Guy sees girl in a bar... Then what?
June 6, 2008 11:38 AM   Subscribe

How do guys meet girls in bars/lounges/clubs, etc?

I know that's what's supposed to happen in these places, but, really, just how does it work?

Guy sees girl. Girl sees guy. Eye contact is made. Then...? Is the guy supposed to just walk up to her and say something? What?

I realize that I am shy by nature, but I can't imagine what the guy's supposed to say in a situation like this.. Yeah, I know, just say 'Hi'. Is it really that simple? And then what? Of note here is that I am very lacking in small-talk skill, but I am otherwise very comfortable in places like this and would like to develop some, for want of a better term, pick-up skills..

I'll be happy to hear input from guys on this, but what I'm really interested in is the female perspective. Mefi-females, what do you expect to have happen when you're in a bar/club and you see a guy you're interested in?

Thank you.
posted by eas98 to Human Relations (39 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Is the guy supposed to just walk up to her and say something?



posted by dersins at 11:47 AM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

[insert link to some cheesy-ass website with a name like "The System" here]

no, seriously:

as a guy, I think dersins is about right. This is just a challenging thing to do. Most women at a bar/club probably don't want to be approached in any way. You can try your luck but be prepared to take some lumps.

But plenty of people go through life and have plenty of girlfriends/sex without ever doing a "cold approach" like this. It's not a necessity to live a happy life by any means.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:57 AM on June 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

IANAMeFiFemale, but the Social Issues Research Centre's Guide to Flirting has been linked multiple times in previous threads.

Might gain something out of it, but the best way is to just go out. Listen to all the female advice here but realize you're still gonna crash like a B-2 stealth bomber in Guam at some point.
posted by hobbes at 11:58 AM on June 6, 2008

Previous research (with videotaped footage of bars, reviewed by socialogists; sorry, but I can't recall many more details to track it down) showed that every single occasion in which a man introduced himself to a woman in the bar, and subsequently scored (left with her), was preceded by notable eye contact from the woman to the man.

IOW, in all cases, the woman gave tacit, non-verbal permission (eye flirtation) for him to greet her before he even approached.

Something to think about.

(FWIW, in my observations that's always been true with my friends & I.)
posted by IAmBroom at 12:01 PM on June 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

Hey EAS there are a lot of different ways to approach the situation and it all depends on who you are.

I would say that if you are shy and reserved maybe bars and clubs are not the best place to meet people, I'd rather do activities such as joining a club, taking salsa lessons (which eventually moves into the club territory) or anything of the sort that gets you socializing in a less pressured manner.....

However I understand your concern so I'll try to break-down how interaction should work in a bar venue (which is different than a club):

So say that you are a shy guy and you enter a bar, you are somewhat attractive and happen to make eye contact with somebody, I would do my best not to stare at them the whole night hoping that they will come up to me (which rarely happens) if you are a guy I believe the best method is to think as eye contact (and maybe a smile after that) as an invitation to be "friendly" (do not assume she likes you yet) and maybe try to engage in conversation, because bars encourage social interaction by way of talking (unlike clubs) then point is to go up to this person who you hopefully think is attractive and try to find out if you like them for more than their looks (if you have this attitude it will help rather than automatically liking a person just cause they are "hot")....hopefully you and the girl the point now is that since you get along so "well" you may see each other some other time (here is where you would ask for a number)...when you do call...and succesfully ask her to "hang-out" again you'll go on what typically is called a "date"...I could go on and on but books already have been written about these things....

In case the girl hasn't noticed you or made any eye contact with you, you may go and approach her (only if you are interested and try to engage in conversation with her), most people are usually in group and I would advice to either take a buddy with you or try to talk to both her and her group (remember, you dont know if you like her yet, you just think she is hot) and try to appear as a fun cool guy, until you get a chance to "isolate" her and get to know her better on a one on one basis.....

On a club the main attraction is usually (at least in NY, Miami, LA) is you can ask a person to dance and then engage in conversation.......if she is with friends, again i would advise that you are either very social or bring along somebody to help you out in the situation.....I do think that your chances of "hooking" up with a girl double or triple if not only she likes you but you manage to get her friends to like you as well.....

Not everybody goes out with the objective of getting a number, sleeping with someone, or meeting a perfect stranger, sometimes people are just out having fun with their friends, and if this is the case dont feel discouraged if you get turned down, just try with somebody else, with practice you'll learn how to work through barriers, approach groups that include other guys and will be able to approach people not only in bars and clubs but also in the streets, supermarket and other places......

If you are interested send me a private message with more questions and I could really go into detail. (I am not a guru but this is apparently the one thing i am good at)....

Oh since you are shy you are probably very afraid of approaching people....i suggest that you work through this by engaging in small talk with everyone that you see during the day...doesnt matter if they are old/young male/'ll see that these "situational" type of conversations are the same ones you would use when you are in a club/bar
posted by The1andonly at 12:04 PM on June 6, 2008

I'm the last person who should be answering this, but I'll relay my recent experience.

I was at a piano bar (on a cruise ship, actually) and noticed the girl across the piano kinda staring at me. She was cute, so we made eye contact a few times, while I worked feverishly in my head to determine if she was, in fact, looking at me. This does not happen often. It's not that I'm woefully unattractive, but I am slightly overweight and don't really get out to bars as much as I should/look out for this sort of thing anyway.

After the unmistakable fourth or fifth glance over, I knew she was interested. This helped me not. What now? Absolutely paralyzed by the concept of walking over to her and saying hello as I was, I sat there. And watched as things wound down and she left out the other door, with one final glance.

"Well, shit."

I stayed to talk to the pianist, who was a friend of mine, with another friend. About three minutes later, she came back in "looking for her friends" (which I think was semi-legitimately the case). As she came in, I said "looking for something?" and she said "my friends, I thought they followed me out" and we were off to the races. Once I got the ball rolling, I was golden. (And her and I spent most of the rest of the cruise together.)

But I still found it immensely difficult, even with a clear go-ahead, to approach her and introduce myself.

My friend and I had done it the night earlier with the only other pair of 20-somethings on the ship with us besides the aforementioned girl (it was a transatlantic crossing) and that only happened because I had a wingman. Understand, I'm confident, outspoken and extroverted, I make conversation easily and I don't come on very strong. It's just that usually, I don't come on at all. Getting over that mental hump and taking a step is the hardest part, for me.

So I'm working on it. Approach, say something like "Hi, my name's Chris" (but you're going to want to use your own name here. Unless you're really creepy like that. And have something to say immediately to follow. "What's your story" is a bit disarming—it's like a not-at-all pickup line that people usually get and run with—it's a launching point that doesn't rely on you complimenting them with something that's overinflated and it gives you plenty of conversational points, if she's willing to play ball at all. Just try not to sound like an ass if you go with that.

Everything she says, ask her about. Get her to talk about what she does. How she likes work. What she does there. How long she's done it. Or, if in school, what she's studying, how she likes it, how hard the course load is, what she plans on doing with the degree afterward, or, etc. Just run with it. Listen carefully, interject relevant things that you know "oh, I had a cousin who was majoring in that, cool" and let her keep speaking.

And good luck. It's hard for us shy folks. Or, in my case, the shy extrovert.
posted by disillusioned at 12:05 PM on June 6, 2008

Yes, it's all eye contact, though I've been shouted at here for saying so before. :)
posted by rokusan at 12:07 PM on June 6, 2008

Its a lot easier with a buddy, since you won't be going in alone. Also the most important thing is not to worry about it, once you get going you will literally be shocked at how easy it is (assuming you are reasonably attractive, and even then its not super important).
posted by BobbyDigital at 12:09 PM on June 6, 2008

I'm a female, and I like dancing, but I have no idea how to navigate clubs. I have a boyfriend right now, but even when single I was not interested in picking up at clubs.

Small talk? What kind of club has music quiet enough for small talk?

In my experience, that kind of environment is very primal, lots of body language and non-verbal flirting. I think you have to have a lot of confidence to pick up in a place like that.

It's tricky too because when it's too loud to talk it is hard to know if she likes you or not. One thing I can't stand in clubs is if some random comes up and starts grinding my ass. I didn't ask for that!

I dunno, it's been awhile since I've been in that kind of scene. I'd avoid it if I were a guy.

My advice? Learn to be an amazing dancer. That would impress me.
posted by Flying Squirrel at 12:20 PM on June 6, 2008

Thanks for all the great replies so far.

I'm not so interested in overcoming my shyness (I will work on that personally) as much as figuring out how it works.

And let's talk more about bars than clubs, since I can see how the loud music and such there makes that a different animal.

Still looking for more feedback from the ladies here on what usually happens to them when they're out and meeting people.
posted by eas98 at 12:37 PM on June 6, 2008

Still looking for more feedback from the ladies here

EAS98 different girls like different things and not the same approach work on all of them. Consequently, the same girl may like one way of being approach one day and another one the next time she goes into a bar.....I believe your main concern should be what you are going to and how to handle their "different" reactions...and though it helps (it helps a lot) to have their opinion without getting the other thing handled first you will not be successful
posted by The1andonly at 12:48 PM on June 6, 2008

IAAW. But I am just a data point. Women are just people and vary accordingly. No one approach "works."

That said, for me, often if a guy says anything OTHER than "hi," at least at first, it's annoying or cheesy. Sometimes it is anyway. Mostly, I will talk to anyone who seems sincere and not too slick.

THAT said, I personally find it extremely easy to talk to strangers in bars. I think the main thing is to not consider talking to strangers in bars (or at the dog park or whatever) as a way to meet women but as talking to people. It takes a lot of the pressure off and makes you seem (and feel) much more relaxed. Also, again, we are just people.

What I do if i want to start a conversation is just talk about something that's going on around me. Make a comment about the incredible pass McNabb just threw. Make light-hearted fun of the dynamic of the bar (the bartender is cheeky, the music is outdated, everyone is dressed the same, people are bobbing their heads in a funny way, etc). It's small talk, yes, but it's not so OMG-you-are-a-woman-how-do-I-charm-you. In other words, please don't try to develop "pick-up skills."

I realize this may work a little differently for you, as perhaps men are more receptive to strange women making conversation than vice versa (especially if the woman happens to talk about football), but I think the main idea--not trying to score, just trying to be nice and meet people without too much of an agenda--holds.
posted by Pax at 12:53 PM on June 6, 2008

I've got that same smalltalk problem. I've never been that good at conversations about nothing in particular or stuff i'm not interested in. It helps if you have some idea how people converse. I'm getting better slowly as I will attempt it with people I vaguely know.

The problem with hi how are you, is that it potentially doesnt leave any room for conversational expansion. Either they say something more than I'm fine, or you do. If you're forced to do that the ball is completely in their court over whether to query you over it. If they don't you're at a dead end before you've even started. You really want to avoid any chance of that happening. Either you've got a response that they can immediately associate with or you're screwed. However you really want them talking about themselves not the other way round. The only other option is to illicit their opinion on something relevant to the environment you're in. Apart from talking about themselves people love having an opinion.

On facebook there's an application called socialme. its perfect for practising talking to strangers, cos most ppl on there you dont know anything about. Even on there conversations drop dead sometimes. Generally speaking I've found if I open with hi how are you I end up talking about myself cos rarely they answer with anything thats useful and I have to say something more. If I go with hi, really love it often leads to something more I can query them about. these are more pure conversational forms as you always have an opportunity to respond. Reality isnt so neat but you

talking to people in a group is a whole different ballgame. I dont know nothing about that. At least in the UK, where we have to fetch our own drinks :p , there's always an opportunity to meet someone at the bar.

posted by browolf at 12:54 PM on June 6, 2008

Sometimes it is anyway

Sorry, I meant, sometimes just saying hi is annoying or cheesy. A "hi" with a clear "I must sleep with you" agenda is no good.
posted by Pax at 12:56 PM on June 6, 2008

The problem with hi how are you, is that it potentially doesnt leave any room for conversational expansion. Either they say something more than I'm fine, or you do. If you're forced to do that the ball is completely in their court over whether to query you over it. If they don't you're at a dead end before you've even started. You really want to avoid any chance of that happening.

I totally agree you need to have some sort of "situational" opener.....some kind of opinion about something (I will deliver right after the "hi") know about? "I am new to bars.....and i am doing some research in regards to the way people socialize in this place"
posted by The1andonly at 1:12 PM on June 6, 2008

I am new to bars.....and i am doing some research in regards to the way people socialize in this place

Wow, that's just about the perfect example of what not to say. It's 1) obviously a lie, 2) obviously a pickup line, and 3) painfully cheesy.

A friend of mine is uncannily good at meeting girls in situations where the social filters are usually up pretty high: subways, the sidewalk, bars, elevators. As far as I can tell the trick is that he just talks to them the way you'd talk to somebody you already know; instead of a greeting or a pickup line he'll just make some comment about the surroundings, the same way you might chat with a buddy who's walking down the street with you. (The key, I think, is that he honestly doesn't think of this as "picking up girls," he's just a genuinely chatty guy.)
posted by ook at 1:46 PM on June 6, 2008 [4 favorites]

I will throw this in, for what it is worth, which isn't much but it is something you can try if you like. A friend of mine in grad school was a social psych PhD student. She had her students conduct experiments in bars in the best way to get people to talk with you. The students researched a bunch of approaches and then went and tried them out and scored them based on success.

She told me that the best approach, according to their limited study, was to take a set of keys with you to the bar. When you saw the person you wanted to talk to, who apparently had to be at or near the bar, you went to the bar next to them, set the keys down to order and pay for your drink, and left the keys there when you left. Then, if the object of your interest noticed the keys and was kind enough to bring them back to you, you could then tell them how screwed you would have been without your keys, and thank them profusely and invite them to stay for a drink in gratitude. If they stay, you have a non-threatening reason for talking to them; if they don't then they are not interested; and if they don't bring the keys you wait a minute or two and go get them. Plus, it give you a way to cull a single person from a group of friends. You probably should have a few very open conversation starters available ("Wow, that was a crazy democratic primary, wasn't it? How do you think the election will go?") as well. I have never tried this myself, but hey, it was researched.
posted by procrastination at 1:58 PM on June 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

(I'm a girl.) This is of course a pretty subjective question, but I can speak for myself. When I am going out there are will be one of two objectives - either I am in a relationship/not looking, just out to have fun, and therefore not receptive to guys I don't know coming on to me, or I have come out with the possibility of meeting someone in mind. If I don't want to meet anyone I try to be polite if a guy talks to me, but not inviting. I don't get into a conversation or continue to make eye contact. So, as a guy, be aware of body language, if a girl looks away from you as soon as you speak and gives short replies, leave her alone.
That ties in to the eye contact thing mentioned earlier. Usually, the girl picks the guy, just by looking at him a few times.
Thinking about it, I would probably react much more favorably to a guy I had noticed and made eye contact with coming up to me and saying hi, than to a guy I hadn't noticed coming up and saying the same things to me. Talk to a girl not as a girl that you are interested in, but as a person. Don't ever let what you say sound like a pick-up line or insincere. I want a guy to be interested in me and see me as a person. I don't want a guy to pretend to be interested in me to get me in bed, so I (and most girls) am always alert to the least bit of insincerity or sleaziness.
In a bar the best small talk is probably just making small, humorous observations about your surroundings to start a conversation. It's the time to be light-hearted and funny, not intense or get into really serious conversations, at least not until you've been talking for a while. Don't touch a girl until you've talked to her a bit and she's given you some sign that it's okay - leaning into you or touching you first. I hate it when a guy I don't know comes up and puts his hand on my arm or around my shoulders with no invitation. I also feel more comfortable with someone I've seen around a bar or club before, even if we've never talked.
Maybe try drinking a lot of caffeine when you go out. I've always found it's easier to talk to people when I am a little hyped up and full of energy.
posted by catatethebird at 2:05 PM on June 6, 2008

I met mrs ob at a bar. She was talking to the bartender, whom I knew, but she kept on looking over at me, but I was there with a couple of other guys so I took my time to make sure that she was looking at me. Once I'd established that, I ordered another drink, made sure for about the seventh time that she was looking at me. Once that was finally established in my mind I went over to talk to the bartender. I can't remember what I said, but I'm sure it was quite, quite irrelevant. Then, cool as a cucumber I introduced myself to her. Of course later on she told me that she knew exactly what I was doing when I went to talk to the bartender and it wasn't as slick a move as I thought it was, but that hardly seems accurate!

As far as smalltalk is concerned, I used to have a problem with this until I started hanging out with a friend who's very good at it. I realized that most of what he does is ask questions. These then lead into conversation. Give the other person time to speak and then respond. If you can't think of a suitable statement then ask them a question about what they just said, or something relevant to the conversation.

This is all coming from a guy who thinks that pick-up lines/technique etc are bollocks. I personally believe that any woman who falls for some pathetic line is not one I'd ever want to date. Thankfully, in my experience, there aren't that many women who fall for such things.
posted by ob at 2:07 PM on June 6, 2008

I am not a woman, and I am not your woman. I do talk to women in bars and at parties and in other settings, though, and my wife is often talked to by men in those same places (including by me, which is how I met her). So I have some sense of how those dynamics can work, but it really is different for everyone, ymmv, etc.

You might want to read some of the books or online forums of the "pickup artist" crowd. I think they are insufferably cheesy, and at times really misogynistic. But what they are writing is aimed directly at guys who are short on confidence, and if imitating a sexist cheeseball gets you some confidence, then you are the better for it (and more so the better if you lose the sexist part, too -- the "how to talk to girls" part of it is great; the weird "how girls work" stuff has all the substantive relevance of The Rules for the life you actually want to live).

At least 99% of it, and far and away the hardest part, is in walking over and saying "hi." Most guys can't do it, and nothing else is as hard as that first step. There's no need for a prepared "line" of any kind, at least in my experience. "Hi" is a great opener, and then you can follow with a really innocuous question/comment that just serves the purpose of making clear that you are interested in talking to her (hence all the cliches like "come her often?" and "can I buy you a drink?" -- you don't have to say that, but it doesn't need to be something amazing and deep, either). The pickup artist guys have all these ideas about saying something negative about her, or whatever, but that can border into kind of creepy and manipulative. Whatever you say or do, it has to work with your personality, not someone else's personality.

My feeling is that if you approach it as "I want to chat with someone interesting for the next 15 minutes," that is both more realistic and a lot easier than approaching it as "I want to go home with someone tonight." Keep the focus on that moment, not on worries about later or whatever.

Mrs Forktine says:

-- Be friendly and non-creepy, which mostly means talking to her face and not her breasts.

-- Be genuine, don't use corny and rehearsed lines.

-- Be confident and don't be afraid to ask for things that might get you shot down: "want to dance?" "can I have your number?" etc. Don't make the girl do all the work -- have the balls to take a risk and put yourself out there. There's a balance you want to hit between being pushy and being passive.

-- Make sure you smell good. If you are talking at a bar or party, where music is playing, you are going to have to lean in close to talk, much closer than in a quiet work setting; someone who smells bad makes this an unpleasant experience.
posted by Forktine at 2:18 PM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

What ob says. Questions. Get her talking about herself. Nod, say 'uh huh' and ask more questions.
posted by signal at 2:24 PM on June 6, 2008

I've had moderate success (once we're in the 'get to know you' phase, not as an opener) with "Tell me your life story".
posted by signal at 2:24 PM on June 6, 2008

(I'm female.) I would find the following inoffensive, and if I like the guy I'd continue talking to him:

1. Hi, how's it going?
2. Do you like the band/DJ? (or) Are you a fan of this music?
3. Is it normally this crowded/quiet?

I appreciate it when the guy does something helpful and then makes eye contact, like gets the bartender's attention for me (I'm short) or lights my cigarette (when I smoked), or makes sure I have enough room to sit/stand comfortably. I like it when a guy asks another to please step out of my way (e.g., "Excuse me, the lady can't see the band.") It doesn't come off like he has an agenda; rather, he seems gentlemanly. He should then back off until I say something other than "Thank you."

Slightly off-putting:

1. Have you tried the [drink]? It's really good. [if I say no, it's "come on, you gotta try it, I'll buy."]
2. What are you up to tonight? Are you celebrating something? [none of your business at this point]
3. Are you from the neighborhood/Do you live around here? [could be innocent, but possible-stalker-instinct kicks in]
posted by desjardins at 2:33 PM on June 6, 2008

I've had moderate success (once we're in the 'get to know you' phase, not as an opener) with "Tell me your life story".

I've had people ask me that on a couple occasions, and it's an instant conversation-stopper. How is anyone supposed to respond to that?
posted by jejune at 2:37 PM on June 6, 2008

1. Get over your fear of rejection
2. Talk

It's really that simple.
posted by mpls2 at 3:24 PM on June 6, 2008

Nothing will ever beat this:

Make eye contact
walk over immediately after it's clear she's checking you out
Introduce yourself: Hi, my name is ______
See how she responds

The more you do it the more you will be able to discern from her initial response if she is truly interested in you or was just surveying the room and thought you just looked like one of her brother's friends. Introduce yourself and watching carefully how she responds - does she make eye contact and smile, or smirk and look at your clothes? Does her body lean toward you or away? Does she blush? The more you do it the more you will get better at picking up on these nonverbal signals that will save you time and humiliation. If her body language tells you she's not interested just say something like: "crazy scene her tonight, huh" and move on, but if she's into you, it's not going to matter much what you say because she'll make it easy for you.
posted by any major dude at 5:03 PM on June 6, 2008

I'm with Flying Squirrel - nobody could ever even hear me when I went out to clubs back in the day. Small talk was short sentences practically yelled in the other person's ears, or lip-read, and it was all about trading glances and moving closer until you're dancing, or leaning close enough to see what the other person is saying. Doesn't help if you're crap for projection.

Definitely the best advice is to treat it lightly, and assume it'll be just a fun night out.
posted by canine epigram at 5:23 PM on June 6, 2008

A good opportunity to strike up a conversation is at a crowded bar trying to order drinks. You're often away from the loud music, you're forced to stand close to the other person, and it's easy to start a conversation about how crowded it is or how the bartender's ignoring that end of the bar.

The girl's reaction will depend on a lot of factors, though, most of them beyond your control, so don't get discouraged if it doesn't work out. But I'm a girl and this tactic has worked on me before.
posted by wsquared at 8:08 PM on June 6, 2008

Me to a stunning girl who was sitting across from me yesterday in my favorite coffee shop reading Ender's Game: "I'm sorry - I know this is forward - but you are definitely the cutest person I'm ever seen reading one of my favorite books". Conversation and an invitation to join her ensured.
posted by nicwolff at 10:09 PM on June 6, 2008

Hahah, I have next to zero experience in this field, but a guy pulled this on me and I thought it was adorable.

"Do me a favour?"
"what?" mildly defensively
"Will you smile for me?"

... yeahhh.
posted by Phire at 10:22 PM on June 6, 2008

Uh, I mean "Conversation and an invitation to join her ensued." It wasn't ensured.</small.
posted by nicwolff at 10:59 PM on June 6, 2008

I think the key is to just play off your surroundings. Every time a guy successfully tried to talk to me in a bar, he just noticed something about me. Like who I was rooting for in a sporting event. Or that I was drinking tequila. Or that I really liked the Pogues song that came on the jukebox. Whatever -- if you actually pay attention, you can figure something out. Also, I think it's a good idea to either look for eye contact or just an indication that the girl in question is not a bitch. And if you're not trying to pick someone up so much as just be human and interact with other people, I think that shows and makes the girl feel at ease.
posted by bunnie at 1:03 AM on June 7, 2008

Hahah, I have next to zero experience in this field, but a guy pulled this on me and I thought it was adorable.

"Do me a favour?"
"what?" mildly defensively
"Will you smile for me?"

For further evidence that people will react differently to different conversational openings, I'd like to mention that most women I know would likely find that totally condescending and briefly consider punching the guy in the throat.

That phire thought it was cute is great, but I really think that YMMV wildly with that one.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 4:30 AM on June 7, 2008

That phire thought it was cute is great, but I really think that YMMV wildly with that one.

I think the key point is if the girl already digs you you can say just about anything (within reason) and get away with it. If she already doesn't like something about you (body language, etc.) nothing you say will work. I think it's when she's somewhat indifferent towards you that your opening line actually matters. If you were properly reading her eye contact and body language you shouldn't have to worry too much when you approach. Most women will forgive some nervousness\awkwardness if they wanted to talk to you in the first place.

A tip I find useful is to assume rapport. I try to talk to someone new the same way I would a current friend. I use it when meeting strangers in general, especially people at work, but it obviously applies to girls in bars as well. I guess it gets back to what others have already said regarding confidence. Unless you know you're lame, there's no reason to think someone wouldn't want to talk to you if given the opportunity.
posted by bda1972 at 12:10 PM on June 7, 2008

I can see why people thought it was condescending - and I don't necessarily agree that it was because I was already susceptible to his flirtations for reasons too complicated to go into. I think in my case it was "aw, you're cheesy, but you probably know you're being cheesy and that took a lot of guts."

Condescension I find comes primarily from tone and body language, and if you deliver it well, it makes it seem more mildly self-deprecating than anythign else.
posted by Phire at 7:35 PM on June 7, 2008

Yeah, Phire, I should make clear that there's no rolling of my eyes going on when when I say that it's nice that you found that dude's approach appealing. I do mean it sincerely.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 9:15 AM on June 8, 2008

Thanks everyone!
posted by eas98 at 6:51 AM on June 9, 2008

Like Pax said, nothing will work on everyone. I'm in a long term relationship right now, but there are still guys that try to flirt with me. Some of them are very annoying, while there are others I would theoretically give a chance if I were unattached.

That said, for me, often if a guy says anything OTHER than "hi," at least at first, it's annoying or cheesy. Sometimes it is anyway. Mostly, I will talk to anyone who seems sincere and not too slick.

For me, that's what sorts guys into "annoying" and "would theoretically give them a chance." Some women like the slick guys but that's a huge turn-off for me. The one thing I would wish the "slick" guys would learn is that if a girl doesn't want to give you her number, TAKE A HINT. Sometimes they are quite pushy and I want to physically hurt them by the time they leave. That goes for anyone, really, but I never find that sincere guys do this. So the one piece of advice I would give is if you ask for her number and she seems reluctant, find a nice way to back off. If she was nice before the point she refused to give you her number, she was just being polite.

Basically: You'll necessarily have to strike out sometimes, just because you aren't a good match. It happens.
posted by Nattie at 2:35 PM on June 9, 2008

Everyone above has some great points. Simply put: I'm a chick, I HATE when guys make eye contact/give off the vibe and never approach.... You can tell they want to, just go for it!

On the other hand, NOTHING more uncomfortable than someone who you're not interested trying to chat you up. But I always at least give them credit for trying.

Someone above said it best: be confident, yourself, calm, friendly. Unless someone is a huge bitch, they're not going to be rude to someone who is friendly who is also not being overbearing. Make sure to pick up on minor clues that she's not interested - - looking away, just saying, "uh huh... sure, yeah" etc., and not trying to move the conversation forward. I hate when a guy can't take a hint...
posted by BlackStrapMolasses at 4:28 PM on June 9, 2008

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