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Why Pick Up Lines Don’t Work

My last few weekends have been spent on many a dancefloor at many a club, burning up the kind of energy usually reserved for singles on the prowl.

It’s not often you find a married, with-a-mortgage female out dancing until 4am on a chilly night when DVDs and the couch are putting up a damn good case for staying in.

It’s given me the opportunity to re-engage with the unique mating rituals of the humble nightclub. How could I have forgotten?

As the night goes on in nightclub land, the drunk get drunker and the weird get weirder.

Some advice:

Stopping dead still in the middle of a throbbing dance floor and staring at the prize you have your eye does not make you look like a brooding Robert Pattinson. It is not mysterious, nor enigmatic, nor effective. It’s just plain creepy. And I can’t believe I’ve seen it happen more than once in the last few weeks.

Coming up behind someone while 50 Cent’s ‘Candy Shop’ is blaring and grinding on her leg is also not optimum. Nor at all subtle.

The more conservative version of this is gradually making your way into someone’s dance space but pretending like it’s an accident. Also not okay. (As a side note, a handy way of dealing with these people is adopting an Elaine-from-Seinfeld style of dancing – all body spasms and thrusting fists that just might catch a certain space invader in the back of the head if I aim it right.)

 

They back off right away, funnily enough.

Now as most ladies will know, going out with a few girlfriends sans any men in your group will pretty much guarantee that a handful of guys will make their way over to you during the course of the night to chat.

We’re all for engaging, gentlemen, but if you want to stand out from every other guy that’s ever tried to broach a group of girls, you’re going to have to do better than the standard opening conversations.

No: “Come here often?”, no: “Where are you from?”, no: “What’s your name?”. No, no, no.

Go in with something interesting to say, men. Be engaging and witty and different. Spark her interest with something clever instead and watch as she turns her attention to you.

I’m not talking about cheesy pick up lines.

I’m talking about starting a conversation she may have never had before. Women – this goes for you too.

Blogger Angie Holst had a cracker to share on Mamamia.com.au not so long ago. Sidle up to someone in a bar and go “Soooo… what’s your favourite biscuit?”

Pure gold!

It’s inoffensive, fun and can lead to a heated debate about the merits of Teddy Bear biscuits versus Tim Tams versus Oreos. Banter is good. Banter is just what you want.

Or try something like: “What’s your pretend fantasy job?”

Make sure you have a good one of your own up your sleeve, too (Trapeze artist, anyone?)

My all-time favourite approach was a guy who conspiratorially leaned over to warn me to be very careful around him – that his facial hair was so masculine and potent that if I were to even so much as touch it I may instantly become impregnated.

I laughed so hard I snorted my martini out of my nose. Reactions don’t come much better than that.

Got a sure-fire icebreaker you like to use?

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.

Discussion

2 comments for “Why Pick Up Lines Don’t Work”

  1. Posted by Bob Page | April 10, 2013, 2:37 am

    What the heck is a Tim Tam, anyway? Is it served with Vegemite? Or is it a sweet cookie?

  2. Posted by Emma | April 10, 2013, 7:27 am

    Bob, it’s a sweet cookie! Two layers of chocolate biscuit sandwiched together with similar stuff to what’s in an Oreo, but the filling is chocolate flavoured too and the whole thing is dipped into chocolate. Yu-um. Sometimes they’re filled with chewy caramel or double coated… Under no circumstances would you want it with served Vegemite!

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