Approaching a beautiful woman is one of the most intimidating things a man can do. That’s probably why so many guys do verbal cartwheels trying to come up with opening pick-up lines that simultaneously display wit, charm, and flattery.
But here’s a little secret: You don’t have to work that hard. We asked real women to share the conversation starters that worked on them, and you may be surprised at their answers. Some of the pick-up lines were cheeky, some were simple, and many weren’t even “lines” at all.
Pick-Up Line #1: What do you do for a living?
“When I first met my boyfriend, he stuck out his hand and gave me his name, then immediately proceeded to ask me what I did for a living. I couldn’t help but give him a hard time. ‘That’s the best you’ve got?’ I joked. ‘Not, are you enjoying the party or a simple how are you?’
“But he immediately—and hilariously—recovered. He replied, ‘Oh, I’m just getting started. The obvious follow-up question is, What are your five strengths and weaknesses? We’ll go from there.’ I knew anyone that quick-witted and well-humored was a serious catch.”
Wit is just one way to make a good first impression. Check out 13 Insanely Simple Ways to Make People Like You for more ideas.
Pick-Up Line #2: What’s for dinner?
“After work, I went to the grocery store to get some vegetables for dinner. I was hanging out, bagging my beets, when a guy reached for the produce bags above my head. I looked over and saw a fireman in a full suit. He asked, ‘What are you making for dinner?’ It was an incredibly simple line, but it started a conversation before the rest of his squad called him over so they could get started making dinner for the whole house.
“We met up again at the checkout counter. There, he sealed the deal by grabbing my receipt after I was done paying, writing his number on the back, and ending with a ‘Call me. Or call non-emergency.’ Super cheesy and he’s definitely used it before, but I was totally into it.”
A fireman getup isn’t the only way to turn her on.
Pick-Up Line #3: I’m Jay. Want to dance?
“I was at a club where everyone just sweatily grinds on each other. But instead of just pressing his crotch into my butt, he actually talked to me and said, ‘Hey, I’m Jay. Do you want to dance and then I’ll buy you a drink?’
“Just introducing yourself is the way to go. And ask to dance—stop doing the seventh-grade thing where you just grab me on the dance floor.”
Pick-Up Line #4: I had to at least introduce myself.
“I have a guy friend who goes up to women and says, ‘I just wanted to tell you, I think you are gorgeous and would love to get to know you better. If you want to have a drink and talk, I’ll be over there. If not, that’s fine, but I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t at least tried to talk to you.’ It’s non-threatening because it leaves it up to her, and it sounds genuine even though it’s a line he uses repeatedly. It works almost every time.”
Of course, you’ll want to look your best when approaching a woman.
Pick-Up Line #5: Nice freckles.
“One day while waiting on the subway platform, I noticed a cute guy also waiting a few feet away. We got on the same train car and he sat directly behind me. After a few stops he stood up, tossed something in my lap, and got off the train.
“It was a tiny origami box, which I unfolded to find this message: ‘Nice freckles. Coffee? —Adam,’ and his phone number. I was coming from a party, in a backless dress, and my shoulders (only my shoulders!) are very freckly. On top of his ballsy move with the origami box, the fact that he complimented a quirky part of me that people don’t usually draw attention to really stood out.
“I waited 20 minutes and then texted him, ‘Hey, it’s Freckles. I’d love to get coffee.’ He never responded.”
Pick-Up Line #6: What band are you here to see?
“This guy who was sitting next to me at the bar asked me which band I was there to see. We turned out to both know people in the band, and it turned into a long conversation about other friends and interests we had in common.
“It was organic, so it wasn’t threatening. I guess the moral is that you can get to know someone without forcing a reason to talk to them; just pick something relevant to the setting.”
Pick-Up Line #7: I’ve been trying to work up the courage to give you my number.
“I was working in a cafe, and one day the bread delivery guy said, ‘I’ve been carrying around this Post-It with my name and number for weeks trying to work up the courage to give it to you.’ I liked that he liked me enough to keep this grubby Post-It, but had been too shy to give it to me. We dated for 5 months after that.”
Pick-Up Line #8: Hide this in your purse for me.
“My college boyfriend picked me up at our first campus-sponsored freshmen mixer on the first night of school. He walked over with a giant roll of caution tape and said, ‘Hey, hide this in your purse for me.’ I initially refused, but ultimately he convinced me that stealing an entire roll of Campus Safety’s caution tape was a good idea. (We decorated our dorms with it and used it for Halloween costumes.) It was a good icebreaker; I’ll give him that.
“I guess my advice is to propose something that puts you on the same team—that instantly gives you something in common. In my case, it was … a misdemeanor?”
Pick-Up Line #9: Something’s wrong with this check.
“I was my now-husband’s (of 4 years) waitress. It was so totally cheesy, but it worked. I had given him his check and he told me something was wrong with it. I was concerned and asked what was wrong, and his reply was that my number wasn’t on it. Of course I apologized profusely, corrected the situation, and walked away. (P.S. it helped that he was/is hot, too.)”
Pick-Up Line #10: Do I know you?
“I used to live over by a college and was walking home from the train when a young guy stopped me on the street and asked, ‘Excuse me, but do I know you from somewhere? Are you in one of my classes?’ I replied no, and he said, ‘Wow, I could have sworn I’d seen you in my pre-law class. Well, now that I’ve got you here, what would it take for me to be able to take you out sometime?’
“Even if it was all a clever ruse, I appreciated that he was trying to start off with, ‘Here is this common ground that I think we share.’ I had to turn him down because I’m already in a relationship, but not going to lie: He would have probably gotten my number otherwise!”
Pick-Up Line #11: Want to dance?
“My husband came up to me in a club and said, ‘Hi, would you like to dance?’ I said yes and we have been in love ever since. Keep it simple, fellas!”
Pick-Up Line #12: What’cha doing for the rest of your life?
“One day before class at university, I asked him why he was dressed so nicely. (He always wore suits; I was more of the dirty-dancing wearing type.) He said he was going to a wedding. When I asked whose, he said his. I asked who was the bride, and he said I was … and I just didn’t know it yet. We have been together 31 years.”
Pick-Up Line #13: Hi.
“Just saying hi. Literally just hi.”
Pick-Up Line #14: Let’s pick on people together.
“My now-boyfriend of 6 years (we were friends and had classes together in college at the time) invited me out for drinks at a bar—so that we could watch one of our mutual friends try to pick up the bartender. I thought that was funny, so I went with him, and we laughed and bonded over the situation.”
Pick-Up Line #15: How about those fireworks?
“It wasn’t the Fourth of July or New Year’s at midnight. Just a beautiful evening in Panama City Beach, Florida in late summer. Fireworks were going off down from the boardwalk. My girlfriend and I were chatting about how unusual that was. Then this cute guy came up to me and said, ‘You like that? It cost me a good bit to impress you. Dinner?’”
Set off fireworks in the bedroom with these 5 Oral Sex Moves You’ve Never Tried. They’re perfect for guys who have already mastered Oral 101.
Pick-Up Line #16: You have the best hair in this bar.
“I’m very proud of my huge, brown, curly hair. I often wear it sort of unconventionally styled in ‘80s hairdos and make it as big as I can. This very hot guy walked up to me and goes, ‘You have the best hair in this bar.’ I was hooked.
“I think his comment appealed to my pride of being different and having more of a retro style, both in clothing and hair. He catered to one of my best features instead of saying something generic like, ‘You’re beautiful.’ So, I took him home with me.”
Pick-Up Line #17: “Vous-êtes Française?”
“I had just approached the bar, and the music was loud, so it was hard to hear. This guy moved seats to the one next to me, smiled, and asked, ‘Vous-êtes Française?’ which means, ‘Are you French?’ He just happened to strike a chord with my interests; I love the French language and culture. It was very flattering, and I liked that he struck up a conversation instead of saying something cheesy.”
Get exotic with these Sex Positions From Around the World. You’ll definitely want to try the Spanish Lotus.
Pick-Up Line #18: He danced—not grinded—with me.
“I was at a bar and this really hot guy started dancing with me. It was refreshing, because he wasn’t grabbing or grinding. That’s really unattractive. Also, he would go away and come back. Guys who are just interested enough but act like they could walk away makes you feel like they want you, but they don’t need you. That may be a game, but it works. After some dancing, he told me I was pretty, then asked if I wanted to go hang out with his friends and get pizza. I did, and he’s the first guy I ever slept with the first night I met him.”
Pick-Up Line #19: It’s all in the delivery.
“I think it’s less about what lines are used; two different guys could use the same line and it would work with one and not the other. It’s just that initial attraction or chemistry and how they deliver that line, I guess.”
Pick-Up Line #20: None of the above.
“Pick-up lines? Guys that use pick-up lines are just players that just want to get laid.”