January 16, 2008 2:29 PM   Subscribe

whats the best way to go up to a girl in a club?
posted by kowboy to Society & Culture (33 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The best way to go up to anyone in a club is a way that respects them as a person, and shows you have confidence in your regardless of the outcome. My favorite? Versions of the following: "Hi! What's up?"
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:32 PM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

confidence in yourself
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:32 PM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

From behind. Don't forget to grind real hard.

Seriously though, Um... there is no best way, there are just ways. Just off the top of my head I would say perhaps with a compliment or a question. Just be yourself and don't act like a dick. No one can tell you a line that's going to magically work.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 2:35 PM on January 16, 2008 [4 favorites]

Have a conversation topic ready, rather than just "Hi, you're cute." Compliment what she's wearing (in a non-skeevy way), comment on the music, ask her what she's drinking, etc. A few minutes of chatting will put you both at ease, and will let you know more about her before you declare your intentions, if you still have them. A conversation about shared interests or environments is also much less likely to put a girl on the defensive than an outright come-on.
posted by Mr Bunnsy at 2:44 PM on January 16, 2008

Well, a good way to start is by saying:
"Hi my name is kowboy, what's yours?"
Then talk to her like she's a human being and maybe give her a nice compliment that isn't creepy or pervy. I am neither joking nor being sarcastic.
posted by ob at 2:48 PM on January 16, 2008

The title of this question strikes me as a bad sign!

1. Don't think of her as "a girl." Think of her as a person. You're going to go introduce yourself to a person and chat a bit. Try to chat in a normal and natural way about things that are vaguely interesting to you. Comment on the music. Ask her if she's been to another club in town and what she thinks of it. Try to strike up a normal, natural conversation. (Assuming you can do that over the din. I have no idea how people socialize in places where you can't converse.)

2. Lower the stakes. It may be that she has a boyfriend or is gay or is phobic of people with your hair color. That's not a big deal or a reflection on you. If she's not interested, it does not mean that you're a loser.
posted by craichead at 2:48 PM on January 16, 2008

"How you doin'?"
posted by Memo at 2:58 PM on January 16, 2008

I know that I would be flattered if anybody came up to me in a club and started chatting with me, but that's because no one ever has. Stories from my "hardened" girlfriends tell me they would react otherwise. Some of them actually prefer the...grinding real hard from behind technique, so it could earn you with a slap in the face or a hook-up. Something as simple as making conversation with them up at the bar is probably the easiest way to go. Although they probably won't be able to hear you over the music and may just nod politely. Each girl is different, obviously, so there is no best way. You just have to work out which way is best for you and that you are most confident with. Oh, and check they don't have an over-protective boyfriend lurking in the shadows.
posted by liquorice at 2:59 PM on January 16, 2008

Disclaimer: I'm not into the scene, but this is from my friends who are.

The best thing you can do is start a conversation about a neutral person/event/whatever there- "Did you see the crazy shirt on that guy?"/"Can you believe the girl who spiller her drink on those people?"

Your conversation will seem less forced and threatening, and more spontaneous.
posted by mkultra at 3:11 PM on January 16, 2008

If it's a loud music dance club, just dance with her, not too aggressively, then say "I'm getting a drink, do you want one?" Let her follow you so she doesn't have to worry about roofies. Then ask her name at the bar while you wait in line.
posted by herbaliser at 3:12 PM on January 16, 2008

You go to bars to drink.

You'll meet both kinds of people, girls and boys.

Make eye contact, don't frown, it makes you look like the guy no one picks in gym class.
posted by Max Power at 3:13 PM on January 16, 2008

"And I thought I was good looking."
posted by dobbs at 3:22 PM on January 16, 2008

The best way is to be good-looking. I could be wrong, but I don't think most people go to clubs in order to be charmed by scintillating conversation.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:30 PM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

The best thing you can do is start a conversation about a neutral person/event/whatever there- "Did you see the crazy shirt on that guy?"/"Can you believe the girl who spiller her drink on those people?"

I never understood this approach, because it seems so fake and contrived to me (a la Pick Up Artist's 'did you see that fight outside?'), not to mention you're basically starting the conversation with a lie (unless, I suppose, someone actually did spill their drink... but why would you care enough to talk to a stranger about it?)

In my experience, it's the NON verbal cues that are far more important. Chief among those are make eye contact and smile. Both of these things project confidence and she will register this subconsciously. Do not see rejection as a reflection on your own self worth. Take it in stride, and who knows... after she's had a couple more drinks she might come back to the guy who was cool enough to smile when she turned him down.

Don't overstay your welcome. If you're getting bad vibes, or she's not feeling it - get out of there and move on. Your image of confidence will quickly turn to one of desperation if you cling to a sinking ship. Make her feel like both of your time is valuable (not just yours, that's cocky -- and not just hers, that's desperation). Oh, and if you can, make her laugh. That works every time.
posted by rooftop secrets at 3:35 PM on January 16, 2008

I'll tell you what has worked for me: dancing. Women will even initiate contact if you're a decent dancer who doesn't seem to be on the make, and I say this as someone who tends to be "the old guy" at a club. Frankly there's not much more pathetic than going to a dance club and standing around people watching, so if this is what you're doing you should realize you're starting at the bottom.
posted by rhizome at 3:50 PM on January 16, 2008

Ok, just because it got mentioned already...

Watch the Pick Up Artist...and then do the exact opposite.

I'm speaking from personal experience.

I met some girlfriends for a weekend in Vegas recently, and we ended up in a club with Mystery, Matador, Kosmo and 25 "students." These guys were honestly the biggest tools I have ever met. They lied constantly (and got caught doing so repeatedly), they used the same stupid lines on all of us, and were basically just jerks all night.

And at the end of the night, out of the ~30 guys, I only saw *one* woman leave with any of them -- and she apparently knew Mystery already.

What worked for me that night? I had noticed a guy hovering on the dance floor. Eventually, he started dancing with me instead of around me, and said that he'd been trying to work his way over for a while but that it had been too crowded. I dunno -- maybe the honesty was just a refreshing change of pace for the night...
posted by natabat at 4:00 PM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

BTW, thanks natabat for confirming my suspicions about Mystery and the whole Pick Up Artist crew. I knew it wasn't particularly insightful of me to think that they're all bellends, but it's gratifying to have that confirmed by someone who witnessed their attempts face-to-face.
posted by ob at 4:11 PM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I can tell you what you certainly should never do. A guy approached me in a bar one night and asked the following question: "Would you like to have my abortion?"

WTF!?! Seriously! That's your best line? I told him I was already pregnant.
posted by AlliKat75 at 4:20 PM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Okay, I have never really successfully picked up a woman at a club or bar (I pretty much stuck to online personals so I could get to know the person better). And of course this is a moot issue for me since I am now more or less spoken for. But I do think that the advice I have for you will absolutely work
  1. I've noticed among some people with social difficulties that there's a tendency to stare, particularly at a woman who's pretty or has you know, features. This is a bad thing. Don't stare, and if you make eye contact give your eyes a little smile and then look away after a second. Don't hold the eye contact too long or look away all of a sudden, and don't avert your eyes or look down.
  2. Yeah, most pickup artists are lame but some of their tips, when used in moderation, are really useful. For example, the last thing you want to do is tell a beautiful girl that she is pretty. This will not be news to her and won't really do anything to further your chances unless you yourself are gorgeous. Instead, try wit or just normal conversation. Don't treat her like someone you desperately want to have sex with. One dating expert recommended you act like she is your sister or friend instead (i.e. be very casual, a bit playful, and tease a little).
  3. With your speech or communication (i.e. obvious hand signals, dancing) you should not be referring to your attraction to her. This should be indicated subtly by leaning in towards her, maybe putting a hand on a more public part of her first (her arm is a good place to start) and then if she responds well you can try to touch your knee if you're both seated and her back or shoulder if you are standing/dancing. These should be brief subtle touches but also firm and purposeful. You don't want her to feel like you're sneaking your way into touching her. This is creepy and oily
  4. Have an open facial expression. Slight smile (not too wide, i.e. say cheese wide. That will tend to make you look psychotic. More like Han Solo smirk). Eyes forward, looking around with interest, eyebrows slightly raised (there are some who swear by the whole one-raised-eyebrow thing ala the Rock but if you hold it you end up looking very odd indeed. It should be used as a response facial gesture only, not all the time. Do *not* use it to try to look mysterious).
  5. Someone above mentioned confidence. Confidence is very important in dating. And confidence breeds confidence. I would recommend doing things that are slightly difficult but have a high probability of success to build up your confidence levels so you will never feel the need to title anything you write as SO LOSER. An excellent choice is martial arts, but you can also choose things like performing, making art, competing in some event. These should be things that are public, so that you can get social reinforcement that you are a valued individual. The added benefit of this is that when you're crooning along to that karaoke song and rocking the house there's a chance that one of the girls at the club will find that really attractive.

posted by Deathalicious at 4:47 PM on January 16, 2008

If you want to get good at approaches, do lots of approaches. Hundreds. Get your ego out of the way and try some things. Watch what happens. The pick-up artist community has done lots of field research on the topic, and their reading their stuff can be helpful. I find David Deangelo’s material the most interesting, because he reads psychology and sociobiology and then integrates it into his theories. Mystery’s material appeals to a certain type of personality and works on a certain type of person to set up a certain type of relationship. It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t start there.

On a broader level, much of the mating process is counterintuitive. I mean inside-out and backwards from what I grew up thinking. Do your own research/reading.
posted by sisquoc15 at 4:49 PM on January 16, 2008

Make eye contact. If she looks away and never looks back, find another girl. If she looks back after a couple seconds, smile, like you just saw something funny and want to share it with her. If she smiles back, or looks away and looks back again, you're good.
I would only talk or start dancing with her (most of the advice above is good) after you've done this.
As a girl who likes to go dancing, I can guarantee that having a guy do that makes him 100% less creepy.
posted by snoogles at 4:59 PM on January 16, 2008

listen to the pinksuperhero.
posted by matteo at 5:31 PM on January 16, 2008

maybe putting a hand on a more public part of her first (her arm is a good place to start) and then if she responds well you can try to touch your knee if you're both seated and her back or shoulder if you are standing/dancing. These should be brief subtle touches but also firm and purposeful. You don't want her to feel like you're sneaking your way into touching her. This is creepy and oily

Do not do this, no matter how "public" the body part in question is, unless you would like your fledgling conversation to go south as soon as possible. Let the person in question touch you first, and then you're probably OK. I have literally pushed people away from me that were being too touchy feely after just five minutes of superficial conversation.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:31 PM on January 16, 2008

The best pickup line is "hi".

Followed by "I'm ____, what's your name?"

Then, "What are you doing here tonight?"

Keep going with a brief explanation of why you're there, and a follow up question related to why she said she's there.

If the reason she is there is a dead end, follow up with some more anecdotal information about why you're there.

Then be quiet. See if she's interested in talking to you some more. Maybe she'll ask you a question, maybe she'll look at you. Maybe not. If she's interested in talking and it flows, go with it for as long as you'd like. Offer her some water or a drink at some point, but do it in a way that allows her to see the drink-making/delivering process (so she doesn't have to worry about you slipping something in her drink. Do not mention this. Do not even make a dumb joke about it.) You can say something like "Can I buy you a drink; let's go to the bar."

If you can't tell if she wants to talk to you some more, give it one more chance. Ask her what she does for work, or what her hobbies are. If it's a dead end, say either "Well, I just wanted to say hi. Nice to meet you and see you later", or "It was nice to meet you, but I should probably get back to my friends. If you'd like to chat some more..." Finish that by saying either A) I can give you my number, or B) I'll be over here with my friends. They're really fun, and your friends might like them too.

And if her friends do come over, be sure to introduce yourself, by name, to all of them. At this point, everybody will be invested in making the time fun and not awkward, so conversation *should* flow freely. If not, then alcohol should flow faster than the rate of conversation, until they both even out.

Have fun!
posted by iamkimiam at 5:41 PM on January 16, 2008

Ride a Harley and bring an extra helmet. Just make sure you know what you are doing so you don't wreck and kill both of you.
posted by TedW at 6:42 PM on January 16, 2008

Turn up with two of the most ridiculously good-looking female friends you can organise (if you don't have any such girls on hand, consider hiring escorts). Chat & joke & dance with them & buy each other drinks, but don't let it look at all like you are with - or even want to be with - either (or both) of them. This will make you seem to be a great guy who likes hanging out with women as friends, devoid of sleaze, and at least in the ballpark league of the ultra-hotties. Either that, or you could be gay. You can defuse the latter interpretation if you like by wearing horrific shoes, but it's not really necessary. If you're perceived to be gay, then there's more scope for the girl to approach you without any loss of face. Next, you need to contrive to free yourself from the company of the 'escorts', so come up with a pretext like going to the bar for more drinks. You will, naturally, have positioned yourself in the club such that your route to the bar crosses the target girl's route to the toilet. She should, however be further from the crossover point than you are - this is vital. This way, when you see her rise from her seat to go and relieve herself, you have enough time to do the "drinky-drinky?" motion to your companions, and set off towards the bar such that you and the target will cross paths. At this point, do *not* initiate contact, other than perhaps a small glance, and you should organise it such that you politely give way to her, as your paths cross. If at all possible, you should try to more or less cross paths again on the way back, but this is a little more difficult. The trick is to have tipped the barstaff generously earlier. This way you get to jump queue & get your drinks quickly. Don't get mixed drinks or cocktails - they take too long to make. A glass of beer for you & a glass of wine for each of your companions is ideal. It also makes you look endearingly goofy as you struggle to carry them back without spilling the beer all down your shirt. Get back to your companions, and subtly but rapidly drink all three of the drinks you've just bought, then go into the toilets and do a few fat lines of coke, and hit the dancefloor. The rest follows directly from there.

Or you could just say "hi". If she likes the look of you, you're potentially ok. If not, you wouldn't have had a chance anyway, even with my awesome patented moves, as described above.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:15 PM on January 16, 2008 [3 favorites]

I diversify my strategy depending on location and type of girl. In really snooty type clubs girls are usually a bit "hardened" from what I'd call "lame game" so you need to go outside the box. I'll tackle that angle because a lot of what's been said above seems alright in dealing with easier/less noisy situations.

1. Be confidant in yourself. The way I see it is a loud club environment really starts to strip down a lot of the social constructions built around us. You can't communicate too well, so it gets real "primal." If you look scared, she's gonna brush you off. If you get blown off by a girl, don't sweat it. It's not like everyone is there to meet someone new. Move on, stay confideant and...

2. Smile. Unless you're some suavemente, the dark brooding angle generally doesn't work. People go to clubs to have a good time and feel good energy. High energy guys can do better than more attractive brooding guys. If you're smiling, its more likely she'll smile back. Once she does, you can move in...

3. If you're gonna make a move on a girl who clearly gets hit on a lot, using "hi...what's go here a lot...what do you do" line may buy you a paragraph but she's gonna blow you off sonner than later. Think outside the box. Say something strange or zany, as long as its not creepy. Point something out somewhere, or say something about clothes. Make yourself the prize. It's all in presentation. If you get past "hi", don't get nervous once your planned first three lines breakdown. The second there is an awkward pause or you look nervous, she'll ghost on you. Get comfy and improvise.

4. Work your way up the ladder. Don't mean to sound like a jerk but if you're lingering around the bar with a few guy buddies, scoping too much, you're going to look desperate/creepy. Work up with girls you can confidently approach. They may not be the stunners in the room, but it will help build your confidence and it will give any girl who is scoping as well, the information that you're not completely useless. Bringing or meeting up with some girls you know helps a lot. You can springboard off of hanging with them or dancing with them.

5. Don't try and hold a long conversation if you're in a loud area. If its real loud, you're going to have to make a transition from meet to dance or take her outside and feign smoking. Of course this really depends on the location and situation, but this transition is really key. Dancing for 30 minutes can really help lock you in.

Good luck
posted by stratastar at 7:16 PM on January 16, 2008

First, what TPS said, its all about confidence.

I knew that for a long time before I finally figured out a sure-fire way to have it. Once I got that part down, my entire life changed.

The second key, ensuring the confidence, is this: she is just a friend of yours that you don't know very well yet. That is all. You're not trying to get laid, you're not trying to find a girlfriend. You're not even at a club. Here's where I put myself, in my mind...

I'm at a party that a friend is throwing in a bar, somewhere in lower Manhattan (I went to these 2-3 times a month when I lived there, so that's what works for me, you'll have to pick a comfortable situation that works for you). I'm surrounded by friends, and friends of friends, people I either know vaguely, or not at all, but can easily strike up conversation with since we're all there for the same reason. I've been doing just fine with the ladies lately, so whether or not I talk to a cute single girl tonight, I'm going to be just as fine at the end of the night as I was at the beginning (this might not necessarily be true, but as long as we're projecting, it helps).

This is the mindset I put myself in when I see a girl I want to talk to.

Then I just approach and start conversing as if I were in that situation. It keeps me laid back, not worrying about saying the right or wrong things, and approachable. And there's another important benefit, it keeps me inquisitive - if I really want to get to know this girl as a friend, with no hidden agenda, I'm going to ask genuine questions, and get her talking about herself. People like to talk about themselves, you just need to figure out how to facilitate it.

Really, when I stop to think about it, my approach to confidence with women isn't entirely different from my approach to job interviews (which, characteristically, also cited TPS). Once you realize how important confidence is, and then figure out how to secure it for yourself, the world really is your oyster.

All of the other tactics mentioned above (and many that weren't) are tantamount to not even talking to her in the first place, if you don't have the right mindset. If you do have the right mindset, it won't matter what you do, because you won't be able to go wrong.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:39 PM on January 16, 2008

A man approached me at a party and said "You have a look I like". That got my attention.
posted by wafaa at 3:23 AM on January 17, 2008

Yeah, gotta weigh in on this one:

Simply a "hi, how are you, I'm ____" probably isn't going to cut it. I generally shake their hand and say "Nice to meet you, I hope you have a good night." I think the BEST and probably only way to start up a conversation is remark (hopefully in a funny way) about something that just happened and build from that. So, say someone trips, or you trip, and just casually say "did you see that? haha" or something. Or "wow this drink is strong, how is yours?" Just be easy going, confident in yourself, and don't start with anything about how beautiful they look right off the bat, it will make them think you're just there for a one night stand, which generally results in the fake smile, fake thank you, and fake excuse to end the convo

My two cents
posted by CAnneDC at 11:31 AM on January 17, 2008

Just got back from clubbing, and I thought of this. Yes, I'm a dork.

Trust your instincts, and go for the gold. I have personally shocked and amazed by the good chemistry I sometimes have with the most gorgeous woman in the room. Maybe it's pheromones. But as people said above, clubs are a somewhat primal environment. Roll with it.

Be a good man. If someone drops something, pick it up. Wish them a good night. Trust me, good manners are rare enough in most clubs.

Alternatively, imagine that they're lesbians. It takes the pressure off. It's the club equivalent of imagining everyone naked.
posted by laughinglikemad at 1:04 AM on January 18, 2008

Whatever you do, though, do *not* imagine them as naked lesbians. That puts the pressure right back on again.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:46 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm going to have to agree with the people saying that "hi, how are you? I'm ____" is probably not the best approach. Certainly appropriate in some situations, but it is really a pretty boring way to start the conversation. If the person seems to be looking over at you/ body language expresses interest/ they seem really bored that might work, but generally I find that girls come with a group, so you want something that can work even if there is more than one person.

My best example from when i was traveling: "Are you from around here, I need some local advice" (if they say no go into a conversation about where they are from what they are doing) if yes "What do you think the most interesting thing for someone from out of town to do for a day here?"

Its a question most people find enjoyable to answer, because they get to editorialize about what they love most about the city. It also reveals a lot about someone to here their answers which can vary a lot. Its non threatening since its a question you might genuinely want the answer to rather than just appearing to be hitting on her. During her answer if she seems talkative, it's not too hard to transition in to finding more about her and getting to know each other.

Now this line probably wont be appropriate in your situation and I wouldn't suggest lieing and claiming to be out of town, but I think it gives a hint at the sort of approaches that work really well. Something that is easy to talk about and interesting enough that the person will want to continue the conversation. People get asked hi how are you? what do you do? often so answering is not very exciting usually. Once you have the person or people talking about something interesting you can transition into the get to know you sort of stuff gradually transitioning from the comments they make.

Brainstorm a bit, what sort of things would you be interested in talking about if a random person (guy or girl) came up to you and asked about. Take that list and see if you can come up with a conversation starter thats easy enough to answer and non threating; it works best if the answer is something you might be interested in hearing even if that was all you got out of the conversation. Coming up with one yourself will work much better than using something cliched you steal from Mystery and lots of other people are also using. Figure out what fits your personality. Goodluck. :)
posted by vegetableagony at 3:57 PM on January 21, 2008

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