imageContributing blogger Mike Alvear is an Atlanta-based columnist, author and TV personality who rants on sex, dating and pop culture while living at the corner of urge and merge. Find more from him at his blog.

You see him in the corner. Pure Shagability. Before you bust a move, know that he’s going to ask himself two things when you get there.

1. Are you hitting on me? 

If he likes you, you’re in. Stop reading. Go home. Enjoy him.

If he’s not sure or he’s not immediately attracted, you better give him a reason for talking or your going to get your approach stamped, “REQUEST DENIED!” So say something like, “Help me settle a bet with a friend…” or “I’m asking you because…” The point is to give him context.

You can always try the direct route—“because I want to bend you over the railing and pound the dust out of your rug.” But really, if it were that easy you wouldn’t need to read this post.

2. How long are you going to be?

If he’s not immediately attracted to you, he’ll spend the whole time trying to get rid of you. So, use a “Time Constraint”—something that lets him know he’s a pit stop, not a landing spot. Like, “I have to get back to my friend in a sec, but I have to ask you…”

Pair it with symmetrical body language—leaning away, or taking a couple of steps away as you’re talking. When it comes to dating or hooking up, the shortest distance between two zippers isn’t always a straight line.

By giving him 1) a rationale for talking and 2) leaving quickly, you’ve set up an exquisite question in your future ex-husband’s mind–“Was that guy interested or just being friendly?” That’s exactly where you want him: Wondering. Because wondering will make him more receptive to your company when you come back–and you will, giving you the opportunity to charm the pants off him.

And inch him closer to that railing.

Subscribe to our weekly e-blast, tweet with us on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook and view our videos on YouTube.