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You’ve tried everything to catch the eye of that cutie at the end of the bar, but he still hasn’t come over to say hi. Don’t leave it up to the guys to approach you. Be a flirt! Make the first move. A guy will be so relieved that he’ll usually flirt right back, buy you a drink or ask you out.

Here are some tips on how to pick up a guy:

1)  Pick a good spot. The good old bar scene isn’t for everybody! Be creative, and be shameless. Who says you can’t meet the love of your life at a dog park, or a toy store? What about a museum, or an art gallery? Then there are spots that are notoriously saturated with testosterone: the gym, [1] a political rally, a sports bar, or a grad school coffee shop (especially if the grad school is heavier on male enrollment, with programs in engineering, computer science, and business).[2]

2) Flirt from a distance. Make eye contact, smile, and look approachable. If you get good at this, there’s a pretty good chance the guy will approach you before you even make it to the next step!

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3) Start a conversation. You may skip it if you are terrified by the thought of starting a conversation with a stranger (a good-looking guy, no less). But if you skip this step, you are depriving yourself of a valuable screening tool. What if this guy is a total weirdo? Or just too dull, too quiet, too loud, too macho, too meek, or just not your type? Besides, you’re going to have to talk to him at some point, anyway. It’s better to find out now that he has horrific breath, or that he can’t stop talking about his mother or ex-girlfriend, rather than make the discovery on your first date, when your escape route will be a little narrower. If he looks at you like you’ve got ten heads, just smile gracefully and say something like, “Anyway, I’ve gotta run. Take it easy!”

4)  Close the deal. Right before you leave, give him your contact info, and walk away. The “hit and run” approach is highly recommended. It doesn’t give him a chance to reject you on the spot, which makes things easier on you, obviously. It also gives him time to digest what just happened, which may not happen to him often. If you skipped the conversation step, or even if you didn’t, you may want to give him only a personal e-mail address rather than a phone number, in case he turns out to be the creepy stalker type.

  • If he’s been checking you out the whole time, be bold. Go up to him and ask, “So when are you gonna take me out?” or, “Here’s my number, in case you want to take me out sometime.”
  • Send him a note through the waiter. Ask the waiter to deliver it right after you leave. The note can say something like, “Why don’t we hang out soon?” or, “How about coffee sometime?” or even a compliment, such as, “I like your hair.”
  • Tell the guy he’s the spitting image of your cousin, or a college friend, or whatever. Ask if you can take a picture with him, because you’ve got to show your mom/friend/sister this “long lost twin”. After taking a picture with him (during which you should get close!), ask him if he has a MySpace or Facebook profile, so that you can link with him. Once you have his profile, you have a connection!

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