The first is personal safety. Women have a very different experience of being out in the world than men. Assessing and avoiding the threat of harassment and assault informs every move we make in public. We’ve learned that many men will interpret friendliness or smiling as an invitation to hit on us, and with some that quickly devolves into being insulted or threatened or even assaulted when we reject them. I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t experienced incidents like this MULTIPLE times. We are on edge, sir.
When a strange man approaches us in public, we are immediately looking for the exits. Look, you might be a genuinely good guy who would never dream of harassing a woman. But strange women out in public have no way of knowing that. We have to be wary of everyone.
The second reason is that women generally just want to go about their day without being hit on. We don’t go grocery shopping or to the gym or to our workplaces to find a date, these are spaces in which we’re just trying to live our lives. Far too often, we’re going about our day, and a man will come up, infringe on our personal space, act entitled to our time and attention, and get angry and insult us when we indicate we’d rather be alone. “I was just being friendly, you don’t have to be such a b*tch,” no sir, if you were friendly you’d be making small talk with people of all ages and genders, not just cornering young, attracting women. We see what you’re doing, and we’re tired of being hit on just because we’ve gone outside.
Approaching women in public is doomed because you have no way of knowing if they’re even single, let alone looking to meet someone. If you want to meet local women, you need to go to places where women are actively trying to meet someone, like, yes, a dating website or app. A singles event (try checking meetup.com for ones near you), a bar.