now okay, I get it, this attention is, on a level, flattering and I understand how hard it can be to speak to someone and it isn’t nice to feel rejected. However, perhaps my actions would’ve been less hostile if say, the opening line wasn’t inquiring about my relationship/shag-ability status before my name? Or if there was any speech at all as opposed to pulling me towards you having never met me or even said “Hello.” And these three instances were only within the club and aimed at me personally. I don’t want to think about how many could be recounted between me and my friend from that night. And it doesn’t include the cat calling on the walk to the takeaway, within the takeaway and whilst waiting for our Uber.

Look, I’m not saying you shouldn’t take a shot with people you fancy in a club (Sorry, I couldn’t think of a cool way to say that). I’m just saying, think about the technique and remember this other person is an actual human who you might get along with regardless of whether they want to “pull” you or not. The thing about that night is, it left me feeling like I was doing something wrong by being in a club and not single. That’s kinda dramatic but still, I spent the night feeling awkward and trying to keep my bum away from strange boys. It made me think, is it any wonder our coupled up friends get “boring” and might come out less when they usually end up spending a lot of the night being made to feel useless because they’re not up for a quickie behind the bins? And the same goes for anyone who just isn’t interested in hooking up. Just because someone isn’t up for that, be it because they have a boyfriend/girlfriend or you know, autonomy and the ability to say no, doesn’t mean you can’t like… just talk to them about other stuff anyway.

So yeah, general tips for this one: don’t touch people you don’t know (or their phones) and learn to forward roll if you really wanna make a good first impression.

Speak soon,




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