The art of approaching: What is it? Men are logical human beings, but all too often kill their own game with major oversights. Your flirting fortune is determined as much by what you don’t do, as it is by what you do.

Before contact, women key in on all of your signals—body language, tonality and eye contact. While your actions speak louder than your words, once you’ve earned receipt of her ‘OK’ to approach, it’s time to turn the charm on.

But if you haven’t had much luck luring the ladies, you might want to consider reevaluating your seduction strategies. Here’s what you really shouldn’t be doing.

Planning a date and following through is key. But following through on a date to which you were never invited is not.

Stop overly bad-mouthing her ex.
If she and her ex broke up with bad vibes and she either vents to you regularly or pulls the baggage card, you’re warranted an ill-bred comment or two. But overly bad-mouthing her ex treads a thin line that divides taking her side and coming off as condescending. He was, at one point, a part of her life—a decision she once made. Constantly harping on former flings could seem like you’re shaming her past decisions or doubting her logic, intuition or ability to make positive choices for herself. Upward and onward. They likely broke up with reason, and she likely wants to focus on you.

Don’t hit on her friends, or even joke about it.
This age-old technique is quite possibly the worst idea ever. Sure, she might cling to you for your attention, and she might want what she thinks she can’t have, but you’re doing nothing but ruining her self-confidence and turning yourself into the game—and games always come to an end. And you will lose. She might seek validation from you, because she’s human, but once you give it to her, she’ll be on to the next one. No woman wants to feel like somebody’s second choice.

There’s a cap on how much you should boast your own qualities.
There’s a fine difference between confidence and cockiness: One is wildly attractive and the other is vomit-inducing. Being proud of your career is one thing; bragging about your six-digit salary is another. Being proud of what’s in your pants is one thing; not being able to walk the walk is another. Women don’t appreciate when you only talk about yourselves for two reasons: It’s disrespectful to forgo two-sided, genuine conversation to instead expend your energy on marketing yourself without getting to know the person to whom you’re pitching. And it sounds like you’re trying to convince yourself, too, that you’re really that great. In doing so, you convince her that you really aren’t. Don’t talk about how much money you make, just pick up the bill and she’ll acknowledge it.

Inviting yourself is never a good idea.
Planning a date and following through is key. But following through on a date to which you were never invited is not. If she has her own plans to go shopping after work, grab drinks with her girlfriends, head down the shore or spend a weekend with her family, and she didn’t ask you to come along, it’s because she doesn’t want you there. If she wanted you there, she’d simply invite you. Inviting yourself, however much you’re dying to spend time with her, is not endearing; it’s overwhelming.

If you fail to compliment her the right way, you fail.
The best way to compliment a woman is by noting her intelligence, her humor or something about her appearance that does not come naturally to her. In other words, to compliment a dress she chose to wear has deeper implications than complimenting her eye color. You’re essentially letting her know that you like her sense of style, and she put effort in that so she’ll appreciate it. Likewise, complimenting her intelligence or humor resonates well, as she has likely worked for her success or prides herself on being funny. Find her sources of pride and talk about them.

Join thousands of men and women who are dressing up for a good cause. Go formal with Made Man and Career Gear on Friday, October 9th to help empower men in need with resources, training and suits they can use to rejoin the workforce. Because for every photo posted to Instagram or Twitter and tagged #FormalFriday, we’ll donate a dollar to Career Gear. Learn more at mademan.com/formal-friday.