Alexander Black/Newsroom Technology Manager Guys make some common mistakes that can ruin their chances with a girl. Learn how to avoid these blunders.

It’s a typical Friday night: You’ve picked out your newest button-down (and ironed it only after making sure your friends can’t remember the last time you wore it), made sure your biceps are looking extra manly and sprayed your cologne just enough times that you can still breathe. You’re ready for Downtown.

It can be difficult for a guy to pick up a girl, especially when she’s surrounded by a bunch of her friends who seem intent on keeping you away. If you come across the rare instance of the lone female, back up for a second.

There’s a reason why you’ve been going home alone for the past few weeks. Maybe you lack aggressiveness, maybe you’re trying too hard or maybe you’ve developed a reputation that makes girls want to stay away.

Here are some mistakes you may be making, how badly they’ve been hurting you and how to fix them:

1. The girly boy

Like it or not, there’s a standard image of what the perfect guy should be — tall, attractive and assertive. That’s not to say you won’t find love if you’re not 6 feet tall and a Johnny Depp look-alike, but you can let ladies slip away by being too passive.

A woman, particularly one who knows what she wants, needs to be sure that the man she’s interested in knows what he wants — especially if it’s her. If you don’t let her know you’re into her she’ll move on, no matter how much she likes you.

Start out with something subtle, like asking her to study together. If she rejects you, it’ll be a lot less of an ego blow (and a lot less of a blow to your wallet) than flat-out asking her on a date to Grande’s.

2. The free bartender

A guy whose immediate tactic to attract a girl is to buy her a drink is setting himself up for disaster. You might as well save yourself the trouble by just handing her the money and walking away.

Girls know that a desperate guy will be more than willing to buy them a drink and will use it to their advantage. How many times have you found yourself $10 later, waiting at the bar for the girl who said she’d be right back after you got her a beer?

Save your cash for when you’re sure she’s not just using you for a free drink. For the record, we’d prefer you pay for our cab ride.

3. That guy

There’s always that one guy who you’re so thankful isn’t you. He’s either trying (and failing) to dance with every girl in sight or sitting on a stool with his head on the bar. Save the embarrassment for your friends who won’t judge you.

If you’re too wasted to stand up straight or hold a normal conversation, you don’t stand a chance. No girl wants to end her night carrying a drunken guy to his room. Try dancing without pounding massive amounts of shots first. You’ll find you’re probably not only a much more prospective candidate, but a much better dancer too.

Next time you’re Downtown and trying to make a move, think wisely. If you’re interested, let her know, but make sure to play your cards right or you’ll end up broke and alone. Because even though we love the attention, we also love a good amaretto sour. And they taste so much better when they’re free.