How to Approach a Random Cute Person

[This is a piece I wrote for in 2004 maybe? Except back then it was “Approach a random hottie.” I decided to change it to “cute person” so it wouldn’t make me cringe. ]

OK. Approaching random cute people is not amateur stuff. So first, some prep work: two very important rules of engagement.

RULE #1: Prepare yourself to take a calculated ego risk. If you want the cornucopia of potential action that being able to approach random cute people will afford you, you must first accept that no one wins every time. Sometimes you will get shot down. Whether or not you personally freak out about getting shot down and start feeling like a total loser and saying all sorts of bad things about yourself is up to you, though. You can look at it as, “OK, can’t win ’em all, at least I tried…” Or you can look at it as, “OMG, I’m disgusting, and I’m going to die alone.” As far as I know, looking at it the first way is a much more pleasant experience, and much more fruitful in the end.

Rule #2: Please SELECT ONE random cute person at any given event or location, and make him or her your goal. Save the random approach for someone you really want to meet. DO NOT approach several random cute people in one night, unless you’re dealing with like tens of thousands of people (concerts and the like). A) They can tell, and they’re going to reject you, unless they’re reject-worthy themselves and B) It makes you look kinda desperate. No offense.

Once you’ve learned and internalized those rules, here are several pick-up tactics that I have actually seen work. Take a deep breath (all the way into your belly), remember that you’ll still be a good, awesome person even if this goes badly, and go for it.

1) The Exquisitely Direct Approach:

This works well for people who are hanging around alone, when you’re not with friends either.

* “Excuse me, can I meet you?” A boy on a subway once shyly walked up to a friend of mine and just said that to her. They went out for six months. I think this one would work well with: emo kids, readers, and people with a lot of hair falling into their faces.

* “Excuse me, do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” This is a great one to whip out at the end of an evening, when you’re about to leave. If they say that they’re taken, you just say, “OK, it was worth a shot,” and exit gracefully. You’ve just given them a nice, no-pressure compliment. If they say they’re NOT taken, you can just hand them a piece of paper with your name and phone number and say, “You should call/text me.” Or whatever. Either way, right afterwards, you can just walk away; you don’t have to stand there feeling like an ass. If they don’t call/text: oh well, at least they can’t see your tears. If they do: you’re stoked.

2) The Indirect Approach:

* “Do you know where the bathroom is?”

* “Do you have any gum?”

* “What was our math assignment?”

* “Hi.”

* “Whatcha reading/listening to/eating?”

* “Where did you get those amazing shoes/that awesome T-shirt/that scrummy-looking falafel?”

Here’s the deal. If it’s a match, your target will probably latch on to ANYthing you say to them and turn it into a conversation, which will easily lead to the rest of it. If they’re not into you, they’ll probably give you a short answer with a slightly off-putting vibe, and they won’t ask the next question. UNLESS…

Sometimes, the shyer among us will not know what to say next, and you’ll just kind of be sitting there like, “Hm. OK. Well… see ya.” This is why, even though it seems like the opposite would be true, the Exquisitely Direct Approach is better for random shy cute people. If you can’t tell whether someone is shy by just looking, you could always shoot them an Indirect Approach, and then test any confusing results (especially if you catch them staring at you afterwards) with a Direct Approach.

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One Comment

  1. Elyse
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Aww!! “Excuse me, can I meet you?” is so cute. =D
    Depending on the person, I would love if someone said that to me. Good advice.

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