Please don’t take Dan Bacon’s advice and leave me alone when I’m wearing headphones


I’ve never been antisocial. I’m certainly not considered an introvert. I’m also (generally) not rude. But we all have moments (or days or weeks) when we just want to keep to ourselves.

Whenever I want to keep interactions short or eliminate the opportunity for conversation – whether it’s with my Uber driver, my barista or my coworker, I wear headphones. Full disclosure, I don’t even have music on my phone (I’m still an iPod enthusiast) – in these instances I put the headphones on specifically to be left alone. Generally speaking, people get it, and respect my wishes – proving that this is universally understood to be the sign for,“Please leave me alone.”

Or, at least I thought it was universal. There seems to be one person in particular who didn’t get that memo. His name is Dan Bacon and he’s a self-proclaimed dating coach out of Australia who is making waves (and a ton of memes) for an article he posted on his website called, “How to talk to a woman wearing headphones.” Like most, when I saw the headline lighting up my Twitter feed, I thought, “This has to be a joke, a parody, a punchline.” Guess again. This guy is for real and this article is absurd.

This piece of journalistic brilliance gives single men, looking to find a woman, a literal step by step guide for navigating this situation. Have a read for yourself:

1. Stand in front of her (with 1 to 1.5 meters between you).

2. Have a confident, easy-going smile.

3. If she hasn’t already looked up at you, simply get her attention with a wave of your hand. Wave your hand in her direct line of vision so she can see it and say, “Hey, how’s it going?” She most likely won’t hear you say that, but it’s just a way of showing her that you’re trying to talk to her.

4. When she looks at you and gives you her attention, smile, point to her headphones and confidently ask, “Can you take off your headphones for a minute?” as you pretend to be taking headphones off your head, so she fully understands what you mean.

This is just one of many nuggets of genius advice that is woven through the article. Sarcasm aside, after reading it in its entirety I had a few puzzling questions. 1) Who are the poor souls who actually take this seriously? 2) Doesn’t the author have a mother, sister or friend who can educate him on the ABCs of respecting women. And 3) why hasn’t Bacon written a follow-up piece titled, “How to deal with getting multiple restraining orders”?

Countless rebuttals are circulating, informing Dan, and anyone else who might be confused on the issue, about how wrong not just the article is but the entire premise is in itself. The consensus among most women, and socially intelligent human beings in general is: How do you talk to a woman wearing headphones? YOU DON’T! If a woman is wearing headphones, she wants to be left alone. In my opinion, if you have to wave in front of a woman’s eye line to get her attention, the only thing you should be telling her is her shoelace is untied.

Bacon’s misguided and archaic perspective is that all women are just waiting around for a man to take initiative and strike up a conversation so she can fall hopelessly in love – or in bed – with him. In his words:

Of course, not all women are open to being approached because not all women are single and looking.

However, if a woman wearing headphones is single and hoping to meet a boyfriend (or even a new lover), she will usually be happy to take off her headphones to give you an opportunity to create a spark with her.

OK, so the only way a women is not open to being approached is if she is not single? WRONG! FYI: Just because a woman is single does not mean that she is a free-for-all pick up target. Just because a woman is single does not mean that she wants to interact with a creepy guy who lacks social awareness, acts like an entitled sexist pig and takes advice from a dating coach. End of story.

All this is not to say that there is never a time when a man and a woman can strike up a conversation and hit it off. In fact, it happens all the time and let’s be honest, it’s the dream to be able to meet in an organic, spontaneous kind of way. But, these interactions must take place in a mutual, respectful and natural manner. There have to be cues on both sides that indicate there’s interest in conversing. I can’t believe I even have to highlight these very basic rules of engagement. But, alas, here we are. #SMH

Dan Bacon –- if you’re reading -– remember, women have standards, minds of their own and are not waiting for your weirdo clients to come wave a hand in their face so they can be saved from the agony of being single. I’m not a dating expert nor am I a career expert, but in my humble opinion you either need to consult with a female friend on all relationship advice moving forward, or it might be time to look for a new career.

Let us know what you think by tweeting @YahooStyleCA.