Q: So I’m really into a guy at the gym. We’ve made eye contact and smile back to each other from time to time, but I need to know how I can just bite the bullet and hit on him or ask him out. I’m not a shy person and don’t mind hitting on guys. But for some reason the gym is a whole other territory for me that gives me some sort of inferiority complex and I feel intimidated. What are some ways that can help my situation?
A: With the exception of religious venues and activities (excluding weddings), public gyms are probably the weirdest, most awkward place in which to try and make romantic inroads.
Several of my girl friends have told me about being hit on by guys in the gym, and they have all at least pretended to have been turned off by it. I personally would (probably) never hit on a girl at a gym unless it was immediately upon my arrival, because once I start making athletic movements I sweat like Shaq in a sauna.
But do not be afraid or intimidated, and definitely do not feel inferior. I have the utmost faith in your ability to pick up some sweaty, muscular man (but more tone than bulk please, amirite?!) at your local Planet Fitness.
You have it easier than me, because a) I assume you’re not on my perspiration capability level, and b) you are a woman. If a girl approaches a guy anywhere, it should be considered a victory for the guy, whereas women are more liable to treat it as an affront. I’m all about gender equality and equality for all, but there is now and likely will always be an unwritten rule that the man is supposed to approach the lady– to be the one to make the first move. Maybe someday this will change.
To be approached by a woman makes us men feel great. It adds to our self-confidence, and it’s extra awesome to be super confident when you’re PUMPING SERIOUS IRON AND SHOCKING THOSE ABS. So maybe a gym is an excellent place to hit on a dude.
Before I go any further, I say that you must be aware that if your advances fail, which is sadly always a possibility, be ready to either deal with the awkward feeling you’ll get every time you see him hence, or be prepared to join another gym.
You can approach this a number of ways:
1. Simply walk up to him and start talking about something. Doesn’t really even matter what it is. Could be the weather, or how crazy it is that some people have the gall not to wipe machines down with antibacterial wipes immediately following use. Once you randomly walk up to a guy in a gym, he should be able to discern that you’re attracted to him, at which point he will attempt to speak knowledgeably about the topic proffered in an effort to impress you and prove his worth, despite potentially having not a clue what in the hell you’re talking about. If he seems receptive to your dialogue, ask him if he’d like to hang out sometime. (Extra points if you say “Maybe sometime we can ditch the barbells and head to a…bar!”)
2. Write your name and number on a piece of paper. When he’s between sets or taking a break, tell him that you don’t really ever do this, and you feel kind of weird about it, and you’re sorry if you’re interrupting his concentration during SWELLING SEASON, but you were hoping that maybe he would like to hang out outside the gym sometime. Hand him the contact information. Tell him to give you a buzz. It’s a great way to put the ball in his court. (A girl did this to me at my local YMCA in seventh grade and I still try to make out with her every time I visit home.)
3. When you are working on machines near to one another, ask him if you can cop a spot. I suggest doing so while you’re squatting or benching, so he can get a quick peak at DAT ASS or THEM THANGS, which is never going to hurt your cause. This is a nice approach, because it’s a conversation starter that gives off the impression that you made initial contact with him under fitness-related pretenses.
4. Ask him if he wants to help you stretch when he’s done with his workout. Take it from there.
Good luck! Wear yoga pants!
photo credit: John Drysdale, Hulton Archive