by Sam van Rood
Corny chat-up lines (‘Do you come here often?’) don’t work, and neither do over-the-top ones (‘Did you fall to earth from heaven?’). Keep your opening remark neutral – something about the weather (‘Better day today…’) or something about the situation (‘They should reschedule this train – it always runs ten minutes late’).
You can also use widgets, which are remarks that relate to the here and now. Impersonal widgets are safest since they don’t make your intentions too obvious (‘I love this song’ or ‘Try the dip, it’s really spicy’). Personal widgets are riskier but if you’re feeling bold, go for it (‘I love those earrings’).
Women can use the same chat-up lines as men but to avoid looking too assertive they should stick to neutral and impersonal remarks. Women can also ask for information (‘Do you know what time it starts?’), advice (‘Crisps or peanuts, what do you think?) or help (‘Please could you put my case on the overhead rack for me?).
In speed dating, where everyone is there for the same reason, you can be bolder. Try a quirky opening question (‘Would you rather be on Big Brother or I’m A Celebrity?’) and see how they respond.
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