Whether you’re flirting in a bar or meeting an online date for the first time, those first few minutes of chat are crucial. Get it right, and you’ll have them at “hello” – or at least within a few minutes of it.
But chatting someone up is a tricky skill. Some people have the gift of the gab; others wouldn’t chat to a stranger if they were stranded on an island together. Follow these tips and you can go from chat-phobic to flirting champ.
Before you approach that gorgeous creature or meet your date, run through some chatty scenarios in your head. Think about things you might say and how they might reply. Picture yourself responding with calm wit and fluency.
You probably won’t stick to these mental rehearsals, but the exercise will boost your confidence. It’s like the “visualisation” tricks sports stars use to calm their nerves before a game or a race.
A drink or two can ease your shyness and help you mingle, but booze is not a magic confidence bullet. Alcohol on an empty stomach can turn you into a one-woman stag or hen party, and that won’t do your romantic chances any good at all.
Intense eye contact is one of the strongest bonding signals humans can send out. So if you meet someone’s eye and they seem willing to maintain that eye contact until your backbone tingles, you’ve already done five minutes’ worth of chat in a few seconds of silence.
Girls and guys who hunt in packs* are terrifying. If you want to pull a potential keeper, strike out on your own. (Numerical note: “a pack” means two or more. We’re easily intimidated.)
If you see someone you want to talk to, don’t procrastinate – especially if you’ve made eye contact with them. Approach them before the moment is gone. If this one doesn’t work, there will be 100 more opportunities in the future.
6. Start small
The best chat-ups aren’t chat-ups at all, they’re small talk. So strike up a conversation, and keep the opener brief and casual. Make a comment or ask a question related to your surroundings, because that’s what you already have in common. For example if you’re at a party, ask if he or she has seen the bottle opener, and follow up with a comment about the choice of booze.
Don’t dismiss cheesy chat-ups completely. If you’ve already spent half the evening making eyes at each other, all you need say is “do you come here often?” – and they’ll laugh, and you’ve pulled. Humour is one of the best seduction strategies around.
You’re wasting your time if they’re taken. First, the no-brainer – if there’s a wedding or engagement ring on the third finger of their left hand, don’t even think about it.
It harder to find out whether they have a girlfriend or boyfriend. Light humour is your best tactic, especially when combined with a flirtatious look. “So, will your boyfriend/girlfriend kill me if I buy you a drink?” is all it takes.
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