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9 Guys Share Their Go-To Pick-Up Strategies

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1. Become a bearded babe.

"I used to have a fairly large beard, and I found it was the best 'pick-up strategy' ever. It's simple: Some girls like beards, and some girls hate beards. But in my experience, the girls who like beards REALLY LIKE BEARDS.

"It was enough to be in a bar with a beard. Eventually, someone interested in a beard would approach and say, 'I like your beard,' or something similar. It was obvious they really liked me when they would ask to touch the beard. Not right away, usually, but it didn't take long.

"Was it sort of creepy? Yes. But being the advancee instead of the advancer was a refreshing change."


Use your locks to your advantage.

"For me, I let my hair work its magic. I see a pretty gal across the way; we make eye contact. I smile; she smiles. I run my fingers through my hair; she blushes.

"I approach; she approaches. I say something silly or cute or complimentary, which typically comes off dorky; she obliges. We talk, we dance, we laugh, we exchange numbers, and then my crippling social anxiety takes hold of me, and I never text back and wind up binge-watching TV...and, ugh, I'm going to die alone."


2. Dance like everyone's watching.

"You cannot hide your personality when you dance. Everyone dances differently, but when you really go for it, your inner self shines through. I love to dance, and I love it when someone isn't afraid to go for it on the dance floor.

"When out, my friends and I dance like nobody's watching. Usually a few other people would gravitate toward us as the night progressed — girls and guys also looking for a dancey time.

"Meeting eyes with someone while dancing means a lot more than a glance across the bar. First the eyes. Then you dance through the crowd. You find each other. You dance face to face. The music goes lower. You brush against each other. A hand, a hip. At last, you touch with intention. You move together. And that about does it."


3. Strategy is everything.

"Go out with a group of friends. Look for someone you're interested in and confirm the interest is mutual. I prefer to take occasional prolonged glances in their direction until I make eye contact. If the eye contact is reciprocated, maintain it for an almost uncomfortable amount of time, then smile and look away. The threshold for uncomfortable eye contact seems to be longer in gay culture than straight culture, so be careful with that.

"Timing of the approach is very important. If he's with friends, I hold off. You don't want to interrupt them! (Also, are you really socially adept enough to maintain a flirtatious conversation with your person of interest while seeming fun and interesting to their friends??) If he's on his own, preferably at the bar, head over.

"Open with a simple question and/or compliment. Then display value by pulling an 'I'll put another of whatever he's having on my tab.' Use not being able to hear them as an excuse to test the waters and move a little bit closer. If he doesn't recoil, proceed. Maybe even try a shoulder touch. If he returns the touch, then you're in the clear.

"If it's clear you're both interested in each other, depart to the home of the person who (a) lives within walking distance, or (b) is most willing to pay for a cab in order to be closer to his own home. Don't say goodbye to your friends — It's awkward introducing someone you just met to your friends.

"After about a month and a half to two months of seeing each other at least two times a week, discuss the status of the relationship. Date. Marry. Die. The end."


Note: These are not my current tactics. I no longer have current tactics because I love my boyfriend.

4. Go fishing.

"When I'm out for a drink, and I see someone I like, my first instinct is to attempt to make eye contact from across the bar. If we manage to lock eyes, I'll throw them a little smile.

"Tbh, hopefully my job is done because usually they decide to approach me at this point...but if they don't, I'll try to time my next trip up to the bar with theirs so we can have a reason to be in close proximity.

"Once we're brushing shoulders and competing for the bartender's attention, I'll pay them a dumb compliment (like 'oh, I like your shirt' or something) that will get the conversation started. If they're interested, they'll take the bait, we'll exchange numbers, and the rest will be history."


5. Eye contact for days.

"I think (like probably everyone else here) that eye contact is a good first step to determine whether someone is mutually open to having a conversation. It helps if they have something identifiable with them that can serve as a springboard to dialogue, like a particular book or tote bag from a museum that you can reference.

"And (this may seem obvious but) I find asking open-ended questions instead of yes/no ones tends to make for a much livelier conversation. You'll also just get a better sense of the other person that way.

"It's far more productive to approach people with the sole intention of getting to know someone new without putting any pressure on the possibility of a romantic outcome.

"Other than that, just be engaged, be polite, and be present."


6. Comedy is key.

"Honestly, I usually only have eyes for the go-go boys. I bring a buddy with me, and we get real close to the dancer and bust some serious moves. This almost always results in said go-go boy nudging me and saying something like, 'YOU'RE CRAZY!' to which I respond, 'HEY MAN, NO TOUCHING. I'M JUST A DANCER.'

"Then said buddy exits the scene, I make flirtatious small talk with the dancer over the thumping '70s beats, and we're making out in no less than 30. I skip home alone on a disco cloud and accept the dude's friend request."


7. Have fun with it.

"I've got two 'strategies' for getting the ball rolling, depending on the situation. If I'm with a big group of people, we'll buy a round of shots and invite anybody we're interested in to join us in order to spark up a conversation.

"If I'm alone, I'll usually either just say 'hi' or comment on something contextual to spark up a conversation. My philosophy is that there's no 'make it or break it' thing you can do to seal the deal. Either they're gonna be into some combination of your look and personality, or they're not.

"At a certain point, it's out of your control. So, instead, if you don't treat it as trying to seal the deal but rather as an opportunity to connect with a new person and have a fun and interesting conversation, then your chances of waking up next to someone in the morning are probably much better off."


8. Compliments are always appreciated.

"Hit them with 'With no hidden agenda or ill intentions, may I just say that you look absolutely beautiful today?' Smile, then walk away. Two out of five times, they chase you down.

"When you realize that they're just humans filled with their share of flaws, insecurities, and own agendas, things become a lot easier. Don't put them on a pedestal. Just be yourself and be confident. Someone who you can't be yourself around from the get-go isn't worth your time."


9. Never be afraid to be alone.

"My first step is to look as lonely and alone as possible, which is relatively easy to do when you're lonely and alone. The goal isn't pity; it's meant to expose my status as a single person looking to meet other singles.

"At this stage, it's important to keep an open mind. People may approach you to whom you're not exactly...attracted? But remember, you were standing silently to the side a minute ago. A conversation or two could be nice.

"If I happen to work up the nerve to approach someone, I always lead with a question because it demonstrates that (a) you're interested, and (b) you want to engage in a two-way conversation or activity ('Hey, how's your night goin'?' or 'I've got an extra dollar. Do you wanna play Big Buck Hunter? I'm Dan, btw'). It seems very obvious, like Starting a Real Human Conversation 101, but I guess nowadays that feels like a pick-up.

"Now, if the Real Human responds to you, showing some willingness to entertain the conversation, I think it's important to be funny and, if you're feeling it, flirty. Body language is key — lean in when they talk and casually touch their shoulder to emphasize a point ('Oh, you, that is funny'). Say something bold to catch their reaction.

"If the conversation continues for like 20–30 minutes, I'll get a sense of what direction it's heading in. If the feeling's right, maybe we can talk about going back to one of our apartments after this drink... If they seem like someone I'd truly like to get to know, I'll try to exchange numbers and ask if they're free for a date sometime in the near future."


All images via BuzzFeed / Daniel Blaushild