Well, Erik (not StarGazer...note the "k") reminded me that I had promised the Vox Volk that I would post some advice for the mens. (That would be the ghetto spelling!)
1. Do not assume that gaggle of girlfriends surrounding your lady of interest is the conglomeration of her best pals. One Volkmensch dubbed the dreaded gaggle "Circle of Doom."
The man's method of approach should fit his personality (the better side of his personality) but he should feel that he is allowed to approach the group. A wingman is optional.
If this is a group of people you know on some level, a "Hey, ladies!" is a good start. If one acts as if you've interrupted their important assessment of the merits or lackthereof of Hugh Grant, ignore her irritation, but still treat her with respect...tho' undeserving she may be.
This gaggle of gals may be mere acquaintances...whether you're at the office, in the hallway of a church building, somewhere on campus, or whatever. Or it could be her closest friends. Don't be intimidated. We women don't like guys who let others intimidate them too often. Vulnerability is great. Wimpiness is not.
Now if this girl is one you're meeting for the first time and you know no one in the group, of course you don't want to just jump in. You could still introduce yourself to the group...without interrupting rudely...by saying something like "Good evening, ladies, I hope you're enjoying the concert. My friends and I were wondering if we could buy you some nachos." Good line for an outdoor concert with food and a picnicky sort of area. Of course, before you make the offer to the gals, be sure to OK it with your guy pals that you're all going to chip in and buy the girls the nachos.
2. Ask women on dates. If she's a "courting only" type, she'll let you know. When asking a girl out, the signal that it's a true DATE is a combo of info. given to the lady in question: (a) I want to take YOU out, (b) picking you up, (c) on a specific day, (d) at a specific time, and (e) to do a specific activity. The generic meal and a movie will work just fine if you don't know much about the girl. A movie only doesn't provide much opportunity to talk, unless you both like to commentate on the flick to the other person. Other great date ideas to be posted later.
3. Good grooming and hygiene improves any guy. Don't overdo the cologne. But a good man's cologne...*sigh* My gal pals and I sprayed men's cologne on the sample cards at Dillard's one day and then put the cards over the vents in the car. The vehicle "smelled like a man" for hours.
The same advice goes to both sexes...wear your hair in ways that complement your features and your personality. If you don't like your hairdo and that dissatisfaction makes you grumpy, your attractiveness goes way down.
4. Your car. A great guy who smells good, brings me flowers, listens to what I have to say, and cares about my dreams...also will straighten up the interior of his car before taking me out. I shouldn't have to remove something from the front seat, avoid stepping on yesterday's Chinese, or delint myself of Bruno's fur.
If you have to get in the car, reach over the passenger seat, and fling open the door to let me in, this is a problem! Get it fixed! It is worth the investment to be able to open the door to the car and let your lady in, treating her as the lady she is (or has the potential to be).
Notice I didn't say that the kind of car mattered. Or the condition of the outside. If you're a poor grad student barely getting by on Ramen, I'm impressed that you're buying my dinner and movie ticket!
5. Be able to ask her about herself and follow the conversation. Ask her specific questions...even those goofy ones like "If you could only take 5 CDs with you to a remote island (with a battery operated CD player), which albums would you choose?" And if she asks about you, great! She should be asking you about you and your family, your job or current school situation, your church and ministry involvement, your hopes and dreams. All in good time...not wise to dump all your info. on the table at once.
Follow-up questions like "So what did you do next?" "What did you learn from that situation?" "What would you differently if you could have a do-over?" get to the ways she thinks. Good listening comments and non-verbal movement help, for example, "That's great!" "I'm sorry you had to go through that." "Wow, that must have been a lot of fun!" "Bummer..." (OK, choose your favorite current lingo...keep it clean!), nodding the head, "Um-hmm," "Oh, really?" "I didn't know that," and "Don't that beat all!" (Southerner speak). I could go on, but you get the picture.
6. A woman wants sincere compliments. Don't tell her you like her outfit, unless you do like it.
7. Does a guy have to have a high-profile job to get a woman? No. For some women, it's important for their man to have a job that carries status in society. Other women don't care. I think it's most important that you feel called to what you are doing. And if you aren't called to it and your situation is transitional, that's OK. Be doing something toward your calling or toward the career that interests you. Researching, asking questions of folks in those jobs, filling out grad school apps, going to interviews...etc. Really be doing something about it, and not just for show. A woman can tell when a man is really doing something with his life, or when he is at least trying.
8. Well, I've run out of ideas, and the things I thought of yesterday when reading the Vox posts have flown outta my head. So put your questions and ideas in the comments field, and I'll get back to ya.