Take it from a real woman (or several).

Women are enigmatic, especially Indian women. They always have been. You can never tell what they want because it is true: they don’t entirely know what they want at all times. But that has never stopped dudes from colossally failing at asking them out because well, both parties need to get laid, no shame.

Stalking them IRL, leaving a hundred “likes” on their Instagram in one sitting, trying to get them to grind against you at a bar, and other idiotic strategies are hardly legit ways of actually getting a woman to notice you in the non-murderous way. So instead of asking guys about what works best when approaching a woman in a public setting and getting half-assed solutions (buying her a drink without talking to her first doesn’t work because it’s creepy), going straight to the person in the position of being asked out is a better way of really digging into the psyche of potential lady friend(s).

Chandni* (23) from the focus group declared that if she’s hanging out at a bar, she’s there to drink, not to date, jokingly. But on a serious note, what works for her is more unsaid than a huge gesture, indicating that she likes a little mystery. It’s a tricky card to play but it doesn’t hurt to try. Who knows, maybe the girl would be the first one to ask you out.

Shrutika* (25), on the other hand, would like men to be direct and without playing too many games. “Be nice and we’ll be nice back to you in more than one way, if you catch my drift,” she said.

Yasmin* (27) was asked the same question: what is the best way a guy can ask a woman out? She said out loud, “LOL, maybe just do it? Who the fuck cares? Stop playing games and be cute na!”

Although not a woman himself, women will agree with comedian Sanjay Manaktala who advises Indian men to “man the hell up”. “Life is full of asking for things, whether you’re asking your boss for a promotion or asking for permission from your parents to choose a different career,” he says. Solid words to live by.

So there you have it, or at least some of it. There are always other fish in the sea if things don’t play out the way you intended it to. Best of luck.