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Shot down again? Listen, Goose, it happens to the best of us. But if it's happening to you more often than not, then maybe you need some work on your approach so you'll stop being forced to take an early departure.

When I was doing research for my book, "The Art of War for Dating," one of the things I found was that most of the time when a guy ends up getting rejected, it's not because the woman wasn't interested in him, but it was because of how he approached her. She was rejecting the approach... not the guy.

So if you want to win a few battles of your own, and take home a few trophies instead of Purple Hearts, avoid making these common mistakes when approaching a woman.

Common Approach Mistake #1: Not understanding why she's there

One of Sun Tzu's most famous quotes in his classic book of military strategy, "The Art of War," is: "If you know your enemy and you know yourself, you shall not fear the outcome of 100 battles." So quick question to see how well you know her and know yourself: Why do most guys go out to bars with their buddies? Right, to look for women and try to hook up. Now, why do most women go out to bars with their girlfriends? Not to meet guys and hook up, but first and foremost, to have a good time.

See the problem? She's looking for fun and excitement, and you're interrupting that with your pick up attempt that she sees as an invasion of her good time. And when choosing between fun with her friends and some guy's lame attempt at a pick up, she'll choose fun. So instead of trying to hit on her, let her know immediately that you not only want in on the fun, but you're there to add to her good time.

Common Approach Mistake #2: Falling victim to The Panhandler Syndrome

Ever have a panhandler ask you for spare change? If that happens once in a while, most of us are willing to dig into our pockets and provide the downtrodden with some coins to get them something to eat. But if that were to happen five, 10, 15 or even 20 times a day? Every day? By the time that fifth or sixth guy walked up, he would barely get out, "Pardon me, sir, but could you..." before you gave him an abrupt "I don't have any friggin' change!" and walked away.

It's the same with women. You think you're the first guy to hit on her today? According to one study, an attractive woman can be subjected to dozens of pick up attempts, come ons, sexual innuendo and outright ogling every single day. So by the time you see her in the bar that night, and you hit her with your common, boring or obvious pick up line, she sees you as just another panhandler that day, begging for a date.

Instead, be unique. Be interesting. Get her to want to talk to you, and you won't be seen as a guy with a sign that reads, "Will buy you drinks for conversation." And that brings us to number 3....

Common Approach Mistake #3: Buying her a drink

Ever hear a "pick up artist" (or even your buddy) say that you should never buy a woman a drink? It's one of those popular I-know-what-to-do-to-get-a-woman pieces of advice guys throw around to sound like they have game.

The truth is, they're right. You should never buy a woman a drink. And in my book I go into detail about the pitfalls of paying for her Cosmotinis. But here's the condensed version:

1 – Saying "Can I buy you a drink?" or sending one over, then nodding and smiling, isn't clever, unique, exciting, entertaining, or anything else that a woman looks for. She's heard it before, and if you approach the same way as every other boring, uninteresting guy she has shot down, you're gonna get shot down too. Right after she finishes her drink.

2 – The minute you buy her a drink, you're no longer that interesting guy she wanted to meet and talk to; you instantly become "Just another guy trying to get into my pants." And that's not a good category to be in.

3 – This is the big one. This is the one women have told me is the reason that actually makes them hate when a guy sends over a drink: because now they feel obligated to talk to you. You expect a conversation because you have bought their time. And I don't have to tell you that when a woman feels she has to do something, as opposed to wanting to do something, you're in for a rough time.

Bottom line, there are at least those three reasons not to buy a woman a drink, and not too many on the positive side. Hedge your bets. Use a different approach.

Common Approach Mistake #4: Approaching her like a dude

Body language is something not a lot of us pay attention to, especially our own. Sure, we know what it means when someone has their arms crossed in front of them or when she absentmindedly plays with her hair, but did you know that just the way you walk up to a woman can trigger her defenses and put her off?

As guys, we're used to presenting ourselves as Alpha males. When we meet another guy, we walk up, shoulders squared, chest out, and look him in the eye. The problem is, that's also the way many of us walk up to a woman. And she sees it as a sign of aggression. Especially if you're 6'2" and used to play O-line in college, and she's barely 5 feet tall in her peep-toe pumps.

Instead, try walking up slower, and approach her from an angle, not straight on. Some guys even say they prefer to walk just past her, then turn their head and approach her from over their shoulder, turning towards her once a conversation has started, and she's more comfortable.

Common Approach Mistake #5: Failing her Shit Tests

All women will Shit Test you. That's when she's intentionally rude or bitchy just to see how you react. To see if you'll roll over and show your belly like a moodle (that's a man-poodle), or if you'll do whatever it takes to prove you're a Nice Guy. And we all know Nice Guys go home alone.

Some Shit Tests will come fast and hard: "I don't talk to strangers, and you're pretty strange..." and some will be more subtle: "Um, where'd you get that shirt?" But the object is always the same -- to see if you're man enough, quick enough, funny enough or have enough back bone, to warrant her spending any more time talking to you.

Ever wonder why Bad Boys always get the girl? Part of the reason is they don't fail Shit Tests. Because they don't really care what she thinks of the shirt they're wearing. And they're not afraid to tell her. If she's not okay with that, then screw her, they'll talk to someone else.

And what Nice Guys don't get is, that's the answer she wants. So instead of saying, "Yeah, I guess this shirt is kinda lame..." come back with something more like (in a mock horrified tone), "Are you serious?! This shirt is so in right now. Did you not get the latest issue of Retro Geek Chic Monthly? Wow, I can't talk to you anymore if you're not up on your fashion..." and you can go on from there, teasing her, adding humor, asking other people in the bar for their opinion... anything but rolling over and agreeing with her.

Sidestep these 5 landmines when you approach, and I guarantee your missions will be more successful. And in these battles, the victor truly gets the spoils.

For more great tips, pick up Eric's book, "The Art of War for Dating," and visit his website at

Check out our Get Real Guide for Men regularly for more tips for the everyman!