How to REALLY Talk to a Woman When She’s Wearing Headphones

We dissect the now-infamous pick-up artist Dan Bacon's guide to talking to a woman wearing headphones.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro
Image Credit: Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

This week a blog post by self-proclaimed “dating and relationship expert” Dan Bacon went viral, with his missive on how to firmly irritate nearby women – titled ‘How to Talk to a Woman Wearing Headphones‘ – being roundly mocked by those who probably won’t be signing up for a membership to his ‘The Secret to Success With Women’ program any time soon. With that being said, let’s take a look at where Dan went wrong.

Dan – whose Twitter cover panel is a series of photos of him standing in the same club as a woman’s headless torso, wearing a t-shirt so patently awful it could be regarded as a hate crime towards fashion – doesn’t believe in the concept of personal space, instead encouraging his desperate readers to interrupt a woman’s moment of respite for the sake of another meaningless interaction with a sex-deprived pedestrian. 

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Dan begins his advice by encouraging his readers to stand “with 1 – 1.5 meters” between themselves and the headphone-wearing subjects of their affection, a pretty specific measurement and one that he fails to justify. What happens if you dare to stand 2 meters away from the woman? Does a 2.5 meter distance render you practically invisible? I have to imagine that Dan had to enforce this 1 – 1.5 meters rule because he’s fully aware that his readers are the kind of men who would stand nose-to-nose with a woman if they weren’t told otherwise. Dan’s next piece of advice to his readers is to have a “relaxed, easy-going smile,” which really betrays the personality of a man who would actively measure the distance between himself and a woman before trying to obtain her phone number.

Dan continues: “Then, do what we call “Acknowledging the Awkwardness” by quickly mentioning something about the awkwardness of the moment, to demonstrate you understand that approaching a woman in this way isn’t the most common of experiences for either party.” I’d personally recommend that you “Acknowledge the Awkwardness” by pointing out how prior to this conversation you’d read an article titled ‘How to Talk to a Woman When She’s Wearing Headphones,’ because you’re so bereft of human contact that you feel compelled to infiltrate every waking moment of every attractive woman in your vicinity, in the hopes that at least one of them will mistake your desperation for confidence. 

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Dan Bacon’s worst nightmare – a woman listening to music without being accosted a stranger. (Image Credit: Corey Jenkins / Getty Images)

But despite these initial game-changing pieces of advice from Dan, his guide eventually begins to fall apart when it comes to actually talking to the woman after she’s removed her headphones from her head. Predicting the conversation that will ensue, Dan writes:

You: [Smile in a friendly, confident manner] Hey – I know it’s not normal for people to talk to someone with headphones in, but I was walking along and saw you and thought – wow, she’s a cutie, I have to say hi. I’m Dan, what’s your name?

Woman: [Usually flattered by the compliment and impressed by your confidence to approach her like that] Jessica.

You: [Add in some humor] Cool…nice to meet you Jessica. I don’t normally talk to girls with headphones, but your big green headphones were just calling out to me.

Woman: [Most likely laughing, smiling and enjoying the interaction].

You: [Let her know that you have something to do/somewhere to go, so she understands that you’re not going to stand there talking to her for 30 minutes] Anyway, so I’m just out doing a bit of shopping at the moment. I’m on my way to a store up the street. How’s your day going so far?

Then keep the conversation going, get her phone number or transition to her joining you for a coffee or juice.

Now I’m not cut from the same dating and relationship expert cloth our Dan is here, but I’d wager that if I’d decided to spend some time compiling a guide to attracting women while they’re wearing headphones, I’d have put a little more effort into outlining the scenario that should take place after the woman removes said headphones from her head. Dan’s insistence that she would be “most likely laughing, smiling and enjoying the interaction” after your half-hearted quip about her headphones being big and green goes against everything we know about people who listen to music while in public – most importantly that they don’t want to be bothered by a guy standing a meter away from them, forcing painful conversation about their audio devices.

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Dan Bacon, photographed here using a woman as a human shield. (Image Credit: Twitter / Dan Bacon)

Dan has also missed out a sizable part of this interaction, summarizing it with “keep the conversation going, get her phone number.” Now I wasn’t personally planning on following Dan’s advice because a) I’m in a relationship and b) my self-esteem issues aren’t that pervasive, but for those who do trust his opinions then surely they’re going to need more advice than simply “keep the conversation going.” Though Dan may believe that talking about her “big green headphones” is the perfect conversation starter, there’s very little room for this particular exchange to continue beyond this initial statement. Do you keep the conversation limited to headphones? Do you ask her what brand they are, like you’re some kind of horny tech enthusiast? Perhaps I’m being naive, but I’d suggest that the conversation following you complimenting the size of her headphones would require the most forethought – I’m not sure what kind of advice Dan Bacon gives out in his membership program, but judging from this guide I imagine he sends out a monthly newsletter to his subscribers solely consisting of the words “just wing it, mate, you’ll be alright” accompanied by a thumbs up emoji.

Perhaps the most insightful part of Dan Bacon’s guide, though, is his claim that “some women like to test guys to see how confident they really are,” with him adding: “A favorite test of women, is to ignore a guy’s attempts to converse with her and see what he will do next.” No, Dan: this is called rejection. Whenever women ignore you, they aren’t putting you through some kind of rigorous training exercise; they’re actually just trying to indicate to you that they don’t want to talk with you. There should be no greater sign that someone is disinterested you than them pretending you don’t exist, yet here’s Dan Bacon trying to convince his beleaguered readers that these women are just playing the long game. A game so long, in fact, that they’re actively pretending you’re invisible just so they don’t have to talk to you.

So given that Dan’s advice is uniformly terrible, what is some good advice to those looking to specifically attract women wearing headphones? The short answer is, you don’t. If you want to go out and put an end to your crippling loneliness, try gunning for the women who aren’t clearly disinterested in social interaction on that particular day. To add to this, if you find yourself trying to sleep with that many women on a regular basis that headphones have become a legitimate hurdle for you in the dating process, consider toning it down a little bit. Or, at the very least, don’t take dating advice from a man who’s named after breakfast.