There he is again, that cute boy who always seems to be in the same place at the same time as you. You see him lifting weights at the gym, studying hard at the library, grabbing a bite to eat at the cafeteria, and popping up in your friends’ pics on Facebook. All this has left you feeling like you can finally relate to Madonna’s 90’s hit “Beautiful Stranger.” You know the lyrics all too well – “You’re everywhere I go/And everybody knows… Haven’t you heard/I fell in love with a beautiful stranger.” He’s a familiar face, but you’ve never actually worked up the courage to talk to him, and until you do, all he’ll be is just that - a “beautiful stranger.”
We know from Dr. Michael Crow, Ph.D., professor of Social Psychology at Southern Methodist University, that men are more attracted to familiar faces, but life experiences have taught us that your relationship with him won’t progress until you strike up a conversation. Too worried about what to say? Too intimidated to approach him? These simple tips will calm your nerves.
Men prefer women to initiate direct conversations, says Dr. Crow. They prefer to know why someone is striking up a conversation with them. If you start a conversation with them, is it because you simply want to be friends or is it because you want to advance your friendship even further? Be as confident as Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, because dancing in circles with your words isn’t going to get you anywhere, and will most likely make you appear ditzy (and as a well-educated HC reader, we know you’re not!).
“Men don't seem to appreciate the lewd come-ons suggested by gender stereotypes,” according to the PsyBlog article, “Why Men Prefer Direct Pick-Up Lines.” So next time you see this beautiful stranger, remember not to be ambiguous, and to save the raunchy humor for later.
“Canned corn involving jokes, baseless compliments and sexual innuendo—like, ‘I may not be Fred Flintstone, but I can make your bed rock!’ received poor ratings” according to the Forbes.com article, “The Ten Worst Pick-Up Lines,” citing a study by psychologists at Scotland's University of Edinburgh.
The study also found that lines suggesting helpfulness, generosity, cultural literacy and wealth seemed to be the most effective.
Let him know exactly what you want. If you hope to run into him at Friday’s happy hour, simply tell him. Don’t send mixed signals by beating around the bush or playing hard to get.
To eliminate even more of the guesswork for you, here are some pick-up lines you can pull out in different situations:
At the gym:
For the bashful babe: I really like your Under Armour shirt! Where do they sell Under Armour around here? (He’ll love the compliment plus it’s an easy reply).
For the bold babe: Would you mind spotting me while I lift this set? (He’ll feel manly helping you out and be impressed by your fitness).
On line at the coffee shop:
For the bashful babe: I always get a vanilla latte, but I want to switch it up today. What do you get? (He’ll be flattered).
For the bold babe: I’m scared my drink is too hot. Do you mind taking the first sip to test it out? (He’ll feel like your hero).
At a party:
For the bashful babe: Who are you here with? (You can establish a connection)
For the bold babe: What do you and your friends plan on doing after this party? (You’ll seem social, and we have a feeling you’ll be going with…)
For the bashful babe: I missed class Tuesday, may I please copy your notes? (Psychology tells us that doing a favor for someone makes you like that person more)
For the bold babe: Do you want to come over and study for Thursday’s test? (Ow ow!)
These pick-up lines should have you well on your way to plenty of date opportunities by Valentine’s Day. Have fun with them! And remember, these are just some ideas to get your wheels spinning—you’ll have the best luck if you just be yourself!
Dr. Michael Crow, Ph.D., SMU Professor of Social Psychology