Today’s Great Dating Debate: Do Women in Headphones Want Men to Talk to Them?
When I’m brunching with friends on Sunday morning, dating is a topic that is consistently discussed. How much it sucks and how sometimes it doesn’t. How frustrating the apps are. One of the top complaints: How increasingly rare it is to be approached by a cute, potential partner IRL. Contrary to what Carrie Bradshaw’s single girl experience may lead you to believe, you don’t often get hit on in the subway by someone like Aiden. Approached by a dude who can’t take no for an answer? Sure. A buff vet who saves puppies lives on the reg? Yeah, not so much.
But here’s the thing: If we as woman are open to that rare Prince Charming courting us on the carriage — er, bus — home, are we crushing our chances by slipping on headphones and jamming out to Frank Ocean’s new album? The Twitter universe is currently debating this question.
The debate all started when a user posted this snapshot of an article from The Modern Man. The article was posted back in 2013, but the topic is still as relevant today as it was back then. Throughout the article, the author offers up some ~questionable~ advice on how to approach a woman wearing headphones. A few first steps include: standing in front of her for a minute and having a confident smile. Then the author advises that, once you get her attention, ask her, “Can you take off your headphones for a minute?” while miming taking headphones off your head.
The user who snapshotted the post was unimpressed and answered the “How to Talk to a Woman Wearing Headphones” headline with a blunt, “You don’t.” Her tweet has since been retweeted and favorited thousands of times. Naturally, the Twitterverse really went in on the topic, with almost everyone siding with her.
Why stop at headphones? How to talk to a woman: in a restroom, an ambulance, or while she's on a date with someone else. Go next level
— Brian DeMars (@BrianDeMars1) August 30, 2016
I got a woman in headphones to talk to me once. She was working in the call centre. Neither of us actually wanted the interaction to occur
— Dean Burnett (@garwboy) August 30, 2016
Common mistakes guys make when approaching a woman in headphones:
APPROACHING A WOMAN IN HEADPHONES
— A Lady Bear (@bear_faced_lady) August 30, 2016
But is a pair of headphones really as sure a sign of unavailability as a wedding ring? As a single woman who wears headphones often while around town, I would say it’s something you take on a case by case basis. Do I enjoy listening to Ira Glass or Spotify on my ride to or from work? Sure. Would I also be up for chatting with a vet who saves puppies lives if he was sat next to me? You can put me down as a firm yes on that. Maybe don’t approach me in the way The Modern Man suggests, though. Standing in front of me and smiling may give off more of a creepy than interested vibe. But do it in a way that seems a little more natural and sure, I’ll pause Mr. Glass’ smooth storytelling capabilities for you. But am I alone in this thinking? I decided to take a poll around the B+C office (which is primarily made up of millennial women) to find out what others thought.
Of the 10 ladies I asked, all of them told me wearing headphones is almost always a sure sign that they do NOT want to be approached. However, 90 percent of them said that if they see someone they’re potentially interested in while on a bus or walking around, they would make a point to take either both or one ear bud out to show they’re up for being approached and talked to.
But when all is said and done, this whole debate isn’t really about whether women are up for being hit on or not. When it comes down to it, this is about respecting women’s privacy and boundaries. The ladies of the Twitterverse (and Brit + Co HQ) have spoken, and they all seem to agree that headphones are a pretty clear sign they would like to be left alone. Frank Ocean, Ira Glass or whoever is blasting out of their ear buds is currently priority, and unless they VERY obviously signal otherwise, please be respectful of that.
Where do you stand on this debate? Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.