If you’ve got plans this holiday weekend, chances are you could end up meeting someone new and interesting — which won’t matter at all unless you can figure out a way to talk to them. Unfortunately, pick-up lines have such a bad rep that no matter how you approach someone nowadays, whatever comes out of your mouth first could be perceived as a “line”. So why not make it a good one?
Not to say the bad ones don’t totally deserve some credit, too—who doesn’t like a good pun? “Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?” is so famously ridiculous it might actually work ironically. But when it comes to actual human interaction, who would ever say with a straight face, “Is your daddy a baker? Because you’ve got a nice set of buns!” (If you answered, “I would!”, we’re glad you’re here.)
Before we vow never to say these aloud to someone as long as we live, let’s pay a brief homage to a few of the classics:
9. Are you a fruit, because Honeydew you know how fine you look right now?
(Because women love being referred to as food.)
8. I wanna live in your socks so I can be with you every step of the way.
(Sexy sweaty feet imagery never fails.)
7. Are you an orphanage? Cause I wanna give you kids.
(Nothing says amore like the threat of being knocked up.)
6. Did you invent the airplane? Cause you seem Wright for me.
(Aviation history always makes the ladies swoon.)
5. Are you a parking ticket? ‘Cause you’ve got fine written all over you.
(Nothing’s sexier than owing money. Nothing.)
4. Do you have a map? I’m getting lost in your eyes.
(Good luck with that one, Google Maps.)
3. If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.
(Not only is it romantic, but it’s a fun way of letting someone know your grammar skills are lacking.)
2. I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?
(To be fair, it beats “They say dating is a numbers game, so can I get yours?”)
1. Are you a light switch? ‘Cause you turn me on!
(I was wrong. Household appliances are much sexier than owing money.)
Even the name implies little more than a cheap trick for getting someone under the sheets, but pick-up lines are really just a way to break the ice and get someone engaged in a conversation to see if you click well enough to feel each other up at some point in the future. Another downside is that most pick-up lines tend to be geared towards men—but why should they have all the fun? It’s the 21st century; we ladies shouldn’t be afraid to take matters into our own hands.
Counting down with our personal Great Eight, here are some unisex openers that have potential.
8. Could I offer you some… ?
A new and enhanced version of “Can I buy you a drink?”, this works great at a party when you have the option to make the drink yourself, because you can ask them how much they’d like, how strong they want it, and so forth. It lets them know that you’re paying attention, shows off your bartending skills, and now you’ve learned what kind of drink they’re into—it’s a start!
7. You’re a much better dancer than I am—maybe you could show me some moves?
It could just be me, but I’m much more drawn to someone who puts forth an effort than someone who’s already mastered all the moves. Even if you think you’re a pro, this lets them know you’re willing to learn new things, and doubles as a not-too-cheesy compliment to their own skills. And if you are lucky, you could finally learn to do the robot.
6. You look really familiar, were you at _________ last month?
A step up from the original cheap shot, “Have we met before?” This hits a new angle by naming a specific place or event, like an art show or a concert by your favorite band. If you’re really lucky and live in a smaller community, they might have actually been there—but even if not, it will give you an idea of whether you share that interest.
5. Hey, I have the same (dress, purse, shoes, etc.)!
Humor (almost) never fails. Granted, this is best put to use when traditional feminine/masculine accessories are in place, but it could also work if they’ve got a really unique or custom tattoo.
4. You have a really nice…
Don’t say ass! Even “eyes” have become pretty cliche, and if they really do have nice eyes, they’ve probably heard it a thousand times. Pick a unique feature, something they may not think about as being sexy, like their hands, or their laugh. But observe them first and be genuine—chances are they’ll be able to tell if you just picked a feature at random.
3. I really like your (shirt/dress/cologne).
Still don’t say ass. This is more about their style choices, like clothing or scent. People generally choose those things carefully when they’re going out, so it’s nice to have their efforts recognized. But only say it if it’s true! If you tell her you love her perfume when it actually reminds you of the smell of your grandmother’s muscle relaxing cream, be prepared to think of grandma when you’re out on the first—and second—and third dates.
2. I was trying to come up with some clever way to break the ice, but…
Personally, honesty is a huge turn-on for me. Not too much honesty, of course—you don’t want your first line to be that you were fantasizing about them naked for the last hour—but with all the fake images that rule the dating world, people appreciate a refreshing gulp of sincerity. There are a million ways this line could end, like, “…but all I could think of were really cheesy pick-up lines.” Or maybe, “…but to be honest, I’m a little nervous.” It may not be James Bond levels of smooth, but it lets them know you’re just a real person who’s not totally full of crap.
1. Hi, I’m [your name here].
Sometimes the hardest part is just making the first point of contact. Offering a greeting with your name isn’t witty or sensational, but it’s classy, nonthreatening, and will get their attention, which gives you the opportunity to say something else. Plus you (hopefully!) get to learn their name, too, which leads to plenty of other openers like “That’s really unique, what does it mean?” or “Is that French?”
Remember, most people are impressed by relatively simple things: friendliness, humor, good listening skills. It doesn’t matter if you stumble over your words sometimes or get stuck on what to say next. Just be yourself—with the right person, it’ll pay off.
We’d love to hear from you! What are some of the best—or worst—lines you’ve used, or that someone else used on you? Tell us in the comments!