A Guide To Successfully Sliding In The DMs
Men don't get enough credit for the courage it takes to approach women, especially in a world where we have been known to clown the hell out of them depending on their approach. But as someone who has tried to approach the opposite sex, I can attest to the fact that you tend to say thoughtless or weird shit when you're under the type of anxiety-inducing pressure that comes with making the first move.
However, as we continue to create a new world order — a world that consists of the direct message approach — it's not so uncommon for women to shoot their shot. There's no question that women are shooting their shot, only question is are they setting themselves up for a nice little "oop" or just traveling with zero direction?
Well. Not only did we get some expert-approved tips on sliding in the DMs, and, we even have some stories from ladies who have successfully approached the sex of their choice. And by successful, we mean anything that made it outside of the DMs — from casual sex to sending out wedding announcements.
If you're anything like me, you may have wondered or even feared that approaching men might be a turn-off. But two things to consider are this: 1) is a man who is turned off the right one for you, and 2) some men might find being approached a relief. Shadeen Francis, licensed sex and relationship therapist points out, "many men worry about unintentionally seeming aggressive or abusive," as they should be.
As I said before, I have grown to have hella respect for the guts men have to have when they are interested and must be the first to pursue a woman. In addition to the pressure to not seem aggressive, Francis makes note of "social pressure put on men to initiate conversation." She expounded, "From the stereotype of the smooth R&B 'excuse me miss' to the confident 'let me holla at you for a second', there is the expectation that men who are interested in someone will know what to say and how to say it. They are taught to 'make' others want them."
By making the first move, "It can feel like a nice change of pace for men to be approached…It takes less vulnerability, and can make them feel desired."
Men have been doing this since the dawn of time, before the comfortability of the DMs. Meaning, there's a lot to be learned from them, because why fix what's broken? Eh. This is not to say the system isn't flawed. However, being a student of life means we're also learning from the failures that are interesting gone bad, i.e. catcalling and street harassment. Francis advised, "Do not assume that just because you are a catch, that others need to be interested or available. If someone does not engage, the response is not to be persistent or to fight for it, but to leave room for the other person to choose whether or not to participate. Only a non-coerced yes is a yes, and as always, no means no."
Now that we've covered consent and amped you up Flava-Flav-style...how do we seductively lace it all together and execute? Well it's actually quite simple — be direct! Far too often, myself and other women swear that men can read minds or receive bat signals. We will do everything except be direct, from liking several pictures or commenting on every Insta story to convey interest. Francis says it's best to be clear. Rather than giving nothing but weird indirect vibes, Francis recommends that you "start your engagement on their page with intention."
Ask yourself, "What about them is interesting or attractive to you? Maybe you like their thoughtful captions, or the mission of organization they promote, or their calf muscles. Engage (like, comment, interact in the stories) only with the content that demonstrates that, and then follow up in their DMs. Good conversation makes people feel interesting and it gives them something clear to respond to. That could be a question, or a call-to-action."
Francis suggests using the following formula for crafting your message with intention:
- A greeting
Hey, hi there, etc.
- A compliment
You have great calf muscles, you must train a lot
- An invitation
I'd love to know more about you, hit me up if you're down to talk.
In fact, the formula can be found throughout the stories of these 5 ladies who slid in the DMs oh-so-successfully:
"I was very nervous. He was someone I had seen around in high school and even then we hadn't really spoken besides the passing 'Hi,' so I was worried I would look like a ridiculous stalker. But, besides that I figured what was the worst that could happen? I hadn't ever slid into his or anyone else's DMs before that. I had the hope that if someone wanted to speak to me they would, so to slide in his DMs and take that first step was a ballsy move on my part.
"I started out with something like, 'Hey, I don't know if you remember me from high school, but you are handsome as ever.' To which he said something along the lines of, 'Thank you beautiful, how have you been?' And that conversation lasted for a couple days until he finally asked for my number. It still amazes me to this day that one bold move that I decided to make has led to a thriving, happy, five-year long relationship. This man really is my best friend and if I hadn't mustered up the courage, I could have missed out on my blessing!"
"I was on this HBCU site and they shouted him out for paying off his student loans and I was like, 'WOW, he's kinda cute.' He was tagged, so I went to his page and I was like, 'Oh my God, I think he's cute.' So, I just sent him a message. I don't remember what the message was but we just started flirting back and forth. He was in the DC area, so I told him I'd be home in a few weeks and we set up a date. For our first date, he picked me up from our parents' house and he took me to The Cheesecake Factory and then he took me to smoke hookah and have a drink. I made him wait to have sex with me, maybe one and half, two years and I was so, so disappointed."
"When Brian and I first met, I was nervous a bit. Sure, we bonded over tacos (I'm indecisive, so I swooned when he said, 'just get one of everything!') but I was mainly nervous because it felt different to me. When we parted ways, and I came back to LA, all I could think about was seeing him again. He had never dated anyone long-distance and saw it as a challenge. I, on the other hand, had dated long-distance. I also knew if the person was worth it, you'd work for it. Besides, Phoenix and LA are not too far apart.
"I kept sending him DMs, which were pretty dry. The conversation wouldn't carry on far beyond the usual, 'How was your day?' So, in a last attempt, I decided to invite him to Las Vegas for the 4th of July. If there's anywhere that can help you take the edge off and get to know a stranger, while being surrounded by strangers – it's Vegas! I was already going with a couple of my girlfriends, so I asked if he'd like to get some friends and meet us. When we met up, all of our friends left us (not together) and he and I gallivanted all throughout Vegas together. We stayed up so late walking around casinos, laughing and talking that we got brunch the next morning.
"His response to me reaching out was receptive, but in a way he surprised himself as well. He normally wouldn't have gone to Vegas, but he took a chance. After Vegas, we both felt something was there and were curious. I'm very spontaneous, so the next month I invited him to Cabo! He didn't have a passport, so he had to rush to order a passport. He thought it was crazy, but he liked the connection and thrill as much as I did.
"I had never slid into anyone's DMs before and I never made the first move. Typically, if a guy doesn't prove that he is interested, I move on. I stepped out of my comfort zone and followed my heart with him, and I'm beyond glad that I did because I knew something was different about him. Now we have been together for 4.5 years!"
"My mom always says 'closed mouths don't get fed.' So, I'm a strong advocate for going after what you want in life (career, love, personally) ALWAYS! Sliding into someone's DMs can be nerve-wracking, but it can work out, especially if you are clear with what you want (and honest with yourself) and set your intentions.'"
"Slid in...met them and we went on a date (my treat) that weekend. It felt powerful for me. I knew what I wanted and I went for it. I was a little nervous before he responded -- worried that he would think I was too aggressive, but it worked out--he was flattered that I made the first move. Shortly after, we got into a relationship. It turned out OK. He was great with my son. I wish more women would go for it. The stigma should be gone, and women should be able to go for whatever they want without it being taboo."
"Just do it. The worst they can say is 'no'. And most men won't say 'no' if they are available. Shoot, some will still entertain even if they aren't 100% available. I've done it twice. Once many years ago, and the other was about a year ago. The last time worked in my favor, but we aren't talking anymore -- just weren't compatible."
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Featured image by Shutterstock
Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
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Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood. We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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