First things first, fellas: do not be the annoying jerk getting in the way of someone else’s lifting routine. When you’re at the gym, your first priority should always be focusing on the workout. If the primary focus for you while you’re at the gym is socializing or flirting with girls, then you’re the guy that everyone there hates and wants to leave. That guy never picks up women. That guy doesn’t even get a second glance from the smoking hot cougar doing high-rep pec flies a few feet away. Dang! Do you see her?
Alright, you found a hot older woman that you really want to make a move on, but you know that hitting on women at the gym is notoriously difficult to pull off successfully. Flirting in this scenario is all about knowing what you’re looking at. Some women have zero interest in any attention and just want to focus. Some women seem to want nothing but attention and spend the entire time taking selfies in front of the mirror right in front of the 35lb dumbbells that you need. Every time. Most of the time, though, women are somewhere in between those two extremes. All you need to do is gauge where she’s at on the spectrum, get her attention and turn on the charm, not be annoying or in the way, and try to get her to see you again without being creepy. Okay, it seems complicated, but cougars are fantastically direct which makes it a little easier. Let’s take it one step at a time.
1. Make sure she even wants the attention
With the exception of the annoying girls who dress in as few clothes as possible to get attention, women at the gym are not there to be ogled and hit on. Few welcome it. This is especially true for cougars who put in a ton of work to look as great as they do. So, before you even walk up to her, observe a few things: Is she wearing headphones? (See The Best Gym Headphones Here) Is she avidly avoiding eye contact with everyone? Then she might as well be holding up a giant sign that says, “GET LOST.” If you aren’t sure whether the cougar in your sights would be willing to chat with you, try catching her eye and smiling at her and see if she returns the favor (without being creepy, of course). If she returns the favor, then permission to approach. If she doesn’t, then try again some other day.
2. Play some catch and release
The thing about picking up a cougar at the gym instead of your local watering hole is that time is not on your side. Straddling a machine or holding weights makes lengthy conversations difficult and annoying to maintain. A good strategy to get around this, however, is to engage her in some conversation and give her a taste of your charm. After a minute, give her a “I should get back to it, but I’ll see you around” with your best smile and get back to your workout. The important thing here is to stay close or walk by her often and give her some long-distance charm. This way, you don’t let her forget about you and you don’t have to worry about sacrificing either of your workouts for the day.
3. Return and show interest in hanging out
The difference between going after a girl your age and a cougar is that a cougar has no time or interest in dicking around. She is likely to be more direct and will appreciate you doing the same. So, after being away from her for a little bit, come back again and, once again as charming as possible, tell her that you enjoyed your conversation and would like to talk more in a more suitable setting like dinner. Now, not all cougars are created equal. Some are looking to date around, and may take you up on dinner. Others are just looking for a quick hookup and may offer some more expedited plans, like grabbing a shower back at her place. Either way, if you’ve played your cards right, you should be able to seal the deal with very little time and effort and without ruining gym day for either of you.
A quick note on hitting on women at the gym, whether they’re young sorority girls or experienced cougars: your harmless flirting could easily appear to her as annoying harassment depending on whether she welcomes an advance while she is sweaty and in the zone. All flirting at the gym is best done with a very light touch. Don’t try too hard or seem desperate, focus on your workout, and let her focus on hers. If you have some sense, then you should catch a cougar in no time!